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Thread: Ahhh, my head!!

  1. #1
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    Jul 2012
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    Default Ahhh, my head!!

    Maci will be a month old on Saturday and I am just so concerned for her. She spits up, A LOT. She will literally spit up after every feeding and its always a good amount, not to mention its pretty curdled. At night she just wants to eat non stop, she'll be on my breast for an hour or more. She'll take small breaks but its usually a two hour thing. When should I be concerned about spit up? Is it normal that she nurses for such a long period? It just seems like she waits till night to do the majority of her eating. Everyone says to just try and calm her by doing something else, but she's obviously rooting for a reason, right?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ahhh, my head!!

    If she is not in pain when she spits up, then there is no reason for concern.

    My son literally spewed spit up. I had to use a receiving blanket as a burp cloth because the spit up would go everywhere, and I still ended up with spit up at the bottom of my pant legs and on my shoes. But he was fine. He gained extremely well, he was alert, happy, healthy, and meeting milestones. It affected me (constantly smelling of vomit and accumulating piles of laundry daily), but didn't affect my son at all.

    If she seems to be in pain or if there are issues with weight gain, then you might want to discuss the possibility of reflux with your doctor.

    There is absolutely no reason to limit time at the breast. Our pediatrician would tell me "you cannot overfeed a breastfed baby" at every one of our well baby visits.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Ahhh, my head!!

    I agree with pp. If no pain, and baby is healthy and gaining, no worries. Spitting up frequently is common in 40-50% of babies no matter how they are fed..This has led some to theorize that spitting up breast milk actually has a beneficial biological purpose-possibly that it allows the sinuses to be coated with breastmilk. (Seriously! I saw a breastfeeding expert suggest this once at a conference. But as far as I know there are no studies etc. to back up this fascinating theory.) But we do know for sure that a baby being a "happy spitter" is normal and fine.

    It is also normal for your baby to want to nurse for an hour or more at this age. Babies nurse for comfort and connection as well as food. This is a normal, healthy & imprtant part of being a baby. Long feedings are only a concern if baby is not gaining well despite long feedings.

    But if you are concerned anyway, or just sick of having curdled breastmilk all over you all the time, (it's fine that its "curdled" by the way) I would suggest you could, at least some of the time, try removing baby some time into the feeding and trying other comfort measures such as rocking ,walking baby down in a sling, etc. (I do not suggest pacifiers.) Don’t cut the session super short but if baby is gaining well taking baby off if the feeding is going super long may be fine. You could also consider if forceful letdown is contributing to the spit up and try for more frequent feedings, nursing up hill, letting baby stay on one side at a time at each feeding etc. to see if that makes a difference. Also holding baby upright (such as snuggled against your shoulder or chest) after feedings and/or actually nursing baby in such a way that baby is more upright (head over tummy) while nursing may help.

    Again I do not think any of the above is needed, unless the spit up seems painful. These are just suggestions of you want to try to lessen spitup.

    Also some moms have called me worried about how long baby is nursing and it turns out they are scheduling or holding off on feedings assuming baby is nursing too OFTEN. (they cannot.) When these moms allow baby to nurse as often as baby wants, they find the feedings shorten somewhat. Also time will naturally lead to shorter feedings

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Ahhh, my head!!

    with the excellent advice above. Spit-up that is not accompanied by evidence of pain or poor growth is a laundry problem, nor a health problem. Don't try to change your baby's feeding pattern- it won't reduce spit-ups and it will make you and baby both miserable. I'd rather nurse my kid for an hour and then have her spit all over me than try to hold her off and listen to her scream for an hour!

    I just want to add an explanation for curdled spit-up. When milk hits the acids in the stomach, the whey is liberated from the mix and the proteins and fats clump together, forming curds. This is just a normal part of the digestive process. If you want to see the same thing happen on your lab bench- I mean, kitchen counter- make a cup of tea with lemon (acid) and then put milk in it. You'll probably see immediate formation of small curds.
    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!"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ahhh, my head!!

    I have noticed that when she starts sucking you can hear her gulping loudly, then she pulls off and takes a big breath. Would that be a sign of an overactive let down or flow? I've tried hand expressing some before but that still seems to happen.

    As long as the spittin up is normal then I don't mind. I just get scared because it's literally after every feeding within a couple minutes. She'll spit up a large amount and then get these really painful sounding hiccups. She hasn't been weighed lately, but st her last appointment she was gaining really good. This was before she started to really spit up.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ahhh, my head!!

    Pulling off during feedings in order to catch a breath is a textbook reaction to a rapid letdown. Imagine if you were drinking from a fast-flowing hose that was literally inside your mouth- you'd probably have to pause now and again in order to breathe. The first thing to try to help a baby cope with a fast letdown is a reclined nursing position. If you are leaning back or even laying on your back while nursing, gravity is working against milk flow and that usually slows things down a bit.
    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: Ahhh, my head!!

    I've been nursing in the recliner and while laying in bed at night and I still hear it bad. The gulping is so loud, I feel bad because you can tell she's getting A TON all at once. Sometimes when that does happen it will come out her nose.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Ahhh, my head!!

    I can totally understand feeling bad for your LO. But don't worry too much- she's only a month old and as she gets bigger and stronger, she will probably grow into a rapid letdown. Also, it's likely that the letdowns will slow down with time, since fast letdowns are often a product of very high milk supply and as time goes on supply usually adjusts to meet baby's needs very precisely, at which point letdown speed decreases.
    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!"

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Ahhh, my head!!

    with mommal. As your baby gets bigger she will be able to handle the flow better. My son did all of the things you describe, but he grew out of much of it (although he did still spit up a lot - but my milk continued to spray for an unusually long time). You can try removing your baby from the breast at letdown, let the milk spray into a towel, then relatch your baby. My son had no patience for it, but it works very well for some babies. However if your baby is generally happy despite the gulping and gasping and such, I really wouldn't worry about it.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Ahhh, my head!!

    The gulping is so loud, I feel bad because you can tell she's getting A TON all at once. Sometimes when that does happen it will come out her nose.
    Please do not feel bad for giving your child the incredible gift of nursing her at the breast, as she and every other baby ever born on earth are meant to do, biologically speaking. Please. I had forceful letdown with both my kids and they adored nursing despite this.

    See this article for ideas, I would not suggest block feeding yet, may be too extreme since your baby seems primarily unbothered by the ffld. Try other ideas first.
    http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp.../fast-letdown/

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