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Gasping while feeding
like a drowning man!


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#1 CallMeFeral

Posted 15 February 2010 - 10:06 AM

Has anybody experienced this? My 1 week old gasps while feeding like he's really struggling to breathe. It sounds like the way someone inhales air when drowning or something if you know what I mean. I asked the midwives at hospital about it but it comes and goes and generally by the time they came it wasn't at it's worst - was a just a bit squeaky and laboured breathing - so they said it's perfectly normal, but I'm not sure they would still say that if they heard it when it's really bad.

Has anybody had this and is it ok? He still feeds well, just sometimes I take him off for a bit to let him catch his breath because it seems to get quite bad.

#2 lucky 2

Posted 15 February 2010 - 10:11 AM

Sounds a bit odd, I don't think I've seen/heard that.
Perhaps get a Lactation Consultant to see a feed and get an impression.
The main thing at any time it happens is that bub is pink, ie same colour as usual.
Perhaps also see the CHN for a chat, or at least give her a ring.
I'm certainly not saying yes or no re if it is something to worry about, I know it is hard to describe in type what exactly it "sounds" like, so get someone to see a whole feed and a LC is usually the one that can do this.
All the best.

#3 queeney

Posted 15 February 2010 - 10:17 AM

The paed told me that babies only breath through thier noses, so maybe a blockage or something restricting bub to breath with ease.

Get it checked out, follow your instincts.

#4 janitag

Posted 15 February 2010 - 10:24 AM

Do you have a fast supply?  My second baby seemed to almost 'squeak' while he was feeding and my MCH suggested feeding him as high on my breast as I could so that gravity helped slow down the flow.  It worked.  I fed him at one of my visits so she could hear it to help work out what to do.

#5 CheekyBuggers

Posted 15 February 2010 - 10:30 AM

My dd used to 'gasp' was horrific sound,  she was later diagnosed with silent reflux which pead said would be the cause, I also had a fast flow which didn't help things either, specially when she'd clamp down to try and stop it which would just make it pour out more.

#6 mrsboof

Posted 15 February 2010 - 02:02 PM

My DD only 2 weeks old, so I'm only new to this, but my DD did/does a fair bit of gasping and pulling off. I saw the LC last week and she told me I had fast flow -  although I had kind of figured it beforehand because when DD would pull off I would have milk hosing out all over her and myself.

I was recommended to express off the initial letdown first before attaching her, I also feed her more upright, and also, if possible reclining as much as I can so that gravity plays a bit of a part.

But I would certainly recommend seeing a LC if possible - I found it brilliant!!

K original.gif

#7 invisigirl23

Posted 15 February 2010 - 09:26 PM

my bub does this even now at 10 weeks, but I am pretty sure it is my fast letdown/flow... cause it doesn't happen if I have expressed within the last hour and am a bit emptier.

I get the spray too if he pulls away - I call it the moo fountain and he is starting to find it funny now.

We feed lying down which helps, but I really notice it when I am feeding out and about (as I can't really lie down in a mothers room  wink.gif )

#8 CallMeFeral

Posted 16 February 2010 - 12:13 AM

Thanks folks!
Yes good idea, I'll give the LC a call  - no point going in there as he doesn't always do it and it's hard to tell when he will - but at least I can call and see what she says.
I don't THINK I have fast flow... it's hard to tell as my boobs are very stubborn, they'll only release milk to a baby - totally non responsive to hand or any other sort of expressing! But my milk has just come in and hasn't stabilised, so it's possible it's still fast - he does gulp a lot and they get quite engorged.

Or more worrying is the reflux thing - did they say why the reflux made him gasp? Because I have suspicions that DS has reflux - he posets a lot and often cries after burping, so I think it is coming back and burning him sad.gif  I might mention it at his first check and see if there is something I can do about that.

Will also check out how it goes feeding him lying down just in case it is flow related... as for feeding high on the breast, how do I do that?

#9 taddie

Posted 16 February 2010 - 12:33 AM

Mine did this, it was also a fast letdown to the point where she was afraid to stop swallowing so she could grab a breath. Feeding with her on top of the breast helped. She ended up doing the funniest little singing thing every time she fed, I believe to always have positive airflow coming out of her lungs so she wasn't so worried about inhaling milk. She used to have to pull off coughing at least once a feed though if I didn't put her on top.

Edited by taddie, 16 February 2010 - 12:35 AM.


#10 kaboo

Posted 16 February 2010 - 10:34 AM

My 8 week old does this - less now than at first though. I suspect it's when the flow is fast. He also vomits a lot afterwards. He also cries and arches his back before projectile vomiting.

I do find that when I feed him lying down he doesn't gasp and vomits less.

#11 CheekyBuggers

Posted 16 February 2010 - 11:05 AM

My dd didn't just gasp during feeding which is why they didn't put it down to my fast flow,  dd was a shocking feeder and i seriously had to have a towel under her head as it would just be soaked with milk.

The gasping the pead told me can be from the vomit coming up but then the burning and they get confused with wanting to cry/breathe if that makes sence,  sorry if it don't running on not alot of sleep so pretty hazy today

#12 CallMeFeral

Posted 20 February 2010 - 12:08 AM

QUOTE (taddie @ 16/02/2010, 01:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
She ended up doing the funniest little singing thing every time she fed, I believe to always have positive airflow coming out of her lungs so she wasn't so worried about inhaling milk.


Oh no way how georgeous! And clever to work that out...

#13 CallMeFeral

Posted 20 February 2010 - 12:14 AM

Thanks folks! I think you're all right and it's to do with fast flow - called the lactation consultant and she said so too. I never really belieived I could have fast flow as I'm unable to express so I've never really SEEN anything very fast come out of there - but I've realised it probably is the case since seeing DS vomit up his last feed a couple of times (and there was more in there than I'd have imagined from a few minute feed), and also since he seems to have developed a technique to cope with it that sort of lets the milk spill out of his mouth while he's sucking when it's too fast for him or he's not interested - messy as I'll be trying to stuff the area below him full of tissues after realising what he's doing! But good because he doens't seem to make the gasping noise as much so I guess it's a good coping strategy for him - and lets me see that there really is milk coming out!

Thanks all!

#14 lucky 2

Posted 20 February 2010 - 07:50 AM

So rather than gasping is it really noisy gulping?
If it is a fast flow it is often ideal for bub to have a really deep latch to the breast (ie milk coming out of mouth=shallow) because if the milk shoots directly to the back of the mouth bub tends to be able to coordinate the suck, swallow and breathe better.
I suppose the concern I have for the technique he has developed is he may not remove milk as well and you may be at risk of blocked ducts.
Perhaps consider the above and meantime keep an eye out for symptoms of blocked ducts (which can lead to mastitis).
That and a more upright position for feeds.
Could you get a visit with the LC to see a feed?
I'm a cautious person! biggrin.gif
All the best.

Edited by luckytwo, 20 February 2010 - 07:53 AM.


#15 CallMeFeral

Posted 23 February 2010 - 12:55 PM

No, it was gasping rather than gulping - I think it was going in so fast he was having trouble getting time to breathe! But the LC told me that that's fine - if he REALLY can't breathe he'd pull off - and if he didn't have that reflex (rare) he'll go floppy or pale (!) and really unless that happens don't worry about it, he'll work out how to get enough air!
Yes I do wonder if his latch is too shallow - I put it in deeply to start with but he seems to drop off a bit to kind of escape the flow I think - and I tend to not take him off and relatch him because he's such a sleepy fellow that after a few gulps, once the nipple comes out he just won't open his mouth again (however he WILL keep sucking in his 'sleep' if it's in there already).
However, my breasts have settled down a bit milkwise (i.e. they are soft now) so hopefully the blocked ducts are less likely now. Thanks for the warning though actually! I think I get less watchful once the boobs have softened, and I shouldn't - I'll keep an eye out for it!







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