A question about Breastfeeding

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KET_2010's picture
Joined: 08/13/11
Posts: 1737
A question about Breastfeeding

Okay I am pretty much a first time strictly breast feeding/milk mom. With DD1 I was discouraged about the nurse in L&D and DD1 had a hard time latching and I mainly just wanted to pump (only did it twice a day, shame on me lol) and fed her formula (partly because it was easier...shame on me again!) With DD2 I pumped a lot more and she also had trouble latching for the first few weeks and then after DH went to boot camp I was uncomfortable breast pumping at his brother's house and such so I quit and just went to formula. Anyway...

So Desmond latches pretty good (once he gets on the nipple ha!) and he nurses for about 15 minutes before he falls asleep (and man that kid sleeps hard!). Sometimes he nurses for longer (last night was 45 minutes). However, when he's trying to get it he seems to be also sucking a lot of air when on the nipple. Is that normal? He seems to be pretty gassy and you can tell it hurts him because that's when he really screams.

Last night was DH's first night with Desmond and he was awesome! Of course he can't help with feedings yet because I hadn't started pumping (I did this morning) and so after I would feed him, he would get mad because of all the air, and DH would pace around with him patting him to get all the burps out (and he had a lot...farts hurt him too).

Des was up at least every hour for the first few hours because of this (eating for about 15 minutes, falling asleep, then screaming because of gas pains). Finally we put a firm pillow propped up in his pack n play and he seemed to do better that way instead of flat on his back. After that he got up once more because he had pooped (and DH has done all but one diaper! Seriously, he's being so awesome!) and then after swaddling him and bouncing him, Des went back to sleep.

Is it normal for babies to get so gassy when they first begin breastfeeding? DD2 was real gassy but it was farts and constipation because she couldn't handle Similac formula (DH's whole side of the family can't handle that brand...weird huh?) and of course that was the brand the hospital used.

Is it something I should bring up with the dr about or will he outgrow sucking all the air in? I partly think that he gets air because he's gulping from the breast so quickly but I dunno if that's possible.

Joined: 01/16/07
Posts: 951

I don't remember E being gassy until 2-3mths, do you see an opening where he's not fully latched? Try tilting his head a bit and when he opens up push him right on (haha sounds funny but basically shove the whole boob in there). I think it should be a pretty good "seal"

do you have lactation consultants? I would def bring it up and get help sooner than later so you don't get frustrated esp if taking bottle is easier for him
GL

jhj
Joined: 08/06/11
Posts: 360

It can never hurt to check with the doctor, but from what I remember with my daughter, the first couple days while she was learning and I was learning and the milk was still coming in, she was getting alot of air too. Also, her digestive tract is still getting used to having the rich colostrum, so it could just be that it is taking a couple days to get up and running!

Hope everything settles soon,
Heather

Joined: 06/15/11
Posts: 611

How long is he going between feedings. I agree with what LJ said try to get more of your BB in his mouth it should be a very tight seal.

mommyof1.5's picture
Joined: 08/06/07
Posts: 897

I was pretty insistent on BF exclusively with my first two (although my first DD absolutely refused to latch on correctly), and I remember having problems latching at first. If you have to go several attempts to latch on, and the baby is trying to suck when not fully latched, you'll have that problem for sure. It could also be other things, but hopefully that helps!

KET_2010's picture
Joined: 08/13/11
Posts: 1737

I go in tomorrow for consultaion I think. They made me an appt at the breast care clinic on base. When he's fed this morning he seems to have gotten not as much air, but I'm also producing a lot more (I can feel it, plus I pumped about an ounce out in 5-10 minutes and still was able to feed him a good feeding (at least 20 minutes) and I figure the ounce is pretty good for giving birth 48 hours ago. Plus I can feel my boobs getting fuller.

I do shove a lot of boob in his mouth and I actually feel like I'm going to suffocate him lol. At the hospital when I breast fed they did check when I was feeding to see how he latched and they said he had a good latch (this was also after his first feeding, so we didn't know about the gulping and gas stuff yet).

His last two feedings he seemed better afterwards. But I'll ask the dr tomorrow! Thanks!

AnnaRO's picture
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033

Are you producing a lot of milk? If you're sure his latch is still fine then it could be just that you have a strong letdown. When I was at the hospital with DD 'they' checked the latch and proclaimed it good, but I knew it wasn't because it hurt so bad to nurse her. It took us a good week or more to get to where she had a decent latch and it was a constant struggle for us. Another issue we had was that I had major overproduction issues and that caused her to be quite gassy. DD screamed non-stop for nearly the first 4 months of her life, but it worked out and we ended up BFing until she was nearly 11 months old, when my supply severely tanked after getting pg again.

It could be a variety of issues, and it could be that he's simply just gassy or colicky. You could try gripe water to see if that helps or gas drops. Stick with the BFing though because it's totally worth it and so much cheaper than formula, not to mention better for him. Also, babies tend to swallow more air with formula feeding than with breastfeeding so I'd worry that formula would make his gas issues worse. I hope the people at the clinic can give you some great advice.

KET_2010's picture
Joined: 08/13/11
Posts: 1737

DH is going to go out today to get gas drops. He couldn't find it yesterday when he went. He went to the baby section and didn't see it. It was with all the regular medicine though. Anyway, so far I think I have a good supply. I feel real confident this time around, esp with DH encouraging me and being as great as he has been about it (although he really wants me to pump too so he can help feed at night).

Could it be that because I wasn't producing as much as I am now that he was also getting air when he sucked? It's only painful when he first latches and begins to nurse, but then it doesn't hurt (unless he loses his latch and sucks on it wrong lol).

jhj
Joined: 08/06/11
Posts: 360

I doubt that they sell gripe water with alcohol in it, but they used to... so I'd just double check the labels!

Heather

KET_2010's picture
Joined: 08/13/11
Posts: 1737

I think the gripe water I've seen says "Infants" on it. Plus the only time I've ever seen it was in the medicine aisle. I never even knew it could have alcohol in it!

jhj
Joined: 08/06/11
Posts: 360

When it does have alcohol, it is a small small amount, but still, worth checking, because it was gripe water for infants with alcohol. No wonder the baby calmed down! Also, I've heard that the sodium bicarbonate in them can be a problem too. I was given a bottle of gripe water with one of the little guys we cared for and it did have ethyl alcohol (or ethanol... can't remember now...) and that was only a couple of years ago. US regulations might be different.

Heather

jolly11sd's picture
Joined: 02/02/05
Posts: 3327

Totally have them help you check his latch. He shouldn't be sucking in air if he is latched on right. And get as much boob in there as possible. Gas can also be from the foods you eat so just eat cautiously until you figure out what it is. Sometimes diary, beans, certain veggies, ect., can cause gas for LOs when you eat them. Also he is only a few days old so his system is way new and maybe is just adjusting to processing everything. DS1 was gassy for me but not until at least 2 months and we used gripe water then. Plus I totally noticed it more when he used a bottle with BM or Formula. DS2 has never been gassy, or needed to be burped even, and he was EBF and is still nursing.

PsycheGal's picture
Joined: 12/07/08
Posts: 768

I agree, it could be the latch but it could also be what you are eating - foods that can cause baby gas usually include dairy, gluten, soy, and other gas producing veggies. Your let down may also be strong, or baby is swallowing the air he breathes in before gulping down. Find a LLL consultant in your area if you don't see an improvement. Could just be baby getting the hang of it.

Basically exactly everything everyone else already said LOL

GarlicBreath's picture
Joined: 09/12/06
Posts: 488

I have some experience with peer breastfeeding counseling so I'm going to throw some stuff out here...here are my top thoughts.

1) As everyone else said, the latch! He should be getting a lot of the areola in his mouth. YOu might need to put your finger in front of his nose to make sure he can breathe. Unlatch him if he starts to gulp. See if you can express some milk on the tip of your nipple so he'll have a start.
2) Another thought would be to try different nursing positions. He might have more success if he nurses sitting up, so he's not fighting gravity. This is a good position for babies that have reflux as well.
3) I like the strong let-down suggestion also, if you feel like your letdown is strong (does the milk shoot out?). It's very possible he's pulling off becuase he can't handle the amount of milk and so he's gulping extra air

Regarding the dietary changes, and a sensitivity to something in your diet, IMO this is a possibility, but not as likely as the simplest explanation--which is that he is figuring out how to nurse. I'd give it a week of focusing on the latch and trying different positions before I started making major dietary changes (because that is a huge PITA!). Also, I wouldn't mess with gripe water or anything like that so early...

Just make sure that he's getting enough wet diapers every day and he's satisfied after feedings. Smile

KET_2010's picture
Joined: 08/13/11
Posts: 1737

Shew my milk has officially been coming in today! I felt it throughout the day and I pumped 3x and nursed him to be a happy baby! Since that he seems to not gulp so much. I also did try sitting him up more when he eats and he seems to like that better.

I'm still going to ask the dr tomorrow at the appt just to make sure he is latching good. I'm really enjoying breastfeeding so far! Plus I've pumped about an hour after nursing and each time I've gotten about 2 ounces so hopefully I'll have a good supply!

Joined: 06/03/07
Posts: 623

I'm just catching up and it sounds like you got great advice and things are working out better for you anyway, so yay! Nothing to add but congrats on the good supply and good luck with breastfeeding. With DD, I had several difficult episodes with it, including at the beginning, but luckily was able to get through them all and it was one of the most rewarding experiences I had with my DD. I hope it continues to go well for you!