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Is There Anything I Can Do To Help Her? ***EDIT***

Posted by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 11:32 AM
  • 15 Replies

 My three week old daughter is miserable. She has already been labeled by her pedi as colicky, but I'm not ready to settle for letting her grow out of it and continue hurting. She bursts into painful screams, arching her back, kicking her legs and whimpering. These events happen at random times day and night. For the last two days, it's been nearly constant. I can hear tons of gas in her belly that coincides with some of the screaming. She does have GER and is taking Zantac; it makes her reflux less painful, but she is still in agony. 

Does anyone have any advice? I've tried Mylican drops and Gripe Water. They seem to help sometimes, but I'm looking for a better solution. We are at our wit's end and need help. I've started to just cry along with her. 

ETA: If I try eliminating dairy, do I have to cut out all hidden dairy products in addition to the obvious (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc...)? If she has a protein sensitivity and not an allergy, will cutting the obvious dairy make a difference, or do I need to treat this like a dairy allergy from the start? She hasn't had any green, mucusy, or bloody stools. She does have lots of congestion like symptoms.

by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 11:32 AM
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Replies (1-10):
dhiannian
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Try cutting out obvious dairy from your diet, it's worth a try and might actually be part of the problem.

ETA http://www.babiesonline.com/articles/baby/eightsignsmilkallergy.asp

Does this sound like your baby?

WilliamsMama08
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 11:34 AM

What is your diet like?  Are you getting good burbs in after feedings?

gdiamante
by Gina on Feb. 9, 2011 at 11:35 AM

What you describe is a reaction to forceful letdown. If Zantac isn';t helping, it;s not GERD.

Follopw the regimen below TO THE LETTER.

 

Home > Breastfeeding > Got Milk? Milk Supply Issues

Forceful Let-down (Milk Ejection Reflex) & Oversupply

By Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC

 Is forceful let-down the problem?

Does your baby do any of these things?

  • Gag, choke, strangle, gulp, gasp, cough while nursing as though the milk is coming too fast
  • Pull off the breast often while nursing
  • Clamp down on the nipple at let-down to slow the flow of milk
  • Make a clicking sound when nursing
  • Spit up very often and/or tend to be very gassy
  • Periodically refuse to nurse
  • Dislike comfort nursing in general

If some of this sounds familiar to you, you probably have a forceful let-down. This is often associated with too much milk (oversupply). Some mothers notice that the problems with fast letdown or oversupply don't start until 3-6 weeks of age. Forceful let-down runs the gamut from a minor inconvenience to a major problem, depending upon how severe it is and how it affects the nursing relationship.

 

What can I do about it?

There are essentially two ways you can go about remedying a forceful let-down: (1) help baby deal with the fast flow and (2) take measures to adjust your milk supply down to baby's needs. Since forceful let-down is generally a byproduct of oversupply, most moms will be working on both of these things. It may take a couple of weeks to see results from interventions for oversupply, so try to be patient and keep working on it.

Help baby deal with the fast milk flow

  • Position baby so that she is nursing "uphill" in relation to mom's breast, where gravity is working against the flow of milk. The most effective positions are those where baby's head and throat are above the level of your nipple. Some nursing positions to try:
    • Cradle hold, but with mom leaning back (a recliner or lots of pillows helps)
    • Football hold, but with mom leaning back
    • Elevated football hold - like the football hold, but baby is sitting up and facing mom to nurse instead of lying down (good for nursing in public).
    • Side lying position - this allows baby to dribble the extra milk out of her mouth when it's coming too fast
    • Australian position (mom is "down under", aka posture feeding) - in this position, mom is lying on her back and baby is on top (facing down), tummy to tummy with mom. Avoid using this positioning frequently, as it may lead to plugged ducts.
  • Burp baby frequently if she is swallowing a lot of air.
  • Nurse more frequently. This will reduce the amount of milk that accumulates between feedings, so feedings are more manageable for baby.
  • Nurse when baby is sleepy and relaxed. Baby will suck more gently at this time, and the milk flow will be slower.
  • Wait until let-down occurs, then take baby off the breast while at the same time catching the milk in a towel or cloth diaper. Once the flow slows, you can put your baby back to the breast.
  • Pump or hand express until the flow of milk slows down, and then put baby to the breast. Use this only if nothing else is working, as it stimulates additional milk production. If you do this, try to express a little less milk each time until you are no longer expressing before nursing.

Adjust your supply to better match baby's needs

  • If baby is gaining weight well, then having baby nurse from only one breast per feeding can be helpful.
    • If baby finishes nursing on the first side and wants to continue nursing, just put baby back onto the first side.
    • If the second side becomes uncomfortable, express a little milk until you're more comfortable and then use cool compresses - aim for expressing less milk each time until you are comfortable without expressing milk.
  • Avoid extra breast stimulation, for example, unnecessary pumping, running the shower on your breasts for a long time or wearing breast shells.
  • Between feedings, try applying cool compresses to the breast (on for 30 minutes, off for at least an hour). This can discourage blood flow and milk production.
  • If nursing one side per feeding is not working after a week or so, try keeping baby to one side for a certain period of time before switching sides. This is called block nursing.
    • Start with 2-3 hours and increase in half-hour increments if needed.
    • Do not restrict nursing at all, but any time that baby needs to nurse simply keep putting baby back to the same side during that time period.
    • If the second side becomes uncomfortable, express a little milk until you're more comfortable and then use cool compresses - aim for expressing less milk each time until you are comfortable without expressing milk.
    • In more extreme cases, mom may need to experiment a bit with time periods over 4 hours to find the amount of time per breast that works best.
  • Additional measures that should only be used for extreme cases of oversupply include cabbage leaf compresses and herbs.

Even if these measures do not completely solve the problem, many moms find that their abundant supply and fast let-down will subside, at least to some extent, by about 12 weeks (give or take a bit). At this point, hormonal changes occur that make milk supply more stable and more in line with the amount of milk that baby needs.

Sometimes babies of moms with oversupply or fast let-down get very used to the fast flow and object when it normally slows somewhere between 3 weeks to 3 months. Even though your let-down may not be truly slow, it can still seem that way to baby. See Let-down Reflex: Too Slow? for tips.

 

Page last modified: 03/29/2010
Written: 05/18/2001


 Additional Information

Too Much Milk? by Becky Flora, IBCLC

Oversupply by Kathy Kuhn, IBCLC

Tips for taming a monster milk supply by Kathy Kuhn, IBCLC

Gaining, Gulping, and Grimacing? by Diane Wiessinger, MS, IBCLC

Oversupply: Too Much Milk by Anne Smith, IBCLC

Colic in the Breastfed Baby by Jack Newman MD, FRCPC

Finish the First Breast First by Melissa Vickers (LEAVEN, September-October 1995, p. 69-71)

Overactive Let-Down: Consequences and Treatments by Mary Jozwiak (from LEAVEN, September-October 1995, pp. 71-72)

Common Side Effects of an Overactive Let-Down by Mary Jozwiak (from LEAVEN, September-October 1995, p. 69)

Too Much of a Good Thing by Kate Drzycimski, from New Beginnings Vol. 19 No. 9, July-August 2002, p. 129.

PDF Resolution of Lactose Intolerance and “Colic” in Breastfed Babies by Robyn Noble & Anne Bovey, presented at the ALCA Vic (Melbourne) Conference on the 1st November, 1997

mss119
by Bronze Member on Feb. 9, 2011 at 11:37 AM

I would try cutting out major allergens.  I was told to start with dairy, and sure enough, DD2 is allergic to milk, fish, and shellfish.  Feel free to ask me for any tips about going dairy-free, if you decide to do so.

gdiamante
by Gina on Feb. 9, 2011 at 11:38 AM

**nodding** Dairy is my other thought. Google "living dairy free" for diets to follow.

MomToAyla743
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 1:55 PM

BUMP!

MomToAyla743
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 1:58 PM

BUMP!

maggiemom2000
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 2:05 PM
I agree with g that forceful letdown is the most likely culprit.

If you are going to eliminate dairy you need to get it 100% out of your diet, including those hidden sources. Know that it can take up to 2 weeks to get it completely out of your system/breast milk.

Three weeks old is a very common "fussy" time for babies.

Really good info to help you figure out what is going on at http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/gassybaby.html
shortyali
by Alicia on Feb. 9, 2011 at 2:35 PM
If it is dairy, it actually takes a month to be put of your system not 2 weeks.

Quoting maggiemom2000:

I agree with g that forceful letdown is the most likely culprit.



If you are going to eliminate dairy you need to get it 100% out of your diet, including those hidden sources. Know that it can take up to 2 weeks to get it completely out of your system/breast milk.



Three weeks old is a very common "fussy" time for babies.



Really good info to help you figure out what is going on at http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/gassybaby.html
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melindabelcher
by mel on Feb. 9, 2011 at 2:37 PM

i would definetly cut out *all* dairy products and products that contain dairy (for now) and then once things settle down and her tummy is all better, you could try adding something that contains dairy and see what happens, but to start i'd say get rid of it all.

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