The benefits of breastfeeding have been documented in thousands of studies. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that parents exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months of their child\’s life and that they continue breastfeeding after introducing solid foods to their children. Despite the benefits of breastfeeding, some mothers encounter problems at feeding time, and a fussy, squirmy baby is among the most common. If you frequently encounter difficulties breastfeeding your baby, consult your pediatrician or a lactation specialist. According to pediatrician and author William Sears, arching the back is a classic symptom of reflux, an illness in which the stomach\’s contents travel partially back up through the esophagus, resulting in vomiting and stomach problems. If your baby regularly cries and arches his back while eating, ask your doctor to test him for reflux. In other cases, the crying and awkward positioning may be due to gas. Babies frequently arch their backs to attempt to get relief from the pressure of gas in their stomachs. In the first few days after birth, it can take a while for the mother\’s milk supply to catch up with the baby\’s hunger. In other cases, breast milk may come in faster than newborns can eat it. Both can be frustrating to hungry babies, resulting in crying. Babies frequently arch their backs in an attempt to reposition themselves when the milk isn\’t coming at the desired pace.
Rarely, food allergies and sensitivities can cause breastfeeding difficulties. Babies get particles of the foods their mothers eat in breast milk, so it\’s important to monitor your own food intake to prevent feeding problems. If you notice the crying only occurs at certain times of day or after certain meals, ask your pediatrician to test your child for food allergies. Some foods, such as broccoli, spinach and whole milk, tend to make babies gassy. Your doctor can recommend foods that will minimize your baby\’s crying during breastfeeding. Changing positions can make a dramatic difference and help you and your baby succeed at breastfeeding. Feeding in a semiupright position, with your baby\’s head slightly above his stomach, can help alleviate both gas and reflux. If you are having trouble with your milk supply, consider pumping regularly to increase milk production or consult a lactation consultant, who can offer you natural remedies to increase milk supply.
Babies cry so the species will survive. They cry so their needs will be met. A baby\’s cry is her way of communicating to her parents that she needs something. If you are a parent trying to cope with a crying, fretful baby, you will know how distressing her prolonged crying is to herself, to you and to anyone nearby.
Picking up and cuddling or nursing your fretful baby will not start bad habits or spoil her. If she cries, she needs you, and the more upset she is, the more she needs a loving parent to make everything all right again. Because you are a loving, caring mother you are distressed when your baby cries. When nothing you\’ve done seems to help her, you may find your motherly feelings turning to despair and even anger. Most mothers of colicky babies can recall these times, often with an unwarranted sense of guilt. Learning about the things that upset a baby can help you cope. It\’s easier to be patient with a constantly crying baby when you understand she has a positive reason for her distress. Baby sleep-training programs are becoming popular, so it is worth reading the opinion of the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health Inc (AAIMHI) in its 2002 position paper (revised in 2004) on controlled crying. \’AAIMHI is concerned that the widely practised technique of controlled crying is not consistent with what infants need for their optimal emotional and psychological health, and may have unintended negative consequences. \’ You can read the background to these concerns in a PDF document that can be downloaded from the before you make your own decisions on this issue. Is it my milk? The breastfeeding mother immediately worries about whether it\’s her milk.
Family and friends often recommend a change to formula. But breastfeeding is hardly ever the reason for the crying. It\’s a simple matter to eliminate problems like poor positioning and attachment, let-down reflex not working, or hunger. Is it hunger? If your baby is having breastmilk only (no formula, solids or water) and is having six to eight really wet cloth nappies or five heavily wet disposables in 24 hours, and regular soft bowel motions; then you know plenty of milk is going in the other end. It may be that you are expecting your baby to ask for feeds every four hours. This is an unlikely frequency for newborns and many older babies. It is common for young babies to want to breastfeed between eight and twelve times (or more) in 24 hours. Breastmilk is food and drink and comfort to babies. Your baby doesn\’t know that she\’s hungry or thirsty, she just knows she needs you. As adults we help ourselves to a drink or snack many times a day, and can quite happily manage a cup of coffee or tea straight after we\’ve eaten. Your little baby has a tiny stomach which needs refilling very often. If she\’s hungry, give her more breastfeeds and see our article on. Run down the checklist in the ABA booklet Breastfeeding: and crying babies to investigate more reasons for crying. Booklets are available for purchase from the. What else could it be?
You need to eliminate illness as a cause of crying. If your baby cries inconsolably for long periods each day, you will want to make sure she is not sick by getting a thorough check-up from your medical adviser. Most crying babies are not sick. Talk to a friendly and knowledgeable ABA breastfeeding counsellor on the. She is a mother who has breastfed and undergone extensive training. With a breastfeeding counsellor you can explore a lot of possibilities to do with the feeding and with mothering. Many crying babies end up with the label \”windy\” or \”colicky\” because no reason can be found for their distress, although they almost always bloom with health. The problem almost always disappears after three or four months, but it seems like an unbearable time for some parents. The booklet Breastfeeding: and crying babies contains twenty different suggestions for soothing and comforting a baby, as well as ideas for how to manage everyday life with an unhappy baby. It is very important that you eat well, take every chance to rest, and try to off-load some of your responsibilities during these difficult weeks that the crying lasts. It also helps to talk to other mothers who are sharing this experience. You and your baby will be warmly welcomed at an Australian Breastfeeding Association. В Australian Breastfeeding Association Reviewed August 2015