Question for a friend

Krista - posted on 10/29/2010 ( 24 moms have responded )

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A friend of mine is breastfeeding and is having problems with gassiness with her baby. I have no idea how to help her, as I was only able to nurse for a very short time (I had a breast reduction, so my supply was minuscule and then dried up altogether at 6 weeks.)

From her Facebook status: "The problem is that Allie's really gassy. Like insanely gassy. I think I have a hindmilk/foremilk problem as I have a lot of breastmilk. I'm trying all the tricks but some nights are just hell. I've also cut out a lot of food to see if that helps. Today I'm starting to cut out dairy."

Any tips or ideas that I can pass along to her? She also has a three-year-old, and she's so tired right now that she's constantly on the verge of tears. I desperately want to help her, and so thought I'd ask you ladies if you have any ideas as to what she could do.

Thanks!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Ericka - posted on 10/30/2010

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only nurse one side at a time. moms will be told to nurse one side for X minutes and switch, but that really screws up the hindmilk and can reduce supply. so just nurse baby when hungry on one side and let baby just nurse nurse nurse. if baby seems to fuss on one side after a long feeding, then switch.

the thing is that some babies are REALLY efficient at nursing, and can empty a breast in 5 minutes. others arent so efficient, and will empty the same breast in 20 minutes. so its gonna be different enough that no mom should "only nurse X minutes" on each side.

good luck to her!

[deleted account]

Tell her to try block feeding. That is when she nurses for either a fixed number of feedings or a fixed number of hours on one side, then switches to the other. For example, 3 feedings in a row on the left side, then 3 in a row on the right. Or 5 hours of feedings on the left, then 5 hours in a row on the right.

In my case, my son also had an issue with dairy I was eating. I gave up dairy for a while, and when he was 3.5 months old I tried it again and he was fine.

Jenna - posted on 10/30/2010

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I read (I think on kellymom) when there is foremilk/hindmilk confusion that you should do "block nursing" meaning anytime the baby wants to nurse within a (i think) 2 1/2 hr timeframe, to nurse on the SAME side. This way you get to the hindmilk and are not constantly switching back and forth between breasts and the baby only getting the foremilk.

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Sally - posted on 11/04/2010

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Definitely cut the dairy. A lot of babies are allergic to cow's milk and it causes all sorts of digestive upsets. Me eating dairy made my little nursling spit-uppy, diarhea-y and gave her horrible gassy tummy aches.
If dairy is the problem she will need to learn to read labels because they hide it in everything. Even many "dairy-free" items are really only lactose free and still have whey or cassein in them.
Good luck

Sharee - posted on 11/02/2010

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I am not sure if this is available where you are at but Gripe water is fantastic... here in the US it is all homepathic but i have heard in Canada and other places it has alcohol in it( Don't use that...) Anyway, My younger son was colicky and really gassy- wouldn't burp, terrible gas pain and horiffically stinky poop. We discovered he had a dairy allergy finally at 5 months and will be watching it much more closely for the next baby... Good luck!

Krista - posted on 11/02/2010

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Thanks so much for all the great advice, ladies! She has tried block feeding, and some nights it works, but other nights are just awful. I don't know if she's tried the drops, but I'm assuming she probably has. I'll mention April's trick to her to see if that helps.

No danger of her giving up on breastfeeding -- she's pretty committed to it, and her husband is very, very pro-breastfeeding, so she's got lots of support. We live quite far apart, so I feel bad for not being able to go over there and help her out.

Brandi - posted on 11/02/2010

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Another thing to try to 'gas' her baby would be to let the baby straddle one of her legs while they are sitting, facing away from her (like a 'horsey ride'). Then hold the baby's chest and let them lean into her hand, away from her body. Gentile bouning is good too. This was the only way I could ever burp my kids, and as Jennifer said, you don't want that air bubble to become a painful gas bubble as it travles through the babies system!

Inga (Uttara) - posted on 11/02/2010

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Avoid gassy foods like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, beans, lentils, soy milk and tofu. I know mothers who could not eat tomatoes and green vegetables. Dry cereals and granola can create gas. Make note in your mind what you are eating and see reaction of your baby.

There is great 100% safe and natural medicine called Colic Calm that is good for bloating, stomach cramping, gas and acid reflux.

Good luck!

[deleted account]

If she has over supply (the hindmilk foremilk imbalance) it would help if she nurses on the same side two feedings in a row before switching to the other side. it is called block feeding it really helped me. Also try and convince her to speak with a lactation consultant the local wic office has free consultants or you can contact your local hospital. even though its from the breast you still need to remember to burp often every five minutes if needed. She is probably gulping milk if it is over supply which means she is also gonna swallow tons of air too. I never ended up cutting out any foods frommy diet because changing my nursing style worked wonders! Dont let her give up on nursing if the baby hs tummy problems with breastmilk formula will only be harder for her to digest and the gas wont go away. It is true that the older the baby gets the easier their digestive system handles it... they sorta grow out of it on there own if all else fails.

April - posted on 11/01/2010

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My son was also "insanely gassy". I found the only food that I couldn't eat was beans. Other than that, SEVERAL times a day, we would "gas him". We firmly press his knees up nearly to his chin, and the gas would explode out of him. we did this regularly until he was probably 9 months old.

Kendra - posted on 11/01/2010

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Dairy is a good one to avoid. Does she block feed? That is feeding from one side ONLY for 3-4 hours. Then switching to the other side. This is help with the OALD. Also, sitting baby up to nurse is good too. Baby straddles one leg and nurses upright... or mom lays on her back and puts baby on top of her so gravity is working against them.

Cheryl - posted on 10/31/2010

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Has she tried using the drops for gas made especially for babies? The foods I had to avoid were broccoli, cauliflower and raw veggies.

Alison - posted on 10/31/2010

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I had that problem, cutting out dairy helps the most. Also manually pump a little before she nurses will help with the hindmilk/foremilk problem. Giving the baby a lot of tummy time will help her intestines more.

Sheila - posted on 10/31/2010

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Foremilk/hindmilk imbalance makes baby poop A LOT and really gassy. Dairy, if alergic, makes baby gassy as well. So u should block feed (which is just making sure to finish one boob before moving on to the next) and cut out milk, eggs and mac and cheese :). Block feed forever...slowly add dairy back to test baby's alergy to milk protein.

Jennifer - posted on 10/30/2010

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I had the same issue with my baby and everyone kept telling me to just hold out until 3months when their digestive systems are more developed...at 6weeks that seemd so far away but it was true. I stressed myself out by eliminating foods and was very unhappy for awhile. Nothing seemed to work for me other than time. I did work with a lactation consuItant and she said at 7 weeks old I was feeding too frequently- every 1.5hrs. She said my baby was getting too much foremilk and I needed to try to stretch the feeds out to every 2.5hrs. I do think I was feeding my baby too much foremilk by trying to feed from both breasts as I had lots of milk. Also I would try for 5 minutes to burp my baby and if there was nothing I would leave it. From what friends have told me it is tricky to burp a newborn and you have to preservere- sometimes for 45minutes!? I was told if you don't get a burp up it travels down their gut and becomes lower bowel pain which is very uncomfortable. This theory makes sense to me and i think next baby i will be more patient with burping. If her baby has green frothy poos it could be a lactose allergy but highly unlikely. Her baby should outgrow it. I would just rally together with other friends or family and offer as much assistance as possible ot get through this tricky time. If the baby seems in constant pain or discomfort she should go see a peadiatrician as there may be something else causing it. Good luck!

[deleted account]

A few moms have already suggested blockfeeding, and that's what really worked to reduce my oversupply. Only express enough for baby not to be fussy when you start on one breast (it's not needed for the next feeds), as pumping increases supply again. Lying down, having baby lie on you or carrying baby in a carrier/sling while feeding might also help. I had to do blockfeeding for quite some time in order to get my support down and still have to be careful with pumping. It will get easier though.

Pauline - posted on 10/30/2010

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I am still nursing my daughter (she is 10 months old) and certain foods I eat cause gassiness, like beans, but I give her Ovol. It works great! And you could give her the whole bottle without causing harm, not that you would, but it is very safe and natural-smells like peppermint. I have heard too that if you try to make sure your babies feet are below the head it helps with gas. It would be a more natural slope for the milk to go down.
smiles,

[deleted account]

I had alot of breast milk as well. And what I did was pump right before each feed. This is was more then counter productive because the more you pump or feed the more you make. SO I was stuck with plugged ducts all the time. I suggest she hand express a bit.

Jennifer Ann Saunders - posted on 10/30/2010

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She needs to start cutting out one item at a time to try and figure out what is causing the gas. Dairy is probably the first one to try. Also - there are positions that can help if it is a problem with flow. My milk came out too fast at one point and I had to sit H up while he nursed, b/c he'll stop choking and getting extra air.

Avoid all gassy foods (broccoli, etc) - those made H projectile vomit.

Good luck. The main thing she needs is supportive friends like you!

Carolyn - posted on 10/29/2010

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if she hasnt alreayd tried, she could pump off some milk before offering the breast, it could be a milk imbalance or it could be too fast a let down causing the gas. if it is an imbalance you can usually see it in the baby's poop , if its green and frothy its milk imbalance. alteast from what i have read

dairy can take up to 6 weeks to be completely out of her system so cutting it for a few days wont make a difference , sometimes is takes up to 2 weeks to even see a slight improvement. soy , eggs, peanuts and theres like 4 others that could be the issue.

my son had terrible gas, regardless of what i did or didnt eat, i think it was because of to fast a let down. i used Oval drops a couple times a day to help him and it worked amazingly ! i mean , he still farts like a trucker but he doesnt scream about it anymore. when he's nursing he usually relaxes enough and its like playing a trumpet. who ever thought farts could be cute.

baby's get gas , some just more than others. as her digestive system matures the problem should resovle itself unless its a true intolerance to something the mom is eating, which will also usually reveal itself in the baby's diapers as well.

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