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LittleTadpoleDesigns 09-30-2012 07:12 PM

Screaming after nursing... :( Help??
I could really use some help from anyone who might have experienced this or similar. I"m sorry... it's going to be long... but I"ve been trying to figure this out for a while now. I've been trying to find help online but nothing seems a perfect match to the symptoms and it could be so many things that I don't know what to try first to try to help!! Here's the details...

Our little guy is 6 weeks old and EBF.
My milk came in quickly and I have plenty of it. The first two weeks he had lots of poops that were very mustard-y.
He's "fought" burps since the very beginning.
I would say that his latch is good (proper form) but not especially strong.

Things have been getting steadily worse though.

Normally, when I have letdown, I have enough milk that it will spray. I've been "block feeding" him to help him to deal with that rush of milk and because he was having really watery green poops. Since doing one breast for two whole feedings (the last week+), his poops are back to being yellow and seedy... but they are still really thin/watery.

He sometimes drops the latch to spit out milk.

If he has a gas bubble, he will "bob" at the breast and refuse to latch. If I take him away from the breast to burp him, the screaming/flailing starts.

He screams after every feeding. For at least 30 minutes... and often longer. He's sometimes have a couple minutes of calm inbetween, or he'll exhaust himself and fall asleep, but then suddenly he'll start trying again.

The screaming is accompanied by flailing and "clawing", and holding his body really stiff and straight like a board. He looks and sounds like he is in pain (which is heartbreaking!).

I've tried latching him back on after he does get a burp up... and he resists the latch. If I force him, he will latch on, drink more, and it's about 50% whether her will fall asleep at the breast then, or end up back in the cycle of screaming/flailing with more burps.

He sleeps much better on his belly than his back.
We keep him upright after feeding him for as long as possible.
He will often end up screaming in the car seat until he pukes/chokes... even when we time things so that we have at least 30 minutes since his last feeding.
He will continue to bring up burps for 1-2 hours after feeding and they are ALWAYS accompanied by screaming first.

He doesn't puke a lot... but the frequency is getting worse. It is now almost every time he nurses whereas it was rare that he would spit up at all for the first 3-4 weeks... and it is always mostly clear like saliva with some thick white in it. Looks a bit like egg whites when they are just barely starting to cook in a frying pan.

As for me... my breasts are soft even with the block feeding. I haven't had any engorgement since the first week or so. I still have enough milk though that it does leak a little on the "off-breast" with every let-down and if ds lets go at or slightly after letdown, milk will spray.

Oh... and weight gain has never been an issue. He was 8lbs3oz at birth (Aug 13th) and at last Wednesday's appointment (6 weeks) he was 10lbs12oz.

- food sensitivities? There never seems any change... every day it's the same no matter what I do or don't eat.
- reflux? no projectile vomit and he does sleep longer at night (sometimes 4+ hours)
- hindmilk/foremilk imbalance? Should I try for even more feedings on one breast before switching? I can't seem to notice a pattern between the first on one breast and the last.
- could it be something else entirely? Someone suggested bringing him to a pediatric chiropractor but I wouldn't even know how to find one!

My heart is just breaking that every nursing session ends not in comfort for him, but in pain. :(

keen1981 09-30-2012 07:14 PM

Sounds sorta common for a 6 weeker, to be honest. I would comfort nurse.

doulamomma 09-30-2012 07:27 PM

My first step would be to block feed on one side for longer/more feedings and see if that helps.

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doulamomma 09-30-2012 07:27 PM

And try wearing him in a wrap, upright chest to tummy after feeding

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tibeca 10-01-2012 06:58 AM

Re: Screaming after nursing... :( Help??
The back arching and clawing is a sign of reflux which is often caused by food allergies. Likely the reason you don't see much change in his behavior is that it can take 2-6 weeks to clear allergens from your system. You can either go extreme with the Total Elimination Diet OR make your own total elimination diet by setting up a set of meals that you will eat every day for 2 whole weeks. The key to that would be to minimize the number of allergens you are exposed to. Gas should not be painful, and it isn't, as long as the food causing the gas isn't also causing irritation to the stomach lining and intestines.

LittleTadpoleDesigns 10-01-2012 07:39 AM

Re: Screaming after nursing... :( Help??
Thanks tibeca... YIKES, 2-6 weeks?! I'm doomed... I'm barely eating anyway between him needing attention and my 3.5yr and 22mo old so to cut out specific things is hard. I have NO experience with food sensitivities at all so I'm clueless. What if I forget and accidentally eat cheese or wheat or something... will I have to start over then? I don't know that I can do it otherwise unless I stop eating all together. :(

The Fancy Pansy 10-01-2012 08:27 AM

Definitely sounds like reflux, which is caused by a valve which isn't fully developed yet (only aggravated by food sensitivities, if the baby has them, not caused by). I would call your pediatrician and see about getting him on an antacid. In the meantime, you can try some gripe water and/or 1mil of mylanta supreme (only the supreme kind, the others are not safe). If it is reflux, which I'd be willing to bet, you want to take care of it asap so the esophagus doesn't get permanently damaged. I went through this with both my girls and didn't get a diagnosis with my first for almost two months. It was awful. :hugs:

LittleTadpoleDesigns 10-01-2012 08:54 AM

Re: Screaming after nursing... :( Help??
Thanks Krista! We don't have a pediatrician, just a family doctor... hopefully he can prescribe that. He's the type of doctor that loves writing scrips, which I usually take major issue with but in this case I'm willing to try ANYTHING!

The Fancy Pansy 10-01-2012 11:31 AM


Originally Posted by littlest_one
Thanks Krista! We don't have a pediatrician, just a family doctor... hopefully he can prescribe that. He's the type of doctor that loves writing scrips, which I usually take major issue with but in this case I'm willing to try ANYTHING!

Yes, a family doctor can and will. :) it does take a couple of weeks for the needs to fully work, but they will make a huge difference! My girls both did best on prevacid.

juliasmom 10-01-2012 01:28 PM

Re: Screaming after nursing... :( Help??
I am so sorry Momma! It must be very hard to watch him suffer :( I have oversupply and overactive letdown (it is very possible to have one without the other BTW and block feeding will help with oversupply but not necessarily fix the fast letdown) and my DD2 also has reflux. DD1 had similar sounding issues with gas from gulping, was very hard to burp and minor food sensitivities, and DD2 had some discomfort from reflux. It is hard to tell this difference because they all just look like a baby in pain honestly :cry: Overactive letdown can make the milk flow very quickly and as the baby gulps he swallows air. The fast flow and small stomach capacity means often the gas bubble can be swept into the intestines instead of being burped up and once it leaves the stomach it has to come out the bottom. My LC says gassy babies are soothed by pressure on their stomach given by laying on the tummy...look into infant massage for gas. With DD2 I would usually pump off the first letdown before latching her on (especially if I was full) and I would also burp the heck out of her very frequently. It can help slow the flow to feed when the baby is sleepy and not too hungry, so his suck is less vigorous. If you hear him gulping or choking at all take him off and make sure he burps. You will need lots of burp cloths around to catch the spray. Doing this with my DD2 helped a lot and she never had a problem with gas the way DD1 did. Around 3 months both my girls developed coping techniques to deal with the fast flow (DD1 vented the extra milk she couldn't swallow out of the side of her mouth= MESSY and DD2 clamped down with her gums on my nipple to stop the flow=OUCH.) By 4 or 5 months they were both big enough that they could keep up with the fast flow and it was no longer an issue. For us the food sensitivity usually manifested as a red ring around the anus, fussiness and spitting up. DD2s reflux was not severe enough to require treatment, but she would spit up small amounts frequently and often make this gaspy/stridor sound and choke. It was scary and thank God she outgrew it by about 3 months. I wouldn't hesitate to try Zantac if it could help relieve his pain.

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