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Why does my baby cry during Nursing?

Breastfeeding should be relaxing and fulfilling for both, mother and baby. If your baby cries and behaves fussy during this time, it is naturally worrying. There could be several reasons for this. Let’s look at them below.
Flow of milk is too fast
If the letdown reflux of the milk (milk ejection) is too fast, the baby won’t be able to swallow it all at once and might sputter and cough as a result. The best way to handle this is by nursing in a position that makes it convenient for the baby to swallow such as an uphill position wherein you lie down and the baby is on top of you. However, don’t maintain this position throughout the feed as it squishes the baby’s stomach and might make him/her uneasy.
Flow of milk is too slow
Your baby might get impatient and can start crying if the flow of milk is too slow. Switching sides frequently will help in this situation as it:
  • Triggers faster letdown
  • Allows the other side to refill
  • Sends a message to the body to produce more milk
As long as your baby latches on to the other side, keep switching.
Babies tend to regurgitate while nursing as their digestive system is still maturing and the valve between the esophagus and stomach which usually prevents the contents from coming out of the baby’s is still undeveloped. Hence, make sure to burp your baby in between feeds. If the reflux is accompanied by pain, and your baby is not gaining weight, or has breathing problems then please check with your doctor as these are indications of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Other reasons
Teething, food allergy, increased sensitivity, changes in the mother’s diet, stuffy nose are all reasons for your baby feeling uneasy which results in crying while nursing.
It’s important to analyze when your baby starts crying in order to determine the problem. If the baby starts crying in the beginning of the feed it could be because the milk is letting down too fast. If it happens after a few minutes, it could be because the flow of milk is slow and the baby is getting impatient. Crying at the end of the feed could indicate that the baby needs to be burped.
The proof reading has been done by Dr. Pratibha Vinod from iCare