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Thread: Spits up with breastmilk, but not formula...??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Question Spits up with breastmilk, but not formula...??

    Hi everyone....thank you in advance for reading my post and offering some advice....

    I am currently breastfeeding our 2nd daughter, who is 4 weeks old today. I had no idea it would be such a challenge since BF'ing our 1st daughter seemed so easy and natural. Bit of history with #2. She was born at 37w6d, induced as she stopped gaining any weight in utero as determined by ultrasounds. She weighed 5lbs6oz at birth, (1st daughter was 9lbs!). She ended up have respiratory distress and was in the NICU for a few days, and remained in the hospital for 10days. During that time I was pumping and they were feeding her the expressed milk (mostly colostrum) as well as supplementing her with formula....which I preferred not to but my milk took a few days to come in. Fast forward to now.... she now weighs 5lbs13oz and seems to be a great eater....BUT when she nurses, she will nurse for at least 1 hour, sometimes up to two and still cries and fusses and will take an additional 1-2oz of formula. She never seems satisfied after the breastfeeding and continually spits up the breastmilk everytime I burp her during the feeds. But when she takes some formula (gets supplements twice a day at the most, after a breastfeed) she never spits up when she burps! I don't get it....is she having a problem with my milk? I have cut anything questionable out of my diet, drink a ton of water, but she still seems fussy at the breast and spits up. She will scream until she eats more. And I have noticed that while BF'ing at night (we co-sleep) she doesn't seem to spit up as much.

    I apologize for all the rambling... I am clueless with this as I mentioned BF'ing our first was no problem! We have another appt. tomorrow with her pedi. so we can check her weight..but she has plently of wet diapers etc.

    Any suggestions or advice?
    Thank you so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: Spits up with breastmilk, but not formula...??

    Non-stop nursing for a baby her age is normal, I remember feeling like my butt was glued to my glider during my maturnity leave. Do you have a pump? Maybe you could pump one side while she nurses the other and give her the ebm instead of formula? Nursing a NICU baby can be very difficult. DS was born @ 34 weeks with gastroschisis and had to have a 5 week NICU stay, I couldn't actually nurse him until he was 3 months and had to start supplementing with formula @ 6 months due to supply issues, he ended up being totally ff @ 9 months because I got preg with dd. The biggest obstacle to overcome when breastfeeding a NICU baby is that in the NICU the nurses hoard the milk to them (for weight gain purposes) and then their little tummies get streched so they end up eating more than a normal baby would. I would suggest contacting your local LLL or meeting with a LC to make sure latch is correct and baby is suckling properly (that may help the spitting up). Also, early babies are prone to reflux simply because the meconism that stops food from coming up simply isn't mature. That said, formula is thicker than breastmilk (thats why formula is harder to digest and babies seem more satisfied after formula) so it makes sense that breastmilk is easier and more likely ot be spit up. Try stopping in the middle of each breast's session to burp, this may help. You said that she doesn't spit up when nursing @ night. Are you nursing differently at night than during the day? Maybe you to simulate night nursing during the day to see if it is simply a positioning issue. If she still needs extra supplementing maybe you could use a SNS to help stimulate your milk supply. I know what you are going through, you are doing a great job!
    Amanda Mom to James (2/25/04) and nursling Alice (8/24/05)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Spits up with breastmilk, but not formula...??

    I have 3 boys, and all of them have been total pukers! LOL.

    When my first son was born, he was early, weighed less than 6 pounds, and spit up constantly throughout the day. I, of course, panicked, being a first-time mom, and rushed him over to the clinic every 2 days to see if he was gaining any weight. Of course, he was.

    My second son was even worse, soaking his clothes, my tshirts (and pants), towels, receiving blankets, and embarrassing me when friends wanted to hold him, leaving wet patches of milk running down their shirts. I was used to it by then, and just chalked it up as a laundry problem. LOL

    My third son, I thought we got lucky because he didn't spit up for the first month. We thought, yay! a baby who doesn't puke. Haha, he started to spit up, too, and I SWEAR he is the wettest one yet! I'll be just holding him, minding my own business, when all of a sudden you can hear the splash of his milk hitting the floor. We keep towels handy to mop up the puddles of milk. He has puked on everyone we know, including his bewildered big brothers. He puked right down my friend's shirt and into her bra last week.

    Nothing we have tried helps with the spitting up. No matter what position we hold him in, how often we burp him, or what I eliminate from my diet, it doesn't matter, the milk still comes pouring out of him. Doesn't bother him, though, LOL. He's a completely happy baby, never cries much. And like you, he never spits up when we co-sleep at night, although there's usually a great big splashy one the minute I pick him up out of bed in the morning.

    Plus, he's gone from 9 pounds 1 ounce to over 17 pounds in 4 months, so I know he's healthy!

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