Help! My son was born almost 2 months premature but other than having GERD (which is being treated with prescription meds), he's a perfectly healthy 5-month-old. He went from NG tube to bottle and then to breast since he was premature, and although he received Neosure supplements for a while, he has been fed breastmilk only (mostly from the breast with a bottle from his dad once a day or so) for almost 4 months now.
The problem is this: Over the past 3 weeks, he has become extremely fussy, writhing, screaming, and pushing away from the breast when I try to feed him. He won't calm down until I finally thaw breastmilk and give it to him in a bottle. The strange thing is, he usually takes the breast again at subsequent feedings, so it's not like he's on a lasting nursing strike.
He doesn't have an ear infection or other illness but does have a nasty case of heat rash under his chin. Could the rash be the problem? Maybe the nursing position I'm using (modified cradle with his bottom and legs stretched out on my lap) is less comfortable than the way he's held while bottle-fed? I used to use a Boppy but at 13.5 lbs. and 23 inches long, he seems to be outgrowing it.
I've tried giving him Simethicone in case it's gas but haven't seen any improvement, and he doesn't appear to be teething yet. My husband and I used to think that he was just trying to work on a bowel movement and that drinking from a bottle helped move things through him more quickly, but he doesn't always make a diaper after getting the bottle.
To make things more frustrating, my stored supply of frozen milk is about to run out. I've started pumping again after daytime feedings and right before bed (I had pretty much stopped pumping except for comfort) to try to increase my milk supply in case my baby's fussiness is due to his not getting enough milk at feedings, but that hasn't decreased his crying. He used to wake up crying before but then seemed content once I started to feed him. Now, he regularly cries and refuses the breast altogether, nurses for 3-10 minutes and then stops and cries inconsolably, or falls asleep while nursing and then wakes up crying. He used to be a much happier baby!
If ANY of you can shed ANY light on my situation (even my baby's pediatrician was dumbfounded), I would GREATLY appreciate it! And even if you don't have answers or explanations, some words of comfort and encouragement would be wonderful. I intend to breastfeed my son for at least a year, but when each feeding becomes a wrestling match I usually lose, that seems like a goal I'm unlikely to reach. Thanks.