not a debate: breastfeeding and colic

Joanna - posted on 11/07/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )

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Hey everyone... This is the only group I really visit, even though I've been too busy to visit lately, so I figured I could ask you mamas my question. Eva is almost 3 weeks old. I wasn't planning on breastfeeding, but she took to it so well that I've been breastfeeding with just a little supplementing with formula when my husband/family helps me. She is showing signs of colic/reflux (Paige had it as well so I'm recognizing some of the behaviors). I switched to Gentlease formula (she gets maybe 2 oz of formula a day, normally during the night when she cluster feeds). I've also tried cutting dairy out of my diet ("tried" because I've slipped up and had things with cheese, egg, or butter, not really thinking about it), and have cut out all caffeine and chocolate. But every time I nurse her she wriggles and kicks until she starts screaming, and then is very fussy. She doesn't do that with the formula.

So my question is this... it seems to me there's something in my milk that she doesn't like. What are some other foods I could possibly cut out that might help?

Any other tips would help. I'm not getting much sleep with a 3 year old and 2 week old, so the thought of colic added to it freaks me out. Fingers crossed it's something we can easily fix.

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Minnie - posted on 11/08/2010

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That must be frustrating. I remember that feeling when my first would fight and kick at me while nursing. She seemed to have a 'love-hate' relationship with breastfeeding.

That fussiness, kicking and pushing, are signs of an overactive let down- which can lead to a baby getting too much foremilk during a feeding. There are a few things that mothers do that help their little ones nurse better.

One thing to try is a change in position- nursing her as upright as possible, nursing reclining on pillows with her tummy-down on top of you, nursing her upright in a carrier, or the side-lying position in bed. These positions make your milk flow against gravity- and help her handle the flow a bit easier.

Babies can get gassy and fussy from overactive letdown because they are required to gulp very fast- they take in a lot of air, which can lead to a lot of spitting up- projectile vomiting even- and they also take in a LOT of milk during that time which causes a distended tummy- and also the frequent, copious spitting up. Too much foremilk can cause intenstinal discomfort because the baby's body is overloaded with lactose in too short of a time.

The good news is that this doesn't have to last. Your milk supply will likely regulate in a couple of months and she will become strong enough to easily handle your milk flow. It's important to put her back on the same breast when she wants to nurse if it is not empty yet. You can tell when it is sufficiently empty by squeezing your areola- if milk squirts out, put her back on that one. If it takes a lot of pressure to get a drop, you can switch sides. This will help her get the needed hindmilk and not too much foremilk. Try to let her decide when she is done with a breast and not take her off before then.

Dana - posted on 11/08/2010

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I would think that it's not what you're eating if she's doing it WHILE she's nursing.

Amie - posted on 11/07/2010

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It could be because of the bottle why she's fussing when going to BF. Eating from a bottle is easier for babies, they don't have to work as hard as they do when BFing.

Is it just during BFing that she's fussy? What are the pointers that have you thinking reflux?

As for your diet, it could be almost anything. Without knowing what you're normally eating it's hard to say.

I remember with my oldest, I ate a lot of cabbage. It gave her terrible gas. It never even crossed my mind since it never bothered me in any way.

Kate CP - posted on 11/07/2010

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Could it be the position you're holding her in while nursing? She may be in a different position when she takes the bottle. I would try pumping some milk and offering it in the bottle and see what she does.

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Kaija - posted on 02/26/2017

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For my baby with colic, babies magic tea was like a miracle. It completely soothed him from colic and other tummy issues.

Charlie - posted on 11/08/2010

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Lisa has great advice !!


I had the same issue and it was due to a heavy let down i personally found lying down on my back with my baby lyin on my chest feeding was the best way for us also if you have a pump 1-2 oz just enough to get rid of the heavy flow and not enough to make you produce more .

Jennifer - posted on 11/08/2010

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it could also be an overactive let down which could cause her to take in more air while nursing. it could also be the bottle, if shes getting used to the bottle she may be getting frustrated with not having the "instant gratification" at the breast.
info on overactive let down:
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-l...

also, keep in mind that cutting dairy out of your own diet wont be an instant fix. it takes a little bit of time for your body to completely get rid of all of it, and to notice a difference in baby.

good luck its really great that you are giving it a try! and i hope the LC can help! if the LC isn't sure, or if you are still having problems, look for an IBCLC (international board certified lactation consultant) because they have more training, and experience. the first 6 weeks are the hardest so if you can make it to that point, its usually smooth sailing from then on! also, keep in mind that when someone else is giving little one a bottle, it is important for you to pump during that time so your body receieves the signal to still produce milk. the first 6 weeks set the pace of your milk supply so its important to make sure it is well established in the beginning

Joanna - posted on 11/08/2010

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Thanks everyone for your input... I made an appointment to see a lactation specialist tomorrow, so hopefully we can figure out the problem! She nursed fine last night and this morning, no problems, but afterward was fussy like usual, in fact she didn't calm down until a good poop, so it's gotta be some gas issues. hope we can help her out, I feel so bad!

Jenn - posted on 11/08/2010

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I agree with Dana - it's probably not your milk that's the problem, but she may not be latched properly, maybe she likes the way it's easier to suck out of the bottle and doesn't want to work as hard, maybe she doesn't like the position she's in, maybe your milk comes out too fast. Could be a variety of things, but if it were something you were eating that was bothering her, I would think she would be fussy AFTER eating.

Jodi - posted on 11/08/2010

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I had to avoid EVERYTHING that could cause gas! Cabbage, Broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, wheat (goes witht he dairy thing) onions etc etc. When she was about 4 or 5 months old I was able to slowly reintroduce these foods into my diet in small amounts so it's not always a forever kind of thing! I also agree with checking her latch to make sure she's not swallowing air as she feeds.

Dana - posted on 11/08/2010

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Does she have a proper latch, meaning is she swallowing air too?



I also agree with Amie, it could be that she doesn't like to "work" for the milk from your breast. That's quite common with babies who bottle feed and breastfeed.

Bonnie - posted on 11/08/2010

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When breast feeding, I was told to avoid caffeine because it's just not good for them in general. I was also told to avoid or only eat in moderation, broccoli, cabbage, pizza.

[deleted account]

Why don't you post your concerns in the breastfeeding community on CoMs? I'm sure they could offer some help. I could speculate all day but I'm definitely not a pro....

Good luck!

Joanna - posted on 11/07/2010

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No I haven't had a chance to see a lactation consultant, and my doctor is gone until next week.

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