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Breastfeeding/Breastfeeding and diharrea



I have a 8 week old baby boy, when he was born he had no problem with feeding from my breast. Two weeks later he started screaming all day/night and was feeding for 6-7 hours straight with only 5 min breaks between, this caused me great stress and made me very upset. This cotinued for another two weeks then I decided to take him to the hospital were I was told it is completely normal, I spoke to the Australian breast feeding association and they also said it is normal to continue to put him back on the breast. I was finding this terribly hard feeding all day and night not being able to enjoy my time wit my baby and found my self crying all the time and started to feel depressed. My doctor suggested to express into a bottle and see how much he was having, once I did this he become more settled it was like he was not getting enough or what he needed by being on my breast. I have continued expressing for every bottle, about two weeks later so he would be six weeks he started crying all the time again but the cry was different it sounded like a painful cry, after a few days I went back to the doctor and was told he now had reflux. I started him on Zantac which the doctor prescribed and he settled, now he is eight weeks and has started crying again and has developed diharrea, he won't sleep and keeps refusing my expressed milk, it is freshly expressed so I know it should not be spoilt. I have have him two formula bottles today and he settled after each one, didn't refuse it and the diharrea has stopped. Could this mean I have something wrong with my milk?? I have not changed my diet I have a set menu so I know what I am eating and I only drink water. I did start losing my milk about two weeks ago and ha to take fenugreek I read it had cause reflux in many babies so I stopped taking it and started losing my milk again so the doctor prescribed me motilium (domperidones) my milk is now flowing much better, however could this be causing the diharrea?? Why does he refuse my breast milk but not the formula?? I have found breast feeding extremely hard and I feel like he is not being satisfied by my milk. No one is willing to help, they just keep saying breast is best and I do believe that but it is causing me to have a very unhappy baby and an very unhappy mum. I feel guilty for giving him formula as every one tells you how bad it is but he seems to be more happy with it. Can you suggest anything I can try or have any advice please, I do not know what else todo.

Dear Rebecca,

First, congratulations for giving your son the best start in life by breastfeeding him and giving him precious antibodies against disease!

I am so sorry to hear about the problems he is having now. It's good that you're continuing to express your breast milk so that you won't lose your supply. I'm sure there's nothing wrong with your milk, and it's puzzling why your baby prefers formula in a bottle to breast milk in a bottle. A few things come to mind:

* Maybe you should try mixing formula and breast milk, so that he gets a bottle that's maybe 3/4 formula. If he takes that, gradually change the proportion so that he gets more and more breast milk.

* I don't know whether you have eliminated dairy foods from your diet. Sometimes this helps. If it does for your baby, you can wait a few weeks and then reintroduce these foods into your own diet.

* It does sound as if your baby has some reflux but I think this case may be too complicated to resolve over the Internet. You may get help from seeing a lactation consultant, who can work with you and your pediatrician to support you and work together to help you and your baby through this.  You should also monitor your baby's weight gain to be sure he is getting enough nourishment.

* If you feel that your pediatrician is not especially knowledgeable about breastfeeding issues and/or reflux, you may want to consult one who has been recommended by a lactation consultant or nursing moms' group.

* Domperidone is controversial, although the American Academy of Pediatrics has found it "compatible with breastfeeding," and I have not seen any evidence that it causes diarrhea in nursing babies. You should talk to your baby's doctor about this.

* If, despite all your efforts, you eventually switch to formula for your baby, please do not feel guilty! Yes, in almost all cases, breast is best -- but the most important thing is a healthy baby and a healthy stress-free mother. I admire you tremendously for all the effort you are putting into your baby's care.

Good luck!
Sally Wendkos Olds
Author, THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BREASTFEEDING: Olds & Marks, 4th edition, September 2010, published by Workman Publishing, and available in most public libraries, bookstores & La Leche League chapters.  


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Sally Wendkos Olds


What do you want to know about breastfeeding? I can tell you what`s good for the baby, what`s good for the mother -- and the father, how it`s related to a woman`s sexuality, how working moms can nurse, how to overcome obstacles, and lots more. As the author of THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BREASTFEEDING and author or coauthor of 8 other books and more than 200 articles about child and adult development, I can offer sound, sensible advice on breastfeeding, child care and family issues.


I nursed my 3 daughters and am the grandmother of 5 breastfed children. My book THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BREASTFEEDING (written in consultation with pediatrician Marvin S. Eiger, M.D.) was first published in 1972, and in 1999 came out in an updated 3rd Edition by Workman Publishing & Bantam Books. It is now a classic, with over 2 million copies in print. I am now revising this book for a fourth edition, consulting with pediatrician Laura M. Marks, M.D. This new edition will be published September 2009. I welcome any and all suggestions for the new edition. I coauthored college textbooks A CHILD'S WORLD: INFANCY THROUGH ADOLESCENCE, and HUMAN DEVELOPMENT; both are leading texts in their fields and have been read by 2 million students. I am the coauthor of HELPING YOUR CHILD FIND VALUES TO LIVE BY and RAISING A HYPERACTIVE CHILD, and author of THE WORKING PARENTS' SURVIVAL GUIDE & THE ETERNAL GARDEN: SEASONS OF OUR SEXUALITY. My newest book, A BALCONY IN NEPAL: GLIMPSES OF A HIMALAYAN VILLAGE, published in 2002, tells the story of the way of life in a remote village in Nepal, where all the women breastfeed! My book, SUPER GRANNY: COOL PROJECTS, ACTIVITIES, AND OTHER GREAT STUFF TO DO WITH YOUR GRANDKIDS, will be published March 2009. I speak often to professional, parent and general audiences and make many radio and TV appearances.

Credentials I received my B.A. in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, where I minored in Psychology, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude.

Other points of interest I have received national awards for my writing, and am a former president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. I am listed in the World Who's Who of Women, International Authors & Writers Who's Who, and Contemporary Authors, and am a member of several professional and civic organizations. I believe: that all parents are working parents; that parents employed outside the home need special support; that mothers' well-being is crucial to their children's welfare; and that the family is the best institution in the world and the one for which we are least prepared. My thrills come when parents or kids tell me they were helped by my writing or speaking or just understanding. To find out more about me, go to

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