Help! Screaming Baby! What to Eat When Nursing?

Updated on July 22, 2016
K.S. asks from Hampton, VA
73 answers

I'm dyin' here!
My six-week-old is on Zantac for reflux, but she still cries...and cries and cries. For up to an hour and a half (usually right after I feed her.) I'm nursing exclusively - no formula. I give her Mylicon for gas, Maalox for indigestion. Nothing seems to be working. I can hear her little tummy creaking and groaning and can actually feel it when I'm holding her. I'm afraid to let her "cry it out" in her crib because it seems to hurt her worse when she's lying flat. People have told me what not to eat while I'm nursing, but I can't figure out what I CAN eat! I don't want to switch to formula but I am seriously at my wit's end.

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So What Happened?

You guys are good! Nora is better and has been for a couple days. Side bar: I was on Keflex and it started upsetting my stomach two days before my prescription was done. Honestly, I think that had a lot to do with her upset tummy. But I've also cut out dairy - only been four days now - but already it seems to be better. And it seems to be only cows milk. I have had cheese and sour cream for a couple days now and it doesn't seem to bother her much. I'm going to give the meds a week or so to get out of my system, try cows milk again, then try to get her off the Zantac if I think it's the milk. Also, I'm going to try to read her cues better. If she continuously comes off the breast, I might just stop feeding her. I think she may be eating too much! She's gettin' to be a little porker! (Which has nothing to do with the fact that I think she's eating too much. And please don't think I'm worried about my kid being fat. Babies get fat - and I think she's adorable.) But the pulling away and the spitting up and the fussing might be pointing to her being overfull. What an idea!

Anyway, things are better and I appreciate everyone's input!

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C.H.

answers from Washington DC on

K.,

My son was the same way when he was first born! He was also taking medication and we also used Maalox. It's really simply, what you need to do is buy the baby a wedged pillow to sleep on at night and this will her sleep better at night. Also I hate to tell you this but my son did not get better until I started giving him Nutramigen formula. This is sold at regular grocery stores and is an Enfamil product. I hope this helps you!

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L.J.

answers from Washington DC on

I have a five month old who is on Prevacid for the same thing. He started taking it about the same time (six or so weeks). My pediatrician said unless he has a specific allergy to something you are eating, it doesn't really matter what you eat. The biggest contributors to reflux having to do with allergies is wheat, corn and milk- which, is nearly impossible to eliminate from you diet anyway. They ended up upping my son's dosage of Prevacid to help allieviate his symptoms. It does take about two weeks to take affect, so ultimately a month if they have to up his dosage to get him so he is comfortable. Good luck!

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L.C.

answers from Washington DC on

I have a friend who had the same problem with her son, she only ate oatmeal for a year and that's the only thing that worked.....(the positive thing was she lost all her baby weight in no time:))

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S.F.

answers from Washington DC on

My daughter was colicly and had reflux as an infant. Our doctor told us not to lay her flat int he crib but to have it raised slightly. You can do this several ways: put rolled up towels under the matterss pad or place a piece of wood under the top of the mattress or under the top portion of the crib. The other suggestion is to have the baby sleep in her carseat. This will help too. Good luck!

S.

L.A.

answers from Washington DC on

Chamomile tea was the only thing that worked for my newborn. It naturally soothes the tummy and helps them be calm to sleep better.

~L.

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J.H.

answers from Washington DC on

Hello, If you pump breast mils and give it to your baby in a bottle try adding 1-2 teaspoons of Karo syrup. This helped my baby with stomach problems. Good Luck!

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K.D.

answers from Washington DC on

My son had the same symptoms, and it turned out he was allergic to dairy...you should take a stool sample to your pediatrician...they can do a simple test to determine if she's allergic, then you would have to eliminate dairy from your diet...good luck.

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A.K.

answers from Washington DC on

I feel your pain! My baby was the same--if she was awake, she was crying. We were also on Zantac, which helped a bit, but was by no means a miracle. I agree with the posting about "happiest baby on the block." Also, if you can, keep her upright for at least 20 minutes after she eats, and try elevating one end of her crib or basinette, so she's never truly flat on her back. There's also a wedge-shaped baby positioner you can find. We tried that, with some success. I also eliminated cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower) and some dairy from my diet while I was nursing, which seemed to help a little bit. Finally, at my new-mom's group, the nurse showed me how to hold her in a way that soothed her pain. I put her back to my chest, wrapped my arms around her middle, and sort of bounced and swayed from side to side. The extra pressure on her tummy really helped. It's not very comforting now, but know she will eventually outgrow the colic. Good luck to you!

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C.B.

answers from Washington DC on

I see you have already been given a ton of advice but I've been where you are with my middle son. My story is exactly like yours. What I found was cutting out milk and milk products is what helped. Once I cut all that out the screaming stopped (after about 2 weeks when all the milk protein was out of my system). We then were able to wean him off the Zantac. At 8 months he went on Allimentum formula and he did well with that. He is now 18 months old and still has a milk allergy. Oh and as for sleeping, he slept in his bouncy seat until 7 months because of the laying flat hurt his tummy. Good luck to you.

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R.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Poor thing! You and the baby!
I would pull one thing at a time from your diet (or do the opposite and eat very bland stuff and add one thing at a time), to see what could be bothering her. I would definitely keep her upright for awhile after if she has reflux. My son had tummy issues when I drank regular milk, though no discomfort from cheese or yogurt. I know milk is one of the most common causes of tummy issues from mom to baby.
Good luck!

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M.F.

answers from Norfolk on

One thing that really seemed to help my little one get rid of gas (and of course, the crying begets more gas, which just creates a vicious circle) was to make sure she was getting the hindmilk. In order to do this, make sure your little one empties at least one breast each session, and massage your breast while your little one is nursing. That will help get the hindmilk out of the ducts. Especially when they're young, they aren't quite as strong in their nursing all the time. This REALLY did help me out, and I was able to get to the point where my daughter didn't need the Mylicon drops any more. Hang in there! Don't give up on breastfeeding!!!!

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A.H.

answers from Norfolk on

Acid reflux can be very frustrating. My son had it and his doctor prescribed baby Tagamet. It was a life saver! He felt so much better. He would still cry or fuss a little after feedings, but he slept better and seemed much happier. He has now grown out of it and your daughter will too. I would check with your doctor.
Good luck!

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L.B.

answers from Washington DC on

The best thing I ever did when I had a scraming baby was read the book "the happiest baby on the block" by Dr. Harvey Karp, my pediatritian recommended it and it was a life saver. I breast feed my little one and tried the whole leaving things out of my diet and changing my diet and trying formulas- soy versus other nothing worked... Except the methods in this book. There are five- and it is simple. The book backs everything up and is really entertaining to read at the same time- call it a little you time... but get it, it is a life saver.

The five steps are called the five S's and they are
Swaddle, side/stomach, Shhhhing, swinging, sucking.... It expains the need for each one of these things, how to do them and why they work... with examples...

You can probably find it at the local library or order it on line if you don't get out much, but the sooner you have it and apply it, the sooner you will get some sleep. My husband loved it too and it really helped because he helped me to apply the techniques and calm our little one down.

Good Luck

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A.L.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi K.,
Sorry to hear about your baby's tummy troubles. I had trouble with my daughter spitting up and crying inconsolably too for a while (she was breastfed exclusively). Finally I kept a journal of what I ate and did notice patterns. For me, spicy foods and processed meats (deli meats, hot dogs, sausage, etc.) were out of the question. If I avoided those things, then the baby didn't have as much trouble and didn't spit up as much. The funny thing is, she is 19 months old and has been weaned for a while now, yet she still can't tolerate processed meats, so I just don't give them to her.

Try the food journal, you just might find some answers. Our pediatrician also suggested keeping the baby upright for 20 minutes after a feeding to help with gas. We tried Mylicon and it didn't do a thing, so I stopped giving it to her.

Hang in there, it will get better.

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D.J.

answers from Washington DC on

My son did that, and he had food allergies, and not the typical milk and wheat allergies either.

He wouldn't take zantac, and he ended up using a little prilosec, until things got so bad he got some blood in his stools and we ended up going to a pediatric GI specialist, who diagnosed him with food allergies. He said we could use one of the allergen formulas or I had to go on a diet and he gave me a list of 5 things to get rid of in my diet (Milk, eggs, wheat, and I can't remember.) MY son wouldn't touch the allergy formulas (nutrimigen,etc), so I ended up on an elimination diet, but after some of my own research, I wend off everything but meat and potatoes to start with....I even rotated meats. I ate so much turkey (what I started with) I thought I would fly. I am glad I eliminated more than the doc suggested, as the things that bothered my son were not on the Doc's list. But after about 3 weeks of meat and potatoes he started to get better. Oh yeah, I added orange juice with a non-dairy form of calcium at 2 weeks...so citrus was not a problem either.. MY sons allergies ended up being legumes, soy, and mildly to some other things like broccoli. Then at about 4 weeks later he was close to normal, and eating cerial, and we started adding things to both of our diets at the same time. Once we got the diet straight, he didn't need any medication, we just had to be careful when adding foods to our diets... and discontinue if there were any signs of problems.

Long story short, go to a GI specialist, especially if your baby is in so much pain! My son grew out of most of his allergies by the time he turned 2! (though the broccoli allergy got worse... imagine that.)

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J.J.

answers from Washington DC on

One of my twins had the same thing; he would cry off and on for about an hour after each feed. He was on Zantac and Reglan, which both helped, but he really needed to be upright for an hour after feeding. My best purchase was the Fisher Price cradle swing, which really seemed to help him, when you can't be holding and jiggling him all the time! I also added just a small amount of rice cereal to breastmilk and fed by bottle (you have to cut a small slit in the nipple as it is thicker) as recommended by the pediatrician. He never breastfed well and would spit up during breastfeeding due to the position; he did much better with upright bottle feeding. I don't think formula would help. My friend's sister switched to formula and regretted it as her son did no better; I think it only helps if the baby is actually allergic to something in your milk. I never noticed a difference depending on what I ate, however I do not eat many onions or spicy foods. Another thing that helped was sleeping on the infant wedge (the small foam one with the lateral supports). If it is truly reflux, take heart, she will eventually outgrow it!

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C.N.

answers from Washington DC on

I have included a website that gives you some information about gripe water:

http://www.coliccalm.com/baby_infant_newborn_articles/aci...

Although you have been told what you cannot eat, I can understand how hard that can be for someone who is nursing and perhaps trying to eat healthy. I will reiterate that foods high in citric acid and anything with high levels of lactose should probably be avoided as well. You may even want to stay away from broccoli, cauliflower and beans for now. Well that only leaves you spinach, carots corn,crackers, tuna, chicken and potatoes. Look at it this way, when you return to work, you'll be svelte and sleep deprived. I wish you the best and hope that you find a solution soon!

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A.C.

answers from Washington DC on

I know that you have had a lot of responses, but try this. My daughter now 2 had terrible colic for a long time. A friend of mine who is a natural food/ med guru suggested that Mom take an Acidophilus supplement while nursing to help with baby's digestion. A good supplement will be available at a health food store, and should be refrigerated after opening. Also you could try a product called gripe water, also available in health food stores (all natural). Hang in there this is a very difficult time. I know that you want to fix your baby's discomfort and it is really hard when you can't. Many Blessings!!!

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A.S.

answers from Washington DC on

My son was born with reflux as well, and was also started on zantac at first. Zantac did nothing at all for my son, which is what it sounds like for your little one as well. My doctor put him on Prevacid twice a day and it was like someone handed me a new baby!! I would totally advise you to talk to your doctor about switching meds. The Zantac should be working in less than 5 days.. don't let them tell you any different. I know there are alot of people who are going to tell you to try infant massage and all these different holds and sleeping positions and what not... but seriously when it comes down to it, they are all temporary fixes for a problem that truly does need medication. We put off medication with our son in lieu of trying other things first and totally regretted it because by the time we got him on the right meds... he had some feeding aversions and would refuse his bottle because he knew it hurt to eat. Also, keep at the breast feeding... it empties the fastest from their little tummies which is perfect for reflux babies! One more thing, if you do go on prevacid, make sure you don't use the suspension formula, it's hard to find a pharmacy to make it correctly, it is twice the price, and it becomes unstable after two weeks so you have to get a new bottle every two weeks. I broke up the half a pill my son took into a syringe and then sucked water into it to dissolve the pill, then just gave it to him that way. He never had issues taking it because it tasted like strawberries and he loved it! Hope this all helps!! I promise your little one will grow out of it... my son is now 18 months old and hasn't had issues since 12 months old. I can say my carpet will never ever be the same though from all the projectile vomiting :)

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L.P.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi K.,

Some really good advise my pediatrician gave me was to check what you are eating yourself. Various foods affect the protein in your breast milk and make it harder for the baby to digest causing discomfort. She said that surprisingly cows milk is a one of the main culprits although other dairy products such as cheese and yogurt don't seem to have the same effect. I took her advise and switched to soy milk for the next 8 months while I was breast feeding and my son never had any of those colicky screaming bouts in the way that my two older daughters did when I was drinking cows milk.
It would be worth you trying.

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A.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hang in there! My little girl had the same problem. SHe was on Zantac and Prevacid during her first year. My first few months I spent eliminating things from my diet, in hopes that it would help her. I cut out dairy....somtimes I thought it made a difference, sometimes it didn't seem to make a difference. I cut out other things like onions, broccoli...things that are supposed to cause gas. I read a lot, and after all my reading I felt like EVERYTHING could cause digestive problems for my baby. It was very frustrating....also she spit up huge amounts, all the time. I did a full load of just her clothes and burp cloths everyday. I took her in to Fairfax hospital and the Dr. did a "barium swallow' so they could see if their were any structural abnormalites causing all her reflux and spitting up. Everything looked normal. She cried a lot after she ate...sometimes while she was nursing. it was crazy! But i nursed her exclusively until she was 14 months old. She is completely fine now. No food allergies...which is what i always was concerned about. no more spitting up. she's perfectly happy. I finally concluded that maybe some babies digestive systems just take a while to get moving/working properly, They just have to get the hang of eating, etc. (one of my thought was that she was eating too much...i think i produced a lot of milk...and she drank it all. a great eater....despite all the problems. So, just wanted to let you know...i;ve been thought the same thing. I finally just ate normally, kept wiping up her spit up, and feeling bad for her when she cried after she ate....just did the best i knew how, and her body worked things out....took till she was almost a year. Seems like forever, but looking back it went by so fast...and now she is just fine :)
Good luck with everything!

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J.K.

answers from Washington DC on

your baby may not be responding to zantac. Talk to your pediatrician about it and maybe switch to one of the other many kinds. ALso, please seek out a pediatric gastroenterologist.

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J.J.

answers from Washington DC on

I would try cutting out all dairy products, especially if you are seeing any blood in her stool.
Make sure to see your Pediatrician if you see that, or runny stools. You might be surprised how much better your baby feels. Take calcium supplements if you do this, you need them.
Good Luck!

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S.B.

answers from Washington DC on

For the gas, try giving her Gas-X for infants. We found that it helps if you give it to her before you breastfeed her. My daughter had the hardest time with gas and I've found that chicken, broccoli and chocolate do it to her. Each person is different with what foods affect them. Best of luck. How did you know your daughter had acid reflux? My daughter chokes at times and acts funny after I feed her and sometimes I wonder if that's what her problem is.

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S.W.

answers from Boston on

Hello K.. I went through this with my son so I totally understand where you are coming from. What happened in our situation was he was on Zantac and that didn't cut it so we are on previcid. Which helped a lot. As far as the breast feeding thing. I did all breast feeding I cut everything out of my diet. Okay all dairy products and stuck with soy. You will have to read the ingredient on the back dairy is in everything. I didn't eat any veggies since they gave a lot of gas to him. So basically all I ate was potato, meat, sugar (a lot of cookies) watermelon. I really didn't eat much of anything. and I also didn't eat any fruit as well. I just cut it all out of my diet. and it seemed to work for him I breastfeed him for a year. and around the 9 month I tried something new because it gets old but there wasn't nothing I would do for my little guy. So you might want to either check the refux thing with you doctor - it might not be working to get something else. and try cutting out a lot of things in your diet. It is well worth it.
please let me know if you need any help....
S.

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D.G.

answers from Washington DC on

How is she doing with after meal belching? Mine were breastfed but still needed a solid (read: very firm) patting on the back to get the swallowed air out. They were not happy if I skipped that step! Won't help with the reflux but less air in the system is better.

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R.W.

answers from Dover on

This is a little different, and I may be way off, but with my second daughter I had a similar sounding problem.

She was constatly crying and throwing up ... by the time she was two months old I found out (another lactation consultant finally diagnosed it correctly) I had been overfeeding her, and that was the ONLY problem.

If I pumped, I might get 2 ounces, but she was much more efficient, and could easily get full by 3 minutes of nursing. Not realizing this, when she pulled away I would burp her and put her back to the breast.

Even though I'h heard and read it was impossible, I ended up overfeeding her. Being so full, her little body would throw it all up, and then she was hungry again and we would start the crazy cycle all over again.

The doctors never worried about her throwing up, because she was gaining weight. They would say, "It's just spit-up; it LOOKS like a lot because it's spread out." As long as she was gaining weight, they didn't worry that we were both miserable!

I was VERY doubtful of the overfeeding theory, but I figured the worst thing that would happen, is she would be hungry again in one hour, instead of two ... In my case, she FINALLY slept for 3 hours! No crying, and no vomiting.

I may be way off the mark, but you'll be the better judge.

Whatever the reason, I hope you and your baby find relief and soon. God bless you and your family!

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A.B.

answers from Norfolk on

You might have overactive letdown. Does she gulp when she eats? Your milk might be coming too fast for her. You can try leaning back a little when you nurse so gravity is working against the milk flow. I even nursed lying in my back a few times. Baby gets less gas on the tummy that way, which can be painful. You can try elimination diets. Dairy, soy and wheat are big offenders. It means you eat a lot of fruits and veggies, rice and potatoes. Dairy and soy are the easiest to remove practically, but emotionally I have a hard time letting dairy go. Cheese and ice cream are my vices along with my chai late. You don't have to do it forever. You should know in about 2 weeks if the elimination diet works or not. Then you can either go back to your regular diet or continue. If you are on WIC, call to talk to one of the registered dietitians on staff. They should be able to help you plan meals around the elimination foods.

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T.T.

answers from Washington DC on

The first thing that I would recommend is to elevate the baby's head when you lay her down - this can be accomplished several ways, but putting a phone book or something under the crib mattress or some such item will allow the acid to stay where it belongs.

Also, as a nursing mom (11 months and going strong) I can tell you that eating while nursing is definitely a bit of a task until you get used to it. I avoided the big 3 - broccoli, onions and green peppers like the plague until just recently... Oh and you have to watch your chocolate intake as well... But those were the only things that I eliminated... There could be another lurking reason, and that could be a milk sensitivity- so if nothing else works - I'd try cutting dairy out of your diet and seeing if that helps.

J.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Hey K.,
I feel for ya girl - our first had a bad case of colic. Anyhow, I didn't know about this stuff back then (wish I had) but my cousin SWEARS by this stuff called Colic Calm. It cleared her son's up within just a few uses. The website is coliccalm.com. Good luck!
J.

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K.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi... sorry to respond so late. I feel your pain. My daughter was the same way & it was very hard to manage your emotions, etc...
There is a wonderful product that is not well known & completely natural, it's called Colic Calm. My peditrician, and Pediatric ENT never heard of it, but it is homeopathic & I did not want to put anything man-made in my baby.
Do a google search for Colic Calm, and it will take you to the website- it's the only place you can buy it. It is expensive ($20/bottle), but I found it to be worth my baby's weight in gold. I bought several bottles after having great success with the first dose... I never wanted to be without it again.
The liquid is jet black & may seem scarry, but it tastes very sweet & my daughter LOVED it. It will stain whatever it gets on, so make sure you're not wearing anything too special, and just administer it slowly with a towel ready to catch any drips. I never cared what my daughter ruined after she was her happy self again.
I pray that this works for you, and that your daughter is more comfortable- so that all of you are a happier family.
hugs, K. :)

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F.B.

answers from Charlottesville on

I will give you 2 suggestions, one is stop eating all dairy, read every label for whey protein, so you can eat, fruits, veggies, meats, any carb that is dairy free, the mid-higher priced breads are usually dairy free. This may help alot, it did my son, so much so he could come off the zyntec he was on. The other thing is call Baby Bliss Gripe Water, it's a herbal remedy my pediatrician gave me, it's marked for colic, but it really does help with this, A LOT, we used to refer to it as liquid gold. And since I've heard of lots of pediatrician recommending it, I fully believe in it's safety. One more thing, in her crib or bassinet, set the head up slightly higher than the foot, it will help, lying flat does make the problem worse. In the bassinet, I put a large ~1/4 inch thing text book under the mattress, for the crib I put the head of the mattress one rung up from the bottom (my crib you can raise and lower the mattress by which rung you set the mattress in). good luck!!

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M.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi K.,
My niece has reflux, and her parents had the same issues. The Mom had problems nursing too. They were finally able to get her comfortable using Similac Soy. If you want to stay nursing, try pumping into bottles. Then, when its feeding time, offer her a small amount at a time. The main issue with feeding from you is that you can't control how much she is taking and when. Her tummy needs to work in small amount. Drink a little, time to digest, drink some more, time to digest. Also, my niece would sleep in her infant carrier since it helped keep the stuff from the reflux more in the belly. I think they did that for the first few months.
Also, try walking around with her, not just sitting in a chair to calm her. The standing up will lengthen her body out and help ease the discomfort.
Good luck. I hope you have a friend or family nearby that came help you get a break.
M.

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M.B.

answers from Dover on

Hi K.- I don't know if this will help but my best friend's son also had bad acid reflux. She was a nursing mom and did not want to formula feed but was having a lot of issues with his reflux when feeding. She ended up pumping and bottle feeding with some rice formula mixed in and it and he did so much better. She kept this up for 8 months (god bless her!). Hope this helps, good luck!!

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S.M.

answers from Norfolk on

I have read all your responses and so many are what I did with my son. I ate chicken and rice for 2 week and then one item for a few days at a time found what caused it for mine. Both boys didn't do lettuces or chocolate (I couldn't look at an M&M without hours of crying). It took a few months but I felt I did the best thing in finding what their little tummy's couldn't handle. In addition to that I took both to a chiropractor. The first on after a similar post to yours and it was recommended.....OMG it was like a new baby in a 2 weeks. The second one went on the way home from the hospital. The book the last person recommended is great as well, the 5 s's are keys to soothing a baby. Post "fussy" babies may not respond as easily as other babies to soothing and I found that book to be helpful. Breast milk is best but you cannot be miserable. Your babies smile and your sanity is the key. Good luck.

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L.M.

answers from Washington DC on

If your baby is screaming that much, you really need to take her to a specialist. That doesn't seem normal. She may have other underlying issues that the doctor would need to examine her and maybe even run tests to find the real problem that is causing her to scream so much. Good luck!

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A.F.

answers from Washington DC on

"Breast milk is better than any formula! Stick with it or the baby's problems could be worse. Hopefully your baby will grow out of this digestion issue. I know it's hard to hear your baby cry. You are a good mother. Newborns can be a pain sometimes. "This too shall pass." AF

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V.C.

answers from Washington DC on

My daughter had a bad case of reflux and started Zantac at 6 weeks (we held out as long as we could). Has your doctor advised you to use Maalox? I'm not sure why a baby would need it for reflux. If your baby is really miserable, it may be a food intolerance or allergy, not just to the food you're eating, but something in the make-up of the breastmilk, and that intolerance may be contributing to or even causing the reflux. I assume you've cut out all dairy? It can take up to a week for it to clear from your system. Did you ever supplement with formula? In the hospital perhaps? That would be a reason to suspect dairy allergy. And milk protein allegy may also mean beef in your diet would be an issue too. No eggs, nuts, shellfish, gassy foods like peppers, cabbage, etc. You haven't seen bloody streaks in the diapers or skin rashes(other signs of food allergy)? By an intolerance to breastmilk, I'm talking about lactose intolerance, galactosemia, etc (all pretty rare) but you may want to ask your doctor. We did not have this problem; my daughter's reflux was purely mechanical and disappeared at 7 months, but she spent her first few months draped over our shoulders, never sleeping on her back (she's a tummy sleeper now), hating her carseat, etc, all because of reflux. Then again, there's always unexplained colic that should clear up by 3 months, but that's a long time to wait. If you truly feel indigestion is to blame, try pumping for a couple days, saving the milk, and giving a hypoallergenic formula instead (Alimentum or Nutramigen) to monitor the reaction.
Foods you can eat: lots of oatmeal, rice, turkey, chicken, lamb, non-citrus fruits, non-gassy vegetables.
Good luck to you and baby.

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A.H.

answers from Norfolk on

Try some gripe water. If you can't find that, make some chamomile tea. A couple of teaspoons should do it. All 3 of my kids have had super sensitive stomachs while they were little.

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E.S.

answers from Washington DC on

There are good suggestions so far for food changes to your diet but have you considered getting a crib wedge? There is one company that carries them called ONE STEP AHEAD.com and it is a full width crib wedge that elevates the baby's torso 15 or so degrees. Thats enough to keep the reflux down most of the time.
Have the baby tested for lactose intolerance or allergy; you may want to breast feed her but you may have to switch to soy or Nutramigen. This is not about you - it's all about what is best for the baby. I thought my first daughter had a milk allergy but in truth it was a LACTASE insufficiency. Yeah, she couldn't digest it because she just didn't have enough enzyme to break it down. So when my second baby started down the same road (and she had to be on high calorie formula because she was premature and it ONLY comes in milk base), I switched to a 'gentle' formula type (ie:Gentlease by Enfamil) and mixed the small can of high calorie stuff in one big can of Gentlease. I didn't want to go back to soy. Now she's 19 months old and drinks regular formula and cow's milk.
Hope all works out :)

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B.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Add us to the camp for whom Prevacid did wonders and Zantac did nothing. Both my kids had horrible reflux as babies. Zantac worked for my daughter really well. She still spit up all the time, but she wasn't uncomfortable. However, it was completely ineffective for my son. When the doctor switched him to Prevacid, the difference was amazing. Something else that helped for us was for me to nurse them a bit more upright. I actually had my dd straddle my leg and sitting at an angle to nurse on the opposite breast. I also held them upright for about 20 minutes after eating. I rolled a thick towel and put it under the mattress in the crib, so it created the incline in the mattress. Hope this helps and your little one is feeling better soon!

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W.E.

answers from Washington DC on

K.,
I am so sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time. This should be a beautiful time for you and your daughter to bond.
Let me start by saying I am NOT a doctor or clam to know what is truly wrong with your baby, but here is a situation I went thru with my first child.
Matt would scream for hours on end. I was lucky to get an hour of sleep a day. He screamed what seemed like 20 hours a day. We would take him to the ER EVERYDAY for 2 weeks! They kept telling us it was colic and he would outgrw it eventually, but I knew something else was wrong.
After 4 weeks of taking him to the ER and his "doctor". He walked in one day and told us we needed to take him to a "real peditrician"...WHAT?!?! We thought you were a "real perdiatrician". We took him right away to another doctor that ran a couple of tests on him and came to the conclusion very quickly that my son was literally starving to death. He did not have developed lip muscles to allow him to latch on correctly and suck hard enough to get what he needed out of me. We actually had to put him on a bottle (I pumped for several months so he still hadbreat milk) so we could monitor his actual intake. We even went as far as cutting small slits in the nipples so he was able to get it out of the bottle without any trouble. He stopped crying almost instantly and had to slowly allow him to feed so he didn't make himself sick.
You can even check yourself how well your childs lip muscles are developed by slightly pinching either lip and see if they can pull their lips back to them. It is a natural reaction to pull away. Do not pull hard, just enough to make the baby pull her lip back in. We did this as one of Matt's therepies for months to build up his lip muscles. Now he will eat us out of house and home if we let him. He will be 16 in 2 weeks.

Good luck, but don't give up. Take care.

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N.R.

answers from Richmond on

My sister's 1yrold went through this exact same thing. They did put him on that really expensive formula. Had she tried the dairy-free diet first, there's a possibility that she could've breastfed only. I found the diet by just googling dairy-free diet. She even had to look at the ingre and if it had casin or whey she couldn't eat it. And if she didn't know what was in something, she didn't eat it. Her son was on Zantac and all of the drops too before they tried this diet. I'm not really sure what worked or if he just grew out of it to be honest. Her oldest was 3yrs at that time too so I really can imagine what you must be going through.

Sorry I couldn't help more.

Take Care,
N. :) SAHM homeschooling 3 boys 12, 7 & 2 yrs old and married to my Mr. Wonderful for almost 15yrs. We love to help other moms, who want to become SAHMs, reach that goal! If you or someone you know wants to become a SAHM, please email at [email protected]____.com. Thanks!

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M.W.

answers from Washington DC on

My Little guy was on Zantac too but it takes awhile to become effective. You may also try Gripe Water from any health food store. My kids loved it and it seemed to help settle the tummy. Of cours continue the prescription medication but give this in conjunction and it may help. Also try swadlleing really tight, or hold baby skin to skin. I know some moms who would use hubby's button down shirt and place naked baby inside against their own skin and button them in. Try anything and everything without the expectation that one is the magic bullet. You may need to try everything everyday. If you ever get so frustrated from the screaming don't guilt yourself out of walking away for a few minutes to collect yourself. That is an extrememly stressful situation when you can't get your child to stop screaming. Call a friend, step out on porch for a few minutes, anything to stay calm!!!!
Good luck.
M. W

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K.W.

answers from Washington DC on

One thought that I didn't see here: Soy could also be your culprit. It is true that you need to see a gastroenterologist to discern whether this is reflux or allergies. And figuring out allergies takes time, because as many posters have noted, it takes time for the foods to clear your system.

My niece had a dairy AND soy allergy. The combined dairy and soy allergy made it challenging to give formula, and my SIL ended up having a mostly home-made diet, since soy is in almost EVERYTHING we eat these days (most vegetable oils are blends including soy, soy lecithin is in a lot of prepared foods, etc.) From what I've heard, the soy allergies are somewhat common, so another thing to bear in mind.

And I know it seems like forever, but six weeks is still very young. As she grows, her digestion will change, so don't stress too much about this lasting forever.

Best of luck!

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K.C.

answers from Dover on

Hi K., I had the same problem. My baby has a dairy and soy allergy. I couldn't console her and she wouldn't sleep. She would also wake up suddenly and scream. There is a little on the web about it but most experts say that a majority of bf babies aren't affected by what you eat. When they are they say that it is a dairy allergy most often. The other symptoms that I saw in my baby were mucus and small bit of blood in the stool, congestion, and eczema. After I went off of dairy she started getting better. Now she only has a reaction if I slip up and eat something with a milk or soy ingredient. It has not been as a bad as that horrible first few weeks though. Hope this helps any and let me know if you need any further advice. I have learned a lot about it.

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J.B.

answers from Washington DC on

I have a 9-month old who went through the same thing. Zantac did not work for him, and he had to have Prevacid. Now that we have the dosage right, it seems to do the trick. As a smaller baby he absolutely could not lie flat on his back, so we let him sleep in his swing, bouncer, anything that was semi-upright and safe. Now he is able to sleep on his back fine. Also, after eating, keep your baby upright for at least 20 minutes. I know you may not want to do this, but we also feed him a special formula, Similac Alimentum, which is quite expensive, but really does help with his reflux. Best of luck to you - I know how traumatic infant reflux is for you and the baby!

J.

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J.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Poor baby (both of you).
If she screams more laying down- let her sleep in an infant seat or carseat (put it in the crib) for now. Anything to make her more comfortable.
I'm sure you've eliminated all spicy food. Maybe try avoiding milk for a while and see if that makes a difference.
I'm pretty sure formula would not make her more comfortable- it sounds like she has some form of colic.
I hope she'll get over this soon and that you'll get some relief from the boring diet and upset baby!

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G.T.

answers from Norfolk on

If you would like to contact me we can talk more about other issues. If it is food, dairy is usually the culprit. Eliminate all dairy products----keep in mind it will take a few weeks for your body to clear itself of all dairy. After a bit try adding diary back in--one at a time--leaving milk for last. If you would like to contact me, I can explain the colic hold, infant massage and discuss other things that may be causing the problem.

G. T.

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K.R.

answers from Norfolk on

Are you sure you are providing your baby w/ enough milk? If she is on a reflux med already and continues to cry after you feed her she might not be getting enough milk. Do you weigh her diapers? Maybe you should try pumping to see how much you are actually producing and feed her that way. Maybe you should consult your pediatrician.

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T.C.

answers from Washington DC on

try letter her sleep upright in her bouncy seat or car seat. don't lay her flat to sleep. and if you can bundle her and hold her or carry her around upright in a sling it might help.

i checked on kellymom.com and they state that what you eat doesn't affect their gas or not. i thought my guy was suffering when he was eating, turns out he wasn't hungry. he was nursing a little, pulling back, crying, latching on, pulling back, etc. etc. i think he actually wasn't hungry then, not actually gassy. his tummy gurgles and creaks as well.

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N.L.

answers from Washington DC on

K.,
I feel your pain I have been there and done it. My son got up every 2 hrs for 7 mons w/reflux. The Zantac wasn't strong enough so I DEMANDED something stronger. They finally put him on Prevacid and Carafate. I was breastfeeding (stopped after 3 mons) and moved onto a sensitive formula - soy formula. I also had him basically sitting straight up when he slept...I have a special cushion I used in the crib...maybe if you live near I could help you out w/the cushion...email me at [email protected]____.com.

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M.K.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi K., I have an 8-week old boy and we have gone through terrible reflux issues. He would also scream and cry after each feeding and would arch his back when put in his crib, so I searched for answers. I learned that keeping him vertically on my chest for half an hour after each feeding helped a lot (I would carry him in a bjorn during the day). Are you breastfeeding (it helped a lot when I would breastfeed exclusively because he does not overeat this way; if you are giving him a bottle then frequent small feedings every couple of ours also would help). We also elevated the crib mattress by about 30 degrees and bought a sling which swadles him gently to the mattress so he does not slide. I would only put him in the crib during the day and nights he sleeps in the bouncer which also helped. Also, fennel tea or gripe water (which has both fennel and dill and is great, you can get it sugar/alcohol free at the breastfeeding center for greater washington on K street and probably natural foods stores) did wonders for us as it helps with gas and he seems to like it. As for zantac, my ped told me privaced (spelling?) works better but has not been around for too long, so it would be the next line of defense, but for now, she just increased his zantac doze. As far as eating is concerned, I initially stayed off diary and of course spicy foods (indian fair was no good for him!) but now gradually increasing diary to see if he is really lactose intolerant.

Good luck and I hear it is a phase so it passes..

M.

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K.L.

answers from Washington DC on

I discovered that my baby had a really tough time whenever I ate anything dairy - especially cheese! My biggest clue was the night I ate 4 pieces of pizza and then had a screaming baby all the next day. So I cut out all cheese and tomato based products for two full weeks (I don't drink milk and rarely have yogurt, so it was mostly the cheese I had to stop). There were still some tummy problems, but the really bad crying and discomfort stopped then too. After that I added each back one at a time and lo and behold, I at a cheese sandwhich one day and not long after I had a screaming baby again! It was tough because I really like cheese, but after he was 6 mos old and starting to eat "solids" i started putting dairy back in my diet and he's been since (he just turned 1 and I still nurse am and pm).

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K.H.

answers from Washington DC on

This sounds very similar to what we went through with my son. I noticed we had better nights when I didn't have anything with milk in it. I also went without gassy foods. It was better. Dunno if it will help you, but it helped us. Be careful with the formula... when we tried that... he would be up for 2-3 hrs per feeding at night screaming his little heart out b/c his tummy hurt. Soy formula worked better for him. Soy milk is what he is on now. He still has trouble with milk product (not an allergy).

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G.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Do you practise yoga?? Give it a try with the baby. Soothing music may help. You have to relax so your nervousness does not transfer to the baby. Can you sing? You are breast feeding, what you eat is very important. You also have to eat enough!! Try some natural tension soothers like mashed potatoes without butter/milk, baked salmon, apple sauce, yogurt (soy), spinach. They seemed to work for me and baby.

Rocking chairs are soothing, especially those that dont go just back and forth (side to side). Walking the baby at night while you can stand also works. Adjustment in the crib with supports (back, side, head) while rubbing stomach. Go see a naturapath, they provide natural remedies.

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L.D.

answers from Norfolk on

I knew your pain. I am a first time mom and that's what my little guy did. The mom's have great suggestions. The babies out-grow it, just hang tough. The only way my guy could sleep at night was in a swing chair - he also slept on his side sometimes.
The other thing I did was put him on a 3 hour schedule: wake up and feed (as upright as possible), play/stimulate, put down for a nap w/in 2 hours. DO NOT FEED BEFORE NAPPING. for ME, I couldn't tell when he was fussing for food or fussing for nap- after 1.5 hours he was fussing for nap and feeding just made it worse!
I also changed my diet - rice milk, white toast, and chicken/turkey w/carrots. Don't think it made any difference. Take out the big culprits (the mommies named them) for a week to see if it makes a difference for you.
The other thing I followed was "The Happiest Baby on the Block" book... the swaddle, swing and shhh book...allowed me to let him get some sleep. Highly recommended.
Just give it time, and see if you can get a break by handing her off to a trusted someone once in a while. (if you're around V.Bch area, email me privately if you'd like)
This was the toughest time for me as a mom - it gets better. Hugs to you.

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C.M.

answers from Richmond on

I know what you mean! Our daughter had the same issues - people look back at when their child was an infant with longing - we never had that. One day our pediatrician got to see he crying without stoping. She place her on Carafate Suspension - I believe it was about 20 - 30 minutes before eating. After we placed our daughter on that - she was a new child. No more screaming! I would highly recommend this!! If you have additional questions, please let me know.

C.O.

answers from Washington DC on

K.:

I understand your dilemma completely! My first son RARELY cried and only had problems after I ate broccoli and cucumbers. My second son - oh my word - terror!

* Ensure your little one is burped after each feeding.
* Ensure your little one is upright for at least 15 to 30 minutes after each feeding. If you can't hold her, get an infant swing - they are a dream!
* The infant wedges work - this would make her a side-sleeper, but it will get her off her flat pressure.

Start with the basics - keep track of what you eat during the day. If you eat a lot of nuts or veggies (broccoli and cucumbers are delicious but give a lot of gas in breast milk) and see if there's a difference after a feeding. Please note this isn't an instant change. Your body is still processing food you ate so it could be second feeding, etc.

If she is constantly crying though, that's not really normal. I would make an appointment with the pediatrician and let them know what's going on. Plan it around a feeding so they can see her reaction.

Take care! It WILL be okay - you are a GREAT mom!

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E.S.

answers from Providence on

My LO used to scream while breastfeeding and it was difficult to put him on my breast milk. He had severe reflux issues and babies magic tea was the last remedy which worked.

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E.T.

answers from Dover on

I feel for you, my son had reflux as well and it is horrible when you know they are in pain and can't seem to do anything to make it better. The only thing that worked for my son was switching to formula, Enfamil AR the ready to feed kind. Even with his med, the powder didn't work as well. He didn't eat more than 4oz at a time until he was like 6 months old. Just by chance they didn't have any of the powdered formula so I got the ready to eat and he ate more at one time and he didn't fuss afterwards. It was super expensive, lol, but worth it to see my son not spitting/throwing up and in pain. I would talk to your ped. about it. I agree it may have nothing to do with what your eating but how your daughter is built. Good luck.

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C.L.

answers from Charlottesville on

It seems to me that if you can actually HEAR the gurguling in baby's belly, that it would be more of a gas problem. We put Milicon in every single bottle. You could pump milk, then give her a bottle with breast milk and milicon together. I would definitely not let her cry it out if you know she is in pain. She needs comforting. Good luck!!

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J.F.

answers from Washington DC on

I had the same problem with my second child. I'm also a pediatric nurse so I was able to spot the signs of reflux sooner while others were telling me she was just a colic baby. First I took Katie to the Peds doctor and they started her on Zantac. She was only bottle fed so we tried many different formulas (some very expensive). Every time we made a change, it would work for a few days then she would start all over again. She would sleep only on me or in a bouncy chair. Katie could not lay flat for months. Katie was also a good eater despite her problems. The problem with Zantac is that as the baby grows, they can quickly out grow the dose. Finally I took her to a good GI doctor who switched her from Zantac to Prevacid. It worked wonders. As she got a little older and was able to eat baby foods and sit up by herself things got a little easier. Unfortunately, Katie did not sleep through the night (more then 2-4 hrs at a time) until she was almost a year old. By age one, she was off the meds and is doing great. You may want to ask your pediatrician for a referral to a Pediatric GI doctor. They can schedule an Upper GI test (which is painless) to assess for reflux. It does get better. My daughter is now a beautiful, happy little girl.

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S.M.

answers from Washington DC on

First, she is way to young to cry it out, even if you believe in that approach. So trust your instinct and comfort her!!

My advice, I think you can eat anything while nursing with the exception of
* alcohol
* caffine
* processed sugar
* too much fish (mercury)
* high fat/greasy foods

Of course all things in moderation (for example, some people believe a glass of wine occasionally is okay). But basicvally a healthy diet. If it won't give you integestion, then it should be oksy for her. Stay away from greasy and spicy in particular.

For most kids, their bodies mature and they grow out of this. I know it seems like forever right now, but it will get better.

Breastfeeding is so hard at first, even without a reflux problem. I urge you to keep going, but see a lactation professional - they are amazing. I also am a big believer in occasional supplementation of formula - if it helps you get through a bad patch, then go for it. Just pump frequently to increase your own supply. The nursing too will get so much easier with time!

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T.J.

answers from Washington DC on

Please do not let her CIO, her tummy hurts and that will just make things worse. It could be an allergy.
My son was not diagnosed with acid reflux, but had terrible tummy problems as well and I too breast feed.
Once I was told to stop eating dairy, soy, wheat, shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts, eggs, and citrus..his stomach got better practically overnight.
Also, I know that it can be difficult in nursing babies, make sure she is getting out a least one good burp after eating.
What you CAN eat...meats, fruits, and veggies. It is going to be very, very hard at first, but I have been doing it for 3 months now and it gets easier. We have slowly started to introduce one food at a time to be sure he is not allergic to anything...so far dairy and wheat seem to cause him trouble.

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M.T.

answers from Washington DC on

HI I had the same problem when my youngest daughter was that age. She cried, always looked uncomfortable and seemed to throw up everything she took in after each feeding.
My doctor did not like to give medicine to infants so she suggested drinking lots of peppermint tea because I was breast feeding. I drank the tea throughout the day and especially an hour or so before nursing.
After nursing, I would keep her up right and the acid reflux, the gas and fussyness was gone in a few weeks, but I noticed a difference right away. The peppermint tea was very calming for me as well...'-)
Sometimes a more natural approach can work.
SAHM of 4 kids breast fed all for at least 13 months to 2 years.
Good luck.

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L.R.

answers from Washington DC on

My daughter had the same problem. I hate to tell you this, but it actually got better when I gave her a bottle and not the breast. I was told the bottle is easier to suck from so it doesn't hurt her belly as much.

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B.D.

answers from Washington DC on

K.,

Our 8-year-old son was born with severe reflux and pyloric stenosis (projectile vomiting) both of which had to be surgically corrected, so I am speaking from an extreme point of view. If the problem is so severe you should see your pediatrician. It may not be what you're eating, but the way your daughter is built. Have you tried elevating one end of her crib mattress (I folded an old blanket and tucked it under the head of the mattress then built a nest with rolled up baby blankets in the middle of the mattress to keep my son from turning sideways. Our surgeon and gastroenterologist also suggested bringing our ajustable car seat inside and letting him sleep sitting up in that, being carefull to put a rolled up towel accross the top of his head like an upside down U so his head wouldn't tip to one side and give him a crick in his neck. Think about your daughter's "plumbing" and allow gravity to help her, and check in with your doctor. There's no reason why both of you should be suffering like this. Take care and I hope things improve quickly for you.

Janet

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G.M.

answers from Washington DC on

K.,

I was you not long ago and the best advice I got (from another mamasource mommy...isn't this site great) was to call your local pediatric gastroentologist and get an appointment ASAP. They will ask a zillion questions and give you their expert "guess" since after all, since babies can't talk, we are trying to make educated guesses. They will map out a plan for what to do to help manager her discomfort e.g. type of medicine, rice cereal in her bottle, how much, etc. etc. If medicine XYZ doesn't work, medicine ABC or a combo of both. My daughter had/has pretty bad reflux and prilosec was what started healing her, then we had her on prilosec, reglan and zantac (Zantac alone by the way DID NOT WORK!!!). REglan has bad potential side effects so we took her off that and now she's a happy baby still on prilosec, carafate and zantac. She had an endoscopy at 8 weeks of age and that's when they saw damage to her esophagus - now wonder she cried all the time! So anyways, point is, the gas may not be causing her discomfort and it may be that she needs stronger meds for her reflux. Reflux is probably the most irritating thing for a baby - worse than gas, colic, etc. And yes, do not ever lay her down flat. Let her sleep in her swing and elevate EVERYTHING, including her changing table (we used a rolled up blanket) and put cookbooks under her crib mattress and bought a "Tucker Sling" (look it up on the web) to hold her up so she didn't roll. The Prilosec and Tucker sling were the key things to helping her manage the reflux. Good luck and feel free to ask me more questions...I"m her to help...At this point, I feel like an "expert" on infant acid reflux!

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L.A.

answers from Richmond on

Hey K.,
From my experience, it sounds she's having trouble digesting the cow's milk protein that comes through even though you're nursing, with an allergy being a possibility as well. But don't worry -- it's a whole lot more common than people think. I chose to eliminate all cow's milk in my diet (look for products that say caesin or whey in the ingredients, because that's cow's milk as well and it's in a lot of products, like bread), but it is SO worth it. It may take a week or so to get out of her system, but once it's out, she'll be a completely different baby. My daughter turned from non-stop crying to a complete angel when I did this. It was a strict diet, but it was a healthy one, and it was so perfect for both my baby and me. I wouldn't have changed a thing. My daughter isn't allergic to milk anymore -- it was just something that was impossible for her to digest when she was younger. K., email me if you have any questions or want some more info on it. Hugs to you!

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N.A.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi K.. I feel your pain! My little one was the same way except I didn't have her on meds. I did a lot of "bicycles" with her to help release the gas build up .... prop your knees up and lay her in your lap (facing you) and motion her legs like she's riding a bike. Also, belly massages helped. Repeat this a couple times a day. There was a period when I simply could not console her and perseverence was my only strategy. I wish I could offer more. As for what you should eat ... you're probably eating the right things ... and staying away from the gas-producing foods. Hind sight is 20-20 and I now realize that it was just her system and her body's ability to break down the food ... not me. My daughter is now 16 months and is currently on Zantac as prescribed by a pediatric gastroenterologist.

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C.B.

answers from Norfolk on

K.,
It sounds as if you are doing everything you can. You have can you tell us what you are eating, that might give us a clue as to what is causing some of it. Do you have anyone who can just give you an hour or two away from the kids to let you go and relax. I know that this is stressful for you and the baby. The more you are relaxed the it will help the baby. Perhaps a little time to yourself (if you are not getting that ) will help.

Your family is in my prayers,

C.

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C.G.

answers from Washington DC on

K.. I've been where you are.......I used to stand under a hot shower holding my daughter just so her tummy would relax a bit and not be sooo hard. The reflux build up of gas, projection, vomiting etc.,. What helped me was massaging her tummy before and after nursing, moving her legs and joints and Yes,I eventually changed to formula and after a couple of different brands I found one that worked. I was set on breastfeeding and really thought I was a bad mom for not doing it.......guilt set in and honestly my girlfriends were saying it would pass in time......well it seemed like forever, and the attitude of "Natural is Superior, kinda didn't help me out" Don't get me wrong I DO believe Natural is good for our children but every child is different and if something else could help I was willing to try it....then my husband said "What's important is that the baby is comfortable and eats".....That put it into perspective for me...and I went to formula. My stressing out was not helping the situation. It worked for me K., I know you'll do what's best for you and your baby. "Trust your gut"..I hope this helps you.

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