Thursday, March 12, 2009

Quiet nights, colicky mornings

Recently, Shira started sleeping through the night. I didn't expect it at such an early age, and most certainly didn't push it. I think Shira's extended sleep might have something to do with the fact that usually, her poor tummy is bothering her throughout the evening, until she falls asleep absolutely exhausted. I tried all sorts of experiments with my diet, but so far, nothing helped.

I enjoy getting better sleep, of course, but the downside of it is that I wake up bursting with milk, and most often with milk already all over my pajamas and sheets. Shira, of course, is very hungry when she wakes, and I'm only too happy to feed her… and then, she immediately starts having symptoms of colic again!

Previously, she used to be very calm during most of the day, but now she's fussy nearly all day long. I think that perhaps she gets too much milk at once in the morning, when she drains my overflowing breasts.

I used to think that it's better not to wake her if she's sleeping, but now I'm not so sure. Perhaps it will be better for both of us if I wake her at least once at night and feed her, rather than wait until she wakes up on her own.

What do you, the more experienced nursing mommies, think?

Let me add that I just love, love, love nursing her. I really want it to work for us in the best way possible. Normally it's such a sweet time with my baby. Makes me hope I'll always have a little one to nurse for the next twenty years or so!

95 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anna,

Aren't you a vegetarian? As a nursing mom you obviously need your protein. I know you said you've experimented with your diet, and I could be totally off-base here, but I can't imagine that you are fulfilling your protein needs without eating a whole lot of beans.

Many nursing babies I've known have had tummy problems if their moms ate a lot of beans. Perhaps you could increase the soaking time of the beans? Have you considered sprouting them to further reduce the gas issues? Have you tried gas drops? Do you get the sense that gas is the issue, or is Shira throwing up or otherwise having tummy troubles?

This may or may not be the problem, but it's certainly a likely suspect for a vegetarian mom. Other possibilities include food sensitivities and allergies, or like you said, simply getting too much milk at once. If the problem is too much milk at once, you might consider forcibly cutting the morning meal down so that she will start nursing again at night. Smaller, more frequent meals will help if the problem is being overly full.

Like I said, though, I suspect beans. :)

Morag said...

Dear Anna,
You could try waking her up an hour earlier to nurse her. Like you I had two colicky babies and no change in my diet seemed to make any difference. I wonder if it isn't just a normal period of adjustment and maturation for baby's digestive system that adults decided to label a problem because it causes distress for us. I did find that putting them tummy down on a source of gentle warmth did help some. Probably for the same reason warmth soothes cramps.
Linda

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,

I love nursing my baby too, now 15 months! In the first few months, he also was very fussy- He had reflux, meaning he spit up a lot. Spitting up is normal for new babies, but in some cases, it becomes excessive and leads to 'colic'. In extreme cases, there are medications that are prescribed. In our case, rather than use medication, we found much relief by following leleche league's advice on decreasing milk abundance! I can't remember the specifics, except it involved feeding only on one breast, rather than both, and in extreme cases, using that breast for 2 feeds in a row before switching to the other breast. You can read the specifics on the website if you think this might help. Abundant milk supply can certainly lead to a lot of extra spitting up, which brings excess acidity and heartburn.... so your description led me to consider this... hope you find some relief for you and your precious baby soon! If reflux is the problem, you can rest assured that even by doing nothing, the spincter that holds fluid in the stomach gradually gets stronger during the first year- so the problem improves with time. God bless!

Sincerely,
Rosemary

Ana said...

Hi! I love your blog.

Perhaps Shira is having discomfort because of something you eat. Do you eat a lot of dairy?

SimpleMommy said...

I would suggest researching a bit on reflux. My oldest was terribly colicky, and we attributed it to milk allergy. She grew out of it around 6 or 7 mos. Just about the time when they spend most of the day sitting up. :) My 2 yo had the same symptoms as the oldest. We medicated him (zantac liquid - tastes something horrid) but within 3 days we had a different baby.

I'm not quick to medicate such a little one. In my case, I am glad I did, though. It made such a huge difference. we stopped on our own after he was sitting up a majority of the time he was awake.

My babies were bottlefed, but I do know that nursed babies *can* get reflux. not as common, but it does happen.

My oldest was a spitter (had reflux most likely) my second *major* spitter, but no reflux. The baby, he wasn't much of a spitter, but when he did burp....poor little guy.

Anonymous said...

I'd wake her. If you're waking up engorged, she might be getting too much fore milk and not enough hind milk - meaning a hungry, full baby! They can get very fussy and gassy from this. Look up "dream feeding" on the net and see if this is helpful.

Good luck!
Emmy

Nancy Helen said...

me too :)

hope you are able to find a good rhythm with little Shira!

Tracy said...

Anna,
I had loads of milk, too. Perhaps you could express a little during the night rather than waking her.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mrs Anna T! My son is now 4 months old and he's slept through the night for about three months... It is lovely! I breastfeed on demand and exclusively. My nurse told me that it's not healthy for the mom to not nurse for such a long time (8 hours on average), so I usually wake up earlier than the baby and pump some of the milk. (It is practical to have some milk in the freezer so I can do something on my own while daddy & son stay at home, but in here you can also donate milk to hospitals, so I do that too). Sometime I didn't pump and let him have all the milk at once, it ended with a massive throw up, so based on that I'd say you're right about too much milk upsetting the little tummy.

Of course every mommy and baby is different, I hope Shira's colic ends soon.

Anna A

Anonymous said...

Dear Mrs. T,

I am not a mother but when I was little I was extremely colicky. I would cry for hours and then suddenly stop, my mother would be afraid that I had died (because I was so quiet).

I know that you are vegetarian, and this can cause some problems, especially if you eat soy or pasteurized milk. The Weston A. Price Foundation has very good information (that has helped me) and you will probably want to check and read around their site.

Here is an article from them on colic:http://www.westonaprice.org/children/calming-colic.html

and their main site: http://westonaprice.org/splash_2.htm

It is full of good information, and they do have a book on babies and their health that if you have continuing problems I would be happy to scan and send more articles to you.

I hope this is of help and I will be praying for you and Shira.

Miss Hannah

P.S. My Mother says baby girls start sleeping through the night at about 8 weeks.

Persuaded said...

well... i wouldn't waken her, but i would feed her. in other words, i'd very carefully get her out of bed and put her to the breast and see if she nurses without fully waking up. probably an hour or two before she is likely to waken up naturally. you'd probably be able to put her back to bed without her ever becoming fully awake.. and she might then sleep longer on her own, since she'll be full.

i agree with the previous commenter that she may be filling her tummy with foremilk and not getting enough hindmilk to satisfy her... although i am quick to say that that is just my hunch since it's hard to tell something like this without actually seeing her and seeing her feed.

blessings to you this morning my dear♥

Rachel B. said...

Start writing EVERYTHING you eat down. Remember that it takes a while to get to her after you've eaten it :) Also, do you eat things with sugar and sugar cane products in them? I gave up refined sugar and cane products and my son's tummy aches went away!

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,

It's Rosemary again... I found the link for the le leche league article, regarding decreasing milk abundance. Perhaps it will help:
http://www.llli.org/FAQ/oversupply.html

Good luck!

Rosemary

Anonymous said...

Do you drink or eat dairy products? This almost always causes colic.

Belinda said...

Anna,
I think you should go with your instinct to wake her. You are engorged and uncomfortable and she gets an overabundance in the morning. I have also read that cycles return quicker when a mommy goes longer than 6 hours between feedings. That includes night feedings. I found that to be true for me.

Rebekka said...

I'd just like to put in that if you find that you have too much milk, one option is to express the extra and donate it to someone in your community who doesn't have enough - either because mum doesn't produce as much or because the baby is adopted. My sister has nannied for adopted babies before and has experienced multiple times that a little "supplement" of breastmilk donated from someone who has too much helps the adopted babies thrive and clears up small complaints and colds right away. If you have a hospital in the area, you can ask if they have a milk bank.

Mrs. Lindblom said...

Hi, Anna. I'm nursing my second baby now.
I would wake Shira up at least once during the night for a feeding. I would be afraid that not doing so might lower your milk supply too much. I also heard somewhere that skipping nightime nursing sessions increases the chances of your menstrual cycles resuming sooner.
Neither of my babies have been colicky, but my little girl sure does get upset when she needs to burp and can't. Make sure your little one burps after each session. :)

Nurse Bee said...

It takes a while for your milk to regulate itself. My baby has slept through nearly every night (12+ hours) since she was a month old. I still wake up uncomfortably full in the mornings. I pump some milk first thing when I get up each morning rather than wake her up. It never hurts to have a little breastmilk in the freezer for emergencies (of course my freezer is full with it now....)

Alycia said...

I have no experience with babies sleeping through the night, so I don't have much advice about that!

I apologize if I'm telling you something you already know, but a doctor friend told me that it takes a few *weeks* of abstaining from dairy products for all of the proteins to clear from your milk. Therefore, if a food sensitivity is suspected, it is necessary to remove the foods in question for quite some time.

Secondly, as Rosemary suggested, Shira may be getting too much foremilk in the mornings. The hindmilk is the fattier milk that a baby gets after nursing for quite a while on a breast, and if the mother is engorged the baby usually fills up on foremilk. This can result in all kinds of tummy problems and sometimes slow weight gain.

I had oversupply problems with my son, and my local La Leche League leader suggested two things - first, (this will not make your baby happy!) as soon as you feel your milk start to let down, pop off your baby and let your breast stream/drip into a cloth diaper. When letdown is over, bring Shira back to the breast. This way she will get less foremilk overall.

Secondly, try feeding Shira for two whole feedings using only one side before switching to the other. I know from experience how uncomfortable this can be, but your body will soon regulate its milk supply and things will improve.

Best of luck, Anna!

Alycia said...

I just thought of one more thing. It took me months to realize that my daughter's extremely fussy periods were due to my eating tomatoes and tomato products. Sometimes it takes a long time for it to click that something in your diet has changed. I'm sure you'll continue keeping an eye out, and I hope you figure something out soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm on my fourth baby and have nursed all. My youngest is seven weeks old. I experienced exactly what you are describing with my first. I searched hard for the answer and found it when I learned about the difference between "foremilk" and "hindmilk".

The foremilk is what the baby gets first, it's the milk storing up in the breast and causing engorgement if enough time goes by. The hind milk moves down from deeper in the breast as the foremilk is emptied. The two types of milk are very different in composition. The foremilk is thin and watery and apparently more apt to cause tummy trouble. The hind milk is rich and fatty and easier to digest. So one of the results of putting baby to the breast when it is engorged is that she will get mostly foremilk.

To compound the issue, I have a very strong flow (especially when engorged) and my babies often choke and swallow a bunch of air. I have become an expert burper, but sometimes have to stop nursing to burp four times during a feeding.

The answer for me is to use a breast pump to empty off some of the foremilk before putting baby to the breast. The milk flows more slowly and everything seems to go better. I don't have to do that all day, but just first thing in the morning. I don't save that milk, because it is so thin and watery anyway. If it becomes an issue during the day, I'll switch to only offering one side per feeding and making sure baby stays on that side long enough to get nice and full. That decreased my milk abundance which (for me) is just what I need. Hope this helps!

Bethany

PS I wouldn't wake her, enjoy your sleep!

Kacie said...

Is there a lactation consultant who could come visit you? If not, I know the La Leche League has an online helpdesk. You can ask a detailed question and a volunteer will get back with you. So helpful!

As I've only been breastfeeding for 11 weeks so far, I'm no expert. But, I've noticed that when my son's stools are green, he's more fussy. When they're yellow, he's content.

They're yellow when he gets a good, full complete feeding and they're greener when he doesn't seem to get enough hindmilk.

jAne said...

I have no suggestions but I will pray, dear Anna.

Anonymous said...

As a La Leche League leader, these are all good options to try. Having a baby this young who is sleeping through the night is not the norm and may definitely be the issue in terms of the amount of milk you have in the a.m. Nursing her during the night at least once, will leave to a more balanced milk-supply and a more contented baby. If this is not the issue, you might try probiotics (b/f a medication) next.

llli.org (la leche league)

Jen Higgins said...

This might not be terribly helpful, but colic is a pretty normal thing that often sets in between 6 and 8 weeks of age. There's often no explaination for colic or way to cure it. My sister uses Mylicon gas drops for her infant and she says sometimes it helps. Babies are usually over colic by 3 or 4 months old. You've already tired adjusting your diet, so it just might be something that time will fix. It's a short lived phase, just like her newborn sleepiness, or waking in the night, and it will pass soon.

Becky said...

I see someone already posted about fore milk and hind milk. That was my first thought as well. When she is o hungry in the morning, and you are bursting, she is most likely getting too much of the thinner, less substantial fore milk and not enough of the richer hind milk.

I would wake her, if it were me, or, if she seems content to sleep, I would pump some milk off and freeze it for later.

Either way, good luck!

Anonymous said...

http://www.llli.org/nb.html?m=0,0,0
There are lots of articles that may be helpful here. La Leche League is so pro breastfeeding. Hope this helps.

dukygurl said...

I nursed both my girls and found that bell peppers are upsetting and broccoli, anything gassy. Your baby will eventually adjust. My fist born was like this for about her first four months. My second daughter would go "on strike" from time to time and sometimes it helped to pump. the best advise I can give is to perserve and start with a bland diet and go from there.
God bless

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,
I would try lessening her morning feeding just a little and them let her nurse as she wants for the rest of the day.God made a woman's body to be able to adjust to her babies needs. When my babies got to the ages I wanted to wean them a would slowly wean them little by little over the course of a few months and when I got down to one feeding a day my body was only making just that amount of milk. Every time you make some type of adjustment in your baby's feeding schedule your body will take a few days to adjust and then you will be again making the exact amount she needs.Also my babies used to get sick tummys anytime I ate alot of onions while nusing so I had to eat very onions during that time. Also do you drink alot of coffee or soda? Alot of caffine could cause a tummy ache. Hope this helps! Have a wonderful day! Holly in Alaska

BellaMama said...

I've found that with my children, they have growth spurts at 3 wks, 6 wks, 3 months and 6 months more or less. They can be extra hungry or extra fussy and I just nurse them at more frequent intervals. It usually is starts when everything is beginning to have a wonderful clockwork like schedule.
If you've started eating anything different, check there first as far as you go. Another thing would be enough water, you definitely have enough milk, but your body may need that "cleanse" of more water. Your weight divided in half: that number in ounces should be the minimum you drink in a day. If you are nursing and/or exercising, then it is even more water. You get over that fact that there are more bathroom breaks and enjoy the energy and no problems by drinking enough.

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Hello Anna,

My babies all were most fussy between weeks 8-10, and much better at 12 weeks. I also experimented with removing different foods. it mostely made me feel that I was doing something--anything. It didn't work at all. Other moms tell me that they had good luck removing especially onions and milk products from their diets.

The good news is that most babies are much less fussy after that 12 week mark.

Hope it helps!

Anne in Illinois

Mau said...

I agree with the poster that suggested Shira is getting too much fore milk and not enough hind milk. Over abundant fore milk has a tendency to cause upset tummies. You might try expressing some milk before feeding Shira.

I found that until my babies were about 6 months old, I produced way too much milk for them, resulting in projectile spit-up of copious amounts of breast milk. I remedied this by offering only one side for a feeding and only that one side for several hours before offering the other side. This suggestion was recommended by La Leche League. This solves the problem regarding too much fore milk.

Shira may be sleeping through the night now, but when she hits another growth spurt she'll begin waking for feeding during the night again. In time it will all balance out.

Aimee Kieffer, aka "Momzoo" said...

I wouldn't wake her, don't disrupt her sleep pattern, or you might have an 18 month old still waking up to be fed.

Your body will adjust. My babies typically would start sleeping 8 hours a night at about 6 weeks. I would have a week or so of discomfort, but then my body would adjust to no feedings at night.

I think the colic is unrelated. Babies go through normal cycles of contentedness (sp) and fussiness. I found that my babies would seem to be extra fussy right before they hit a developmental milestone. For example: they really want to reach out and touch that toy/mama/blanket and they can't quite figure out how to do it, it creats frusteration/fussiness.

For what it is worth, those are my thougths.

Homemakers Cottage said...

Anna, our first baby was VERY colicky... I remember well the exhaustion of those days (and, for us, nights)!!

I found "Gripe Water" to be VERY helpful with upset tummies, especially colick symptoms. It worked wonders with our two younger ones. I'm not sure if you can purchase it over there, but I know it is available online.

All three of our children have very sensitive tummies and sometimes it's difficult to pin- point what we mommies are eating that might be causing the "problem". I tried eliminating dairy from my diet completely and that helped, but sometimes little ones just have to out grow their tummy troubles.

Another thing that has helped my little ones is to massage their stomaches several times throughout the day. It always seemed to relieve a lot of "gas" and also moved their bowels if they ever got constipated.

Praying you'll find a solution to your little Shira's troubles soon!!

~Kristy

sewbusy said...

If she is sleeping through the night then your body will adjust to it and eventually stop producing so much at night. I would agree with the other ladies, she it likely getting too much milk first thing, especially the fore milk. You might try hand expressing some of your fore milk so she gets more balance. This would also help reduce the amount she gets first thing. Also, if she is sleeping all night she may just be wanting to be awake more during the day. She is also becoming more aware of her surroundings and if she is used to being held much of her waking time she is used to that and wants to be held. If a baby sleeps through the night naturally then let them. If she needed something she would wake for it. Give it some more time and see if you and her adjust. Relax. Babies go through fussy times. From everything I read you're doing fine.

Oh yes, I just remembered that my little girl was VERY fussy at night once she started sleeping all night. I would rock and rock her for hours. She would have already eaten and didn't want any more. I finally started laying her down once she had eaten, BEFORE she started to cry. I let her cry to sleep. Now this may sound crual but she then only cryed for about 5 minutes! Then she was out. She never has cried much since then. In fact people often asked if she cried at all. I thought that crying for 5 minute was WAY better than hours worth. Within a few weeks she stopped her crying herself to sleep completely. I have always been able to just lay her down and she simply goes to sleep. Of course every baby is different!:):) Bleassing

Beth M. said...

If you really think you have too much milk in the morning or it is coming too fast for Shira to handle, expressing a little bit right before feeding her might help. If she sleeps through the night regularly, your body will adjust to this in a week or so and you won't be quite so overflowing in the morning.

Anonymous said...

Anna, I've heard that too much foremilk and not enough of the thicker hind milk can cause babies gas, so if you're waking up overflowing, she's probably getting too much of the foremilk. I would recommend either waking her up once for a night feeding, to keep things in check, or maybe pumping before you go to bed, if you want to let her sleep. Pumped milk is great to have in the freezer in case Grandmama ever wants to babysit, too. Good luck!
Gracie

Jera said...

Hi there. I'm not an expert but I think that if you expressed a little milk before you fed Shira in the morning, you would have better results. The foremilk is very thin and the hindmilk is fattier and heavier. If she drank that, she might be a little more satisfied. I know this is a crude analogy but I find I get a little nauseated if I drink before eating in the morning. I don't know why that is, but something heavier tends to settle my stomach. Perhaps getting the heavier, richer hindmilk straight aways would do Shira some good. Are her dirty diapers "normal" or are they off-colored or even (I know this is gross) foamy? That's a sign of too much foremilk. Also, if she's very hungry, is she fussy and gulping the milk? A few times that happened with my daughter and she got very gassy from that because she was swallowing air while drinking.

Lady M said...

I have an odd question, but truly, it ties in to your question. Have you seen a change in what is in her diaper? ie - are her stools still nice and yellow/seedy? Or are they perhaps a little greener/looser (I know, I know - like they are not loose enough, lol!). You mentioned when she eats in the morning, you are overflowing. I am wondering, because of her sleep schedule change (and your body still catching up to that) if perhaps you do not have a hindmilk/foremilk imbalance. If she is getting more of the first milk than the hind milk, she is not getting enough of the fatty filling part to fill her little tummy (does not seem possible, does it!), but if that is the case, her tummy will be bothering her. Just a thought. This is a fabulous breastfeeding website - I wish it had been around when my older 2 were born, but the internet was relatively new then, heehee! http://www.kellymom.com/

Ace said...

Hi Anna, I am sorry if this is my second comment, my computer went down in the middle of my last comment.

First, I am praying for you. God knows EXACTLY what the problem is and He will help you (He helped me many times).

Ok, I may have said this before but it sounds like she may be having a problem I had with my girls. I had an overactive let down (too much milk comes out too fast). The Baby nurses very fussy, is fussy for a long time after, wants to nurse but lets go "angry".

Ok, so what you do is you let her latch on in the morning to get your milk to come out and then you gently unlatch her and let your milk spill into a clean cloth until it stops spewing out. Once it has stopped she can nurse in peace. It is the difference between drinking from a straw and drinking from a gushing fire hose. It will cause horrible pain, gas, reflux etc.

You can also do as I did and nurse off one side for more than one feeding to "train" your breasts to make less milk.

I would watch any beans, dairy, chocolate and coffee. Something weird could cause problems too. It is hard to tell. My Princess Joy was allergic to berries and I ate them all the time (poor thing).

How is bowel movements? If they are frequent and foul smelling this also would point to overactive let down. If she has a red rash then this points to allergy.
She could also have reflux, but you do the same thing for an overactive let down.

Can a nursing Mom, watch you? You could be getting too much air when you nurse her. I didn't have to burp my girls, but we had to "pump them for gas" for awhile (lay on back, rub tummy, and move legs up towards stomach like riding a bicycle...works wonders...should make baby toot like a horn :)

lalecheleague.org has people all over the world and I called one of their advisers with my first Princess and they helped me on the phone right away (big blessing).

Let us know what you come up with.

Many Blessings :)
Ace

Elizabeth said...

Anna,
As a midwife and mother to four breastfed babies, I had a similar problem.

Are Shira's nappies/diapers containing greenish stools ?
She may well have colicky symptoms if you are producing lots of foremilk, which she is drinking large quantities of before getting to the richer hindmilk.
I found the answer to be to very gently express some of the surplus milk before putting the baby to the breast to feed in the morning, so lessening the amount of foremilk she drinks. Standing in a nice hot shower for ten minutes and allow the breast milk to flow freely also works :-)
I also used to sleep on a double-thickness fluffy towel to absorb the leaking breastmilk !
hope this helps !

Ace said...

Anna,

Oh one more thing, I read the comments and it reminded me. If your Baby will get tons of fore milk and not enough hind milk if you have an overactive let down it can cause what you are talking about. Which is what your commenter said. She will be uncomfortably full and hungry (hind milk doesnt come in for like 15 to 20 min). How long is she nursing? If she isn't nursing at least this long and longer she will never get any.

Do you switch between breasts alot? Do you nurse her quickly and often? Now, it is ok if she is a cluster (nurses for like three hourse straight, then naps) or marathon nurser(nurses almost non-stop all day long with only small breakes) especially since she is not nursing at night...I would really watch that she nurses a lot during the day so she gets enough.

She should completely empty one breast before she moves onto the other. You should feel a huge difference between them.

I offer the second breast if they want it and feed on demand. With both my girls I have had to tweak my nursing as we go so it is normal.

Many Blessings :)
Ace

Anonymous said...

I agree with Tracy. Try pumping in the night, about four hours before she usually wakes up. Store the milk in the freezer.

The nice thing about pumps is that you can express both breasts at the same time so it doesn't take much more than 10 min. or so.

Mim - wife, mother and homemaker said...

Hi Anna,
I had the same problem. I spoke to a breastfeeding counsellor who recommended expressing milk before feeding in the morning, just to get rid of the let down so that it doesnt squirt so fast into bub's mouth. Then it will be a more gentle feed. Hope that helps.
All the best.
xx Miriam

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,

Like Emmy wrote, I'd suggest you look up 'dream feeding'. I started doing this with DD, now 14 months, when she was a little older than your Shira is now. We had the same type of problem. With a little practice, we were able to do the night feeding without her really waking up - I just had to be really, really, *really* gentle, and let her rest for a while in a vertical position (no 'burping her'). When baby is more or less asleep, she probably doesn't swallow as much air anyway.
I remember those feedings as very, very peaceful.

Good luck
Kristine, Denmark

Thuis en onderweg said...

Dear Anna,

This might be caused by the air she swallows together with the first milk that comes in very fast. At least, this is what we experienced.

What helped us was doing the first morning feeding in a special way, namely with me lying on my back and having our baby on my tummy. Since the milk had to go against gravity, it didn't come at full speed and it was easier for our baby to handle it and not to have a lot of air going down with the milk :-) (due to the quantity of milk coming all at once).

What might help as well is latch on and once you feel the milk coming to unlatch her and let the first milk run away until it is dripping instead of coming very fast. This can be a little messy and you should probably have something available to catch the milk, but it will prevent your daughter from swallowing down a lot of air due to the speed at which the milk comes in and she has to swallow it down. This wasn't my favourite way of dealing with the problem, but it did work for mothers I counceled.

What helped me as well is to get some of the milk out (by hand) before latch on. This also reduced the amount and speed of the first milk and prevented a lot of air being swallowed down.

May be this is helpful. I loved breastfeeding as well :-)!

EJS

Wilde Family said...

Hi Anna,

My fifth child - a daughter is presently 3.5 months old and is also sleeping through the night and therefore has a large breakfast upon waking and has been colicky during the day. You mentioned that you borrowed a wrap from a friend? Perhaps what I have found might spark some ideas for you:

In the morning when we wake up, I put my baby in a wrap and nurse her upright while I get breakfast and help my husband and children off to the day of work and school. Nursing upright gives my daughter several small breakfasts and keeps her from spitting up so much. The gentle pressure of being tummy to tummy with me helps her little colicky belly feel better.

I learned a lot from www.thebabywearer.com

Blessings on you and your lovely family! I so enjoy your posts.

Jessie-Bessie said...

I've heard of babies who are coelic (gluten intolerence) being bothered if their mums eat alot of breads etc,so maybe give that a try and see if it helps. all the best :)

Anonymous said...

Anna, both of my dear children were sleeping through the night, and my breast used to hurt and wake me up, my milk was wetting my bed, and by morning, they were like to big stones :) But, I wasn't waking them up, if it would be to painfull, I would express some milk myself. In the morning I would give them both breasts, and they were satisfied and happy; they were sleeping until noon after a short time of wakeness period (first three month). So, I not feeding through the night doesn't have to be reason for colicky morning... not that it cannot be... each of our preciouss children is a person with her own likes and dislikes :). My daughter was colicky after I was eating green beans and beans, zucchini, even cucumbers. So it really could be that she reacts on something that you eat... Try elimation diet... or try wake her up, so you'll see! Good luck!

Lauren said...

Ok, I'm going to go into "gross" mommying areas here:

Let's talk about poop.

Are her poopy diapers green and frothy or the typical yellow mustardy type?

If she's having green, frothy poop it's a sign that you have a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance.

As another mother mentioned, this can be helped by nursing on one side at a time.

My daughter had this problem and we switched to single side nursing. At 8.5 months, we're still going strong without any more problems.

It's worth talking to your pediatrician about, though at least in the US, pediatricians don't always know the most about breastfeeding. If this is the case, you might be better served talking to a midwife or lactation consultant. Again, I don't know what services are available in Israel, but they're worth looking into.

I hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

I am thrilled to have found your blog.
Listen to all the wonderful advice you have received here and in other mommy circles. More important though is to listen to your own heart. You and your darling Shira will work it all out. My eldest daughter (now 11), also had colic. It is so difficult not knowing how to ease this little person. I still remember those tough times. The upside, I believe we enjoy a closer relationship now because of all the time I spend tuning into her feelings. It is all good!
I loved nursing as well. It is a very special relationship!

Anonymous said...

It may be that with such an abundant supply of milk, and an appetite to match, that Shira is gulping quite a bit of air during her morning nurse. Reducing the amount of milk by expressing some before feeding her may reduce the problem. I know that when I get overly full, the baby can't latch on properly, then they gasp and splutter, trying to avoid being "drowned" and end up miserable with a very gassy tummy. Pumping a little milk just before feeding REALLY helps. Good luck!

Joie said...

I had overabundance of milk and a little boy with reflux-- only it was the "silent" variety meaning he didn't actually spit it up but swallowed it back down so it burned both ways.

If I had it to do over again, I would follow that LLL advice about nursing on one breast. My milk would spray forcibly across the room with 6-8 streams and I could pump 20oz in one sitting when I finally gave up nursing him during the day and fed him from a bottle. He did well with dream feeding but what that means is that here at 2.5 years he still wants milk in the middle of the night. In 2.5 years you may have another little one.

Good luck!

April - Team Tottle said...

Hi Anna,

I really enjoy your blog. I'm sorry you're having alittle trouble but I'm sure with all these great suggestions, you'll find something to work for you and Shira. Although I nursed my two babies, now 1 and 2 years, I have no advice for you but am curious to see what you try from all the suggestions given and what works for you! I hope you'll update us with that information eventually. Good luck!

Emile said...

I second the "too much" foremilk suggestion. You can read more about that here - http://www.llli.org/FAQ/oversupply.html

My 2 children have both suffered from this & "block feeding" helps a lot. I wouldn't wake her as her sleeping well is a good habit. Rather, I'd express a bit before her first feeding so that she gets more of the hindmilk.

Hope that helps - sounds like you're doing a great job with her!

Emile

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,
I think I would wake her to nurse, to avoid the engorgement(which could lead to mastitis for you) and to help little Shira. All 5 of mine were colicky! Hang in there!

Best Wishes,
Beth

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,

I had 2 babies with colic (if you can believe that!) It turns out, they were allergic to the dairy that I was drinking. I also gave them baby simethicone drops. It seemed to help.

God Bless You,

Carrie.

Kat said...

I agree with Emmy, and I'm nursing my 4th as I type. The abundant, thin, sugary "foremilk" is what can give her gas, green poo, and wanting to eat but not appearing satisfied. If you can express some milk (maybe 1/2 oz?) before feeding her, she might be more likely to not fill up on the sugar milk and continue nursing to the richer, more fat-laden "hind milk". (You can tell she is getting hind milk b/c her poo will be yellow and seedy looking)

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

"Makes me hope I'll always have a little one to nurse for the next twenty years or so!"

Wouldn't that mean about 20 kids!? Or are you planning on nursing for longer than a year?

Cheryl said...

Hi Anna,

I agree with Emmy...I bet she is getting too much "fore milk" and that can give her a tummy ache. The fats from the hind milk should ease her tummy. The fore milk is mostly for immediate hydration for her and the hind milk is where the fats and protiens mostly lie.

I think someone spoke about expressing some milk before you feed her.....good idea. That way she can nurse really good with out getting filled up so fast.

You are probably also still establishing your milk supply. Sounds like you are doing great in that area!!! :-)

Also too, you could try fennel tea. That is a great way to ease the upset tummy in a baby. Ginger, balm-mint, chamomile are also great teas for you to drink (about 2 cups a day). If you want too, you can also give her about 1 teaspoon of the tea a couple times during the day. I would research this myself so I would feel comfortable knowing exactly what I was doing....

If she is having a crying jag at a certain time of the day, you might want to try putting her in a sling and carry her around flat against your chest. There is a really great site that actually shows you how to do a "Moby wrap". Here is link to make one yourself (easy to do with cotton material with a little spandex in it or just plain cotton, etc.)

http://www.mobywrap.com/t-instructions-NewBorn.aspx

My Isaac, who just turned 3 today was a very loud and very demanding baby. I thought I was going to lose my mind with him. I did everything with him to comfort him to no avail. Then I found this "Moby" thing and it WORKED!!! Try it. Hint though...wrap her tight...or I should say snug. It really helps with the crying - and when she is crying she is sucking in air and swallowing it....might be the problem with the colic. My son was 10.7 lbs when he was born. He nursed constantly - way different from my other 3.

Let us know how things are going!!!! I am so excited for you being a new mother. Blessings to you and Shabbat Shalom.

Cheryl :-)

Everybody's Mama said...

Hi, Anna
I had one child that went through a time of sleeping through the night at an early age. Later she reverted to waking to nurse again. It was actually easier when she nursed a little during the night. It seemed to make for an easier day and was definitely more comfortable in the morning! Being so young, when she slept through the night she still needed the same amount of milk for a 24 hour period. So that meant she had to get much more through the daytime hours. Incidentally, she was also very colicky and suffered with reflux.

It is certainly worth a try to wake your little one during the night. You might also try expressing some milk before you nurse her so that the letdown is not so strong. Sometimes when a baby gets so much of the thinner foremilk it can cause them to be gassy, spit up, and sometimes to have those loose greenish stools.

She may not be getting enough of the richer hindmilk. Try nursing her on just one side per feeding or if she is not satisfied with that don't switch to the other breast until she pulls off the first one on her own.

It is so wonderful to know how committed you are to nursing your sweet baby! Treasure this time (as I know you will)for it is so fleeting!

Anonymous said...

An increase in the B vitamins did wonders....it has been 13 years sonce i had one with colic, but I believe it was B-12....and it made all the difference in the world.
Ruthie

Chief Cook and Bottle Washer said...

Your little Shira is blessed to have a mommy who cares so much for her well being.

I am currently nursing my 8th little blessing. My babies have had many food sensitivities. From baby to baby they have varied slightly, but ALL of them have been sensitive to dairy, legumes and cabbage. Then one of them was tremendously sensitive to corn of all things. I was a vegetarian with baby #4 and it seemed like the only thing I could eat that didn't give him a tummy ache was cheerios with rice milk. I ate a lot of cheerios!

Baby #7 had tummy aches and terrible, terrible eczema behind his ears. So bad that it smelled foul, was cracked and bleeding. I went off dairy. I went off cabbage. I went off bunches of stuff. Nothing helped him. I finally figured out that corn was the problem. He cleared up within days of my going off of corn. Do you know how many common food products contain corn? :)

Anyway, I would consider deeper investigations into a dietary link.

Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

My twin sons had what I thought was colic or gas. They would cry uncontrollably for hours after eating regardless of what I ate or how long I would burp them. I finally asked their pediatrician. He said that it sounded like reflux. He prescribed zantac and the boy's behavior was like night and day - calm happy babies who would nap during the day and sleep for at least a few hours at night.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,
If you do consume large amounts of beans, this will cause feeding problems in some babies. But I don't know what your diet looks like! Also, oatmeal & brewers yeast will increase your supply. I would watch your intake of that. Oh, and I know you have much else to do with your time, Pesach preparations and all, but you could keep a food diary. Sometimes the 'problem' will not manifest itself right after consumption. It would be more useful to you as a pattern indicator, since you have already tried eliminating some things. Nothing fancy, just a plain old piece of paper on the kitchen counter and a pencil nearby! Also, Roobios tea (for the mother to drink) is supposed to help. I may not be spelling that correctly. And a thing here in the US called gripe water. There are also colic tablets that dissolve in the infants mouth that help. All these are in the health food section of many stores near me. Let me know if you need help locating any of these things!

BUT...
I am assuming from your descriptions (this post and previous ones) that the main culprit is little Shira gulping the sudden onslaught of milk coming at her! Liken it to drinking out of a garden hose, but while lying on your back! You could try waking her up earlier, but try some of the suggestions on the page link I have at the bottom of this comment first. Your sleep is also precious! As a first time nursing mommy, your body is adjusting to the demands Shira is calling for. You are apparently producing more milk supply than she needs right now. Not to worry!! You will regulate so that you don't wake up soaked. But the sound of any crying baby will cause your milk to let down. When you are tandem nursing your supply will be adequate for the infant & toddler!! Then you can eat oatmeal with abandon!!

Here is a link to a page on information that will help with an oversupply of milk:
http://www.llli.org/FAQ/oversupply.html

Their description of a child dealing with mommy's abundant milk supply sounds exactly like your precious Shira! And the symptoms of 'abundant supply' are frequently misdiagnosed as colic or food allergies. They also have a variety of tips for dealing with the extra and not causing baby distress. Expressing beforehand will only make things worse...

Oh, and one last bit, it is NOT normal for all babies to spit up. It is a sign that there is a problem... somewhere.
Blessings,
~Mrs. R

Johanna said...

I would try giving it a few more days of doing nothing. Your milk supply will naturally adjust to her sleeping through the night, although it could take a week. You won't wake up so full, so she won't get such a huge feeding first thing in the morning. If you wake her at night, your milk won't adjust.

If this doesn't help once your milk has adjusted, I also would check into reflux. My first had it even though he did *not* spit up a lot. But it was obvious that he was in pain and greater pain after eating. We started him on zantac syrup when he was one month old and suddenly had a whole new baby!! It is worth talking to Shira's doctor about at the very least!

C.W. said...

Anna,
I read once that babies' crying time during the day peaks around six weeks. I guess it is a normal part of development.
I used to wake the baby if I was engorged in the night. I'm not sure if my babies really woke up, but they nursed enough. However, there was the downside of having them expect a nighttime feeding for many months. That wasn't a big problem for me, but you may feel differently.
May you have wisdom to understand this difficulty,
God bless, C.W.

Kristin said...

I did wake my daughter once in the middle of the night to nurse her, simply because I was at the point of bursting. But she usually slept at my breast anyhow.

Maybe she's just "starving" in the morning and she either eats too fast or too much. If you try to give her a little snack in the middle of the night it might tide her over until her morning feeding.

Also does Shira have "tummy time"? Just maybe 5 minutes on a blanket on the floor. I used to put Kylie on her belly on the floor and I would do the same, but our faces would be face to face. I'd talk and sing. I don't remember what it does, but it helped.

Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,
I'm not sure about the colic - I don't think I experienced that with all five of my babies. My last baby started sleeping through the night at about 3 weeks - I was nervous and astonished at this - in the beginning I would just watch him and use my hand pump just to alleviate some pressure but I found that I would just produce more. I dealt with the milk by using a sports bra at night and after a short time my milk adjusted to him. I listened to a program on the radio where two nurses wrote a book about infant care and they said babies should be sleeping through the night fairly soon after being born. THey are usually not swaddled properly or we parents are just nervous about dangers in the night. With time and experience you will see how capable you are in determining these things for yourself. Believe me, too much advice really spoils our own judgement. even if we don't take it, it still looms in our head.

Always a pleasure to read your blog, Mary M.

Anonymous said...

While not the ideal solution, but would you be willing to replace some of your protien with meat instead of beans?

My best friends husband is a doctor and he tells me that when he is operating on a patient, he can tell immediately if a patient is a vegetarian because their organs do not have the necessary and useful fat surrounding them. He has cautioned me that while vegetarianism can be fine for adults, babies need some of the essential acids and fats that are only found it meat.

Tammy said...

I feel for you, Anna! I went through the same things with my first newborn -- engorgement, soaked sheets, fussy baby. I can only tell you what worked for me, and encourage you that with a little time and patience, it will all be resolved.

First of all, I usually awakened early (5:30 or so) b/c of painful breasts. I would express some of the milk into the sink (or shower, if you want to go ahead and get in while baby's asleep), then would wake the baby and nurse her. She was at that point getting more of the hind milk, less of the watery milk that comes first. This process was a relief to me, and more satisfying for her.

Secondly, I learned to nurse on a loose schedule. This not only regulated her nursing, it also helped my body to regulate milk production. Nursing excessively (on demand) leads to excessive milk production. A newborn can go two or three hours between feedings, and her little tummy needs that break from digestion. If she overslept her two-hour break during the daytime, I would wait a little longer, but wake her to nurse. (I didn't awaken her at night, unless I woke up needing to nurse.)

Nursing on demand and wearing the baby all of the time can be great ways to encourage abundant milk supply. But for those of us who have plenty of milk, doing those things excessively can make both mother and baby miserable!

I hope things get better for you soon!

Tammy said...

Oh yes, one more thing. My midwife suggested this to relieve the pain of engorgement: take a couple of large, cool cabbage leaves, bruise them, and put them into your bra. You'll be amazed how that helps.

...IF you don't mind smelling like cabbage, lol!

Judy Jennings said...

Anna,
I agree that you should wake her once during the night for a feeding. That's where I would start. It may not help with the "colic" type symptoms, but start there. My middle daughter was one of those babies that had "colic" for the first year. One thing that was a huge help to us was a natural product of fennel and ginger called Gripe Water. It is made by Baby Bliss and you can get it online I believe. If you want to try it and can't find any let me know and I'll send you some from the states. My oldest daughter now is a firm believer in using it. Her 4th baby had similar problems and nothing seemed to help except time and Gripe Water.

Be sure and get any help you need during the day, if possible so that you don't get too worn out caring for your sweet blessing!

Much love and prayers your way...
Judy

CappuccinoLife said...

Anna, are you feeding on both sides in the morning?

If you are very full in the morning, she might be getting lots and lots of the foremilk but not enough of the hindmilk (which is higher cal, higher fat, and apparently sits in the tummy better). I found our problem with fussiness reduced dramatically when I only nursed on one side per feeding, since I had soooo much milk. If the baby still seemed hungry after really and truly draining the first breast, then I would move to the second, but not after just an arbitrary amount of time.

Shorty said...

I just wanted to wish you good Shabbos!

Raven said...

I second the foremilk/hindmilk suggestion-- go to the La Leche League website to find an article on how to reduce your supply a bit. Breastmilk is like a three-course dinner; first you have watery foremilk to quench thirst, then you have some middling stuff that's like the carbs and vegetables, and finally you get the hindmilk which is like ice cream. :) Babies need the hindmilk to feel satisfied and not so gassy.

Hang in. Sometimes babies are just colicky and it's nothing you're doing or not doing. Just hold her and love on her and know you're doing the best. :)

Treasurekeeper said...

My last baby was the most fussy out of all of my babies, she seemed in pain most of the time but my pediatrician just said not to worry she would grow out of it. At about three months I found some advise to feed her on only one side per feeding (or even more than one feeding if they were closer than three hours apart), burping her any time she pulled off and then putting her back to the same side and holding her as "upright" as possible while nursing. This technique ensures that babies get enough of the hindmilk that is really great for their tummy (and there growth!). The change was amazing! She still spit more than my other babies but there was a GREAT improvement! A teaspoon of chamomile tea helped her when she was really upset too. She is my fifth baby and I've learned as much with her as I did with my first :).

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,
It's me... again! I had some additional thoughts for you after I was in bed awaiting sleep...

My infants all started sleeping through the night on their own at right around 6 - 8 weeks of age.
By my calculations (based on today's date here being the 13th), isn't your 'little song' only 2 days away from being 2 months old??!! My oh my, where does the time go! I would NOT wake her to feed her. OH blessed UNINTERRUPTED sleep! I am not sure when Shira goes down for the night, but let her sleep and you get yours as well.

Also, so as to help you no think something has gone 'wrong', if Shira has recently started sleeping through the night, then your body gets to go through yet one more milk production adjustment! This is your first time nursing and your body has lots to adjust to!! It will all regulate so you no longer feel painfully engorged and so you don't flow with quite so much force.
Blessings,
~Mrs. R

ROSIE said...

Hello Anna,

Thank you so much for sharing news of little Shira through your posts! You and your family remain in my prayers.

When a breastfed infant is colicky, it is wise to first look to the mother's diet. I'm sure you already have a list of potentially troublesome foods, like beans, brassicas (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbages), onions, garlic, etc.

Other babies have trouble with cow's milk in their mother's diet, or with wheat in their mother's diet.

If you haven't already done so, try to document your dietary alterations (abstinence from certain foods) eliminating one food or group at a time. That way, you know for sure which food was the culprit.

It is also important to allow the food elimination to go long enough for offending components of that food to be fully eliminated from the body. Abstain for at least 4 days on the vegetables/legumes listed above; at least five days on cow's milk; and if you try wheat, it has to be at least three weeks before a body is truly wheat free.

I have nursed one lactose-intolerant baby, and she had the worst colic. If I had but one teaspoon of milk in my cereal, she would have terrible diarrhea and colic pains.

I have nursed a casein-intolerant baby, and a baby who is allergic to wheat. And each time, I was just relieved to find what the problem was for my darling little one, and didn't at all mind the sacrifice of dietary changes. :-)

Babies go through many changes in their nursing patterns, especially around growth spurts...and the first one of those occurs around 6 weeks of age (give or take a bit). Fussiness tends to increase in colicky infants for a week or two around that time.

They also tend to nurse more efficiently, which in turn increases your milk supply...

Especially first thing in the morning, the majority of the milk your baby will receive is the "foremilk", which is thin and sometimes bluish white and is high in carbohydrates and glucose for the little one. The "hindmilk", which comes as the breast empties, contains all the healthy fats and more of the proteins which baby needs.

Metabolism of foremilk produces more gases in molecular breakdown than does metabolism of hindmilk.

I always found it helpful to nurse on one breast only first thing in the morning. (I always placed an absorbent cloth under/over the other breast and let the excess milk run into the cloth, for relief!). This seemed to eliminate the worst of the fussiness, and she also stayed full longer due to the higher fat content of the milk.

(If the baby was still hungry after one breast was empty, she then finished up on the second one.)

The next time she fed, I started on the breast I hadn't used (so if I offered the left one at the first feeding, I offer the right one at the second feeding), and let her drain one breast fully.

The first three or so days are a little lopsided with this method, but the breasts do even out and it helps balance the milk content and reduce gas.

More frequent burpings were also helpful, as were keeping the baby's head elevated at least 45 degrees for at least 40 minutes after each feeding.

May all resolve soon! :-)

Blessings,
Rosie

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,
My son seemed to have the same problem, and as a nutritionist myself, I did some research. Probiotics may help her because her gut flora is not yet fully developed, and some studies suggest this as the cause of most colic. Their tiny bodies are trying to establish that "good" bacteria. I found a powder probiotic called "Babies Jarro-dophilus" and you can either put some in a bottle (bottle-fed babies) or dab some on the nipple before breastfeeding. I really like it, and it is sure to strengthen their immune systems if nothing else. God Bless!

Kyle, Amanda, and Tobias said...

My son slept through the night starting around 8 weeks as well and I used to wake up engorged in the mornings and/or have leaked! Your body will adjust to the nighttime thing over the next few weeks. In the meantime personally I might wake Shira at 9 or 10pm or so right before you go to bed to feed her a bit then put her right back down, this still enables you to get a full night's sleep so you are at your best the next day, but you will be a lot more comfortable! I personally chose to pump before bed because I babysit for a nearby family for 2 hours every morning and liked to have a bottle of breastmilk around just in case my son got hungry a little early.

By the time she's 4 months old or so you'll likely be able to go the whole night and not have too much discomfort, you'll be eager to nurse and she'll be eager to eat but it will no longer be a hassle.

For the morning fussiness, would it be possible for you to take a warm shower and express a little milk during it before Shira wakes in the morning? That would be nice to get a shower and would encourage your breasts to leak a little of that foremilk out so Shira doesn't eat too much all at once when it is time for her to eat.

Jenn said...

You've already got a lot of advice on this one, but I can't help myself;-)

I was a vegetarian while breastfeeding all my children and never found it to negatively affect my health, energy level, or baby. Sometimes they do become gassy due to what the mother eats, so avoiding the obvious gassy foods, like beans and cruciferous veggies could help. At night, Shira seems pretty happy, so why wake her? I always felt if I was getting a decent night's sleep, I could deal with ANYTHING during the day.

Above all, trust yourself and the wisdom He has blessed you with.

Julie said...

Anna,

If she is gaining weight appropriately and having "enough" wet diapers...

NEVER WAKE A SLEEPING BABY!!!

Well, not at night, anyway :0)

When my boys started sleeping through, I had the same experience (waking up FULL of milk.)

Two things...

1. Your body knows what to do, and will adjust.

2. If she goes to bed before you do, you could pump/express milk right before you go to bed, to reduce the time between emptying your breasts, and then have some milk frozen for a daddy-feeding later.

The colic could be caused by lots of things, and it will probably pass on its own.

You've probably thought of evaluating your own diet. Different babies are sensitive to different things. One of mine reacted horribly if I ate onions. Another reacted to tomatoes.

This too shall pass...

Best wishes,

Julie

Lori said...

I was going to suggest you change whatever you're eating to see if that makes a difference. There were certain veggies in my diet I had to give up when I was nursing b/c my baby was having major tummy problems with it. Just change up some things and see if it works. I would not medicate or anything. As far as waking her up to nurse, can you just pump? It will be a relief to you. You don't have to pump everything, just to the point of relief. I didn't like giving my babies bottles even though it was my milk...but I did sometimes. You have to decide what's right for you. You sound like a very sweet mother and lots of people are giving you LOTS of advice! I hope you find something that works! Blessings. I love your blog.
Lori

Shelley said...

Is your letdown too strong for her in the mornings? She may be getting a strong blast of foremilk in the morning, and not enough hindmilk (as one of the other posters suggested). If your letdown is forceful you could try latching her on, then taking her off when you letdown, and just let the milk go into a washcloth. Then put her back on when the forceful part is over. It also helps in this situation to lean way back in a chair when you nurse. When I had this problem, the lactation consultant also had me nurse two times in a row from each side, instead of alternating.

I have also read about a study done in Italy that concluded that ninety percent of colicky babies are greatly helped by probiotics.

Anonymous said...

Nursing is just something women do, so don't regard it as 'sweet' but a chance to interact provisionally with wee one. (Sorry, can not wax sentimental on basic necessities for healthy babies.)

With mention of colic--don't recall fussiness of colic, but old wive's tales from my husband's heritage suggested keeping little tummies warm, so I'd wrap a receiving blanket around babies' mid-section before laying them down for naps; they looked like little caterpillars, and they were very quiet, observant, and attentive.

On the other hand, my mother used to say that quiet 'good' babies did not prepare parents for the interruption of an obedient child mindset when older--and those little sweetie pies bon-bons have been 'hellions' in their teen-age years.

Anonymous said...

Yes, i agree that if you have a very abundant milk supply it's possible she's getting mostly foremilk (which has most of the milk sugar, and satisfies thirst) and not quite enough hindmilk (comes toward the end of a feed, very rich in protein and good fats, and satisfies hunger). The high lactose content in foremilk can make babies more gassy if there is an overabundance of it, sometimes with loose or greenish stools. The solution is to feed from one breast per feed (just be sure you are switching sides each feeding so each breast gets stimulated).

I'd also recommend waking her up for one feed at night - that is, not going more than 4-5 hrs without nursing her. This is important for maintaining your milk supply (of course it seems like you have plenty, but your body will drop production if the breasts arent' being emptied). Also will be important for her upcoming growth spurts not to go too long without eating. And a smaller more frequent feed should be easier for her to digest.

The other suggestion about reflux is a good possibility. Try keeping her more or less upright for about 30 mins after eating, so she can digest - before laying her down again. You can also try propping the head of her bassinet/crib up about 15-30 degrees - eg set the legs on a firm piece of wood etc.

Good luck - sounds like you're doing great!

- a midwife

Jennifer said...

Anna,
While non of mine have ever been "colic", a friend of mine said that all 3 of her's have been. What she found was that if she cut out all dairy from her diet, her babies would get better within days. I certainly don't know if you are a vegan or not, but if you do eat some dairy, this might be something to try (if you haven't already). I have found that weird things do weird things to babies. For instance, when my eldest was nursing, I couldn't drink grape juice, for it caused her horrible gas pains. And with my other four, I couldn't have any chocolate, coffee, or anything with caffeine in it. It would cause them horrible gas and be very constipated.

I, myself, have had much of a milk supply, but I have never experience that being a cause of fussiness. For children have the wonderful ability to stop eating when they are full (something we as adults lose along the way). However, you might want to express some milk before she eats, to help guarantee that she gets more hind milk. I would also suggest that in the morning, express some milk before feeding her as well. If she is able to sleep through the night, let her! What a wonderful gift! Your milk supply will soon adjust itself to where you will sleep more comfortably. In the mean time, wearing a double layer of nursing pads (or a soft folded rag in a sleeping bra) will help with the "flood" in the morning.

I hope these help.
Jennifer D

Deanna said...

Dear Anna,
I nursed my babies for a short time, but they weren't colicky.
One of my Granddaughters was terribly so.

I was told:
to avoid eating spicy foods,
avoid chocolate,
avoid beans.
Do best to stay relaxed and try not to get upset.

My Mother showed me a procedure to help ease the baby's pain.
Lay the baby on back.
Gently take one arm and opposite leg.
Gently touch arm's elbow to opposite leg's knee.
Hold and slowly count to five.
Release and repeat procedure to other arm and leg.
Gentle is the word.

My daughter placed her daughter safely in a child's car seat carrier and sat the carrier on the level top of their cloths dryer. The warmth, sound and vibration that were given off from the appliance soothed her colicky baby. (Please make sure that the baby does not vibrate off of the machine.)

Also, snuggly wrapping the baby in a receiving blanket to where the baby's arms remain close to the baby's body seemed to soothe the baby.

Wish you all the best with your sweet and precious baby.
Deanna from the Kansas Flinthills

Anonymous said...

I usually stay up past the bedtime of my nursing infant (I've had six children and am pregnant with my seventh) so I would wake the infant when I was ready to go to bed and feed them. I did that so I wouldn't be so engorged when I woke up and/or so they would sleep a little longer after I fell asleep than they would have if I didn't nurse them.

My last son was allergic to dairy products. Have you tried to eliminate them from your diet?

Best wishes to you!
Cheryl

My Darn Yarn said...

Dear Anna,
All of these (sans reflux) were problems that my little boy was having. My issue was 1)not enough hind milk and 2) to many beans (black beans were used very often before I was nursing).
I was lucky to have my grandmother, who is a retired doctor, close by and I was able to get her opinion. But in the end, I had to experiment to find a healthy balance.
I have found that if he has too much formula (which is used in worst case scenarios !!only!!, mixed with mothers milk) he will have tummy aches and gas *really* bad.

Mrs. Anna T said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs. Anna T said...

Dear ladies,

Thank you ALL for taking the time to comment! I wish I could respond to more comments in particular, but I'll just add (since so many of you suggested this) that I have always fed Shira on one side at a time, and it seems to work well. My mother tipped me off about it before she was born. Also, her stools are regular and normal. I aim to nurse her for no less than 20 minutes at a time, to make sure she gets hindmilk.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Oh, and to Anon who asked if I plan to have 20 babies... I don't "plan" anything, but in Jewish Law, a woman is considered a nursing mother until baby is 2 years old, and not 1 year old as suggested by modern pediatrics. I trust our ancient wisdom more, and hope to breastfeed well over a year, if it works out, unless baby self-weans earlier.

Elijah's Mommy said...

That's neat that you are able to get a bit more sleep at night. Though i know how uncomfortable it can be in the morning! =)
My midwife told me that when I experimented with cutting out certain foods that I needed to be off of them for at least a week in order to see a difference. You may already know that but it was news to me to learn that i had to cut it out for so long. I hope she feels better soon.