Feeding issues - switch to Alimentum? — The Bump

Feeding issues - switch to Alimentum?

Sorry this is a long post.

I posted yesterday about the issues we've been having with our 17 day old baby girl. She was born at 34 weeks and 2 days. We've been having issues with her chocking while she's eating and it scares the crap out of me.

The hospital had given us the red preemie nipples and that seemed to do the trick for a while, but we've had a few more episodes since being discharged so we brought it up at our follow-up appointment today. Our pedi referred us to a speech therapist and we went to see her today as well. I was so happy to finally see someone that could watch me feed her and see what was happening! Isabella was doing good feeding and then she started to choke. Immediately the therapist said we were using the wrong nipple. She gave me a slow-flo to try and told me to hold the bottle horizontal to the floor so the nipple has half milk and half air. I thought you weren't supposed to do this so babies don't suck in all that air, but she said that's why you burp them. She said this way they only suck in as much as they can take instead of it coming out on it's own. She did OK with the rest of her feeding on the new nipple and I was relieved.

Our pedi had also given us a sample of Alimentum since Isabella seems to be having some gassy type pains.

So long story short when we got home I tried her next feeding with the new nipple and then half breast milk and half Alimentum. I was feeling really good and confident that this was going to be the answer. Sadly after her first few sips when I removed the bottle from her mouth to give her a break she let out a horrible scream. Same thing happened for the next few gulps and so I just stopped feeding her. Now I wonder if she was frustrated from the slower nipple or just hated the new formula. It's so discouraging when you finally get a boost in your confidence and things backfire. Anyone have any experience with the Alimentum? I have a feeling it just tasted really bad for her because once I stopped giving it to her she was fine and feel right to sleep.

Re: Feeding issues - switch to Alimentum?

  • We had the same problem....terrible reflux, pain, and choking with every feeding.  We used a wedge at night, held him upright for an hour after every feeding (exhausting when you're feeding every 2 to 3 hours), and gave him Zantac.  It all helped a little, but never really seemed to fix the problem.  Finally, our pedi suggested Alimentum, which has made a HUGE difference.  Feedings are still a little harder than for most babies, but the gas relief in particular was amazing.  First 24 hours after the switch, our son smiled and was able to fall asleep with out spitting up or screaming...If you stay on Alimentum you'll probably notice that her bowel movements will become really loose and more frequent.  We were adivsed that as long as he still had a wet pee diaper at least once every 8 hours, there was no need to worry about dehydration.  You might want to check out Nutramigen, if the Alimentum isn't sitting right.  They're pretty comprable.  Also, likely that the formula will be covered by insurance- it's really expensive (but worth every cent!!)
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  • We tried putting Marino on Alimentum but he hated the taste of it. He normally seems unfazed by taste (he takes his iron and Zantac no problem) but when I fed him Alimentum, he would just play with the nipple in his mouth and not actually drink any of it.
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  • Ditto SBM.
    Robbie HATED the alimentum- and he'll eat anything.
    They kept telling me he was too young to have a palate, but he'd get it in his mouth and spit it right back out.

    If I were you, I'd go back to straight BM for a feed or two and see if the problem is fixed.. then try the alimentum again...if the problem is back, you have your answer.

    There ARE other formulas you can use. They put Robbie on EleCare after the Alimentum and he liked that much better. (It ended up making his reflux worse again.. but he really has tummy issues.. we're now back to neosure)

    Robbie also has to be fed side-lying. I actually hold him in almost the football breastfeeding pose and he does great. He hasn't choked in ages..

    You might also try the Dr. Brown nipples. They help with the air in the tummy issue and you can get preemie nipples which are slow flow.. So you get the best of all the worlds..
  • DD and DS are on alimentum and it's covered by our insurance (11 cases a month). she's on for reflux and he's on for gas. maybe you could try 100% alimentum and slowly re-introduce BM back into the bottle. our ped and neonatologist told us that you have to give a formula 3 days before you know if it's working or not for the child. good luck. i know it's frustrating, but trust me when i tell you....it will get easier and some day you'll look back on this stressful time and take pride in your courage and strength.
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