Gassy Baby and Fore Milk?

Melinda - posted on 02/21/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My 8 week old is a very gassy baby. I have a healthy milk supply and a lot of fore milk. Could this over abundance of fore milk be causing my baby some discomfort? She also sometimes chokes and gags on the breast. I have started to pump an ounce out before I feed her, but not really sure if that is making a difference. Has anyone else experienced this problem? I am wondering if its the fore milk causing her gassiness, something else or I just have a gassy baby? I feel bad for her because she seems very uncomfortable. Any suggestions, similar stories, etc are welcome.

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Minnie - posted on 02/21/2010

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An overactive letdown can cause choking and gassiness. To help your baby with this you can nurse her in positions that require your milk to flow against gravity- side-lying, or with her above you on your chest with you lying on your back, or sitting upright in your lap. Rather than pumping the foremilk out try this: latch her on and let her nurse until you notice your letdown, unlatch her and let the milk flow into a cloth until it slows, and then latch her on again. The good news is that most babies will be strong enough to cope with their mothers' overactive letdown by four months.



For information on a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance see these articles by La Leche League:



"Foremilk and Hindmilk"

http://www.llli.org/FAQ/foremilk.html



"Am I Making too Much Milk?" (On oversupply)

http://www.llli.org/FAQ/oversupply.html



"Finish the First Breast First"

http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVSep...



I have always had to deal with oversupply. My first was very gassy, fussy, projectile vomited, and had green frothy poo. When I had my second I began block feeding from the get-go. This is when you nurse your baby on one breast until you cannot easily express any milk by squeezing your areola. This might take a few feeding sessions. Then you would switch to the other side and do the same. It may take a couple of weeks to regulate your supply, but for me it worked within a few days- possibly because I was proactive about it and did this from the beginning.



Block feeding isn't as technical as it sounds. The main key to helping your baby get the hindmilk she needs and not so much foremilk is to, like the article above states, 'finish the first breast first.' For some mothers this happens within the time frame of one feeding. For others it takes several feedings- and this is what block feeding is.

Emily - posted on 02/21/2010

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If there was a foremilk/hindmilk inbalance, your baby would likely have green, frothy poo. Gas is not really a problem unless there are other issues too. My baby is super gassy too.. that's just how she is.

If you are routinely pumping before nursing, you'll just indicate to your body to make even more milk, which will just make the problem worse if it is a foremilk/hindmilk problem. Just feed on demand and make sure she is nursing all she can on one side before switching.

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Jenny - posted on 02/21/2010

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I have the same problem with my 6 week old. I have read about a few suggestions. Pumping, like you're already doing, can help. Positioning your baby so she's slightly uphill when nursing (so let down isn't quite so overwhelming) may also help. I've started taking my baby off the breast during let down until the flow eases up a bit. That way she's not gulping so much and swallowing as much air. You can also try doing two feedings in a row on one breast so that the second feeding will have more hind milk. If your other breast gets too full for comfort you can pump it in between. I've been doing this and it seems to be helping.

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