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Thread: silent reflux/nipple confusion?

  1. #1

    Default silent reflux/nipple confusion?

    Please help!
    My son is 8 weeks old and despite some initial difficulties, we were off to a really good start with breastfeeding. Unfortunately I had a bad case of Mastitis two weeks ago and started expressing quite a bit and using bottles once or twice during the day and night - just to give my nipples a rest. It seems that ever since then my son has gone off my breasts! He will nurse for about 10 minutes (if I'm lucky) but then kicks, screams and thrashes as if he is in great pain. If I try to hold him, he will move his whole body away from the nipple. If I try to sit still and breath calmly he will scream and whip his head back and forth while latched on. If I take him off the breast, it is met with shrieks of protest. It makes no difference whether I put him back on the same or the other breast - he just hates it.
    Someone suggested that he might have silent reflux?! The thing is that if I offer him the bottle instead he takes it happily. Could it be nipple confusion, if such a thing exist?
    He drinks about 5/6 ounces at each feed (every 2 hours) and expressing for every single meal just wears me down... but apart from the practical issues I find it hard emotionally, too! And I just want to understand what is going on! All my GP had to say was that babies can be moody (!!) and that I could always switch to formula, but my son is a really easy going baby otherwise and I would really like to continue breastfeeding.
    Any advice/suggestions would be great and highly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: silent reflux/nipple confusion?

    There is definitely such a thing as nipple confusion (or even preference). It's easier to feed from a bottle, and his little brain/body can understand that at his age even if they can't understand why that's not best.

    Are you able to see a Lactation Consultant or visit a LLL group? Hands-on help from someone who's breastfeeding friendly and knowledgeable (which it doesn't sound as if your pediatrician is, I'm afraid) is wonderful when difficulties arise.

    If he nurses for about 10 minutes and then gets upset, he might be reacting to the flow slowing down. Are you familiar with breast compressions? http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...agename=doc-BC
    This technique helped my son (who had had to be on a bottle due to feeding problems) stay happier longer at the breast when he was learning to nurse successfully.

    Also, it's kind of a pain, (but way less of a pain that expressing and bottle feeding long term), but you might want to look into doing your supplementing via a tube at the breast rather than with a bottle. I used a Medela SNS, and it was really helpful. When my son didn't want to start or remain at the breast, we put the tube on our fingers and fed him than way rather than using a bottle as much as possible.

    For an 8 week old, 5 to 6 ounces every two hours is a lot (and my babies ate a lot, too). The flow of the bottle might be too fast. Have you seen Breastflow bottles which make the baby work a little harder? If your LO isn't actually hungry, but just wants to suck, he's getting food anyway, and that might not be what he wants.

    I'm sorry this response is a little disjointed. I just wanted to make sure that I touched on some of the points you brought up. I'm hoping another mom will chime in soon as well.
    I breast milk fed my Blossom for fifteen months (after exclusively pumping for thirteen). My Bud (nineteen months) is still nursing directly (after a rough start that included a few months of pumping and supplementing with mommy's milk).

    TwoDewdrops: Nursing Dresses and Tops for Discreet Breastfeeding (and Pumping)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,159

    Default Re: silent reflux/nipple confusion?

    The PP gave good advice. At this point, I think the best thing you could do would be to take the bottles away for a while, and count diapers. If the baby continues to have normal wet and poopy diaper output, you know there's no reason that he needs the bottle. And if the confusing behavior you're seeing eventually diminishes as your baby gets used to exclusive nursing, you will know the issue was probably nipple confusion. If it doesn't diminish, then maybe it's reflux. Honestly, though, what you describe makes me think bottle preference more than reflux, particularly because your baby seems totally happy to eat a very large amount from a bottle. If he has reflux, I would expect that he would experience the same discomfort no matter how his meal arrived.

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