23 answers

Why Does My 6Wk Old Choke So Bad While Feeding? She Looks like She's Drowning.

Hello, this is my first post ever so I hope i'm doing this right, I'm desperate for an answer. I exclusively breast feed and thought I had an overactive letdown reflex but she even chokes if I bottle feed her my milk. Sometimes she stops breathing while feeding and I have to stimulate her to get her breathing again.Ive tried holding her in a more upright position and many other reccomendations for reflux babies and nothing has helped. Her doc thinks it's reflux but the only symptoms that match reflux are the choking and back arching. She doesnt cry or seem bothered by the choking episodes and goes right back to nursing. She was put on reflux meds and after 2 weeks I stopped giving them to her because I saw no improvement. And the choking ONLY happens while she's feeding, never if I lay her down. I don't think it's reflux. Her doc did a Barium Swallow/Upper GI X-Ray Test for Infant Reflux and although she NEVER vomits/spits up with me, she did during the test but i blame it on being fed the liquid while laying down, giving them a false indication that she vomits with every feeding and although i did tell them she never vomits, the fact that she did it in front of them gave them the conclusion that she does have reflux. Could this be a respioratory problem? Other than choking, she's a very happy and easy baby. She was a healthy newborn born at 38wk6days, I did have gestational diabtetes but my sugar was diet controlled.
p.s I also tried a nipple shield to slow down my flow, and she still choked.
p.ss
****update #2 6/23***
Sorry I dont know how to repond to your answers ladies but just wanted to mention that she chokes with every single feeding and it happens atleast 1-2 times and anytime during the feeding, not only in the begining or the end or middle, it's very sporadic.

6/23 ***update***
So after posting with you ladies yesterday, I took my little one in to talk to her doc about this. I saw a different doctor who also had me nurse her in front of him to see what happened and ofcourse she choked. So they're pretty clueless as to what's happening since reflux has now been ruled out, by me mostly cause they still seem to kinda believe it is reflux, I call that not knowing whats going on and blaming the most common problem. Anyways, this other doc had the nerve to tell me "I wouldn't be too worried about the choking" and I tell you ladies when she said that I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and I told her " I AM worried, how could I not be worried, SHE STOPS BREATHING!" She wasn't expecting that and suggested we see a GI specialist and a Pulmunologist and that's what we're going to do, hopefully within the next week. Wish us luck ladies!

3 moms found this helpful

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NAET.com for allergy eliminations.

My mother had a terrible time with me in 1971. She said I was colliky all the time. It was due to food allergies.

Be well.

N.

My son would also choke when he was around 6 weeks old. It was very scary and I would have to stop feeding him and lift him up so he could catch his breath and stop choking. I don't know if it was the letdown or what the exact reason for it was, but I noticed he would latch on and start sucking really fast and if I moved even a little bit, he would get startled and choke on the milk. (A few times I noticed he was eating while he was sleeping). I also suggest you go to a lactation consultant and have them watch you breastfeed. They may notice something. In parallel you can explore the other options you listed above.

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ROFL....I'd completely forgotten my son did this!!!...greedy little guy.

He would suck and suck and suck, and then try and continue to suck even when he finally had to breathe. Silly little scoofer. It took him a long time to work out the logistics of breathing and eating. Probably about 2 and a half months. And it wasn't an overnight thing, it was something that he slowly got a handle on. Even once he "figured it out" he was still the absolute noisiest eater I have ever heard. My husband called him "piglet", which annoyed me no end, but was a fairly accurate description.

One thing I started doing that helped, was that every 4th gulp I took my breast away. He'd be livid or confused in the beginning, but as soon as he took a breath I'd give it back. He'd get into a rythym for awhile and then get intent, forget to start breathing, and then (I got good at telling when he was about to choke) I'd take my breast away again. After about a week of that he got used to it (no sleeping feedings for me!), but ti was fairly intense that first week. For the next two months he gradually worked out the process until he could manage to alternate breathing and eating.

I have to say, it didn't even occur to me to take him to the doctor for it. But I had, let's see here....7 mums (2 of them nurses) with a total of over 25 kids under their belts...around me who laughed at his "greediness", and relaxed *me*. I DID take him to the lactation consultants to make sure he was getting enough (he was soooo voracious), and yup. over 20oz each feeding.

2 moms found this helpful

Could be related to the Gest Diabetes. Infants of diabetic mothers (even when sugars were fairly well controlled) are notoriously bad eaters. I was a NICU nurse and we ALWAYS had a rough time with these little guys & gals. Along with the advice of helping munchkin develop her suck/swallow/ breathe rhythm by removing the breast at intervals, I would try to see if you can get in with a lactation consultant to clear up feeding issues. However I would also REALLY pay close attention to see if she's "forgetting to breathe" at any other time - particularly when she's napping/sleeping. If you notice THAT, call 911, and then grab your doc by the neck and get him to give you an apnea monitor. (Alarms when she stops breathing during sleep so you can stimulated her to breathe.) I seriously don't think that's what's going on since she's a good gestational age but would feel remiss if I didn't tell you to have your sniffers up for that just in case. I tend to overreact to the phrase "forgetting to breathe." :-) Personally, I think she's probably just a normal challenging feeder related to being the infant of a diabetic mother and she'll grow out of it soon. Last thought that just occured to me...is there anything that might lead you to believe she might have an allergy?
Hope this helps!
:-)

1 mom found this helpful

Hi there. I didn't have time to read your whole post, but it sounds like you may have overactive let down. An enviable situation for those moms who don't make enough milk. You may try pumping for 1-2 minutes before feeding to take the pressure off before your baby latches on. Or seek some guidance from a lactation consultant. They are so good at the Pump Station in Santa Monica and Hollywood!!

Good luck!

NAET.com for allergy eliminations.

My mother had a terrible time with me in 1971. She said I was colliky all the time. It was due to food allergies.

Be well.

N.

Maybe your breastmilk is shooting out to fast for her? Have you tried pumping and then bottle feeding with a nipple with a TINY hole? I don't know. Doesn't sound like it is a physical problem.
Good luck to you!

Hi L.. I don't know what's causing the choking with your baby or the breathing issues. But, you've been through this twice before, you're not a brand-new mommy, and it sounds like this didn't happen with your other little girls. I wanted to support you and say that you should 100% trust your mommy instincts, and if you think something is wrong demand that your doctor keeps exploring until you're satisfied. If it means you have to make an appointment at the pediatrician and feed your daughter in front of him/her, do it. I know someone whose baby girl always woke up gasping for air, like she'd been holding her breath for a long time. Both parents thought it was not right and mentioned it to the pediatrician. The pediatrician said it was common and not to worry. That's as much of the story as I want to share, but the parents were right and the doctor was wrong. Anyway, I have no doubt everything will be totally fine, but I just wanted to encourage you to pursue this to whatever degree you need to to feel like your daughter is being checked for any potential respiratory issues, and not to feel intimidated by doctors. They are wonderful, by and large, but they are not infallible.

I also had an overactive letdown,and what helped was feeding her one side at the time(empty out just one breast per feeding,you can pump or express from the other one just a little until your body gets it), that helped my baby a LOT and until today(13 months) we still do it that way.
Also the bottles that worked for us were the sassy mam it seemed the holes in the nipple and the shape of it was comfortable for our baby.
I hope this helps,
good luck!

My son would also choke when he was around 6 weeks old. It was very scary and I would have to stop feeding him and lift him up so he could catch his breath and stop choking. I don't know if it was the letdown or what the exact reason for it was, but I noticed he would latch on and start sucking really fast and if I moved even a little bit, he would get startled and choke on the milk. (A few times I noticed he was eating while he was sleeping). I also suggest you go to a lactation consultant and have them watch you breastfeed. They may notice something. In parallel you can explore the other options you listed above.

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