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Thread: At the end of my rope

  1. #1

    Unhappy At the end of my rope

    My baby is 3 weeks and I really enjoy breastfeeding him. It's practically the one time I feel like I can bond with him because my husband hogs our baby ( the only time I hold him honestly is to feed him...) Which I'm okay with since he'll be going back to work and not me.
    Anyway, the pediatrician thinks he may be suffering from silent reflux so she gave me Zantac to try and after 2 days we seen no improvement. He's constantly crying and screaming his lungs out. And also extremely gassy. She said to try it for 24hours and if it doesn't work try a soy formula. I gave it 48 and now we are trying the formula. 1st day that I haven't been able to hold my baby since my husband wants to now feed him. I'm so upset about this but it seems like he's a lot happier with the formula then my breast milk. Since I have also tried breast milk in the bottle.... I'm currently working on my diet while he's being formula fed and pumping..... but I'm literally falling apart right now. I want to breastfeed my baby....
    I do have an overactive letdown/oversupply but the bottles seem a lot faster than my boobs....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: At the end of my rope

    Ai yi yi!!!!! reflux is not a good reason to give a baby formula! What research is the doctor using that support formula in this situation- soy or otherwise???? The evidence is crystal clear- A baby's health is compromised if baby is not breastfed. Period the end!
    Also, reflux may or may not be related to dairy. What diet changes are you making? Experts agree- even when allergies are suspected, the proper protocol is for breastfeeding to continue while mom tries some non-drastic and systematic diet eliminations. I think your doctor needs to read the AAP protocol on infant feeding.

    I do not want you to get in a fight with your husband over this, this is a very stressful time and you are both trying to do what is best for your baby. But this is nuts. You could easily lose your breastfeeding relationship and that will not be good for any of you. There is plenty of time for a husband to bond with a newborn baby who is breastfed. There are also several reasons a baby might seem to be "happier" getting a bottle then breastfed that may have nothing to do with allergy. And it is not because soy milk is overall better for a baby. That idea has been disproven again and again. Fast letdown would easily cause issues that cause baby discomfort and this is something that is easily solved while continuing to nurse. Even though the bottles flow fast as well, that is not the same as fast letdown. But while we are on the subject, it is vital that baby be fed bottles in a breastfeeding supportive way and that means NOT letting the bottle flow too fast! Bottles must be small, frequent and done using a special technique called paced bottle feeding or your baby is possibly going to start refusing to nurse.

    See below on fast letdown.

    Please see: Academy of breastfeeding medicine allergy protocol: This is written by and for doctors: http://www.bfmed.org/Media/Files/Pro...ish_120211.pdf
    Jack Newman (Pediatrician) on colic: http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...baby&Itemid=17

    Please read them both completely and see if any of that makes sense to you and your husband.

    Are you pumping? As long as baby is not nursing, or being supplemented, it is vital that you pump to offset that in order to maintain your milk production. If baby is not nursing at all, you probably want to pump 8 times in 24 hours.

    Would your husband be willing to talk to a LLL Leader or a Lactation Consultant?

    Also, you need to bond with your baby. Your baby needs YOU even if baby is not nursing. Why are you not holding your baby at all? This sounds very odd.

    fast letdown http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp.../fast-letdown/
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; December 21st, 2015 at 12:59 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: At the end of my rope

    with MaddieB.

    I am about equally irked by your pediatrician's bad advice and by your husband's inconsiderate behavior. I think MaddieB covered the health issues really well, so I will confine myself to adding some comments on your husband's behavior, and what I think you may be able to do about it.

    First, if your husband wants normal health outcomes for his child, he wants that child to be breastfed. That means he needs to give you your best chance at breastfeeding success. So there can be no. more. hogging. of the baby. No more. That baby should be at your breast as much as possible, and in your arms when he's not nursing. Some of the screaming you are seeing may be because your baby misses YOU. He spent 9 months living inside you. And now he's only allowed to spend a few minutes per day with you? Of course he's miserable and confused. And he's probably not nursing as much as he would if he were in your arms instead of dad's. Dad is probably going to try lots of things before he hands the baby over to you to be fed, by which time baby has been screaming his head off, swallowing tons of air which will exacerbate any gas situation, and he's going to be so frantic that he may not latch or feed well.

    In short, if you want the best care for a breastfeeding newborn, you let MOM take care of him. Not dad, grandma, or even Mary Poppins.

    Do you have a sling or wrap-style carrier? Having baby snuggled right up next to you in a wrap, where he can hear your familiar heartbeat (remember, he spent 9 months hearing your heartbeat, it's the only soundtrack he knew up until 3 weeks ago), smell your smell, and easily access the breast at very frequent intervals- that's usually the best way to deal with fussiness and screaming. I would give that a really good chance before I even thought about dietary changes, let alone formula.

    Would your husband consider posting on the forum? We will be gentle with him, I promise!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    66

    Default Re: At the end of my rope

    Hi Amanda.

    Firstly I would like to agree with everything that has been said by both Maddie and Mommal. I cannot say that I myself would have faith in a pediatrician who did not exhaust every possibility before recommending formula over breastmilk.

    If your diet is a consideration you cannot hope to eliminate a dietry cause by removing breastmilk from baby's diet. Suspect food items should usually be eliminated one by one. For example, dairy could be removed from the mother's diet for three or four days, and reinstated if no change, then gluten removed, and so on until all known allergens have been discarded as the cause.

    I am certainly not a medical expert by any means, but to my (limited) knowledge research shows that anything you consume transfers to breastmilk as a smaller quantity. With this is mind, if a child of mine had an allergy or intolerance I would prefer to discover which food item was the cause during breastfeeding, rather than face a possible medical situation once solids were introduced. I am informed this is the case with alcohol for instance, and therefore believe it could be similar for most substances. Someone please correct me if I am wrong in this.

    Secondly, my own experiences. We struggled with fast letdowns in the beginning with my daughter, who was also somewhat colicky. I was advised by breastfeeding professionals that the number of people holding baby should be very limited in the early weeks, to strictly me, with Dad enabling the occasional break for me when NECESSARY, showers and the odd hot meal for instance.

    This close contact between mother and baby is vital, for bonding, for enabling baby to nurse as needed, and also to maintain milk supply. My fiance would testify to my face that at four months I get very irate if he holds baby for what I deem too long, as she will nurse far more frequently if held by me rather than him. He would also admit that on occasion when he was holding baby and she was unsettled, I would sit there saying "she's hungry" a dozen times or more before he stopped trying to cuddle/wind/change/bounce/rock to sleep/add blanket/remove blanket and just handed her over.

    If this situation ever arose in our household, I think I would suggest that all feeding was done by me, and he took all baths and diaper changes. That way we would both get that special bonding time.

    We have found (safe) co-sleeping and sling wearing to be brilliant for our breastfeeding relationship.

    For your husband's peace of mind, my daughter has an amazing relationship with her dad as a result. I am comfort, he is everything else. She sits on my knee, ignores me and gazes at him adoringly, smiling like a loon. He actually got the first smile.

  5. #5

    Default Re: At the end of my rope

    Thanks everyone for the replies! It feels really nice to have some type of support. I have talked to my husband about continuing breastfeeding and finding a new pediatrician. I went to a GI specialist and she advise me to put down the formula and to continue to breastfeed and even gave my husband the speech about being close to mommy to help sooth them. Which I think knocked some sense into him.
    @mommal
    You are absolutely right, I feel as if you walked into my house before. My husband would try everything he possibly can before handing him off to eat. For example the baby would sleep for 3hrs in his arms and the moment he wakes up my husband would automatically start rocking him and singing to him to get him to go back to sleep. I would say he's hungry but he just ignores me.

    I'm going to give baby wearing a try and thanks everyone for all the info and advice!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: At the end of my rope

    Good luck! I think any wearing may really help- if you are nursing in the sling and baby dozes off, you have the perfect excuse for keeping baby nestled up against you: it's too much trouble to take him out of the sling and it's likely to wake him up! Maybe dad will get to hold him...next time.

    If the screaming continues to be an issue, do let us know. Since your baby is 3 weeks old, you're at the point where colic could be kicking in, and there are some things you can do about that.

    Are you looking for a new pediatrician?

  7. #7

    Default Re: At the end of my rope

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*amandab771 View Post
    Thanks everyone for the replies! It feels really nice to have some type of support. I have talked to my husband about continuing breastfeeding and finding a new pediatrician. I went to a GI specialist and she advise me to put down the formula and to continue to breastfeed and even gave my husband the speech about being close to mommy to help sooth them. Which I think knocked some sense into him.
    I'm glad to hear that!

    You are absolutely right, I feel as if you walked into my house before. My husband would try everything he possibly can before handing him off to eat. For example the baby would sleep for 3hrs in his arms and the moment he wakes up my husband would automatically start rocking him and singing to him to get him to go back to sleep. I would say he's hungry but he just ignores me.
    You're right, that all by itself could be why your baby is crying a lot! At 3 weeks, he should be nursing around 10-12 times in 24 hours. He may sleep for 3 or 4 hour stretches at night, but want to nurse every hour (i.e. constantly!) from dinnertime until midnight. Not nursing often enough can cause problems, but you can't really cause any harm by nursing too often.

    I like this quote from a blog post by Emma Pickett, IBCLC:

    As adults, we grab a cup of tea, a glass of water, a sweet, a snack. We respond to our personal cues and we’re flexible depending on time of day, the temperature, our mood, our energy levels. Many go to bed with a glass of water or sip from a bottle throughout the day. I don’t know any adults that look at their watch and say, ‘Only 30 minutes till my next sip of water or mint! Not long now’. But yet we expect teeny growing babies to be governed by this artificial notion of time.
    This is another really good article on normal feeding patterns for young babies:

    The Clock and Early Breastfeeding by Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC

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