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Thread: Is my milk making my baby ill?

  1. #1

    Default Is my milk making my baby ill?

    Hi, I am a mum of 4 and have always breastfed, however my youngest now 9 weeks is not gaining.

    He was on antibiotics at a week old for an ear infection, I was also on anti's for a uterine infection. His poo went green and he was pooing about 10 times a day.

    He also throws up alot of his feeds. Docs have said he has reflux. If I eat nothing but chicken potatoes and veg his poo goes yellow but still about 10 times a day and still throwing up.

    He's taking perscribed antacids which seems to have helped with the screaming and squirming. Bit still throwing up and pooing.

    Have just started combined feeding with anti reflux formula. He has breast feed first then top up on formula. The more formula he takes the less he is sick and he's only pooing 1-2 a day.

    Is my milk making ill? Should I just switch to formula?

    Many thanks
    Last edited by @llli*shelly0325; December 7th, 2012 at 05:21 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Is my milk making my baby ill?

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    Some questions for you:
    - Can you post a complete weight history for us?
    - Has baby been not gaining weight right along, or did he gain normally and then stop putting on weight, maybe around the time he came down with the ear infection?
    - How long have you been on the chicken/potato/veg diet, and whose suggestion was it? Did they suggest eliminating dairy first, and leaving the rest of your diet alone, or did they suggest a total elimination diet?
    - Any blood in his poop?
    - Have you seen any allergy symptoms, like excema or hives?
    - How many times per day does baby nurse?
    - Are you experiencing any oversupply symptoms, like frequent feelings of engorgement or fullness, strong letdown sensations, or lots of leaking?

    Green poop and spit-up are symptoms, not problems in and of themselves. Babies can be heavy spitters and green poopers and grow and develop entirely normally- my second baby was that way. Spit-up that occurs in the absence of pain in a baby who is gaining well is a laundry issue, not a health issue. Spit-up that causes pain or is accompanied by poor weight gain is more likely to be reflux. What medication is your baby taking? You may need to change prescriptions if the one your baby is on isn't working for him.

    Green poop can be caused by many different things. Illness can cause it. Antibiotics can cause it. Milk oversupply can cause it. And inadequate milk intake can cause it. Based on your baby's pre-formula poop frequency (which was entirely normal, by the way), inadequate milk intake seems unlikely.

    Don't switch to formula! There's a very good chance that the problems you're having are solvable.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Fort Dodge, Iowa

    Default Re: Is my milk making my baby ill?

    Spitting up may also be related to a misalignment in the neck and/or spine. Maybe see if a local chiropractor will see the baby to give an assessment.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Is my milk making my baby ill?

    Hi, he was 8.11 at birth, then dropped 8.00 at 1 week, 8.4 at 2 weeks, 8.6 at 3 weeks, 9.4at 6 weeks, 9.11 at 7 weeks 9.14 at 8 weeks and 10.00 at 9 weeks. So he's just dropped under the 9th centile (and he's very long for his age, have just moved him up to 6-9 month clothes)

    He started his anti's at 1 week. I started my anti's at 1.5 weeks. Both were 1 week course.

    He's been gaining all along. Just not enough to keep up with the centile lines. We tried total elimination for 1 week to see if it helped as siblings had lots of allergies when younger, dd fish & eggs, ds dairy & red fruit. Mostly outgrown now.

    He has been feeding 1 feed about 7am a feed about an hour later, then a nap, feed about 11 another an hour later, nap, feed about 3 feed about an hour later, nap, cluster feeding between 6-10 then down for night, 1 night feed about 3/4ish
    He does have light eczema. No blood in poo. Only time i feel oversupply is when he wakes up for night feed.

    He's on ranitidine.i've tried feeding only one side at a time and i've tried feeding both side twice at each feed.

    Would love to carry on feeding, but everyone is asking me if he would be better on formula, even the docs.

    Any help much appreciated :-)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Is my milk making my baby ill?

    So he's nursing around 7-8 times a day? Did I count right? If I did, then my first thought is that he's not nursing enough. Many young babies need to feed at least 10-12 times a day in order to put on weight. Now, if your LO isn't demanding that much, it could be a function of the reflux. Babies with reflux often learn that using their digestive system causes pain, so they start avoiding nursing.

    I would definitely feed on both breasts at a feeding. When weight gain is low, you want to use both in order to stimulate good supply and to maximize milk intake.

    Are your baby's siblings also on the smaller side? Or is his size the exception?

    Are you pumping at all? One thing that could help, if you're using bottles, would be to make bottles of "double cream" milk. Basically, you pump a bottle, let it sit in the fridge until the cream floats to the top, and then pour the cream into a second bottle of pumped milk, and feed that double cream bottle to the baby. But before you try that, I think it's worth a try to feed him a lot more often than he's demanding right now. That's usually the easiest way to get more calories into a baby.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Is my milk making my baby ill?

    Hi, yes that's what he's feeding at mo with top up formula at the end of every feed. He was latching on all the time, feeding for a couple of mins and then just comfort sucking, so doc said he was only allowed to feed once every 3 hours and only on one side to make sure he was hungry.

    Siblings all followed the 50th centile with no problems.
    Last edited by @llli*shelly0325; December 8th, 2012 at 07:53 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Is my milk making my baby ill?

    I don't like the doctor's advice. When a baby is having trouble with weight gain, it is advised that a mom feed MORE often, not less, and that she always use both breasts at a feeding. You're not trying to keep the baby hungry, you're trying to keep him fed!

    Is the doc's rationale that you want to keep the baby hungry for formula?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Is my milk making my baby ill?

    I think his theory was that baby was only feeding long enough to take foremilk and not getting enough hindmilk.

    Do you think it would help if i breastfeed every 2 hours daytime and only top up with formula 3 times a day to start with (until his weight is above 25th centile. And wake him every 3 hours for breastfeed during night?

    Then start reducing amount of formula offered?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Is my milk making my baby ill?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*shelly0325 View Post
    I think his theory was that baby was only feeding long enough to take foremilk and not getting enough hind milk.
    You would think a doctor would be less ignorant.

    First of all, there's no such thing as foremilk and hindmilk. We don't make 2 discrete types of milk. We just make milk; relatively low in fat and high in sugar at the beginning of the feeding, becoming gradually and progressively higher in fat as the feeding progresses and the breast empties. But the so-called foremilk- the milk that comes out at the beginning of the feeding when the breast is really full- contains everything the baby needs to grow and develop. Fat, protein, fat-soluble nutrients, etc. A baby will grow well on "foremilk" alone, provided he gets enough of it. When it comes to calorie intake, what matters is not the quality of milk (i.e. foremilk vs. hindmilk), but rather the QUANTITY of milk. Babies who don't gain well are typically babies who are not getting enough milk overall, not babies who are taking in the "wrong" kind of milk.

    So your doc wants you to feed every 3 hours on just one breast, to make sure the baby is hungry. Sounds reasonable, right? A hungry baby will take in more milk, he'll get lots of that valuable hindmilk, right? WRONG. First of all, a starvingly hungry baby does not necessarily take in more milk than a not-so-hungry baby. A baby has a very tiny stomach, and it will only stretch so much. Breastfed babies naturally take in small feedings- usually just 2-4 oz at a time- but compensate for eating small amounts by eating much more frequently. Second, if you limit a baby to feeding on just one breast every 3 hours, that means that the other breast will go as much as 6 hours without stimulation, and that decrease in frequency of milk removal will result in decreased supply. And third, there's no reason to think that infrequent feedings will increase intake of "hindmilk". If a baby is having trouble transferring enough milk- and again, it's the quantity of milk that matters, not the quality- then there's no reason to think that feeding from just one breast will increase his intake. In fact, quite the reverse.

    I like your plan of nursing every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night, while incorporating some formula supplements. Breastmilk supplements would be preferable, if you can get them, which would mean pumping in addition to nursing.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Is my milk making my baby ill?

    I've tried pumping before and never managed to get the hang of it! Just seem to end up with a tiny puddle in the bottom of the bottle and getting very frustrated.

    I love breastfeeding an the bond it develops and am gutted at having to give formula!

    Thanks so much for your support. Everyone else was telling me to give up and that it was better for baby to switch to formula completely. Am now feeling strong enough to keep going.

    Will keep you updated on how we get on.
    Last edited by @llli*shelly0325; December 8th, 2012 at 01:42 PM.

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