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Not seeing the light at the end of the breastfeeding tunnel...

post #1 of 3
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My 9 week old baby decided to arrive a whole month early - he was slightly jaundice and a little slow to gain back his birth weight (although I think the scales were off, but that is a different story), but other than that he was healthy. The pediatrician put a lot of pressure on me to supplement in order to get my baby back to birth weight - so I started pumping and bottle feeding. My baby had a great latch from the start and in my opinion was doing well breastfeeding until I introduced the bottle when he was only 3 days old (I realize now that I could have/should have tried other things first but I was a wreck those first few weeks trying to get my baby to gain weight).

2 LC's and a nipple shield later and my baby was back to nursing but was a very "lazy" eater - he would fall asleep at the breast almost as soon as he latched on and I would have to move on to the bottle. I came down with mastitis at week 3 and that is the week that my baby actually started feeding a little better and falling asleep less (which I've read is typical of a pre-term baby). We were making small progress since then (he would nurse for longer periods of time) but a couple weeks ago (week 6) he started crying and arching his back during feedings - both bottle and boob. He'll then be extremely fussy/crying until he falls asleep and we repeat the cycle all over again.

He has a bit of silent reflux (rarely spits up) and I'm thinking that this is what is bothering him - but the crying/screaming doesn't happen at every feeding (is this usually the case?). We've tried a chiropractor, Colic Calm, gripe water, keeping him upright for half an hour after feedings, nursing upright, extensive burpings - I cut out dairy at week 1 and I'm in the process of eliminating other gassy foods. We even ordered a tucker sleep wedge, but I must say that he is typically a very calm nighttime baby and rarely cries during the night. Today he actually cried real tears and it was a screaming painful kind of cry when I tried nursing him. I think we've exhausted all of the more natural options and need to move on to reflux meds - if that is what this even is?!

I just feel so bad for my baby. Has anyone experienced anything like this? If you put your baby on meds, did breastfeeding improve? My goal is to exclusively breastfeed (and to burn my pump parts) but I'm not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel at the moment. I'm starting to doubt my body's ability to give him what he needs - he cries with my milk. Lately I've been in absolute tears while pumping because of all of this.

Sorry this is so long winded, I just needed to vent/purge to someone! Any advice/suggestions are appreciated.
post #2 of 3
It does sound reflux-y. Both my kids had silent reflux with the crying and arching during feeds. I'm not a huge advocate of medication, but for reflux, it's very safe and effective and keeps your LO from being in pain. I'd strongly suggest giving medication a trial for a week and seeing how it goes. Zantac is the most common and is almost always effective (at least for a while), but some kids need Prevacid. So if the Zantac doesn't work and you still suspect reflux, ask to trial Prevacid.

My daughter got worse on Zantac but was completely fine on Prevacid. For my son, the Zantac was effective for about a month, then we had to switch him to Prevacid.

Good luck!
post #3 of 3
As the mom of 2 preemies (one who had reflux) I'm really hoping I can give you some advice. I ignored several doctor's recommendations to supplement. Best choice I ever made. I'd take him in to have him checked for reflux. If it's severe, they'll actually do a barium test. My daughter was on prilosec for a year... after the zantac didn't work. My second recommendation is the most important (though I suppose you should keep in mind that as experienced as I am at this particular situation, I am no doctor) STOP THE BOTTLES. No bottles of formula especially. But not even breastmilk. You're allowing him to be lazy. Without a fall back option, your son should become a champion nurser. Especially if you get him some zantac.
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