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  1. #1
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    Question Lactose Overload??

    Hi All,

    Has anyone had lactose overload/overactive letdown reflex?

    I am beginning to think this what I may have. My DS is almost 10wks now and since about day 8 he has had major wind/gas issues in that he wakes from every single nap/sleep grunting and groaning trying to push out wind/gas. He also feeds every couple of hours and his weight has shot up dramatically. When he was born he was in the 50th percentile for weight and by 5 wks he was in the 95th percentile!! At his 6wk check he was 6.1kg and was born at 3.7kg.

    He is breastfed only and I am just over the gas issues. I am lucky in that he does have a big 5-7hr sleep at night but it does start at 6 or 7pm. Anyway, he wakes from that sleep grunting and groaning and trying to push wind out. Sometimes he screams from pain, but usually just more grunting, groaning and sounding like a squawking bird! He can do that for about an hour before heactually wakes up. So I usually get him up, see if I can get any more gas out of him, feed him and then go back to bed. And then anywhere from half an hour to an hour after that, he is grunting and groaning again and will wake.

    I have tried all the wind medicines that everyone recommends- eg infacol, gripe water, infants friend etc etc but still the same thing every night. I was just thinking today that he hasnt woken NOT grunting and groaning since it started when he was 8 days old!! (Yes, I remember the day clearly).

    Ive been to the GP who told me I was feeding him too much and to give him a bottle of water instead of one of my feeds - I have never given him a bottle at all before. I went to a paed who said to give him a bit of water throughout the day which will help push the wind through.

    But, I have been googling - bad I know, and all the symptons seem to fit with Lactose Overload.
    The only thing is my boobs dont feel really full anymore, only sometimes when he may do a 8 hr sleep. And I have only ever fed from one breast at feed time as that seems to have enough milk from him.

    Has anyone had this issue and then sort it out? Sorry for the long post!! I am just feeling sorry for the little man, and feel sorry for myself having to listen to him grunt and groan and wake up all the time after the middle of the night feed!

    Thanks in advance for any replies!

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    ladyleah6  (24-10-2014)

  3. #2
    MilkingMaid's Avatar
    MilkingMaid is offline Winner 2009 - Mod Award - most supportive member
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    Not sure really. My son had lactose overload, but it created colic symptoms in him, painful screaming for hours every day. The only thing which REALLY worked in the end was that he simply out grew it. It took until he was 6 months old for him to stop screaming.

  4. #3
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    Sometimes the grunting and groaning, squirming and crying can just be typical newborn things. They tend to grow out of it. At the moment their system is adjusting to processing and digesting, a whole new thing to them and it can take some time adjust. DD2 snorted and grunted and would squirm and carry on till about 3 months in her sleep, I learnt to sleep through it, although to begin with it drove me nuts. DD1 was completely silent and didn't move a muscle, until the split second she decided she was hungry and woke screaming.

    If it is lactose overload his stools will be wrong, they will be green liquid, frothy, stink foul and sometimes contain bit of a jelly like substance and sometimes blood. A normal stool can range from orange, even yellowish to a ting of green, be runny but sticky and smell oddly sweetish. Explosive can be normal to. Lactose problems generally cause slow weight gain too because the body struggles to digest the lactose and it causes gut damage and doesn't absorb as well.

    If you really think its lactose overload, try block feeding, its where you feed from the same side for a set number of hours before switching. So if he is feeding 2 hourly, you can set say 6 hour blocks and do 3 feeds from one side and then the next 6 hours from the other. Make sure though you don't get to full on the otherside, you can cut it down to 2 feeds per side if you do. It also helps bub get more hindmilk which is more filling and helps reduce lactose overload.

    Don't give water, it can upset their gut flora, and can disrupt their feeding.

    Your b00bies will stop feeling so full, its completely normal for them to settle down, it means they have adjusted to the demand. You can try offering the second side and see if it helps him take more to go longer.

    Feeding often is what young babies do, their tummies are so tiny they need to, so 2 hourly at his age is pretty normal. So catnapping and feeding during the day is okay.

    I think you are going wonderfully, he is going really well I think, sleeping well at night and good stretches, and putting on good weight. They do grow out of doing this type of thing, promise.

  5. #4
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    headoverfeet is offline The truth will set you free, but first it will **** you off. -Gloria Steinem
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    Everything BabyPaparazzi said, blockfeeding helped DS2 heaps

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    yep, Babypaparazzi is right on the money.
    i would tend to think it isnt lactose overload if wind is the only real problem, if his stools are like Babypaparazzi discribed than that would be a better indication.
    some babies are just windy and it will work itself out with time. but if hes not crying it might not be bothing him as much as you think.
    but if you are convinced its lactose overload you could always try block feeding and see if it helps, but start out with a small time frame (2-3hrs) because if your breasts arent feeling full to begin with you could drop your supply too much.
    i suffered terrible oversupply and my son had the worst colic because of it. he screamed 3-5hrs every day and was incredibly windy. had explosive b/m which he would cry with everytime he had to pass one and they smelt sour, were mucus-y and very runny. i would spend hours on end massaging his tummy and cycling his legs trying to get the wind to move through, tried every wind tonic known to man with no releif. i too searched google for answers because i wasnt satisfied with the GP's answer of "its colic, he will grow out of it by 3-4 months, in the mean time just deal with it". oversupply fit in every single symptom. block feeding really worked well for us - for a few days, but after a few days my supply would creep back up to compensate and the problems would start again.. i was feeding 12hr blocks in the end and still my supply wouldnt drop. in the end i had had enough of seeing DS screaming with colic and also slient reflux and so (in tears of defeat and desperation) decided that formula was a better option for us. he's 9 weeks old and has been on formula exclusively for over a week now and hes a different baby, no more colic, no more crying, no more wind, his slient reflux is greatly reduced and i havnt looked back.
    i felt so guilty stopping BF but i now see that it was a choice i should have made sooner, for DS's sake.
    i know you wanted answers from people that have worked through oversupply syndome successfully, and if it is oversupply your dealing with block feeding should take care of it perfectly for you. but in extreme cases like mine was, sometimes you just need to know when to call it a day.. and to anyone reading this who is in a similar situation to what i was - get all the help and advice you can, try as hard as you feel you can, but if it doesnt work dont beat yourself up like i did. know that you chose what was best for you and your baby and thats all that matters.

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    Thanks guys. I feel like I am going crazy. If it is 'normal' and he will just grow outof it, I guess that is OK. I just didnt feel that it is. This is one of the things I looked at for the symptons -

    What are the symptoms of lactose overload?
    • Frequent watery bowel motions (can often be green in color but not always)
    • Bowel motions often have a slightly to very offensive odor
    • Bowel motions could be frothy or 'explosive' (shoot out with force)
    • Bloating
    • Cramps
    • Excessive gas
    • Irritability/screaming
    • Sleeplessness or wakefulness
    • Baby appears to be constantly hungry
    • Baby gains large amounts of weight (which is not the case when a baby is lactose intolerant)
    • Baby is usually less than 3 months old, but this problem can continue to the age of 5 months
    He had all of these. The only thing is that he now hasnt had a poo in almost a week!! Before every single time I changed his nappy he had done a poo. For a while there it was really dark green. Then it went the mustardy colour (which I think is the normal, right colour?) and then it was like he could only poo when he BF. So everytime he was on the boob he would squirm and grunt and he would get a poo out. These ones were quite explosive - I called them poo-plosions. Then just over a week ago, he only did one every second day or so, and now he hasnt done one since last Tuesday - he has his 8wk immunisation last monday, which could effect it? And yes, his poo's recently were dark yellw, almost green and it looked like there was clear, stringy mucous in there. Also, all the material says with the lactose overload, babies have large weight gain, unlike lactose intolerance where they dont gain.

    Also, its not that he just grunts and groans in his sleep, its that it wakes him up too. And alot of the time it seems as though he is in pain while on the boob....thrashing about and sometimes having a cry.

    Yesterday was the worst. Really thrashing about. Pulling off after not being on for long and having a bit of a scream and arching his back and then sticking his fist in his mouth! Then just screamed for ages afterwards I just hate feeling so clueless.


    Jaks - Im sorry you went through all that, but glad you got it all sorted. You are right not to feel guilty about changing from BF. Obviously this is the better option for your bub.

  8. #7
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    Not going crazy, just a mum now, we all have times like these. Or is it all us mums are just crazy in general

    Its very normal for a baby to poo every bf, and in every single nappy, sometimes if can just be a little fart smudge. Breastmilk contain a natural laxative, so while they are feeding, the get a dose of it and often it will make them go just about instantly. Not fun when you have a poo explosion and have to dart to the change table, pop them off and then have them screaming at you for not feeding them. Stools will start of greenish from birth and can take a few weeks to get to the mustardy colour. The colour can change slightly occasionally and can even be affected by what you eat. Frequency can slower taper off as well, and it can be completely normal to go up to 10 days without doing one, its not a sign of constipation though, but watch out when it actually hits cause nothing will stop its path. Normal poo will have a stringy consistency, lactose will come out in great big blobs of jelly like someone has tipped spoonfuls of jello in the nappy.

    Unfortunately many of the symptons are also just 'newborns' in general as well. The overload will calm down as your supply changes from hormone induced to demand, trying the block feeding is pretty much all you can try for it at the moment.

    From what you have said about the trashing, pulling on and off and arching his back, I would lean more towards suspecting silent reflux. Which would account for the disturbed sleeping and crying. Feeding actually hurts and so does it when the stomach is empty as well. Maybe have that looked into?

  9. #8
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    Thanks so much BabyPaparazzi! I think I get crazier than others sometimes

    Thanks for calming me. I think I just think that I always need a precise answer or explanation. And Ireally didnt know what was normal as I hadnt really been around newborns before.

    I actually took him to the doc yesterday and he also thinks possibly reflux so he has prescribed him losec. Will see how he goes on that.

    Oh and yes, he did a big poo yesterday! Actually 2.One poo-plosion for me and one for Daddy when he came home

    Thanks again!!!


 

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