13 Reasons why babies cry after breastfeeding
There are a number of culprits responsible for babies bawling after nursing. So calm down, mom. You're not doing anything wrong! But you can help your child by arming yourself with these reasons for their crying.
There’s no denying that breastfeeding has many benefits for you and your baby.
However, we know how nerve wracking it can be when you think that nursing will pacify your baby only to find that he/she starts bawling and you don’t know why.
Don’t fret. Here are reasons why babies cry after breastfeeding so that you can address the issue and continue to enjoy the sacred mother-child nursing brings.
Click “Next” to learn 4 out of 13 reasons why babies cry after breastfeeding.
1. Your baby is sick
Certified Lactation Counselor and La Leche League International Leader, Abbie Venida-Yabot, says sick babies may not be able to swallow properly, especially when their noses are clogged.
What to do: Abbie suggests to breastfeed while holding the baby in an upright or almost sitting position.
2. Your baby is tired
A lot of healthy babies go through unsettled periods wherein they cry a lot and sleep little. This can cause them to be tired.
What to do: Try cluster feeding (nursing your baby within short intervals). Also, don’t worry about these unsettled periods. They are often followed by long stretches of sleep anyway, and they decrease or eventually stop at around 3 months.
3. Your baby is experiencing multiple discomforts
Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag, author of the Amazon bestseller “Breastfeeding: A Journey Worth Taking,” says that your baby might be feeling certain discomforts after feeding. This could involve a lot of things from wet nappies to the room temperature to the kind of clothing they wear—these could easily be one of the reasons why babies cry after breastfeeding.
4. Your baby is latched incorrectly
Breastfeeding advocate and creative mompreneur of Dainty Ashley, Mai Toralba-Danganan, says babies may cry if they’re unable to latch properly due to their tongue-tie, lip-tie, or their moms having inverted nipples. These impediments prevent them from getting enough milk.
What to do: Severe tongue-tie that interferes with nursing may require a surgical procedure (of cutting the frenulum, the membrane connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth) to allow the baby more tongue control. For inverted nipples, there are different remedies such as using breast shields, breast pumps, and breast stimulation exercises such as the Hoffman technique.
Head over to the next page to learn 4 more reasons why babies cry after breastfeeding.
5. Your baby is having a “wonder week”
Babies experience leaps in their mental development (termed “wonder weeks” since there is a predictable sequence of developments during a baby’s first few years). During these times, they may react to the changes by being fussy, i.e. need attention and understanding from mommy more than usual since they have difficulty processing what they are learning.
6. Your baby’s sleep is interrupted
Maritess Fabunan, mom of four and breastfeeding advocate, says that all four of her daughters took advantage of breastfeeding time to put themselves to sleep. Unlatching them made them cry because their sleep was interrupted.
What to do: Keeping your child close before putting him/her down eases the transition from nursing to sleeping.
7. Your baby wants more milk
Teresa, who is also the President and Founder of Full Life Cube, Hands-On Parent while Earning (HOPE), and the Breastfeeding Friends Circle (BFF), adds that babies who are still hungry after feeding will definitely cry.
What to do: She suggests that moms should observe if their babies’ jaws move and whether there’s a visible or audible swallowing of milk to ensure that they’re getting what they need.
8. Your baby needs a change in environment
Abbie, who breastfed all four of her kids and will continue to do so with her upcoming fifth one, confirms the need for change.
What to do: Shift to a different position or transfer to another place. Allowing your child to be carried by somebody else helps, too.
Head over to the next page to read about 5 more reasons why babies cry after breastfeeding.
9. Your baby may have reflux
Babies tend to experience reflux (when food or liquid goes back up the esophagus) more often than adults because a) their diet is more liquid-based so they have a shorter food pipe and b) they’re often lying down.
10. Your baby may have thrush
Abbie, who is also a lactation educator, says that thrush could be one of the reasons why babies cry after nursing. An oral thrush is a white patch in your baby’s mouth—either on the tongue or inside of the cheeks—that can hurt like mouth sores.
What to do: There are various treatments for thrush, but it’s best to visit a doctor so you and your baby can be examined.
11. Your baby prefers the other breast
This is actually normal as one breast can produce more milk and even express faster.
What to do: Try shifting your baby to the other breast if he/she gets fussy after feeding from the other. Your little one might just be looking for the breast that gives more milk!
12. Your baby is gassy
What to do: Burp your child in between feeds (i.e. when you shift breasts) or right after. Place your baby over your shoulder and wait for him/her to burp after a couple of minutes. You can also gently massage your baby’s tummy to alleviate the discomfort.
13. Your baby doesn’t want to nurse now
At 3 months, babies become expert at self-regulating, so they know when they’re full. Other babies suck for comfort but don’t want the flow of milk.
What to do: Cradle your baby and rock him/her gently.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ivy Guerrero
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