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Thread: Breastmilk Issues in 5 week old

  1. #1

    Default Breastmilk Issues in 5 week old

    I am hoping maybe some of you have some experience with this. I have a 5 week old baby who I have been b-feeding since birth. He started getting very fussy around 2 weeks and since that time, has colic every day either at morning or evening and cries with severe gas pains. Draws up his feet, arches back..etc. Some days are better than others. I did try giving him a sensitive formula for 3 feedings to see if that made things better and he did not have the same colic. BUT..I do not want to give formula for this but I can't figure out why the breast milk is giving him such a hard time. The gas is so bad that I have had two people ask me if he has an allergy or something b/c he seems to hurt so bad. I have tried gripe water after feedings, gas drops, etc. He feeds about every 1-2 hours.. at 5 weeks old. Does not sleep at night but about 2-2.5 hours and is very restless in his sleep. My first child was the same way and I ended up on a specialized formula at 7 weeks and do not want to do that again with this one. I simply can't imagine that he could have issues with breast milk but be able to take formula. That does not make sense. Any ideas? Yes, I have cut out dairy and also caffeine. I started to cut out tomatoes also as I have read that they can cause issues also. I am trying anything. Honestly, some days the breast milk seems to be fine with him and others it is all day and night crying in pain with gas and a gurgling tummy.

    Carla

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Breastmilk Issues in 5 week old

    Welcome and congratulations on the new baby!

    I agree that it's very unlikely that your baby's issues are caused by breastmilk, or that formula will solve them. I know that the formula feedings you did with your LO did seem to quiet the symptoms, but it's very possible that what happened was that the baby ate more from the bottle than he usually does from the breast (this is common) and then passed out because he was absolutely stuffed to the gills.

    So what is going on with your LO? Here are some possibilities:
    - Milk flow issues. Sometimes babies act severely fussy when their meals come out too fast, and sometimes the fussiness results from a flow speed that is too slow. The fact that your baby's fussy times are in the morning and the evening sort of make me think that this could be an issue- many moms have an excess of milk in the morning and the milk therefore comes out extremely fast, and many moms have a dip in supply in the evening, resulting in milk flow that can be frustratngly slow for the baby.
    - Allergy or intolerance to something you're eating. I know you said you've cut out dairy- but have you cut out ALL dairy? There's a lot of dairy hidden in foods where you wouldn't expect to encounter it- in bread and other baked goods, even in some deli meats. If it's not dairy, it can't hurt to cut caffeine and acid foods. And there are a ton of allergy-knowledgeable moms here who can help you figure out what (if anything) is going on and how to fix it.
    - Normal () fussiness and colic. I know you've had people ask you if your baby has an allergy, but they just may not be used to babies with your baby's temperament.
    - Reflux. Hurting babies can be very fussy! The arching back in particular makes me wonder about this as a possibility.
    I
    Hang in there, mama! If you made it to 7 weeks with your first LO, I am sure you can make it longer this time. We will do our best to help you troubleshoot what is going on.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Breastmilk Issues in 5 week old

    The gas is so bad that I have had two people ask me if he has an allergy or something b/c he seems to hurt so bad.
    Agree with mommal. Babies are not allergic to breastmilk. It is either that he is sensitive to something you are eating (dairy is culprit number one.) OR, more likely & much more common, it is forceful letdown. This is why the bottle would seem to help, as a bottle (if given correctly) would not be overwhelming baby with too much milk at once, or, more concisely, too much 'foremilk' at once. But there are many ways to help baby with forceful letdown that does not involve bottle feeding. Number one, feed baby very often, and on cue. Small frequent feedings may help for many reasons. See kellymom.com for an excellent artcile on forceful letdown.

    There are a gazillion reasons to keep breastfeeding. It is the biologically normal way to feed a baby and does not carry with it the miriad of proven health risks that formula feeding does. For what? to avoid some gas? It does not make sense in the long run. I get it that your baby is in pain and you are worried. But please go only by your own observances of your baby (momma knows best) and by facts.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Breastmilk Issues in 5 week old

    Thanks for the replies...there are a couple of friends of mine who BF their children, but they have babies that are very easy..no issues with colic or gas or anything like I have so I don't have anyone to ask about these things, so thank you. I will say, there has been an improvement. I tried giving gripe water with several feedings in the evening when he usually is his fussiest and some gas drops more often. The gas is there, but he seems to be able to get rid of it without so much pain. But he nurses every hour to 1.5 hours so the poor thing is always digesting milk. Is this normal to nurse so often...all through the night as well. He does not sleep but about 3 hours and then is up every hour to 2 hours after that at night. He was up from 1:30 - 4 am last night and nursed twice in that time frame. The doctor has mentioned let down as well and b/.c when I was at the dr last time, I had just fed and the dr. commented that his tummy was very tight with what he thought might be air. So I was referred to a lactation consultant who worked on my latch to make sure it was correct and that has made some great differences in how comfortable nursing is now. I just feel like I am literally attached to the glider all day and night. Then trying to take care of a 4 year old also. Husband does help...but moms truly do it all..

  5. #5

    Default Re: Breastmilk Issues in 5 week old

    Yes, I did go back and really look at the dairy I was eating and got rid of things that were still dairy --like creamer, cheese, and I cut my coffee. There is not much left to eat when you really try to cut out ALL dairy.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Breastmilk Issues in 5 week old

    It is totally normal for babies to nurse every 1-1.5 hours, especially during the early weeks/months. Breastmilk digests fast- in only about 90 minutes- and infant tummies are tiny. Your baby may eventually stretch his feedings out a bit more as he gets older, and as he gets older he will become a faster nurser so you won't be stuck in the glider 24-7.

    Another thing that is very normal is for babies to have periods of severe fussiness in the late afternoon and evening- it's often called "evenings-only colic" or "the witching hour(s)". I always thought it was because they were too tired to nurse well and too hungry to sleep, and their little brains were just overwhelmed by all the stimulation of the day. Some things that can help you get through it:
    - nurse, nurse, nurse!
    - motion- swing in a swing, rock in a rocker, ride in the car or stroller
    - fresh air
    - soothing bath
    - closeness- wearing baby in a sling is always good for fussing!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Breastmilk Issues in 5 week old

    Glad to hear things are improving. Yes its hard when your pals have those dream babies! Remember all babies are individuals. I have two sons and they could not have been more different as babies. Number 1 seemed to constantly fuss, cry, colic, gas, horrible three hour crying jags every evening, (great suggestions from mommal above) up frequently all night to nurse, you name it. Number 2 was as peaceful as a lamb and slept 6 hours one night in the first week and I woke up terrified something was terribly wrong. Both excusively bf, and no diet changes for me. (I do think I was way more relaxed with number two and not afraid to nurse him all the time, I had learned the hard way not to worry about feeding frequency as long as baby was obviously gaining healthily.) All newborns need to nurse a ton, & some need to nurse two tons. that is normal!

    Can you attend a LLL meeting or is there a hospital nearby that has a mommy and me group or anything? I think it would help you to meet other moms with babies of a similar age and to see that not all babies are dream babies!
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; December 12th, 2011 at 10:57 PM. Reason: Really, can't spell. Sorry.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Breastmilk Issues in 5 week old

    Just wanted to let you guys know how much I appreciated this advice. My baby is still nursing at 4.5 months now. I listened to your advice and we are still at it. Now, he was colicky for 3 months and had gas a lot..it was misery. But I stayed with it thanks to your posts about nursing all the time being normal and such. Thanks so much..this baby is now 19 lbs at 4.5 months. So the breastmilk is a settling well with him I guess..lol.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Breastmilk Issues in 5 week old

    wow I appreciate the update. So sorry baby was colicky for so long! My oldest was colicky also the first several months- Oh what a trial-he is now 8 years old and so very healthy with no tummy/digestion troubles at all. But he is a tad on the high strung side emotionally speaking! Sometimes I wonder if he was just born a bit more 'fussy.'

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Breastmilk Issues in 5 week old

    That's wonderful, mama! Thank you for the lovely update and give yourself a huge pat on the back. It's not every woman who can soldier on through 3 months of colic.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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