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Thread: Baby's issues: could they be related to my breastfeeding?

  1. #1
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    Question Baby's digestive issues: related to my breastfeeding?

    Please bear with me - my baby and I have had so much going on over the last month (since about July 5) that I can't tell what's related and what isn't, so I'm going to put it all here in case something happens to be relevant.

    He is about to turn three months old. At his last weigh-in about a week and a half ago, he was 13 lbs 1 oz - so probably around 13.5 lbs now? He has 12 wet diapers a day and 1 dirty diaper every two days. This is down from the beginning of the month when this started (used to be 14 wet diapers and 2 or 3 dirty diapers per day). The consistency of his stool has also changed. The texture is like peanut butter, and the color is too, only a little darker. It also smells foul, not like the cooked-root-vegetable smell that it used to have.

    The main issue at the moment is that my son has been spitting up after almost every meal. I know spitting up is fairly normal, but he's started to do it 2 or even 3 times after each meal.

    The second big issue is that he doesn't seem to be getting enough to drink at the breast. He pulls off after the flow of milk stops (it doesn't seem to last more than 2 or 3 minutes). I'll switch him to the other breast, but he starts to scream because it's taking a long time to get a letdown. (I used to have a fairly fast and powerful letdown.)

    I've been burping him after he pulls off the breast, but that doesn't seem to help with the screaming, and doesn't always have much effect on the spitting up.

    We have talked to his doctor about the spitting up. He takes Zantac for what appears to be reflux (we started this in June, and have tried increasing the dosage singe the spitting up began). His pediatrician ordered an ultrasound on his stomach, which we got a week ago, but haven't heard back about yet. I also mentioned the crying at the breast to her, but she didn't have much to suggest, other than that some difference in the way I hold him on that side could be bothering him.

    Other things:

    I've noticed that my son doesn't like to drink from the right breast as much as he does the left (on some of those occasions when he refuses the second breast, it's usually the right one, and he will sometimes eat from the left after refusing the right). The milk from that breast is also more bluish and watery than the milk on the left.

    I noticed around the same time that the spitting up started that my son had thrush. His doctor gave him a prescription for Nystatin, and it appears to have cleared up. We are still finishing the bottle.

    Also at that time, I noticed that my son was starting to suck his thumb constantly. He used to suck his fingers or whole hand as a sign of hunger, but now I don't know what to think when he sucks him thumb.


    I think that's everything, but I will edit this if I remember anything else.

    Edit, another question: My son cries and screeches sometimes after spitting up. Then he puts his thumb back in his mouth. If he's still hungry (or hungry again), how long should I wait after the spitting up before I try to feed him again?
    Last edited by @llli*aheartlikemine; July 29th, 2012 at 08:01 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Baby's issues: could they be related to my breastfeeding

    is one of the side effects from zantac increased spit-up or foul smelling diapers?
    at 3 months of age my lo was only feeding from one side per nursing session.
    one side per feeding is typical and for me it meant that at the end of the day, both breasts had been equally used.
    I know for me, by the time I tried all the recommended methods of calming down my baby, she outgrew one behavior and switched it for another one.
    is your doctor concerned over the foul diapers?
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Baby's issues: could they be related to my breastfeeding

    Zantac should decrease spit-up, not increase it. The last time we saw the doctor, he was still having one stool a day, and I mentioned that the poop smelled kind of bad. The pediatrician and her student interns seemed perplexed by just about everything except the thrush.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Baby's issues: could they be related to my breastfeeding

    My son has reflux and we are going through a similar thing. I have just posted a huge thread about all our dramas! He also pulls on and off the breast whilst feeding, has huge screaming fits during the feed and then vomits. Its a symptom of the reflux. I am at a loss how to stop it. If you can try feeding in an upright position as apparently that helps- Ive tried and cant get him to latch properly annoyingly.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Baby's issues: could they be related to my breastfeeding

    If the thumb sucking helps your LO calm down and if it gives him solace, let him suck away.
    you are doing great, your lo's weight gain and growth is increasing.
    Some infants suck their thumbs to help release a hormone in their digestive track that facilitates nutrient absorption.
    thumb sucking can be a cause for concern if baby is not gaining and mom's milk supply is effected by lack of stimulation.
    but that doesn't seem to be an issue here.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Baby's issues: could they be related to my breastfeeding

    Everything you describe sounds pretty normal. Baby's weight and diaper output are perfect. After 6 weeks, many babies poop as infrequently as just once a week, and when they do the poop tends to smell stronger and have a peanut butter consistency. Thrush can also produce strong-smelling diapers. Spit up without evidence of pain is normal, and is a laundry problem, not a health problem, even if the baby spits up multiple times after nursing. Short nursing sessions at 3 months are very normal, since bby this time most babies have become quite efficient at the breast and can get all they need in a very short time. Baby pulling off the breast and fussing is normal and generally not an indication of supply problems- when there's a supply problem babies tend to stay on the breast f.o.r.e.v.e.r as they attempt to get enough calories to grow. Baby having a breast preference is normal. Thumb sucking at 3 months is normal, and you can offer to nurse whenever you want. Baby may not be interested, but you won't have to worry that he went hungry.

    Here's what I think might be going on. You mention that you "used to have" fast letdowns. Fast letdowns are generally a product of oversupply, and because oversupply doesn't last forever neither do fast letdowns. When milk supply adjusts to match baby's needs more precisely, and letdown speed diminishes, a baby will suddenly have to start working for his meals, sucking more and working to stimulate letdowns instead of having them handed to him at the slightest touch. Some babies don't like this, because it means more work for them. The best way to get through it is not to try to boost the volume of milk back up or really to do anything except nurse and tough your way through it: this is a learning opportunity for your baby. Now that your letdown speed has diminished, he has to figure out how to get a meal efficiently and without a big fuss.

    Since your baby sometimes refuses the breast, and more often refuses the one with the "more bluish and watery" milk, it's quite possible that you still have a fairly large milk supply, particularly on the side with the bluish, watery milk. It's normal to have supply differ between breasts. Bluish, watery milk is the milk produced at the beginning of a feeding, and the higher supply, the more of this watery milk a mom has, and the more milk a mom has, the faster the letdown on that side will be. I know that just a paragraph ago I suggested that baby was fussing because of a slowed letdown, but babies are like Goldilocks: they want it "just right", not too fast or too slow.

    Have you been treated for thrush as well as baby? It's typically very important for both mom and baby to be treated simultaneously.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Baby's issues: could they be related to my breastfeeding

    DS1 6/7/11
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    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Baby's issues: could they be related to my breastfeeding

    I have not been treated for thrush - I don't have insurance, so I've just been applying clomitrazole cream to my nipples.

    It's good to heard that most of his other behavior is normal.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Baby's issues: could they be related to my breastfeeding

    Just regarding the preference, my guy had a marked preference at that age too - especially if he was sleepy (I think it was a matter of flow - when he was really hungry he preferred one side, when he was more comfort nursing and sleepy he preferred the other). So that sounds pretty normal to me

    And, um, everything the other posters said

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