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Nursing Baby with Fussiness and Gas [Ask the Moms Q&A]

Nursing Baby with Fussiness and Gas [Ask the Moms Q&A]

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Ask the Moms is your chance to ask the Ottawa Valley Moms anything you want! We’ll answer your questions as blog posts and/or open it up to our Facebook page! As a reader, we’d love you to weigh in too! Simply post a comment with your answer to the question!

Crystal S. asks: “I am feeling helpless… I am a new mom and my beautiful son is only 3 weeks old. After some serious frustration on both our parts with latching we purchased a nipple shield and feeding has been going very well ever since. Unfortunately, when the babe is done nursing he screams/cries uncontrollably until he passes gas. This nursing/screaming continues throughout most of the day everyday. I’ve been told he might be colicky but I just don’t want to accept that as a possibility. Any suggestions?”

Fleur says: I’m sorry to hear about your struggles with breastfeeding. Good for you for reaching out and looking for help!

“Colic” tends to be a diagnosis that is given when someone doesn’t know what the problem is. Constant crying is never normal and it is usually possible to find the cause with some careful investigation. The fact that your baby had trouble latching until you introduced a nipple shield, combined with the constant crying makes me suspect some kind of structural issue. It is possible that there is an issue such as tongue and/or lip-tie that is interfering with latching (and can also cause colic like symptoms), or there may be a structural issue related to your birth, or your baby’s position in utero that is making latching difficult and making your baby uncomfortable.

Sometimes the process of birth or a baby’s position in the womb can cause problems such as minor injuries, muscle tension or tightness, irritation to the cranial nerves (which are the ones that control everything in the mouth to do with latching and sucking), etc. It would be ideal for you to see an IBCLC who can assess you and your baby to figure out what the problem is, but something else that may be beneficial is some type of bodywork for your baby such as chiropractic care or craniosacral therapy (a form of very light touch therapy that is very gentle but very effective for breastfeeding issues).

There are two wonderful CST practitioners in Westboro: Kelly Watters at and Stephanie Bergeron at For chiropractic care I recommend Kelly Norman, also at


About Fleur Bickford BSc., RN, IBCLC, LLLL

I am a private practice lactation consultant in Ottawa Ontario, and I am able to meet with you and your family in the comfort of your own home, or in my Barrhaven based home office, to help you achieve your breastfeeding goals.

I am a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences from Queen’s University. I have worked as a nurse in labour and delivery, mother and baby care, and pediatrics. It was during my time on the obstetrics unit that I developed a love of working with new families.

I am the mother of two breastfed children, and after experiencing breastfeeding challenges with our second child, I discovered La Leche League, and a passion for helping other families with breastfeeding. I became a La Leche League Leader in 2007, and in 2009 I wrote and passed the exam to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

I am a strong believer in meeting families where they are, and helping them to achieve their own personal goals for breastfeeding.

Learn more about Fleur at

Nina says: I had similar experiences breastfeeding both of my kids.

With Owen it had a very strong correlation with my food sensitivities which were milk/dairy and wheat. He was horibbly fussy around breast feedings. I eventually talked with my Naturalpath and she said it was probably the dairy and wheat. So, I took those out of my diet and he stopped screaming after a few days.

With Anna I eliminated those foods for her first few months of life and she barely reacted like Owen, but she did have a little different reaction and she ended up having reflux, so would often choke, cough or throw up after feeding and would not sleep well on her back.

I would suggest looking into the food sensitivites because it affects them differently since their digestive systems are not fully developed.

Crystal says: Although I am not a pro in the breastfeeding department, my suggestion here is maybe it is something that the mother is eating that could be upsetting him. Make sure to limit anything spicy or with strong flavours that could be stronger on your baby in the beginning. I found when my kids were newborns they both always tend to be very gassy, especially at night as their body gets used to digestion. Maybe try drops like Ovol etc to help relieve gas pain, we used these and it seemed to help.

Babies in general cry, and that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily colicky. Try not to over stimulate the little guy and preserve sleep. Everything is still so new, so there are bound to be days where the crying filled hours out number the quiet, especially in the first 6 months. Things will get better! xo

Chime in below! What tips do you have for Crystal when it comes to fussy babies while nursing? Leave a comment!

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Comments (1)

  1. Nina Monday - 03 / 09 / 2012 Reply
    Crystal S, we would love to hear any solutions you found or if any of this helped. Hope it did! Thank you for reaching out!

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