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5 month old screaming in pain when breastfeeding

(16 Posts)
SlightlyDoolally Fri 04-Sep-09 19:11:13

My DS is exclusively breastfed and will be 22 weeks old on Sunday. For about the last 3 weeks, he's been increasingly fussy at the breast: writhing and arching his back. Switching sides mid-feed seemed to help initially, and he would then continue to feed from the other side.

However, things have got steadily worse, to the point that he now screams with pain 5 mins into every feed, and switching sides no longer really helps.

I rang my HV who told me to take him to the GP. I've taken him to 2 different GPs in the last 3 days, both of whom have examined him and decided that he looks fine, is still getting wet nappies and therefore doesn't have a problem.

He obviously is taking in enough milk to keep getting wet nappies, and this is why the doctors aren't concerned. But he is in lots of pain every feed, and so I am very concerned. One of the GPs told me to try him on solids, but I'm reluctant to try that in case it makes whatever is hurting him worse.

Just wondering whether anyone else has experienced anything similar and, if so, what it turned out to be.

If things continue like this, I plan to take him to A&E where, I believe, you HAVE to be seen by a paediatrician if you go in with a baby.

I really don't think I'm a hysterical mother, but no-one is taking me seriously. I can't bear seeing the poor little scrap in such pain several times a day, and it's made worse (for me) because it feels like I'm the one who's hurting him

PielightIsMyNewLove Fri 04-Sep-09 19:21:49


butterflymum Fri 04-Sep-09 19:22:08

Possibly silent reflux?

butterflymum Fri 04-Sep-09 19:24:22

Reflux is still possible with breast fed babies. Silent reflux can sometimes be harder to notice as, unlike ordinary reflux, baby is in pain but not obviously bringing feed back up.

nellie12 Fri 04-Sep-09 19:34:20

it does sound like silent reflux. Ds3 has reflux and behaved like this but so did ds2 who was a nightmare to feed till he was one, however as he didn't vomit I didn't seek help.
If you search reflux there is loads of info on it here. I think I would be pestering the hv or gp for gaviscon though.

screaminghabdabs Fri 04-Sep-09 19:51:04

Yep, silent reflux is my bet too as DD2 had the same symptoms and was BF. If Gp isn't taking it seriously, take him to a and e. Good luck.

LackaDAISYcal Fri 04-Sep-09 19:58:20

oh, poor thing, and poor you feeling like you are hurting him sad

wouldn't silent reflux have manifested itself before 4-5 months?

did they check his ears? If he is teething then it could be making his ears sore. Is it worse on one side than the other?

If you don't think it's ears and that it might be reflux, try feeding him in a more upright position (google biological nurturing) and keep him upright after a feed for as long as possible.

Also, did either of the GPs witness him feeding? If not, I suggest getting either one of them or your HV to witness what is happening.

RoryGilmore Fri 04-Sep-09 20:02:30

no experience of silent reflus, but had this with DD and it was teeth - the sucking increases blood flow to the gums and increases the pain.

As a one off, try baby neurofen at least 15 mins before a feed. ?

screaminghabdabs Fri 04-Sep-09 20:03:54

Here's my journey with silent reflux. I filmed her feeding and showed the GP/HV how bad it was but it still took a trip to a and e

SlightlyDoolally Sat 05-Sep-09 08:32:05

Thanks everyone. DOn't think it's teeth yet (but perhaps they aren't showing), and the GP checked his ears. I will explore reflux and see what the GP has to offer. Getting a GP to watch a feed would be ideal, but they never seem to have time. I will persevere though.

Thanks again for your ideas

Babieseverywhere Sat 05-Sep-09 09:04:50

Does he gain weight at a fast rate ?

I am wondering if it is oversupply of milk. If he was a much younger baby the symptoms would fit but mums usually notice this very early on ?

Any how here is a Kellymom link which might help click here

fifitot Sat 05-Sep-09 20:59:04

Try videoing the feed on a mobile phone and showing the doc.

Sounds like reflux to me. I BF and DD had it, started at around 3 months. Infant Gaviscon helped. Doctors don't really know much about it tbh so try a and e as you suggest. Or ask for a referral to a paediatrician.

Gets better once baby starts to sit up and eat more solids.

fifitot Sat 05-Sep-09 21:00:01

BTW - does baby kind of turn his head, stretch his neck type of thing, rather than simply writhe. if so really sounds like reflux.

SlightlyDoolally Sun 06-Sep-09 10:06:05

Hi fifitot - yes, he does turn his head and stretch his neck. And videoing a feed to show the gp is a great idea. If it is reflux, it should improve soon when he can sit up - like you said.


ladylush Sun 06-Sep-09 10:44:13

Interesting thread. My dd is 8 weeks old but has only been home for 3 weeks as she was 10 weeks premature. In the NNU she didn't show any symptoms of reflux but then she was only bottle fed for the last week or so of her time there (prior to this she was fed via a NG tube). Dd is fed expressed breast milk via a bottle. She seems to feed well in the day - approx 3 hrly intervals and seems comfortable though she does vomit from time to time. Then around 6pm onwards it's a different story. She writhes, arches her neck (and turns to the side) and screams in pain (often suddenly). I can often hear the wind whooshing inside her. She wants to be upright all the time and loathes being on her back. She is very windy - farts a lot. It's a very different picture to the colic my ds had and I am wondering if she has reflux. She also feeds frequently at night - 2 hourly. I am taking domperidone for milk supply and this is the only medication I'm on apart from thyroxine. Assume neither of these would contribute to the problem. I've tried infacol but with no success. Also trying gripe water which seems to help a little. Actually, now she is crying out in her sleep. I guess it's not just nights that are a problem sad

ladylush Sun 06-Sep-09 10:45:12

Forgot to mention that she also has a slight hernia. Though paed at NNU wasn't concerned about it as she said it will probably go when dd starts walking.

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