Diagnosed “Reflux Baby” From Mostly Bottle – To Mostly Breast…

Kerry & Louie Brown’s Story

Louie is my third child and after having problems with feeding previously with my other two children, I was determined to breastfeed this time. I researched it the best I could and as soon as he was born I latched him on and he fed so well for 3 days that I thought I had it sorted. But when my milk came in it was a different story. I had huge amounts of milk and would often cover him and myself as it poured everywhere. This is where the problems started so I put it all down to that. He would not stay latched on and would pull on and off constantly resulting in my nipples becoming so sore and pink. By week 3 I was dreading each feed and almost crying as I was so sore. I was told I had thrush but even though we both had cream my breasts never got any better.

As I had already had 2 other children I knew from early on something wasn’t right with Louie. He had colic and had drops for it, but there were other problems. When he fed he would take down so much wind you would hear it going down, he made a funny sucking noise when he fed, he would have hiccups all the time and was sick constantly. Every time he was laid down or winded he would be sick a lot, not just the normal little amount and he would scream every time. It was horrendous and I’ve never felt so helpless. He also kept choking and would have periods where he stopped breathing as he was gagging. It was so distressing for us all but the worst thing was the lack of sleep. He wouldn’t sleep longer than 20 minutes without gagging or being sick and waking up screaming.  I would rock him, push him the buggy, I even bought a swinging chair but nothing helped. He would then want to feed, would then be so tired i’d try and put him back to sleep which would take ages and the cycle would start again. I was feeding him every hour for weeks.

I was expressing so I could give him a bottle when needed as I have various medical problems and sometimes need the help. I thought so many times about giving up and just giving him the bottle and would sit in tears feeling like I was failing my little boy. By 6 weeks I couldn’t express as much as I needed to, so finally gave in to giving him formula. I sobbed when he had the first bottle as I felt i’d worked so hard and might as well just given in weeks ago. By 8 weeks he was having almost all bottles and hardly any breast.

I took him to see my GP many times and an out of hours doctor eventually diagnosed him with reflux and started him on gaviscon. It did start to help but we were still having problems feeding. Even with the bottle he would dribble half the contents out the side of his mouth. I went onto a baby website to ask for some advice and a lady sent me the link to the Milk Matters website saying it sounded like he had tongue tie. My brother had it and I remember him having it cut when we were younger but I had no idea it could cause such problems. I read through the symptoms and could tick so many so I rung the number straight away.

I felt such relief straight away talking to someone who actually was supportive. I had seen 3 different health visitors one who said stop breastfeeding and give him comfort formula milk and the other who said I must have PDN as I was upset no one was listening to me. It was only the third one when I asked if he had tongue tie she said he might as he couldn’t stick it out but she wasn’t really sure. So I booked an appointment for Milk Matters to come round and check if he had tongue tie, and if not then give me some pointers to try and keep the breastfeeding going. My mum told me not to get my hopes up as something so small probably wouldn’t make that many changes but boy she was wrong!

A lovely Lactation Consultant called Ann came round and said he did have a tie 75% and it was very tight,  and that she was happy to divide it for him.  It wasn’t easy seeing Louie have it cut, but I hated him having his jabs! It was over so quickly I think I cried more than he did!! Instantly the latch felt completely different and I couldn’t feel his tongue on my nipple. It took a few days to get used to it again as it was like starting from scratch.

2 weeks on I am breastfeeding Louie with no pain, or redness, I actually look forward to feeding him now. He only has one bottle at night now so have cut out all the other bottles and I’m so proud of us both. He sleeps much better he goes down about 8pm wakes at 2am and then again at 6am so I’m getting much more sleep. He seems so much more content he laughs and giggles now and I can put him down without him screaming as it has helped his reflux so much. I have even reduced his gaviscon by half and hoping I can stop it soon. Its like having a different baby. I can latch him on, he’ll take a good feed without making the clicking noise, or pulling off every few seconds so he’s not taking down hardly any wind.

So we now have one contented mummy and baby.

I can’t thank you enough for all your help and advice and I would suggest if anyone is concerned that their baby has a lot of symptoms get it checked.  Something so simple has made the world of difference I’m so glad I found this site!