Feeding the Gremlin

Feeding Max has become a bit of a nightmare lately.

For whatever reason he has decided that breast-feeding makes him cranky. Ungrateful baby if you ask me!

So far I haven't really been able to work out if there is any pattern to his fussing. And when I say fussing I mean him arching his back, throwing his head back and screaming at the top of his lungs. Sometimes he does it in the morning when I have way too much milk, sometimes it is at the start of a feed when my let down happens, other times it is towards the end of a feed when there isn't much milk coming out and other times it is two or three minutes into a feed and seems to be for no reason at all. Aghhhhh.

We have been to the early feeding clinic, I've phoned the Australian Breast Feeding Association, I've been to a GP and seen the paedeatrition. They have all come up with various ideas on why he is fussing (except for the GP who practically ignored me). A blocked nose, silent reflux, not wanting to have to work for his food, my diet and kharma have all been mentioned....

The paedeatrition has given him an antacid to take twice a day and I have tried lots of other things like changing up his feeding positions (for example keeping him more upright or lying down with him), switching sides when he fusses, expressing milk first before feeding him and standing on one leg and singing whilst nursing (ok, not really, but somedays I am tempted to try anything).

So far I have only found two options that seem to work. The first is feeding him expressed milk from a bottle. It doesn't seem to matter if we feed him the bottle sitting up or lying on his back, he will take it and feed like a champion. At first I was expressing by hand, but that got really tiring. So we went out and bought a Medela Swing Breast Pump. It works like a charm! The second thing that works is if we let him scream for about twenty minutes (on and off while we try to comfort him). This seems to really tire him out and afterwards he will feed without complaining. It's hard doing it this way though, it makes my heart feel like it is breaking into a million pieces.

I am starting to think that there isn't really any reason for his screaming. Maybe he is just a fussy little man.

In the meantime I am trying to nurse him each time he gets hungry and if he refuses or screams too much I switch to a bottle.

I hope he grows out of it soon.

T xx


BUSH BABE said...

Oh I DO feel for you. My Dash and I battled for a while before we nailed the problem - of course it was a pretty big problem with very different symptoms to your little man. My only advice is to seek more advice till you are happy with the result - Mother's instinct will tell you when you are on track.

One thought: Have you tried lying him at a different angle (maybe where he is propped up and not flat)?? Just wondering if it is some kind of discomfort while feeding like reflux, it might make it harder for the milk to return on him.

Poor little darling - so hard when they cannot just TELL you what the problem is. Hugs.

Sean said...

You forgot to write about the "for sale - 1 baby" part ;)

Tamsyn said...

Sean - I know it's tempting, but we are NOT selling the baby!

BB - thanks for the tip, I have tried out a few positions, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I think that's why it's so hard to pinpoint a problem, his screaming and fussing seems to be so random. I'm sure we'll get there in the end though :)

Bec said...

Oh poo on that GP! So many doctors ignore feeding problems - particularly reflux which they seem to think is just a little bit of vomiting :(

As far as antacids go, sometimes zantac works where losec doesn't and vice versa. Hell, sometimes Mylanta helps!

Erin had pretty bad reflux (still does at times) which turned silent when we tried food thickener :( I hope, whatever it is, Max grows out of it soon.

Tamsyn said...

Thanks Bec, I think he is starting to get better. I am able to bf 80% of the time now... a big improvement!