Over the past week or so Stella has started to get more and more uncomfortable after eating. There were also a few days last week where she emptied her entire stomach contents spitting up. I've spoke to a few different lactation consultants trying to figure out what's going on.
When she first came home I was offering her both breasts with each feeding. This whole breastfeeding a singleton is new to me. L & C always just ate on one side, but I was under the impression that when feeding a single baby you should let them finish on one side and then offer the other. I think as a result she was eating too much and that's what was causing the extreme spitting up.
I started to think maybe I have an overactive letdown. I can tell when my milk lets down that she struggles. She sputters, gulps, pulls off sometimes, and milk pools out of the sides of her mouth. I've been trying to nurse her in a more reclined position so at least gravity is working against us. It just doesn't seem to be making much difference. She never eats more than 10 minutes and won't comfort nurse. I've been pumping in the mornings since I'm so full and get between 5 and 6 ounces in 10 minutes. It's reasonable to think she gets a lot of milk in a short amount of time.
All of her signs and symptoms seem to point to reflux. There are times she spits up, but other times I hear it and then she cries (silent reflux). After eating she'll grunt, clear her throat repeatedly, arch, and she gets awful hiccups if you lay her flat. She also has a tendency to sound congested. She hates her carseat and will generally scream in the car as well.
I've tried feeding her more frequently to ensure she gets less and isn't as full and uncomfortable. I've tried eliminating dairy from my diet, gas drops to no avail, wearing her, keeping her upright after eating, changing her diaper before feedings so we don't have to put her flat after, nursing in a reclined position, and even a Hyland's homeopathic product that's supposed to help neutralize stomach acid. Nothing seems to be making a huge difference and I'm feeling frustrated and discouraged.
So, this afternoon I'm taking her to the pediatrician. I'm not jumping up and down to get her on any kind of medication, but I'm at a loss for what else to do. I'm not even sure the ped will want to put her on anything. When I talked to the nurse last week she told me she was too young and to give it time. Poor baby Stella is so uncomfortable and cries a LOT. I feel so helpless.
My experience with L & C tells me that medications do help and make a difference. I'd hate to reach that same point we did with Lucy where Stella starts to associate eating with pain and then refuses to eat. The thing is, L & C are still on Prevacid. We've tried a few times to stop but every time they wake up screaming in pain and stop eating well. I don't really want to get her on something thats so hard to get off of.
So I guess we'll see what her dr has to say. I'm curious to see what her weight gain has been like and to get his input. I'm hoping that something will make a difference soon and that I'll have a baby that's content a least a little bit of the time when awake. This whole crying any time she's awake thing is not fun.