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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

after all my positive messages this one is more of a negative thought that ive been trying to push to the back of my mind..but i cant help wondering so thought id ask advice.

My baby is 5 weeks old and breastfed using a nipple shield or using expressed milk. He was diagnosed at the hospital with breastfeeding jaundice (a type of jaundice that can take up to 3 months to fade due to something in the mothers milk). However i was assured it would not harm him and to continue.

Now my worry is that his early painful wind symptoms changed in silent reflux symptoms. He has been prescribed infant gaviscon which worked for a few days but now he seems to be worse. Im just so tired. All he wants to do is feed..constantly to sooth the burning of his consant reflux. At night we get no sleep even tho he is on a wedge he just groans and thrashes round his cot as he repeatedly chokes on his acid. Then he cries for hours. The only thing that will stop him crying is to breastfeed (which is becoming exhausting) or to hold him in an upright position on my chest (fine in the day but not during the night). I keep wondering if my breastmilk is contributing to the reflux... just like it was my milk that caused the jaundice. Would he be better and happier on formula? I only want to do whats best for him.

Any ideas?

Eli x
 

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Hi hun

didn't want to read and run but dont really have any words of wisdom

my dd was jaundice for approx 14 days and they said it was down to bf'ing which was normal so can relate to that but we never had any ongoing problems

however i do have a few formula feeding mummies who's babies had terrible reflux so i really dont think bf'ing can make it any worse and if anything you are probably helping your lo deal with the discomfort by letting him suckle, also he might be having a growth spurt which is why he wants to feed more at the moment

i only used gaviscon a few times but was told by friends that many give up in the first few days as it appears to not be working, they said you have have to build it up fo it to be effective so maybe persevere with it for a while longer but please go back to your gp or hv if things dont improve honey, its so hard not being able to help them....bless him

hope that helps a little

love
Suze xx
 

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Hello there,

So sorry to hear of your troubles. You must be absolutely exhausted  ^hugme^

I don't have any words of wisdom either I'm afraid but I know that on the Health Issues board there is a Reflux Support thread. I expect the ladies on there might be able to help you.

I hope things improve for you and your little boy very soon.

Take care,

Sal x
 

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Hi! Sending you a million hugs.  ^hugme^  To answer your question, no. Breastmilk doesn't make silent reflux worse. Breastmilk is thinner than formula, and in the past formula was recommended as being thicker it stays down better. However now the thought is that while formula stays down better, when it does come up it does more damage to the throat and vocal chords as it sticks to them a lot worse.
I Know exactly what you're going through as had the same with M.She was a horrendous feeder, destroyed my nipples in the first day and within a few days it was clear something was not right. She'd sleep on the breast and scream the second we put her down. I was soooooooooooooooooooo exhausted that I still get a physical ache when I even think back on it now. We have a wonderful paed who made some recommendations and while I can't say that it went away, things did improve no end.
Basically a lot of his suggestions were common sense and you seem to be following them already ie keep upright as much as possible, and always for at least 20 mins after a feed. Do not pat/thump on the back to burp but rather use a gently upward only 'massage' from the middle the back towards the neck, use a wedge in the cot/pram etc to tilt with head above the abdomen, also feed keeping bottom lower down than the head. What we did was get a 'from birth' bouncer which she spent a lot of time in as it kept her entertained, upright and relatively happy. Before we did these things she barely slept 5 or 6 hours out of 24!!!! ARGH! Not to mention that feeding lying down in bed together was a big no no so I didn't even get to 'rest' that way.
I expressed a lot of her feeds as did find she fed more and better from a bottle (we used the TT CTN ones) and we used nipple shields otherwise until I weaned her off them at 10 or 11 weeks or so. I sadly found that most breastfeeding experts I tried to consult blamed everything on the nipple shields when I just KNEW it wasn't that. I found that as long as baby is gaining weight, they didn't really look beyond that. Of course she gained weight. She fed NON STOP! I think I spent the whole of June 2008 on the couch! I persisted with the breastfeeding because frankly I was aware that giving her bottles/formula wasn't going to make it go away. Our paed then recommended weaning her relatively early. In this country they're very strict about 6 months of no solids but we got the go-ahead when M was 4 1/2 months and we had regular assessments and were pretty much told exactly what to feed her. I know how hard it is when you're waaay beyond being merely sleep deprived. I so envied other mums whose babies slept through from a few weeks old. In the end I breastfed her till she was just past 8 months, and never regretted it. She was NEVER sick. Her cousins would get colds/cough/flu/ear infections etc etc all the time and she never had a sniffle.
However, I do know how hard it is. AND our wonderful doc made one important observation which allowed me to hold on to my sanity and let me know it would be ok whatever I did. He reminded me that food is just ONE of a baby's requirements. A baby also needs sleep (which M wasn't getting) and a sane and happy mummy. I think I went to the brink of suicidal with M!! So yes, it can be terrible and having breastfed a 'normal' feeder I can honestly say that if you haven't been through it there's no way you can begin to understand it. J was a good feeder. It certainly wasn't problem free or plain sailing but compared to M it was nothing. Dealing with J as a newborn plus M at 20 months was easier by far than our first 3 or 4 months with M. But it WILL pass, and a few months down the line you'll probably look back on this time and shudder (well I DO! ;D ) but it does pass. Before you know it. Here's a few more hugs.  ^hugme^ You deserve a big gold medal and if you feel like you're cracking under the pressure, don't be too hard on yourself if you resort to a bottle of formula. At the end of the day you need to rest and recuperate too.
Hugs!!!!!!!
X
 

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Firstly, it won't be your milk that is causing the reflux, reflux is the result of a valve not being fully developed yet so your LO would get it whether on formula or breastmilk - if anything, I would imagine he'd be worse on formula as it's harder to digest.

There are several things you can do to help such as raising one end of the cot/crib and winding him after feeds, but definitely jump onto the reflux suppor thread as the ladies there will have more suggestions - http://www.fertilityfriends.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=169131.0.

With the jaundice, I know with 'normal' jaundice sunlight can help and I was told to put dd in/near the window so she got as much as she could.

Also, as Suze says, babies tend to have a growth spurt somewhere around the 6 week mark so this may well be contributing to his constant feeding at the moment. I know it's tough but go with it as much as you can - can you feed lying down so you can both rest?

Sorry this is a bit rushed!

Chux xx
 

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My little boy now 2y 8m also sufferd really bad with silent reflux. I can tottaly relate to how you are feeling as will many others on here. My lo wouldn't breast feed he was born sucking his gums. I did try for a while but had to give up. He cryed 22 hours a day for 3m it drove me mad. As the others have said when winding don't pat just rub up. Make sure he is as upright as you can get him. Sorry I'm not much help re the breast feeding but with reflux your meant to feed little and often. My lo was also put on solid food around 4m ish from advice from our gp. The gaviscon didn't work over night but it did help him in the end.

I hope you have lots of family and friends to support you. Good look and I hope he picks up soon and you both get well needed rest

Kelli

Xxxxxxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks ladies,

I have been taking your advice regarding the ways to help a reflux baby and things do seem to have improved. I have kept up with the gaviscon too and last night we had a normal night of very little reflux and he has slept most of the day too (catching up no doubt). Hope it doesnt come back tonight I cant cope with constant sleepless nights.

Bikergirl u sounded like u really went through it..well done for keeping up the breast feeding throughout as its so tough when u have so little sleep...complete lack of energy etc.

As for the bf I have given formula at night just to give me a break as i was so exhausted. Feeling much better today tho and going to continue bf as before. I am also taking another shot at losing the nipple shield as im sure that is making his reflux worse. I managed well last night and he took to it like a pro..i even wondered if he had been practicing elsewhere  ^idiot^

However today he was a tad viscious and Ive got a nasty mark on my nipple where he was digging his gums in. Because he is used to the shield he sometimes latches on and i cant get him off..he holds on to my nipple for dear life and im sure he actually growled at me today as i tried to release myself!! ;D  But we shall keep trying  :)

Elixxx
 
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