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Thread: Food Allergy or Oversupply?

  1. #1

    Default Food Allergy or Oversupply?

    Hello all, I’m trying to determine the cause of my 3 week old’s fussiness and cause for gas- if it's food allergy or oversupply issue...?

    I’ve given up cow’s milk and some dairy since he was a week old thinking that was the reason for him being so gassy, but I’m wondering if that’s even the issue here..? Maybe it’s reflux or a foremilk imbalance?

    His stools have never been green, but are usually “explosive.” Always a yellowish/mustard curdy consistency..
    After feedings baby either immediately or about an hour later- will strain or have bad gas and flatulence. He will then calm down then half hour strain again and wake out of sleep at times. His tummy will feel tight and he’ll clench his fists. He’ll then act like he wants to nurse again, so I’ll let him. He’ll nurse, cry out in pain, nurse, and so on. I’ll try to burp him and soothe him. Occasionally he will spit up, but I’m thinking that’s from overfeeding?
    Additionally:
    - Baby gags, coughs, splutters, or makes a click noise while nursing
    - I Leak occasionally, usually from other breast while baby feeds on opposite breast.
    - Baby usually feeds about 7-10 minutes. Sometimes longer at night.
    - He often wants just one breast per feeding
    - Often pulls off the breast while nursing in the beginning to catch his breath
    -he also gets the hiccups frequently
    Not sure on his weight gain recently. We go to his 1 month checkup next week.

    I’ve read about block feeding. I just want to make sure it sounds like I have an oversupply before I attempt that. If I do, how long do I block feed?
    Thank you so much in advance, any help is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,269

    Default Re: Food Allergy or Oversupply?

    Welcome to the forum!

    Figuring out what is causing any particular baby behavior or set of baby behaviors is always a challenge. It's especially challenging with a 3 week old baby, who has had so little time to establish any sort of pattern or to learn how to express what is troubling him, and who is changing all the time. So instead of worrying about foremilk/hindmilk imbalances or allergies, I'd consider a third possibility: that your baby's behavior is absolutely normal, and just a symptom of him being a very young baby. Most of what you describe is absolutely textbook normal. For example:
    - Explosive yellow poops is normal. Breastfed babies can be expected to have very liquidy poops that kind of jet-propel themselves out of their rear ends.
    - Having gas immediately or shortly after eating is normal. Eating activates something called the gastrocolic reflex- basically, putting something in at the top of the digestive system causes a person to move something out at the bottom end. This is why even adults often find themselves going to the bathroom right after a meal.
    - Waking up or fussing when pooping or passing gas is totally normal for a new baby. Remember that up until 3 weeks ago, your baby never had to do either one of these things and now he's doing them all the time.
    - Wanting to nurse when something upsetting is going on (e.g. pooping, passing gas). Babies don't just nurse because they are hungry. They nurse for comfort, and that's awesome, because it's really hard for a baby to cry when there's a breast in his mouth!

    Some of what you describe- the coughing/gagging/clicking, the fast feedings, the baby wanting just one breast on a fairly frequent basis, the baby pulling off the breast- are quite suggestive of oversupply. But it's still very early days and I would encourage you to not go near block feeding just yet- block feeding is designed to reduce supply and .it's possible to go too far with it. Instead, try nursing in more reclined positions. That way gravity will work against the milk flow, which may make nursing more comfortable for the baby.

    Now, if you reach 4-6 weeks and baby is still giving you lots of those oversupply/fast letdown symptoms, and reclined nursing clearly isn't enough to deal with it, then let us know and we'll walk you through block feeding. But give yourself a little more time before deciding it's necessary!
    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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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,767

    Default Re: Food Allergy or Oversupply?

    EDIT Sorry if any repeated info I did not see mommals post prior to posting.

    Did eliminating the dairy help at all? This really sounds like forceful letdown/overproduction to me.

    There are a few things you can do to help with forceful letdown/overproduction that are effective & less risky than block nursing. Block nursing is only needed if things are pretty bad, and nothing you have listed here is all that alarming.

    At 3 weeks old, it is NORMAL to be making a bit extra. This is a biological safeguard in case baby can not nurse well. Or there are two (or more) babies. Frequently nursing your one baby should soon give your body the signal about how much is enough but not too much. So in other words, time alone may solve the issue. If you are pumping, unless it is due to being separated from baby, that might make overproduction worse.

    His stools have never been green, but are usually “explosive.” Always a yellowish/mustard curdy consistency..
    The explosive might be ffld, but this is quite common in all newborns.

    After feedings baby either immediately or about an hour later- will strain or have bad gas and flatulence. He will then calm down then half hour strain again and wake out of sleep at times. His tummy will feel tight and he’ll clench his fists. He’ll then act like he wants to nurse again, so I’ll let him. He’ll nurse, cry out in pain, nurse, and so on. I’ll try to burp him and soothe him. Occasionally he will spit up, but I’m thinking that’s from overfeeding?
    You are taking such good care of your baby. I would assure you that you are not overfeeding. Frequent Spit up is entirely normal in newborns. Gas is also entirely normal, but it does sound as if your baby is having some discomfort from the gas. So, Infants nurse for comfort, and a baby who is having gas or any other kind of pain wants comfort. Nursing frequently is not going to hurt him, it will only help. This is because the gas is not caused by too much milk overall, but (possibly) by the large amount of high lactose foremilk baby is getting. Frequent nursing helps with this so called "imbalance" and so, cue nursing and comfort nursing is exactly the right thing to do. Also, if baby tends to spit up some of the feeding because the flow was fast, that means there is less of that high lactose foremilk going into the gut to (possibly) cause gas. Nature has this all pretty well figured out.
    Additionally:
    -
    Baby gags, coughs, splutters, or makes a click noise while nursing
    -Indicates forceful letdown.
    - I Leak occasionally, usually from other breast while baby feeds on opposite breast. -
    totally normal. Also totally normal to not leak. Leaking means nothing about milk production, although if a mom is "a leaker" and makes a lot of extra milk, she will leak more.
    - Baby usually feeds about 7-10 minutes. Sometimes longer at night.
    - Short feedings also indicate fast letdown. Normal and fine assuming baby is gaining normally.

    He often wants just one breast per feeding
    - Good! No need for baby to take more than one breast per feeding unless baby wants or baby is not gaining well. Encouraging baby to switch sides is a milk production increasing technique.

    Often pulls off the breast while nursing in the beginning to catch his breath
    -indicates ffld

    he also gets the hiccups frequently
    Some kids just are hiccupy and even hiccup in the womb. But this could be another sign of ffld as well.

    Not sure on his weight gain recently. We go to his 1 month checkup next week
    If you have overproduction, expect very good weight gain. This is fine and normal and healthy. Just know that when a baby gains very rapidly ion the early months, when growth slows (as it normally does) after/around 3 months or so, it may seem like quite a dramatic slowdown. When all is normal, with breastfed babies, the weight gain all evens out.

    You do not mention how you are feeling. Is Nursing comfortable? Any engorgement, sore breasts, plugs? Any other issues there?

    For the fast letdown,. I suggest, keep nursing as frequently as baby will, and no harm in offering if its been a while since baby cued. Frequent nursing is a huge help with this issue. Also, nursing in a laid back, "biological nurturing" position is also often very helpful. If baby is having difficulty with the flow, try taking baby off, leaking into a towel, and then latching baby back on.

    how long do I block feed?
    I don't think you need to block feed, unless you try all the above for a while and the issues do not get better or gets worse. Actually the only real "issue" I see is baby's discomfort and that really should get better all on its own quite soon. Remember block nursing WILL reduce milk production, so yes, you do want to be very certain baby is gaining excellently before doing it. If you do it, you do it for as little as needed. So start with short blocks of 2-3 hours (or 2-3 feedings) and only do it for a few days total. Remember to nurse baby just as frequently, but you switch breasts less frequently. Also, listen to your body and follow it's cues more than the clock.

    More ffld http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp.../fast-letdown/ and block nursing dos and don'ts http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog/tag/block-feeding laid back breastfeeding: https://www.llli.org/docs/0000000000...astfeeding.pdf

  4. #4

    Default Re: Food Allergy or Oversupply?

    Thank you ladies so much for your time, insight and advice. I will try the reclined approach when nursing and hold off on block nursing for now.

    I'm not too convinced giving up dairy has been helpful...he still will get that straining on and off, some days worse than others..but I didn't completely eliminated it. I did completely cut out cow's milk and cheese, but once in awhile I'll eat a piece of chocolate or some yogurt. Would that be the reason for him being fussy the next day? Would there be other signs if it was diet related?

    I'm feeling okay just a bit defeated honestly. I hate to think that what I'm eating or drinking could be causing him pain. I had a rough labor with him. He wasn't early, but I just had a long scary labor and almost had to have a c-section. So from the start I've been exhausted and worried. He had some issues latching in the beginning but seems to do well the past couple weeks. He'll be a month old this Sunday. I just hate to see him in pain. We've given him gripe water a couple times just so he can get some sleep. His tummy pains will wake him up sometimes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,767

    Default Re: Food Allergy or Oversupply?

    Ok, I really think that everything you describe can be chalked up to 1) Normal or 2) forceful letdown. (or both, of course) IN other words, I see not reason at all to even suspect allergy from what you are eating at this point, as that is much less common than either normal or forceful letdown. If it is forceful letdown, again, nursing reclined and nursing more frequently usually helps a lot.

    Babies, like everyone else, get gas pains. But yes, a baby may seem to have more issues with gas, this is for a couple reasons. 1) A month old baby has been swallowing and digesting food (your milk) for exactly one month. This way of being nourished is still new to his system. The gut is still developing the protections it needs for a lifetime of digesting all kinds of things. Your milk and only your milk is what will allow your child's gut to develop these protections normally.

    2) Because the gut is still developing, gas and fussiness is common at this age. They are babies, so it wakes them up, (and of course even a baby who has no pain wakes very frequently, they have to, biology dictates this frequent waking pattern so they will nurse often day and night as is needed to grow normally.) So they wake, pain or no, and they seek comfort from you. You are meeting your babies need for that comfort. You are doing a great job!

    Please do not feel defeated. I think it highly unlikely that what you are eating is causing any issues.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Food Allergy or Oversupply?

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words and advice!!

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