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Thread: Please help pinpoint digestion issues!

  1. #1

    Default Please help pinpoint digestion issues!

    DS is 7 weeks old (EBF) and has been dealing with digestion issues since birth. Can anyone help me pinpoint what the problem is and how to fix it? Poor baby is fussy all the time. If he's not sleeping he's crying.

    At first I had an oversupply/over active letdown, which I have worbed through for the most part, that was giving him bad gas and way too much hard to digest foremilk.

    A the same time I had been talking to his ped and he wondered if he has silent reflux. So I was giving his meds to treat that at the same time I was working to decrease my supply. I just don't believe its reflux...my mom gut tells me its time to stop the meds so I did.

    This is what I observe...he nurses on demand and one to three times a day he seems to get a tummy ache. I can hear loud gurgiling and sounds from his tummy almost like I can hear process of digestion. He'll usually have anbexplosive poop after all the gurgiling stops. During this pain he cries and moans and likes to be "hung" over my sholder so his lower abdomen is resting on my sholder and getting pressure from it.

    I give him probiotics a few times a week. I had tried simethicone gas drops but they didn't seem to help. Gripe water seems unrealistic as the amount of liquid you have to give is huge. More than treat the problem I was to eliminate it. Any advice? Is it gas, a weak digestive system or something else?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Please help pinpoint digestion issues!

    Babies are born with immature digestion systems. Remember, up to birth and/or first nursing, they have never taken anything by mouth except amniotic fluid, have never pooped, have never needed to 'digest' anything.

    Don't you ever 'hear' your own digestion processes? Feel a bit of gas or any sensation etc. as your body digests what you eat? unless it is really bad, you probably don't think about it, because you know what it is. Your baby does not. He just feels some pain or discomfort and deals with it the way babies deal with everything-by asking to be comforted the only way he can.

    forceful letdown may cause digestion issues/pain. That is the most common issue when there is an actual problem. But what you describe here:

    This is what I observe...he nurses on demand and one to three times a day he seems to get a tummy ache. I can hear loud gurgiling and sounds from his tummy almost like I can hear process of digestion. He'll usually have anbexplosive poop after all the gurgiling stops. During this pain he cries and moans and likes to be "hung" over my sholder so his lower abdomen is resting on my sholder and getting pressure from it.
    sounds either entirely normal to me, or also is consistent with forceful letdown which can certainly be worse at some nursing sessions than others. And, while it can cause some gas and poop issues, is not considered a serious medical issue at all, btw.

    Is baby gaining well? able to sleep ('like a baby' which means short, frequent stretches)? those are good signs that all is well. Is there any rash, blood in stool, inability to sleep, weight loss or no gain? those are POSSIBLE signs of a food based allergy, which is actually quite rare in a breastfed baby, but can happen sometimes.

    In a very general way, babies seem to do best when fed frequently, -10 or more times a 24 hour day-held by mom, dad or another trusted adult most of the time, and comforted as needed-which can be quite alot in these early months.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    65

    Default Re: Please help pinpoint digestion issues!

    Hello! My older son had acid reflux and would scream during/after eating. He did the classic arching his back, too. I would guess that if it was reflux the hanging over your shoulder would make it worse, not better.

    Good luck!! I know how frustrating it is to be looking for answers!
    Mama to
    O - 7/10/08
    and
    J - 6/25/12

  4. #4
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Please help pinpoint digestion issues!

    oh i just wanted to add that theoretically, all a baby needs for good gut health is breastmilk. Breastmilk is 'designed' to promote optimal gut health in newborns. Personally I would avoid giving baby anything else, even probiotics (unless baby has gotten antibiotics or shows signs of intestinal bacterial imbalance such as bloody stools.) But that is me. I know others disagree about the probiotics.

    The one exception is GERD meds if baby shows the signs of painful reflux, (for example, painful,wet burps, painful spitup, screaming in pain when laid flat) and it cannot be helped by other measures (small, frequent feedings, holding baby upright after feedings, etc.) AND baby responds well to the reflux meds-they help alleviate symptoms. If a baby truly has painful reflux (again, this is way overdiagnosed) that cannot be alleviated by other measures, meds are called for, again, in my opinion.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Paris, France
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    Default Re: Please help pinpoint digestion issues!

    From what you're saying it sounds to me like colic.. especially if he likes to be 'hung' over your shoulder. Unfortunately there's not much you can do apart from finding positions he likes and that seem to get the gas out. Normally positions where you LO is on his left side are best - try walking with him lying over your left arm with his head in at your elbow (rubbing or lightly patting his back too). You could also try lying him on his back and peddaling his legs or try a wee massage on his tummy. One thing you could try is eating fennel or drinking it as a tisane since it helps LO with colic - however, if you are trying to decrease your milk supply this isn't the best method as fennel also helps increase supply. My DD often gets a bit of colic and a mix of these things helps her calm down and more often than not she 'lets rip' or poos which relieves her.

    HTH
    Last edited by @llli*caledonia; August 12th, 2012 at 01:15 AM.
    -Ishy-

    Married 28 july 2005
    Mummy to my DS , born 30 july 2008
    proud to have BF him for 8 months
    Now a Mummy for the 2nd time to my DD , born 15 june 2012 for 15 1/2months! Still whenever we can and

    DS Stats
    Birth: 7lbs 15oz - 19.5inches
    4 yrs: 35lbs 4oz - 3feet 5.5inches
    5 yrs: 40lbs - 3feet 8inches

    DD Stats
    Birth: 7lbs 13oz - 19.5inches
    6.5 months 12lbs 14oz - 26inches
    9 months 15lbs 13oz
    15months 20lbs 11oz - 30 inches

  6. #6

    Default Re: Please help pinpoint digestion issues!

    Thanks ladies. I'm convinced its gas that's causing him pain, not reflux. He doesn't have the main reflux signs like spitting up, crying when laying, arching back, etc. So where is this gas coming from? What's causing it?.Should I eliminate dairy to see of that helps?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Paris, France
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    Default Re: Please help pinpoint digestion issues!

    You could try decreasing your dairy intake (or totally if that's what you feel is best). I did and it helped a wee bit, but some babies are just gassy - with my DS it seemed to be a colic phase that only lasted a couple of months. With DD she seems to have good days and bad days for colic.

    Hope it gets better soon
    -Ishy-

    Married 28 july 2005
    Mummy to my DS , born 30 july 2008
    proud to have BF him for 8 months
    Now a Mummy for the 2nd time to my DD , born 15 june 2012 for 15 1/2months! Still whenever we can and

    DS Stats
    Birth: 7lbs 15oz - 19.5inches
    4 yrs: 35lbs 4oz - 3feet 5.5inches
    5 yrs: 40lbs - 3feet 8inches

    DD Stats
    Birth: 7lbs 13oz - 19.5inches
    6.5 months 12lbs 14oz - 26inches
    9 months 15lbs 13oz
    15months 20lbs 11oz - 30 inches

  8. #8

    Default Re: Please help pinpoint digestion issues!

    I am not an expert here, but I wanted to share my story in hopes that it would help you. We took our DD to the doctor when she was about a month old because she was vomiting frequently and we were concerned. Our doctor quickly diagnosed her with reflux and gave us medicine. Soon after, I read more about OS/OALD and it seemed that I might have that. Also my DD started to have very painful gas and explosive poops and the medicine she was taking for reflux was not really helping. We decided to take her back to the doctor to see what else we could do because she seemed to be in such pain and was crying all the time. Well the doctor didn't really listen to me at all. He just said she probably has colic and increased her meds. However he did just happen to mention that the meds (Zantac and other reflux meds) may cause painful/explosive poops. When we got home we decided to stop the medicine. Shortly after that her painful poops stopped! She still will have the occassional vomit, and I still have some OS, but she is a MUCH happier baby! We also bought a rock and play, which keeps her upright when she sleeps, so she is able to sleep for longer without her reflux bothering her. We now monitor her very closely because some people say that the rock and play can cause a flat head, so if you decide to get one, you might want to watch for that. I am not sure if these things will help you, but they might be something to look into. Good luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,999

    Default Re: Please help pinpoint digestion issues!

    A lot of gas issues are just developmental. As LLLMeg said, until a couple weeks ago your baby never took anything by mouth except for amniotic fluid, and never passed anything- not stool, not gas- through the bottom end of his digestive system. The sensations of pooping and passing gas are very new to him and many babies find them quite upsetting, particularly because they have so little muscular control. That means that getting a poop or a toot out is very difficult for them. But that really improves with time! Once your LO is a few months old he'll have discovered how to squirm in a way that helps his body move an uncomfortable gas bubble along.

    Try bicycling his legs, try feeding him in reclined positions so that the letdowns are slower (babies often swallow more air when struggling to gulp down a lot of milk all at once), and try warm baths when baby seems most uncomfortable. Baths worked like a charm when my kids needed to poop- it was like the warm water automatically relaxed ALL their muscles. And of course, nurse, nurse, nurse! Often putting something in at the top of baby's digestive system will stimulate the peristaltic process and cause something to move out at the bottom. I would try those things for a few weeks before doing any dietary eliminations- so many moms end up living on nothing but rice and pears because they have eliminated every suspect food from their diet, and it's usually completely unnecessary!
    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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