Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Pediatrician telling me to nurse less...reflux

  1. #1

    Default Pediatrician telling me to nurse less...reflux

    Hi all! Our baby likely is having some reflux issues, and my ped told me he is using me as a pacifier and that i should only use the breast for feeding (no comfort nursing) and only every 2-3 hours. I tried to do this for half a day and both my son and I were miserable...doctor said I've conditioned the baby to cry and get the brest and i need to stop so he can figure out another way to soothe. This advice seems contrary to all bf advice I've seen -- i mean, my son does nurse alot, but he is only 10 weeks old! My question is, is it possible to overfeed via comfort feeding, can i possibly be making his reflux worse by nursing him? I want to soothe him, but i dont want to be hurting him in the process! TIA...all the conflicting info makes me nuts!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,266

    Default Re: Pediatrician telling me to nurse less...reflux

    Welcome to the forum!

    I think your pediatrician gave you terrible advice. On-demand feeding is the gold standard for breastfed babies, including those with reflux.

    First, there's nothing wrong with your baby "using you as a pacifier". The breast is the original pacifier- warm, non-toxic, attractive, and designed by nature to sponsor the development of normal dental alignment- and when a baby uses a paci what he's really doing is using a piece of silicone as a stand-in for the breast. Anyone who thinks a baby should use a silicone paci rather than nursing has things completely backwards!

    Second, nursing for comfort is a positive, not a negative. Comfort nursing provides calories, keeps esophagus and stomach contents moving downwards (which is great for babies with reflux), and may help the baby regulate his heartbeat, breathing, and stress levels. All good!

    Third, you cannot overfeed a breastfed baby at there at because you are not in charge of the feeding. The baby decides how much milk to take in and learns to "read" his own satiation cues, stopping the feeding when he is full. Allowing a baby to discover how to manage his own feeding may be why breastfed infants tend to have a lifetime lower risk for obesity than formula-fed, bottlefed ones.

    Fourth, the normal eating pattern for a breastfed infant is one where the baby takes frequent small meals (a.k.a. snacks) and feeds at irregular intervals. A breastfed baby- particularly a young breastfed baby- will normally have spurts of cluster feeding during which he feeds very frequently.

    Fifth, babies are demanding because they are babies, not because you are a responsive parent. When you respond to your baby's attempts to communicate, e.g. feeding your baby or picking him up when he cries, you are teaching him that he can trust you to meet his needs when he has them. Refusing to do this doesn't teach your baby "another way to soothe"- rather, it teaches him that he should lie quietly and conserve his calories because there is no point in trying to get his needs met.

    Sixth and finally, I have never heard that reflux can be worsened by frequent feeding. Quite the contrary- small, frequent "snacks" are often better for reflux-y babies than large, infrequent "meals", as a small feeding is less likely to come back up than a large one.
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,753

    Default Re: Pediatrician telling me to nurse less...reflux



    Just to be sure we are not missing some serious issue in our shock at what your doctor has told you, I wonder what are the symptoms of the reflux? And is baby gaining normally? Is breastfeeding comfortable for you?

    I know it is frustrating to get conflicting advice when you are only trying to do what is best for baby. But truly, and I mean this in the nicest way possible, everything you have reported your pediatrician saying to you is very likely to undermine breastfeeding, and is consequently against the AAP's current recommendation that breastfeeding be supported whenever possible by doctors. (If you are not in the US that may not apply, but I think you get my point. It is not like the AAP is some radical breastfeeding organization.) http://www2.aap.org/breastfeeding/po...HumanMilk.html

    The ideas about "conditioning" a child to cry are based on discredited theories about child rearing that have no medical or science based origin. Also, I suffer from GERD myself, and the fact is that frequent, small meals as opposed to infrequent large meals are typically better for reflux no matter what the age of the person suffering from reflux. http://heartburnreliefcenter.com/sma...r-acid-reflux/ This is why normal breastfeeding, which usually means, small, very frequent meals, is exactly the right thing to do when a baby has painful reflux.

    If you would like some info about reflux in infants, I suggest this article from Dr. Sears. http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/hea...t-what-do-faqs

    This article from Dr. Jack Newman may help as well. http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...ename=doc-HKHP

  4. #4

    Angry Re: Pediatrician telling me to nurse less...reflux

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post


    Just to be sure we are not missing some serious issue in our shock at what your doctor has told you, I wonder what are the symptoms of the reflux? And is baby gaining normally? Is breastfeeding comfortable for you?

    I know it is frustrating to get conflicting advice when you are only trying to do what is best for baby. But truly, and I mean this in the nicest way possible, everything you have reported your pediatrician saying to you is very likely to undermine breastfeeding, and is consequently against the AAP's current recommendation that breastfeeding be supported whenever possible by doctors. (If you are not in the US that may not apply, but I think you get my point. It is not like the AAP is some radical breastfeeding organization.) http://www2.aap.org/breastfeeding/po...HumanMilk.html

    The ideas about "conditioning" a child to cry are based on discredited theories about child rearing that have no medical or science based origin. Also, I suffer from GERD myself, and the fact is that frequent, small meals as opposed to infrequent large meals are typically better for reflux no matter what the age of the person suffering from reflux. http://heartburnreliefcenter.com/sma...r-acid-reflux/ This is why normal breastfeeding, which usually means, small, very frequent meals, is exactly the right thing to do when a baby has painful reflux.

    If you would like some info about reflux in infants, I suggest this article from Dr. Sears. http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/hea...t-what-do-faqs

    This article from Dr. Jack Newman may help as well. http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...ename=doc-HKHP

    Baby boy feeds well and often, had a tongue tie that was corrected at 5 weeks. Gained almost 3 pounds last month. I feed on demand (in spite of pediatrician opinion) -- he likely has "silent reflux" - unconsolable crying, tons of comfort nursing, gas issues, pulling on/off breast, kicking while feeding, spittle...but fortunately it appears we're moving towards fixing it. Her rationale for overfeeding is that baby sucks to comfort burning throat therefore overstuffing himself with milk causing gas and reflux. While i do agree with the reflux dx (something definitely going on with him) i don't think breastfeeding him less and confusing him about why he can smell mommy but she won't soothe him will do anything but make us both miserable. My soothing him doesn't prevent the development of self-soothing, right?

    I think it's really sucky how some doctors give bad advice...so in trying to do the right thing, I'm "non compliant" with the doctor

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,266

    Default Re: Pediatrician telling me to nurse less...reflux

    While i do agree with the reflux dx (something definitely going on with him) i don't think breastfeeding him less and confusing him about why he can smell mommy but she won't soothe him will do anything but make us both miserable.
    Exactly!!! It sounds like you're already going through a rough time- why make things more difficult for yourself and your baby?

    My soothing him doesn't prevent the development of self-soothing, right?
    Right. Soothing your baby doesn't prevent him from developing the ability to self-soothe any more than me helping my 4 year-old tie her shoes is going to prevent her from learning how to tie her shoes herself someday. When a child is ready to master a skill, the skill will come with ease. Little babies are not developmentally equipped to self-soothe, and forcing them to learn the skill early is pretty torturous for everyone involved.

    I think it's really sucky how some doctors give bad advice...so in trying to do the right thing, I'm "non compliant" with the doctor
    Feel free to seek a second opinion if you feel like your doc isn't giving good advice! You're the mommy, and if your instincts are telling you that the advice is bad, ignore it.
    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!"

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •