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Breast Feeding

Gassy baby

11/08/2006

Question:

Hi!I have a 4 week old baby girl who is experiencing discomfort probably due to `wind`in her tummy. When she`s awake, she`d fuss until she falls back to sleep (normally at about 7.30am to 9am; and 6pm to 9pm).I am breastfeeding her, and have read articles about forceful let downs and oversupply of milk related to babies being gassy. at the moment, I burp her after 5 minutes when she`s gulping down a lot of milk, and 10 minutes later. Sometimes, I would change breasts. But I read that we should feed her on the same breast longer/til she stops. I will try that too. I would also give her some gripe water before feeds during her `fussy`times.

When she is fussy/gassy, i`d try to burp her and comfort her. She`ll be rooting quite a lot. I will try not to let her suckle on my breasts, for fear it`ll induce more problems later. But at times, I would let her suckle. And she`d fuss while sucking before falling asleep. What could I do here?

My baby fusses during feeds as well. Sometimes, after 10 minutes or so, she would stretch, fuss about while sucking. And most of the time, because of her stretching and fussing, she`d break suction and that causes her to fuss more. I`m wondering why and what can I do to reduce this.

Hoping to hear from you. Thank you!

Answer:

This sounds like a cow milk protein allergy or sensitivity. If you drink milk, eat cheese or ice cream, yogurt, etc, the bovine protein enters your circulation and travels to your breast milk, which then gives her gas pains that make her fussy. This is often accompanied by loose or watery stools. The best thing to do is to stop ALL dairy intake and to stay off of it for at least 3 to 5 weeks, which is the amount of time it takes for that protein to be washed out of the breast tissues. Even a tiny amount in your diet can bring back the gas and fussiness.

You can usually but not always (86% of the time soy is tolerated by babies) replace the dairy products with soy products, but rarely (14 % of the time) these need to be eliminated too.

Most babies out grow this tendency by 6 months to one year.

If you are already avoiding all dairy, please write again.

For more information:

Go to the Breast Feeding health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM
Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati