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Please help! Undiagnosed reflux, baby won't breastfeed, low supply pumping! What do I DO?!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My DS was nursing great for 2 1/2 months... then he started fussing and would not eat well, from breast or bottle. This went on for 10 days until his weight gain was so bad we had to go to the hospital for tests. They found out it was silent reflux (GER) and started him on medication. He has gotten better at eating now from a bottle only - he won't nurse because he associates that with pain. He'll eat pumped milk from a bottle, but because I wasn't pumping consistently during the 10 day reflux period, my milk supply is so low and can't keep up with him when I pump. Today I tried giving him formula and he cried and wouldn't eat it because he has only been breast fed until now. 

 

I am pumping every 2 hours but he finishes that and cries like he's still hungry. I try breast feeding and he cries immediately. I am drinking mother's milk tea and am also taking Fenugreek seed capsules to help boost supply, but I still only produce about 2 ounces total. 

 

I am so frustrated and out of ideas....... Please help! mecry.gif

post #2 of 8

I had the same problem with my second baby. She nursed just fine for about two months and then quit nursing because of silent reflux. She never went back to the breast so I had to pump and feed. (I actually had to do this for all three of my babies for different reasons).

 

To increase your supply make sure you are pumping every two hours (at least until your supply increases, then you can space it out some more). If you pump an extra 5 minutes or so after the flow stops you will often tap into some reserve milk (I used to get an additional 2-3 ounces) and not only will you get the reserve milk but you will increase your supply because tapping into this reserve tells your body that the baby is not getting enough. Also, try something called cluster pumping. About twice per day pump right away only an hour after the last session. This too will tell your body that the baby is not getting enough and it will increase your supply. Lastly, make sure you are pumping in the wee hours of the morning when your supply is highest (4 - 6 am was always when I got the most milk). And don't go more than 4-6 hours without pumping, even overnight. 

 

I know this is exhausting but it will be worth it. I increased my supply from about 20 ounces per day to over 50 ounces per day by doing these things. So I was able to freeze half of what I pumped so I could quit pumping at about six months.

 

Here's a website that may help you with reflux questions. infantreflux dot org  

 

Does the medicine seem to be helping?

post #3 of 8

I'm wondering if your babies have been checked for posterior (submucosal) tongue tie. That turned out to be our problem, Miles fed fine the first month or so, but I kept getting yeast infections, which turned out to be due to damage he was doing. When he was awake, he nursed okay, but not great, and when he was tired but not asleep, or needed to burp, or was distracted, his latch fell apart and he would compress my nipple into a "lipstick" shape. I felt like I was shoving the boob into his mouth with both hands to get him deeper, and his spitting up (almost nonexistent early on) kept getting worse and worse. My gut says that he was growing really fast and the frenulum which wasn't too tight at birth just kept getting more and more restrictive, not growing with the rest of him. 

 

It was hard to find a practitioner nearby who had experience with "hidden" tongue tie, but we drove a couple hours and the doctor snipped the tie and breastfeeding got better, but not instantly and not consistently. I had to do a lot of stretching exercises, even after it healed, and he really managed to traumatize my nipples a couple more times. 

 

The reflux is a red flag, and frustration at the breast. 

 

I have a TON of experience with breastfeeding, and thought his tongue was just fine because it was not heart-shaped. But if I tried to put a finger under it, I literally could not get it under there, it was held so tight to the bottom of his mouth, and so he couldn't and wouldn't bring his tongue forward very far.

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenrose View Post

I'm wondering if your babies have been checked for posterior (submucosal) tongue tie. That turned out to be our problem, Miles fed fine the first month or so, but I kept getting yeast infections, which turned out to be due to damage he was doing. When he was awake, he nursed okay, but not great, and when he was tired but not asleep, or needed to burp, or was distracted, his latch fell apart and he would compress my nipple into a "lipstick" shape. I felt like I was shoving the boob into his mouth with both hands to get him deeper, and his spitting up (almost nonexistent early on) kept getting worse and worse. My gut says that he was growing really fast and the frenulum which wasn't too tight at birth just kept getting more and more restrictive, not growing with the rest of him. 

 

It was hard to find a practitioner nearby who had experience with "hidden" tongue tie, but we drove a couple hours and the doctor snipped the tie and breastfeeding got better, but not instantly and not consistently. I had to do a lot of stretching exercises, even after it healed, and he really managed to traumatize my nipples a couple more times. 

 

The reflux is a red flag, and frustration at the breast. 

 

I have a TON of experience with breastfeeding, and thought his tongue was just fine because it was not heart-shaped. But if I tried to put a finger under it, I literally could not get it under there, it was held so tight to the bottom of his mouth, and so he couldn't and wouldn't bring his tongue forward very far.

I was thinking posterior tongue tie too...

post #5 of 8

Just a thought but reflux can flare after vaccination or illness.

post #6 of 8

Have you ruled out any reactions froom the food you eat?  Mine gets silent reflux symptoms (doc wanted to put him on zantac) whenever I eat dairy, eggs, or tomatoes.  Too much foremilk can also cause this.

post #7 of 8

Just keep pumping every 2 hours and every 4 hours overnight. Keep up the herbs to, although you might need to use more. Try Breastea from http://www.breastea.com it has worked great for me.
 

post #8 of 8

Some thoughts

  • Rent a hospital grade pump
  • Do massage before pumping - go to google and search Marmet technique
  • A 3 month old should only be fed about 4 oz by bottle at a time for it to stay down
  • Frequent small feeds are better for a baby with reflux
  • You aren't a mind reader and don't that he associates breastfeeding with pain
  • Why would breastfeeding cause pain?
  • He probably won't nurse because he has been bottle feeding (we know this is a risk factor)
  • Babies don't eat formula because it tastes awful - try it!
  • Pumping 2 oz at a time is good!
  • At www.kellymom.com you can find lots of info including how much milk your baby needs a day
  • You can call La Leche League and get free phone help
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