Saturday, April 09, 2011

Breastfeeding Mom's...I need some guidance/advice/thoughts... NOTE: Stupid blogger screwed up all my spacing. Sorry this is all smooshed together! About a week ago, Avery started with being very gassy and spitting up--a LOT. I'm feeling very frustrated becuz I don't know what to do, or if it's something I'm eating that's causing it. Some background on Avery and her nursing style: She has been a cluster-feeder since the beginning, often times eating every 45 minutes to an hour. Thankfully, her night time feedings have spread out to about every 3 hours, but during the day it's still pretty much every hour (unless she is taking a nice long afternoon nap, so that would be a stretch of 2 1/2-3 hours). I don't always feed her on both breasts. If she seems full and/or pulling off, I just nurse her on one side. I'd say it's like 50/50 of sometimes nursing on one side, sometimes nursing on both. I tried (in the beginning) to nurse her doing the football/clutch hold (which worked great for Hunter) but both her and I were getting very frustrated and so I switched to the cradle hold although I don't support her head with my arm, cuz she is laying across the boppy during feedings (her belly pressed up to mine and her body curved around me like a C). Also, I've been burping her AFTER the feeding is over. So some questions, I was looking up stuff online about babies that spit up a lot, and I read to have baby supported more upright while eating. Um, how the heck can you do this while breastfeeding? She only gets a bottle like once a week so far (just to get her used to them for when I go back to work) so obviously during a bottle feeding I can understand holding her upright. Also, should I be burping her more often maybe, could that be (becuz I'm NOT) contributing to too much air in her belly? Also, food. Food, food, glorious food. WHAT THE HELL CAN I EAT? I feel like everything I eat must be causing her gas and discomfort and I feel horrible. But at the same time, I gotta eat AND I wanna enjoy what I'm eating! What (other than the obvious: broccoli, onions, peppers, fiber) foods can be secretly causing gas that I'm not aware of? Here is an example of my day...this was yesterday: Early morning: cup of coffee with cream and sugar, water Breakfast: toast with peanut butter, a banana, glass of water Snack: (sometimes, and depending on what food is in house) a brownie, cookies, piece of fruit, or maybe a yogurt. Glass of water. Lunch: sun dried tomato wrap w/mayo, avocado, tomato, American cheese and low-salt ham. Glass of water. Oh also a small amount of cold vegetable risotto salad (kinda like a pasta salad) and THAT I know has onions in it, so I'm thinking the onions. But seriously? I hardly ate any! Snack: If I'm having a bad/tired day I *might* have another cup of coffee. But that's probably only been like twice this week. Dinner: spaghetti, tomato sauce, one meatball. Half glass of 1% milk. Salad w/lettuce, tomato, cucumbers (are cucumbers gassy?), and peppers. And honestly I only ate like maybe 4-5 little pieces of the size of dimes. So, now thoughts? What can I do differently? Either with how I hold her, how often I feed her, what I eat, etc? Should I try to space out her feedings more, cuz I wonder if she is eating too much? Although at this age, I usually feed on demand. I wanted to let HER tell ME when it's time to eat, and this is how i did it with Hunter. Hunter had some gas issues as well but I don't want to go through it all again with Avery so I'm trying to be more proactive this time around (and feeling more secure and relaxed with nursing this time around, knowing I'm doing a great job! With Hunter I was often stressed and/or nervous). Oh, almost forgot! For her gas, I've been giving her Gripe Water (not sure if it's really helping though...might try Mylicon which is what I always gave to Hunter). I've also been bicycling her little legs, or trying to lay her across my lap/arm on her belly, and burping often. Okay, I think that's everything!!


Krystyn said...

So things that worked for dairy and no tomato (which is nearly impossible, right).

Also, sit her up for 30 minutes after she eats.

And, try to burp her like 5 minutes into nursing.

You can try nursing laying down, too. Sometimes if your let down is really strong, she will get air trying to drink it all that fast. Laying down will slow it down some.

Good luck.

Also, gas drops can help (for her!)

Kat said...

If you lay on your side she can almost sit up to breastfeed. That might help. I honestly don't think she is getting too much air unless she has to gulp alot (if your milk comes out super fast). I think more likely than not, this is a phase. Babies have to adjust to eating this way sometimes. I usually only nursed on one side because my babies were always full after. And yes, listen to her. You are doing everything right.

My Joey would projectile vomit all the time after he breastfed and it freaked me out. He was a super chunky baby so I knew he was eating well. The doctor told me it was just like an overflow valve. Babies eat and eat and don't realize they are full. Then the overflow valve kicks in.

Sorry if I'm not much help. Is there a lactation consultant at the hospital that you can call? They are usually super helpful.

Anonymous said...

She could have food allergies to something that you wouldn't normally consider to be gas inducing, so if you eliminate all the general gas inducing foods, and she's still gassy, it could be that. Then it's super trial and error.

Or she could be refluxing. I don't think reflux causes gas, but I'm thinking that when Julia had it she was also allergic to the milk in her formula, so those just went hand in hand. But it could be why she is cluster feeding so much, smaller meals are easier on them.

Those are just two things to keep in the way back of your mind in case nothing else that people suggest works.

CanadianMama said...

Okay, just wrote a whole post and it deleated it grr!

Anyways, sounds like reflux to me and not gas (or a possible combination of both but reflux for sure). There are lots of great sites for more info but I found the Baby Whisperer (the book I sent you) has a great section on reflux and how to tell if your baby has it.

The first thing you should do is see a LC. She will help you with the nursing positions. I went four times with AJ!!

Next, cut out dairy for sure. The protein in diary is BIG and hard for a baby to break down. It takes two weeks to get out of your system though so be patient. I know, it sounds horrible but it didn't take long for me to get used to it at all. Plus, there are lot of great alternatives now (like almond and rice milk).

Third, feed her upright (position her and as soon as she latches, scoot your bum out and lay back, so she is laying on you - the LC will help you with this. Or try side lay and nurse).

Keep her upright for 20-30 minutes after a feed (and try a crib wedge for at night).

Don't burp her (will irritate her reflux and make it worse). Just rub her back in an upwards motion and do this often (about every 5 minutes into a feed).

Try zantac. Will make a HUGE difference if she has reflux and you will know within a week for sure. If she doesn't have it the meds won't hurt her for the week you are trying it out.

Anonymous said...

Hey girl,

I would say you need to space out her feedings more. Is she taking a paci yet? If she is I would try giving her that if she's fussy after only 45 min. from her last feeding. How long does it take her to eat? My doc told me it shouldn't take them longer than like 40 min. (20 each breast). At that point they just want something to suck on. Burp after each breast also. Definitely try some different positions too. Their stomachs are very small and sensitive to certain foods too. Try the mylicon also. Good Luck.


Anonymous said...

I have to second the things mentioned by the last two commenters - especially the pacifier recommendation (look at the shape of your nipple after Avery nurses and look for a pacifier that mimics that - I started M.aren on a binkie at only a couple weeks, and I think giving her one that was close to how her mouth formed when she nursed helped keep her from getting confused.)

Sarah said...

I haven't read any of the comments yet, so sorry if this is duplicated.

First off, we are having the same issues, but it is a lot better and hardly a daily issue anymore. I haven't given any gripe water or Mylicon in a few days! So what I'm doing/did...

Elevate the nippy on the side you are nursing. I sit on he loveseat and angle one of the pillows on the couch at 45 degrees. Then I put the boppy on that to help raise his head a bit.

I stop about halfway through (sometimes we do one side, other times both, like you) and burp. I rotate between burping and patting his bottom. This helps move any intestinal gas (and seems to comfort him when hurting-never had much luck with bicycling legs but still try when really bad). When he is finished, I burp again, rotating patting bottom and back. How do you hold her to burp? On your shoulder or lap? I do shoulder mostly, and then lap if I still haven't gotten a good burp. Also, lean her a bit to put pressure on her left side where tummy is. That will help move gas.

As far as food, you named all of the obvious, but when is the gas/fussiness an issue? Is it at night? Morning? No pattern? I hate to say this, but the caffeine/coffee may be causing the problem. I had to cut down to 6-8 oz (Oh it has been rough, but getting better), and his gas has diminished a ton! So maybe cut back for a few days (I'll be praying for you!) or cut it out to see if that is the issue (I'll still be praying!).

Good luck, and let me know how it is going. If you want my email (to bitch, ask questions, gloat, or whatever ;-) it is sarahstaceyp at gmail.

Sarah said...

Oh and it could be reflux. Ask the Pedi about it.

And that should say Boppy, not nippy in my comment above!

April said...

OMG Sarah!! LOL I really DID laugh out loud about the "boppy, not nippy" so thanks for the laugh!! LOL

So here is what we've been doing the past few days, I'm still nursing her in the same position BUT I have tried to make the boppy a little higher so her head is raised a tad higher than her body.

We DO use a pacifier here but Avery is not a HUGE fan of it. IT's getting better though. At first I had a newborn Avent binky (which is the brand Hunter has loved from the beginning) but poor Avery gagged constantly on it. We changed over to a NUK since the nipple seemed smaller (I think her mouth is smaller, plus she has that thing...I forgot what it's called...where she has that little bit of extra "skin" on the bottom of her tongue, making it a little harder to take as much of the nipple in her mouth).

I also always burped her on my shoulder but I alternate now and do a lot of lap-burping cuz she seems to get out much more gas. She is STILL spitting up after every feeding and occasionally it's been projectile-spit up, but I'm still not convinced 100% it's reflux cuz she seems to have a hard time pooping afterwards. Wouldn't that be a gas thing?

I also try to keep her upright for a good 15-20 minutes after she is done feeding. Her discomfort seemed more of a daytime thing but the past two nights she has been miserable after nursing also. So I'm not sure of a pattern.

I will seriously cry if I have to give up my 1 (sometimes 2, like twice a week) cup of coffee! IT's what gets me GOING in the tiring mornings! And I've been trying to analyze my dairy intake...I didn't THINK I had that much but I'm gonna try to cut back on what I DO consume.

April said...

Oh and forgot to say, I'm gonna call the pediatrian this morning to see what they say! said...
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