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Thread: Can bf'ing cause colic?

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Can bf'ing cause colic?

    I have totally changed my diet. Zero dairy, no fresh fruit or veg, no caffine, no beans,I only eat bread, rice, pasta and meat.
    My DD is still very fussy at night. I have diagnosed her with colic. From what all the books and sites say, she is definitely colicky. Last night was absolutely the worst.
    My mom is trying to say there is something in formula that will help with the fussiness/gas and that I should stop bf'ing.
    Once the fussiness starts she refuses to bf and I either feed her breastmilk or formula from a bottle, which he happily excepts.
    I have tried these stretches and exercises to do with her from a DR online that I found. It said I should see a change within a week to 10 days. Its only been 3 days so, no change.
    I guess I'm just gonna break down and make her a DR appt and see what the heck to do cause my other 2 children were bottle fed only and NEVER had colic and I am so stumped as to what to do with this poor little girl. Sometimes she seems like shes in so much pain. The 7 hours of crying a night is really getting to me!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can bf'ing cause colic?

    Actually, formula fed babies are more likely to have colic and reflux!

    Does she arch her back while she screams? It sounds to me like it could be reflux. That's exactly how my DS was before we properly diagnosed him. He was also diagnosed as colic in the begining.

    Yes, do take her to the doc and def keep track of everything...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can bf'ing cause colic?

    As I am reading your post this is the first time in 5 hours my 8wk DS has stopped crying. I feel that all his waking hours are just crying. I am sorry to say I have no answers about how to solve this. I am in the same situation ( reflux or colic) I can tell you that my 3 year old daughter had breastmilk until she was two years old. We credit it with her amazing development despite extreme prematurity. I know how horrible you must feel with all the crying. All any mother wants is for their child to be happy and healthy. For both our sakes I hope we find the resolution. Until then I hope it helps to know someone else is up walking the floors tonight.Keep on posting so we know how you are doing.

  4. #4
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    Smile Re: Can bf'ing cause colic?

    Allison,
    Sorry to hear that your baby is feeling so uncomfortable. I recently met a mom at a La Leche League meeting and her baby was colic, she would rock and walk with him and hold him in the crook of her arm tummy side down and still cry, cry, poor baby. Then she tried a visit to a pediatric chiropractor and 2 visits and VOILA....must better, no more long bouts of fuzziness. I know that it may seem extreme, but there have been great results in many babies with minor gentle adjustments. Perhaps if you can find a local pediatric chiropractor or general chiropractor, they would be probably willing to consult with you over the phone and you could get a better idea if this is something for your baby. Best of luck, know too that eventually colicky baby outgrow this difficult time.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can bf'ing cause colic?

    Allison,
    You didn't say how old your baby is....but part of the problem could be nipple confusion. If your baby is younger than 4wks and you introduce a bottle no matter what's in it, young babies can figure out that it's much less work to get food out of one than your breast. You should not use bottles at all until your over this point in thier young lives so they don't think they have a "choice".

    Please Please don't listen to your mother, And your talking about bottles of either formula or BM which suggest that your already doubting yourself. Don't. You have exactly what your baby needs. And while it might be physically exhausting to have your baby nursing what seems like 10-12 hours a day, that IS Normal and your baby is NOT crying because your milk is no good or anything like that and BM is definatley not causing the colic. Get rid of the formula. It only stands to mess up your ability to make the exact amount your baby needs. Which you absolutely CAN DO. Don't let anyone tell you different. If you haven't already read it I highly suggest "The happiest baby on the block". It may interest you to know that "Colic" only exists in developed society where there is so much pressure to seperate mother and baby so quickly and so much of the time. Often your just dealing w/ a high needs child which just means that they are easily overstimulated and not very good at calming themsleves down once they get riled. Usually keeping a baby on you (wearing them so they can hear your heartbeat) and other tricks used to mimic the womb work wonders w/ babies w/this type of personality.

    Pediatricians are quick to suggest formula as a cure all. It's not. And again once you start supplementing it can be a very slippery slope. It's detrimantal to your ability to produce the right amount. Especially if you have people at home saying the same thing. Trust us. It's you you you. That's what your baby wants and needs. Arching at the breast can also be OALD. Which you can deal with by letting the initial spray go into a towel. But it sounds like you may be dealing w/someother issues as well. I'd commit to going to bed w/your baby for a 24hr stretch. Getting the supoport you need to do this at home. ANd just let your LO feed on demand and spend as much time skin to skin as possible. Once you've got the latch and supply issue worked out, invest in a sling or wrap. Keep your baby on you and focus on hitting the 12 week mark. You may at that point see a completely different baby and you will have lived thru 3 growth spurts. If you can get thru that...you should have all the confidence you need to KNOW you can do it! Hang in there! We're here for you.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can bf'ing cause colic?

    Allison -

    Have you seen the video "Happiest Baby on the Block"? I HIGHLY recommend it. The ped says that there is rarely such a thing as colic, and he helps, on the video, parents whose kids cry "for hours and hours a day" in just a couple minutes using a very simple step by step process that you can easily apply. I had never heard of the video with my first two kids, and only learned of it with this one.... I feel like it should be mandatory for all parents to watch (especially dads who can't stick a boob in the baby's mouth), and I wish I'd been armed with it the first two times around.

    My local LLL has this video available for check-out... you should check with yours!!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can bf'ing cause colic?

    DJ's Mom may be onto something, since you say your baby is happier when bottlefed. My baby was given just one bottle when he was about an hour old while I was in emergency surgery post-birth, and we fought the effects of that one bottle for weeks. He knew there was an easier way to get milk than by nursing, and when he was overwhelmed and tired at the end of the day, he would cry and cry and cry, starting around 3PM and going to around midnight. Even a low-flow bottle is easier to drink from than the breast.

    To cope, I banished all bottles. Threw them out, actually, so DH couldn't sabotage my efforts while he was trying to help, and went to bed and nursed for several days. I should have done the same thing with the pacifier, but there were times he wanted just that, and he was very high-suck needs as a baby. He was and is the classic high needs kid.

    We tried various methods of soothing, but what worked best was the sling.

    It also turned out that he had acid reflux and I had overactive letdown and oversupply. We started him on meds, and I learned methods of coping with the letdown firehose and the vast supply I had.

    The colicky stuff ended around 6 months when he could sit up, but he remains a very emotional child who is easily overstimulated. But he's quite independent, and I attribute that to our extended nursing and the fact that we never let him just cry it out but at least tried to meet his needs from day one.

    I know moms of formula fed babies who also say they have fussy babies. So it's not breastfeeding that does this.

    I think colic is not always a digestive problem. I think there are babies who simply do not transition out of the womb well, but grandmas and doctors think it's always a food problem, call it colic, and "prescribe" formula instead of breastmilk or cereal in the formula/breastmilk, so forth. These high needs babies need their moms, not something different to eat.

    I found the book "The Fussy Baby" by Dr. Sears to be a lifesaver when my baby was around 8 weeks old and I was ready to run away or scream (I also had bad PPD, and moms of fussy babies are at higher risk for PPD). My local LLL had it to borrow, but I know it's available online or probably at your local bookstore too.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can bf'ing cause colic?

    I have a very high needs child and we "diagnosed her with colic" when she was about 18 days old. We took her to every doctor we could find and they all said the same thing--colic. Colic is actually a term used to describe stomach upset in animals, and for a long time it was thought that was what caused fussy babies. More and more research is showing that it may actually be an immature nervous system, that causes the fussiness...which in term may cause stomach upset. We tried everything, except formula. If you think about it...bottles have air in them, air causes gas. Whatever you feed your baby out of a bottle, there is air in it (no matter if the bottle claims it reduces colic!). If baby gets air in tummy, then gas results. No bottle is better than your breast! Most people who claim that when they switched to a bottle with formula the colic ended, probably switched about the time the colic would have ended anyway!!!

    The formulas that are "specially designed to reduce colic" are designed to reduce colic in infants that are already receiving formula as their primary nutrition source, and changing to formula will not help. They are also made from dairy, which would make things worse if your dd had a dairy intolerance. And the formulas that don't have dairy, or are lactose free, have corn syrup as the first ingredient--which is something we are told to strictly avoid! I was apalled at that. There was a time when I was thinking of switching, because everyone had me convinced that would solve our problem. I decided I would take a good hard look at the ingredients (thanks to a very informed nurse at our first ped, who was anti bf). I didn't even get past the first ingredient to decide that formula would not be for us!

    Because it is may be a nervous system problem...think about the things that may be causing over stimulation--noise, lights, etc. I know you have other children and it may be hard to avoid these things--I can empathize, although I didn't have other children, it is really hard to get out of the light, so to speak.

    Our dd didn't really get over the "colic" until she was 4 months, and she remains a very difficult child. She is wonderful, but needs attention, and a lotof it. It is exhausting. She literally drained the life out of me, or so it felt. I ended up with post partum depression, because I thought there was something I should have been able to do better for my daughter (among hormones and other things!!!). Please, don't feel this way. There really isn't anything you are doing wrong! You will feel drained, angry, sad, hopeless. This is normal with a high needs baby. It will get better and you will look back and realize it was a short period of time. But right now it feels like forever, I am sure!

    Make sure you and baby are getting enough rest. Sometimes, with my dd, if I could just get her to nap, she would wake up feeling a little better, if not for very long, at least I got 5 or 10 minutes!

    And realize, it is not your milk. You are giving her the very best!

    Erin
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can bf'ing cause colic?

    I just have to add our story... For about the first week of my dd's life, she was a wonderful baby. She slept, ate, and then went back to sleep. After that, we paid for that wonderful week... She screamed for every waking minute that she was not eating. She was "diagnosed" with colic, first by me and then by my pediatrician. She was not introduced to a bottle until she was at least 6 weeks old (I don't remember for sure). She has never had a drop of formula in her short, 5 1/2 month, life... But every day, she screamed and screamed and screamed. I was convinced, though, that giving her formula would certainly make it worse. As I mentioned on another thread, one day, by accident, I discovered something that worked for her. The vaccum cleaner! I came to realize that she was simply overstimulated from everything going on around her and she was unable to calm herself down. The extremely loud, monotonous tone of the vaccum cleaner mesmerized her. She would stop screaming in an instant. Her screams were obviously not caused from any sort of pain, just overstimulation. We used the vaccum cleaner at least once every day to get her to sleep. Finally, after realizing that we were going to ruin the vaccum by running it so often, I found a CD called "For Crying Out Loud" online. It was a lifesaver! We still play it at night while she sleeps to provide some white noise to block out all of the other noises of the house. Other things that we found helped calm her screaming were swaddling, bouncing, walking, humming, ssshhhhing (very loudly). Hope some of this helps!
    ~Jaden Mae 04-05-06~
    --Self-weaned at 21 months--
    ~Avery Lynne 11-27-08~
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    ~Elise June 02-12-11~
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can bf'ing cause colic?

    My DS screamed for hours every evening starting at about 2 wks old. I tried everything I could think of and nothing seemed to help. I cut many foods out of my diet and still saw no results. I read about the various theories about causes for colic, including the "immature nervous system" that a pp mentioned. To me, that makes the most sense. I don't think my DS's problem really had to do with his stomach, at least not primarily. Just as your baby, my son would refuse to nurse during this time. That is, until I learned to nurse laying down! Even though he had refused nursing in any other position, he would lay down and nurse and go to sleep. So, for several months our solution was to make sure to be home by the time the screaming usually started so that I could lay down with him and put him to bed. He did finally outgrow the colic by the time that he was about 4 months. I think that many people determine breastfeeding to be the problem because it is common to switch to formula around 3-4 months and then moms see a difference. But that is the age that colic is generally outgrown anyway. It just didn't make any sense to me that a baby would suddenly become gassy and have stomach pains at the same time every evening but not other times of the day, kwim?? Also, I've known several FF babies with horrible colic. The overstimulated nervous system theory makes much more sense to me.

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