First Time Mom Needs Help with a Trapped Gas Baby!

Updated on October 18, 2011
H.A. asks from Colbert, WA
25 answers

Hello Mamas,
We had our baby boy last week and have been struggling with his gas, when he passes gas, he screams and screams then has a burst of air that comes out with such force it has to be painful. Additionally after he eats, it is a real struggle to get a burp out, and he cries and cries until it come out.
What can I do to make my baby more comfortable? He is so miserable.

A bit of background on the birth: he was in the NICU for three days due to meconium in the bag of waters, the docs wanted to make sure he didn't have a respiratory infection. I could not breast feed because of a hemmorahge and blood transfusion that has caused a severe delay in my milk coming in ( although, I have been pumping to help it come in). We had him on donor milk in the hospital but now he is drinking formula until my milk is in enough to feed him. I'm not giving him my current milk because of the mediation I'm taking for all of the birth drama, and probably won't be able to give him my milk until probably next week.

Any advice will be helpful, please, I really want to get my baby feeling better!

Thanks in advance,
H.

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B.C.

answers from Dallas on

Have you tried the milicon drops for infants? They worked wonders on my daughters! Also, you can scrunch up his legs and pump them towards his tummy mulitple times, rub his tummy and bicycle his legs. It helps to pump the gas out. :) Good luck and congrats!

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S.W.

answers from Pocatello on

oval, is an anti gas that you can give with every feeding. Its like bean-o, I think there are other brands too, but I always used oval. The active ingreident is simethicone, totally safe for even newborns, my pedi had my first son on it from a week old, works great but you have to keep using it with all feedings if he is really gassy. The gas is probably from the formula, my son was the same way and once he was back on breast milk things settled down.

GL!

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N.P.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Yeah, mylicon and gripe water work great. And they are just at the grocery store. Good luck to you! I'd also do infant massage - that is such a great help too!

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D.P.

answers from Raleigh on

I would suggest putting a few drops of Mylicon, or whatever brand gas drops you use, in the bottle, and then giving it to the baby. This gets out all gas hiding in the bottle. Also, I always found that ready to use formulas are better with gas as well. A lot less shaking needed than with powder. It's more expensive, but alot easier to deal with. Secondly, you can try the football hold to burp the baby- this always worked well with my husband moreso than myself (he has meatier arms- lol). Put the baby belly down lengthwise on your (or dad's) forearm and pat gently. The pressure on the belly helps push that gas up and out. You can also bend his legs gently towards his chest with him laying on his back. That sometimes help release that gas.Hope this helps!

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

Mylicon infant gas drops will work, and quickly.

My daughter had a lot of gas problems and pains as a baby and she rarely farted or burped... though we tried.
This is the only thing that helped her.

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S.X.

answers from Chicago on

my son would scream for about 4 hrs a day at least and we figured out it was his allergy to egg that he was getting in my breast milk. We threw away something like 170 oz of breast milk in the freezer and started over. it stopped.

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T.W.

answers from Denver on

My middle boy was a mess with gas and other stomach problems. We finally found some natural stuff called Baby Bliss. It saved out lives! You used to be able to only get it online but I think they actually have it in Walgreens now. The nice thing is, it is totally natural so you don't have to worry about it. I did notice that the stomach problems would subside immediately but with the gas sometimes it took a while but it was a lifesaver.

Good luck!

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P.G.

answers from Dallas on

I don't know how to help with the gas, but if you aren't working with a lactation consultant, find one - get a referral from the hospital or your OB. I had stopped nursing due to shingles I got 3 days after giving birth. It took a while but I got back on track and nursed till he was 2.5 years old. Also, LC's often know which medications are OK when breastfeeding more so than regular docs cause the regular docs don't really deal with breastfeeding specifically. Good luck!

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R.G.

answers from Denver on

All great suggestions but also make sure you are using a low iron formula because the regular formula has too much iron in it for most babies. This causes constipation and tons of gas. My pediatrician told me this was because a lot of people tend to add more water than they are supposed to so they can make the formula last longer. Good luck.

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K.H.

answers from Denver on

We had success with gripe water.
K.
Oh & when you begin the nursing, if you drink fennel - fennugreek tea it will go to him too & help. We had luck with that too.
I recommend making the tea bc. store bought mamma's teas I found unsavory. Mix 2 parts fennel seed with 1 part fennugreek seed. Put 1 tsp. in 2 liters of water. Bring to a boil then simmer for ten minutes. Sieve & add honey if you like. Refrigerate unused portion for later that day. This tea is so yummy. It will help your gas too.

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C.A.

answers from San Francisco on

Try Gripe Water. It's natural. I had a lot of success with it with my second son.

Congratulation by the way. You and your little one have already been through a lot!

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J.P.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi H.,

I use a massage oil made from fennel and olive oil and rub it on my baby's tummy. It helps so much and is easy. Just get a good quality fennel essential oil from your health food store, or a distributor from doTerra or Young Living. Put about a dime size pool of olive oil in your palm, add 3-4 drops of fennel essential oil and rub directly into you baby's abdomen, working in a clockwise circle to follow the direction of his bowels.

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S.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My son had very bad colic and reflux when he was born all the way until he was 8 months. The only thing that worked for him was gripe water, you can find it in the stores most places now.

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

our dd would not burp either until about 4-5 months and then it got easier. first 6 weeks = rough! burp a few times during the feed. rub back (lower down at first) in circular motion and then move upwards...pat back in between. it seemd after a while, she was able to burp better sitting in my lap then over my shoulder. definitely try the mylecon drops. it will help a lot until he gets the hang of it and his diet levels out

I.C.

answers from St. Louis on

How's he's bowel motion? Is it okay in the first place?

Well, just a suggestion from the oldies (traditional)
1. rub the calf and feet with warm oil
2. make a small cotton sac filled with 3 spoonful of coriander seeds, tied up in a bunch. Warm it up with an iron, and try on your own skin so as not too hot, and firmly press multiple times around the belly button

My daughter had a bad colic one time. She was fully breastfed, and less than 30 days of life. 6 - 8 hours of no bowel motion or gas, crying heavily, and everything is not working, including the tips above. Actually did an x-ray, looks bloated a bit, and by the time I saw a pediatrician, right in front of her, my daughter gave out a big fart, and all its contents. LOL it was embarrassing, tiring, funny, and a big relief.

If he's not frequenting the bowel motion as much, it might be the milk. I hope you and your baby will get through this ASAP. It's just so disheartening hearing your baby in pain, and feel helpless at the same time. Hugssss.

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N.T.

answers from Harrisburg on

I'm an RN and this is what I did with my son:
try fennel tea. brew it so it's not so strong, and sweeten to taste with sugar...but make it just ever so sweet...keep kinda of bitter...add to formula or give a small bottle of just it...brew it and keep in fridge. In Germany, they have premade mixes for babies, and it is fennel tea....my son LOVED it, and called it "baby tea"....still LOVES it when he's not feeling well....
When brewing it, it is a rather clear brew...kind of like white tea....don't make it very strong, and don't feed all the time....
My son was a little colicky and we did the fennel tea and the infant gas drops...got the store version, cheaper works just as well. Used the gas drops with every feeding. Also got a small infant heating pad that had the scent of lavender...worked wonders...also just rubbed his belly in the direction that the poop would go, from right to left...and also having him on his belly did help....scrunching up his legs also did work from time to time...
babies intestines are very immature and in the womb are sterile....when feeding, they are getting the normal flora built up...plus the digestion system is just immature and getting things going takes a little bit. That's what colic is...bowel spams....
Try and see!! Good luck!!

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J.D.

answers from Denver on

Hi H.-I second the baby massage. We used that on our daughter and it was very helpful. I'm in Boulder. Drop me a note directly and I'll send you my number. I can talk you through some massages to see if that helps. Hang in there!

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C.C.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I think I would take him in to the chiropractor, first call and find a chiropractor that works on infants they are so very gentle, my children have benefited so much from chiropractic care. Second know that you are doing the best you can and give yourself credit for that. You are both going to be OK, your not alone, "this too shall pass" Hang in there sweet heart you too can Heal. I won't tell you my whole story here but if you want to talk further send me an email at [email protected]____.com my daughter and I are still having healing moments from the traumatic experience we both had during her birth. Life is beautiful I wish you well bless you on your healing journey, and bless your sweet baby also. I believe in healing the whole person he may need something else too, but if it were me I would start with chiropractic then go to the pediatrition if needed.

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A.W.

answers from Pocatello on

As a massage therapist I can recommend infant massage also, but I would also GET HIM TO A CHIROPRATOR. When things are out of alignment there is not proper blood flow going to the organs and nerve ending in the digestive system. Many kids that have had issues with gas, acid reflux, wetting the bed, have been successfully treated with just one of two sessions. YES, you can take a young baby in. My mom took each of us kids before we were two weeks old, and I have taken my three kids also. Ask your friends or call and talk to the offices, they will tell you if they work on infants. Don't be worried, it is very gentle!

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T.S.

answers from Eugene on

Sounds like he's having problems digesting the formula you are using. You don't say what it is, but if you absolutely have to be using formula, you may need to adjust the one you're using. I also know a mom who, truly having not enough breast glandular tissue with what she called "chocolate kisses" for breasts, and having many dietary difficulties herself, made her own baby formula using fresh goat's milk (much easier for a baby to digest these proteins than cow's milk), blue green algae, and a vitamin powder. Two babies who were very healthy.

You don't mention what kind of medication you are taking for the "birth drama" and whether it is for physical or perhaps some post partum psychological issues related to it all. Probably the faster you can get to breastfeeding the better...perhaps consulting with La Leche League could get you some good information about how to build your milk supply and begin breastfeeding when you are ready.

In the meantime, with the gas NOW, a good way to help is to lay that baby, tummy side down on a sheepskin, and massage his little lower back as often as you can. Then roll him over and do some gentle leg movements like pushing his legs, one at a time and both at the same time, up to his tummy, and then bringing them over and across his body one at a time. Helps things move through the intestines for him.

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D.W.

answers from Indianapolis on

Mylicon is great......IF you give it consistently. It doesn't have the best effect on being used to treat gas, more to prevent it like Beano for adults.

Don't be afraid to call the pediatrician and ask their advice. They expect that new parents are going to have tons of questions and should be good about asking. it could be that he's just not digesting the formular you're giving him well and needs to change to a different brand.

It could also be something more serious that only your pediatrician or a nurse could recognize outside of normal gas. Usually the passing of gas isn't painful, it's the pressure in the intestines that causes them to be cranky.

That being said, I would help move the gas along by pulling his knees into his tummy, laying him on his stomach across your knees and generally putting pressure against his abdomen to help relieve the pressure of the gas until it passes.

Good luck.

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L.E.

answers from Chicago on

I read through the responses so will not repeat any of what I read but you have a lot of good advice here so far. Only going to add, when you put him on his tummy, have his butt higher than his head. My pedi suggested this and I thought she was nuts but the first try and the amount of gas she passed was shocking. Now that she is older and her system is more mature, I call her my little fart machine.

L.A.

answers from Austin on

Poor baby...Burp him about 2 to 3 times during the feedings if possible. Unlatch him from the bottle or breast and burp him.

Start the pats from his bottom and then up his back. You can be a little firm.. If you need to you can even lay him along one of your arms, tummy down and then burp with the other hand. This will allow a little pressure on his tummy.

Once you have burped him you can also lay him on his back and take both of his legs and bend them together up towards his body. Slowly , but close to his body.. This can also get some things moving in there..

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C.T.

answers from Denver on

Hi H. - I would definitely recommend taking a class in baby massage. Most of the movements are geared toward helping to clear out and mature your baby's digestive tract.

One movement that worked really well for my little guys was to lay baby on his back on your lap with his head toward your knees. Gently cup his little thighs just above the knee in your hands. Imagine making two C's with your fingers. In a clockwise motion gently roll his legs left and then gently up into his belly then to the right and back to start. His little face may turn a little red and he will probably toot while you make the motion.

congratulations on the arrival of your little man!

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J.M.

answers from State College on

Maybe lactose intolerent? That will cause a lot of gas and belly pain.

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