Sunday, July 1, 2012

Breastfeeding Issues

Poppy does breastfeed, but we are having issues. She spends much time awake and uncomfortable (read: screaming) whenever I eat dairy, and even with removing dairy from my diet she spits up multiple times after most meals, arches her back after feedings, is very gassy, and she pops on and off the breast. You can see we're having fun over here, right? Here are some problems we are possibly encountering:

Dairy Sensitivity
The dairy problem was easy to diagnose. I'm still figuring out just how sensitive she is. Milk and cream are definite no-no's, but are cheese, yogurt, and butter okay? I don't know. I need to cut them out and gradually add them back. In the meantime, Senpai stocked the fridge with soy milk, ice cream, cheese, and yogurt for me. Except that babies can be sensitive to soy, too. (!) For now, I think we're okay with soy. Maybe after I address some of our other problems, if Poppy still seems uncomfortable, I'll continue trying to eliminate more things from my diet and see if it makes a difference.

The frequent spitting up and back arching point to baby reflux. I will address this with our pediatrician and see if she thinks Poppy would benefit from medication. I can say that it definitely is not as bad a case as Rosemary had. Rosemary needed to be either reclined or lying on her stomach to comfortably fall asleep, whereas Poppy is perfectly content lying flat on her back. Rosemary didn't spit up like Poppy does, but they both are and were very gassy babies. Yay for preemie reflux! :-/

Fast/Overactive Letdown
This problem is on my end, obviously. Poppy's spit up, gassiness, and popping on and off the breast also point to fast/overactive letdown of my milk. I know this problem is exacerbated by pumping. I have reduced how much I pump to only about three times a day, based on how well Poppy breastfeeds, but it still seems like I have too much milk for her. I have to pump because she doesn't always breastfeed well, and those days require me to put milk in the fridge for bottles for her. It's a difficult balancing act of milk in the breasts vs. milk in the fridge vs. happy awake baby or sleepy disgruntled baby. I wish I didn't have to juggle these factors, but I do. I need to schedule an appointment with the lactation consultant and see what can be done. I guess I'd feel better if I had more of a concrete plan to follow, as opposed to being at the mercy of these separate but related elements.

So there's the plan for now: eliminate dairy (working on it), see the pediatrician (appt. scheduled for the 10th), see the lactation consultant (need to call tomorrow). I really hope we can iron out these issues so Poppy can be a happier baby and so we can have an easier time breastfeeding.  



Sweet and Savory Eats said...

Hang in there! Breastfeeding is hard! I only lasted 3 months with each baby b/c of a low milk supply (I tried everything!), but it all worked out in the end and they are happy 2.5 and 1 year olds now!

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