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Grunting, Pushing - Gassy?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi. I'm exclusively bf my 14 day old son and he seems to be having some problems with gas or digestion maybe.  The first week or so  he didn't seem to have too much of a problem eating, farting, pooing, etc. However, he didn't give the best burps. Now all the sudden a few days ago he started with this excessive grunting, pushing and sometimes crying a little with the exception of when it first started and he cried so bad that he couldn't be consoled.  He eventually calmed down but off to the Dr. we went anyway.  The Dr. concluded that it was most likely gas which I suspected anyway.  He basically recommended that I avoid gassy foods which I have been doing.  Unfortunately, that didn't seem to make a difference because he's grunting and pushing more now - at least a session every hour or so though it doesn't escalate to a full cry.  I tried to rub his tummy but he fusses and cries with that.  It seems like the only thing I can do that seems to calm him down is bf him or putting him on my shoulder to pat and rub his back.  

I just called the Dr. again today and she recommended Mylicon but she said that before I give him that, that I should 1st try burping him sooner and more frequently and to check on youtube for different infant massages for gassy babies.  So, I'll be giving that a try but I would still appreciate any advice any mothers with experience with gassy babies might have to offer.  thanks in advance.

post #2 of 19

What will help depends on what is causing the gas.


Infant massage should help to some extent regardless.


How is your supply? I've dealt with oversupply and that can cause that problem. Do you have any sense for where you are as far as that goes?


Also, some moms find that if they abstain from dairy it helps even more than abstaining from what you typically think of as gassy foods.


Good luck, and I hope other moms chime in with their experiences!

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your advice mamazee.
I am not engorged now but I can see how his guzzling of the over-flow of milk contributed to the problem when I was. As for my diet, I currently avoid dairy and all other gassy foods. Its strange though because when I was eating the hospital food, I ate chilli a few times, drank a chocolate milk, ate leafy greens and I didn't have a problem with him at all then. A week later and he's fussing like crazy. And even after I cut out gassy foods.
I am currently focusing on burping him better and keeping him upright enough to not allow the gas bubbles to pass beyond being burpable. I think its helping so far. As a back up plan I went to the health food store and found some gripe water which contains chamomile and some other ingredients. Its paraben free and all that fun stuff. Let's hope it works as well as the sales clerk claims. But so far it looks like I may not need it. I'm still going to research different infant massages and that sort of thing. I would still like any other advice. Like why does my son have such a hard time releasing the burps? I burp him for what seems like forever. It seems like I have to keep him upright all the time or at least have his head elevated - which kind of goes against the lay him down on his back to sleep rule.
Any advice is welcome.
post #4 of 19

Well his digestive system is very immature, and this will improve over time no matter what you do (or don't do), but I think the infant massage and gripe water might be your best options at the moment. Babies do get uncomfortable and cry. Sometimes it's more about comforting them through it than stopping it. (One of my kids was colicky.)


Also, there's the potential of reflux. One other thing to consider. But you didn't say he spits up a ton, and there's usaully quite a bit of that with reflux.

post #5 of 19

Not necessarily, mamazee. My first had reflux with hardly any spit up at all. There are 4 stages of reflux, categorized by how far the stomach contents go up the esophogus.


Mamakye, your issues sound just like mine with my first - and reflux typically starts 2 weeks after birth which makes it even more confusing to the parents. A previously happy child starts fussing, grunting and crying and it makes you wonder what you have changed.


Hope your issues are solved by now, but just wanted to get this on here incase you are still dealing with a fussy child.



post #6 of 19

Just wanted to chime in too and say that my DS started in with the grunts right around that age too. I still don't know for sure if he ever even had digestive issues or not (I had over active letdown and we halfassedly tried gas relieving stuff). The ped explained it as their core muscles are still so weak that they use other muscles (such as those involved with vocalizing) to help bear down. Sure enough, right around 3 months it abruptly stopped. He must have developed enough muscle tone by then. Thank god because he would wake himself up at night just from his own grunts.  We used to say he had the most melodramatic poops. 

post #7 of 19

Haha! That's funny illiterati. Yes, both of mine have been melodramatic poopers. lol.gif I guess the difference would be that both of my DS's didn't stop with the grunting until much much later, and sometimes the grunting was not associated with pooping. Sometimes a burp would come out, or spit up or nothing at all. Not to say that it was the reflux causing him to grunt like that, but it just seemed to coincide with the fussiness and reflux and always seemed to be immediately after eating.



post #8 of 19
Same thing is happening over here. Sometimes he burps, sometimes not. He started doing it 2 days ago and he is 18 days old. I dont think im having super fast let downs since ive just managed to rehabilitate my supply after first week drama with boobs. Dont know what causes it but hopefully he will grow out of it soon
post #9 of 19
He fusses more now. All day at each feeding. Things ease a bit during the night though.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

Sorry I haven't responded earlier.  My 5 week old and 6yo requires a lot of my time (mostly the baby..)  My situation isn't getting any better and at times its even worse.  Normally its just grunting and pushing to the point of having a puffy red face and but now its resulting in tears more often.  It seems to peak around 9pm and he cries off and on until 12am and even after that he fusses throughout the night.  Also, around this time period he seems to do this thing when he's bf-ing.  He gets all upset and starts fussing and sometimes crying while he's drinking.  Its weird.  Its like he wants to drink but doesn't. I thought that maybe he was fussing because he was trying to comfort himself to sleep by suckling but is at that overly tired point. But then I tried getting him to sleep sooner and he would fall asleep and then would keep suddenly waking up every time he doses off.  I'm so worried about him.  Between the anxiety and sleep deprivation, I feel like I'm seriously losing it.  

Also, I just want to add that I started him on a probiotic and I thought it was helping but I don't know...  He still seems so uncomfortable to the point that its waking him from sleep.  The doctors just say its his developing digestive system.  And that he has something called discoordinated stooling which I can't find ANY info on.  I'm not freaking out because a few months ago my family battled with pinworm and we treated it with Vermox - 1 dose and another 2 weeks later to eliminate the lifecycle.  We haven't had any problems since except my hemorrhoids freak me out sometimes... Sorry if this is TMI.  I'm just at the end of my rope.  I'm so worried about him that I could cry all the time and after having him at the Dr. 3 times last month with no good answers, I'm reaching out to all of you.  I just want to make my baby happy and comfortable... Please help.

post #11 of 19

Hey MamaKye, first of all hugs. I know how hard it is and especially when your sleep deprived on top of everything your precious baby is going through.


This is exactly what both my children went through. And when all the doctors said it should have been getting better, it got worse. We finally got a diagnosis of reflux from a Dr who said that spit up doesn't have to accompany reflux. So my first barely ever spit up in the beginning, but still had reflux.


Many doctors will just assume it's "colic" and treat you like an overprotective mother who is upset about missing a "few hours" of sleep. But my child was up screaming every half hour - and they thought I was exaggerating.


Heres what I suggest:

-try the elimination diet. Cut out dairy and eggs, then gluten, soy and corn.

-ask your doctor to refer you to a pediatic gatroenterologist, they will test your LO for milk protien allergy and try to rule out anything more serious

-hold you LO up for a half hour after every feeding, it really does help some

-if you can get a chance to read over my threads, you will find great advice from other moms


If they dont seem to be helping, maybe you should take him off of the probiotics for a while. I know some reflux is due to allergies and if that is the case, then the milk in the probiotics might be affecting him.


Sorry, I got to run... my DS crying :(


post #12 of 19
post #13 of 19

My son is 2 months old. He had gassy type problems from the beginning but really started crying about it just 3 weeks ago. He was diagnosed with reflux. I found an online book "The Reflux Book" that is free to read. http://www.freado.com/read/7526/the-reflux-book-a-parents-guide-to-gastroesophageal-reflux

It was good to familiarize myself with the various forms of reflux. My son does not spit up much either.  However, he wants to be held upright much of the time.  When he has been awake for awhile with tummy pain, it seems the last thing he wants is to breastfeed. At that point swaddling him and bouncing on an exercise ball in a quiet room seems to calm him down some.  Eventually after bouncing with him upright I can lower him to gently bounce as if he is about to be laid down in the crib.

About 2 weeks ago I cut out milk and wheat. A week ago I made sure I've been avoiding tree nuts, peanuts, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, soy, cabbage, broccoli, garlic, onions, & tomatoes.  From what I've read it takes 2 weeks for gas causing foods to clear from my system/milk.  Yesterday I got tired of feeling a little food deprived and had a small amount of yogurt, some almond butter, and some echinacea alchohol extract (catching a cold).  I had gas last night and so did my little guy. He was still crying this morning. This is after some really good days! So it seems that what I eat has a big impact. I would never have thought so a month ago.

Gluten and corn, as Thing1Thing2 posted, has an effect too, I think.  The list I'd found didn't mention those but I noticed rye crackers giving me gas, and corn may have really bothered my son when we went out to Mexican dinner.Either that or it was the garlic powder on the steak I had. Or both!

post #14 of 19

My son will also bounce on and off from breastfeeding when he is having tummy/gas problems. I think it's because he takes a suck or two, then feels like he has a burp.  So I let him bounce on and off. But he doesn't eat as well that way.  When we have good days based on me eating strictly well, he will have a long feed without bouncing on and off.

post #15 of 19
Im sure that mine does it in 2 cases: being overtired and wanting to fall asleep, and burping. He can only fall asleep if he is swaddled and this is what indo now.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

I've tried to reply to this thread soooo many times but baby usually requires my attention b4 i can finish.  to update, my ds is almost 2mos now and tho the grunting and pushing has calmed slightly at times, other things have worsened. The Dr. tells me that he has discoordinate stooling. i cant even find any info on the internet web but basically she tells me that beause babies dont know how to poop, baby will do a lot of pushing until things he develops more. However, since this diagnosis he's had problems with bowel movements with having gone three days without a bm.  And when he finally does go, its a few liquid explosions in a row.  but b4 he goes, he gets very upset with crying, restlessness, increased grunting and pushing until it passes. it breaks my heart bcuz sometimes he looks like he's in so much pain and i just cant believe this is suppose to be normal.  but thats what the Dr. says.  Am i overreacting?  Also, I've cut out wheat and milk products along with the typical gassy foods and there doesnt seem to be much of a difference. Also, in a recent bowel movement after a day of him not going, i noticed a few larger than usual clumps in his stool which is normally liquidy and seedy. it was a little smaller than a pea and the others even smaller varying in size. The strange part was that they were as hard as little pieces of stone. i even rubbed one thru my fingers and it eventually broke down into sandy like granules. it looked as if it was a dried up compressed clump of stool. The other tinier pieces were equally hard.  i thought to myself that this cant be normal OR comfortable to pass.  Has anyone heard of this?   

post #17 of 19

Hi MamaKye, sorry to hear that your DS is still having problems.


The hard stool is not typical for exclusively breastfed babies. My LO had this type of stool when we started him on Zantac for reflux.  If he is getting rice cereal or some other kind of nourishment other than breastmilk - it may just be constipation.


Is he still on the probiotics? If so, I would do a trial without them and see if the stool consistency improves.

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thing1thing2, I don't give him anything but breast milk and I'm trying to watch what I eat. No cereal, meds, or anything else.  I try gas drops occasionally but not often and not when he passed this hard stool.  

These pea sized stone-like pieces of stool were mixed in with a whole mess of normal liquidy yellow seedy stool. It wasn't like a typical piece of constipated stool.

I could have easily missed it except the one piece was larger than the seedy pieces in the stool.  There were other tinier hard granules mixed in as well. It just shocks me that when I picked it up and felt it, it was hard, grainy and rough like stone. Ouch....  It took a little squeezing for it to break down in between my fingers.  It was literally like a hardened clump of dirt, sand or clay. I don't know...  This is so frustrating.  I can't find anything that makes me feel at ease about this.  Thank you for your input, Thing1Thing2.  Its appreciated. 

post #19 of 19

I'm so sorry you're still having trouble with this!  My DD (6 months old now) had awful diet-related gas and colic which is just now starting to improve, and it just broke my heart.


The hard stool thing is a little bit scary--I think I would call the pediatrician (or the nurse at the pedi office) and ask for advice.  They're usually pretty good about diagnosing weird poos over the phone and can tell you when you don't need to freak out, which is a big help. :)


Otherwise, I know you said you tried an elimination diet, but here are a few more things you could think about trying to cut for a few days and see if it helps (they're all things that bother my DD):  nuts, spices (especially those made from seeds, like cumin and coriander), onions and garlic, caffeine, fruits (ANY fruits, I kid you not.  Apples give The Diarrhea of Doom), anything sour (including tomatoes)... My DD's poo consistency changed when she was having gas problems, so I'm hoping this is the only thing wrong with your baby!  The thing I did that managed to get my DD off the incessant colic was to go on the total elimination diet--all I ate for several days was meat (I think I stuck to turkey/chicken), brown rice, sweet potatoes, pears, peaches, and lettuce and carrots.  I got the list from the Sears baby book, which was quoting some other book as to the least bothersome foods.  After two or three days the colic went away.  Then I slowly started adding things back in.  It was a major pain, but worth it to stop the pained crying.

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