My 3-month-old son has been screaming before and during every feeding for the last three weeks. I breastfeed exclusively and he has always been my little eating machine and then suddenly he screams like I have hurt him everytime I try to put him on and the screaming continues for hours with non stop gas the entire time. I have taken him to the doctor and they won’t help because he has gained 7 lbs. since birth and has grown 5 inches.
Why should I have to let my baby be in such severe pain until he “starts to lose weight” before they will help him?!
I have removed everything I can think of from my diet but that didn’t help, gas medicine does not work, neither does gripe water or colic calm. His flatulance smells horrid (always has), he goes several days without bowel movement (always has) and although that could be normal, he still strains to have a bowel movement all day during the days in between movements while screaming the whole time.
I don’t want to stop breastfeeding my son, I’m doing all sorts of crazy things to get him to latch on without making him stiffen up and scream in pain:
– I stand up and walk around as opposed to sitting and feeding which works sometimes for a minute but then he pulls off and starts screaming again.
– I lay him flat on his back on top of my bed, then try to lean over the top of him so he doesn’t have to be on his side while eating (since that’s what usually starts the screaming.)
– I removed the use of a breastfeeding pillow so that he might be in a more upright position while feeding, still no good.
Yet, he will allow me to pump and then hold him while he eats a bottle?? What? He still screams and has non stop gas for hours afterward but at least he eats.
The weird part is… he sleeps through the night. He wakes up at 12 am or so to do his 1 time night feed and latches on no problem no screaming eyes still closed lovin’ booby, then goes back to sleep until 5:30 sometimes 6 something. That’s the part that I don’t understand. What could be causing so much discomfort only in the day. Also as much as I enjoy him finally taking a bottle to eat breastmilk the last few days, I also have a 16 month old (who still doesn’t sleep through the night) and it is very hard to take 20 minutes out to pump then another 15-20 min to feed my son while she patiently (not really) waits for some attention.
I don’t want to stop breastfeeding my son. I am so sorry this is so long but I was trying to give as much info as possible, hoping that I wouldn’t be told to change my diet or try Mylicon… I have and would really like some help so I can help my son. Please!! Thank you very much for taking the time to read this and answer me.
Possible Reasons For Gas In Breastfed Baby
First of all, please do not be too upset that your baby is not started on any medication. Colic is not really a condition that may be helped much by a doctor, and the fact that your child is gaining weight and growing normally indicates that he does not have any severe and dangerous illness that may affect his future and requires treatment.
From what you wrote it does not appear that your child is allergic to breast milk, so there is no reason to stop breastfeeding for you. What you could do is try to ensure that he gets more of the “hindmilk” (rich in fat and nutrients) that comes at the end of each feeding and not “skim milk” (rich in lactose that, according to some data, maybe promoting colic) that comes in the beginning. If he will not eat the whole breast, try to express some of the milk before feeding him or, if you are feeding on the bottle, try to include more “hindmilk” than “skim milk”.
Another possibility could be that your milk comes with too much force. In that case, your baby may be swallowing too much air while nursing. In such case, try to express some milk first, before offering the breast to your son and you can also press with a fingertip or two just above the nipple while nursing, in the beginning, to slow down the milk flow.
Some babies also need alternative feeding positions to swallow less air. You can read about brestfeeding position to help your baby here. The fact that your son eats well and without pain, during the night while almost asleep, does provide a hint that swalling air while breastfeeding might be what is causing him all the pain. Usually, babies suckle much more slowly while (almost) asleep and the risk of swelling too much air is much less. This is why, when dreamfeeding, some babies do not even need a burp before going back to sleep.
As you state that your baby is also having trouble passing his stool, it may be worth checking if he has a condition called Hirschsprung disease – immobility of the lower bowel segment that delays the passing of the stool. It is, however, unlikely, as most babies with this disease are diagnosed at an earlier age than your son is now.
I hope this helps,
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