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Breastfeeding Babies and Colic
I am breastfeeding, why does my Baby have colic?
If you are breastfeeding your newborn baby who is screaming for hours at night this may be the information which will help you FIX THE PROBLEM TODAY AND GET SOME SLEEP TONIGHT!
Let me see, is bubs crying through the evening, just about every diaper change is a number two and it is green and offensive and are you starting to think about whether or not you are eating something that they are intolerant to? Do you have an ample supply of milk and can’t understand why the baby could be unsatisfied? This is what happened to me.
I googled breast feeding foods to avoid, and was looking at trying a very bland diet. I was wondering if perhaps she was lactose intolerant. He poos were always diarrhoea, green and watery and she would just cry and cry for hours at night so I would feed her more and she would cry more.
I started looking into colic as well. This is what I found out, and trust me your doctor probably won’t even now unless your doctor is female who has had a baby with the same problem or you are seeing a lactation consultant. Even midwifes with ample baby care experience may not have the solution.
What is Colic anyway?
I have thoroughly researched the issue and have decided that colic is any persistent and regular crying that the doctor has no idea about. Therefore if you present your baby with the symptoms I have outlined above then they will likely say that it is colic, and not to worry as baby will grow out of it after 3 months.
The most popular theory is that wind gets trapped in the milk and as it passes through the intestines causes abdominal pain, causing the baby to cry. There are medications, both natural and pharmacy dispensed to help. If this is the problem then they should effectively solve the issue.
If you are a breastfeeding mother then you will be wondering why on earth when you are giving your baby ample amounts of nature’s goodness the baby is screaming. That is why you are probably thinking of lactose intolerance or some sort of diet alteration is the key. Breastmilk should not be upsetting your newborn babies! It’s meant to be the best baby food available.
A supply problem of a different kind
Well after I tried colic medication, simplified my diet and was contemplating a lactose free existence for a while I stumbled upon some information on the internet which saved me that day. Instead of looking up colic and breastfeeding diets, start researching oversupply of breast milk.
That’s right; if you have an oversupply of breastmilk it can cause just as much of a problem as having an undersupply.
The reason I know I am right is that I followed the advice I am about to give you after looking into the issue and had a different baby, that night!
Apparently if you have too much breast milk, the baby only gets the foremilk which is very watery and sugary. The hind milk which comes when the breast is empty, often referred to as the bottom of the breast, contains a thicker substance which causes the baby to feel full. Just drinking the foremilk has a similar effect as eating candy bars all day. No wonder that by the end of the day the little one is screaming!
There are so many different methods of breastfeeding, and if you’ve been told to feed for a certain amount of time on each breast the baby may not be getting to the bottom of the breast. You will know when this happens as there will be more sucking between swallowing. If you have too much breast milk you may only have to feed on one side before the baby is full.
If you think this may be your problem, what you need to do is start thinking about getting the baby to have the good creamy milk at the bottom of the breast. You see what happens is that there is also a lack of lining on the stomach when they have only had the foremilk and they can be experiencing a lot of discomfort.
The advice I followed was to stop feeding alternate breasts at time intervals, but to time in this manner. Feed off one breast for 3 to 4 hour blocks. So you may feed off the one side 2 or three times within a 4 hour period before you switch to the other side. What happens then is that the breast is emptied and the baby gets lots of cream.
Yes you get lopsided and end up sore and uncomfortable, but I did this and got instant results. I had to be very careful for months as if I made a mistake bubs would be screaming and having diarrhoea again. You have to get hind milk focused.
The other complication may be connected to the issue of wind described above, as if your milk comes in too fast the baby sucks in a lot of air as they gasp at the rapid flow. This can be fixed by feeding lying down with the baby on top of you on their stomach. Gravity helps to stop the squirting fluids. You can combine this with wind medicine if you like. The other option is to express the initial outpouring and feed the baby in a bottle. This can be tiring, but effective.
I combined all of these techniques, but it was the initial feeding on the same breast which caused immediate peace to my little one and showed me I was on the right track. It may be that only one of the above problems resolves your issue, for example a position adjustment as described above may be all you need.
There is a solution, so keep looking and trying new things! I hope this has been the answer for you though, and you get some sleep tonight.
May I also recommend seeing a lactation consultant rather than a paediatrician. From what I have read about and seen a paediatrician is likely to just put the baby onto formula. Weaning an infant may also have immediate results as it will restore digestive balance, but if you are keen to make breastfeeding work you don’t have to give up yet.
I wish you all the best!