Breathing difficulty while eating. — The Bump
Breastfeeding

Breathing difficulty while eating.

My son is a week old, he was born at 37 weeks. When he breast feeds he does great, sometimes I have difficulty getting him to latch. When I pump and try to bottle feed him he stops breathing and makes a squeaky noise, I have to pull the bottle away after a few sucks and wait for him to catch his breath again. It scares me to death and worries me because he has to eat.. Does anyone have any experience with this?
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Married: May '15
M/C: May '15
Expecting DS: April '16


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Re: Breathing difficulty while eating.

  • I'd speak to the pedi about this. Also, what flow nipple are you using on the bottle? Maybe switching to a preemie flow would help him. But I'd definitely talk to the pedi asap.
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  • My son was also born at 37 weeks. I didn't introduce a bottle until 3 months old. If possible, I would just EBF until he gets bigger. If you need to bottle feed, definitely switch to a slow flow nipple. If he does the same thing while breastfeeding, I would pump for a minute or two before latching him on so that the flow is slower.
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  • DD was born at 37 weeks and exclusively bottle fed for more than a month before she was able to latch. I'd check with your pediatrician but newborns have irregular breathing for quite a while. It's also possible he is getting too much too quickly. Look into paced feeding and using a preemie nipple. We actually switched to a preemie nipple at 3 mo because DD struggles with the flow of a size 1 even with pace feeding. 
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  • Is there a specific reason you need to bottle feed so early?  Most lactation consultants recommend waiting until BFing is well established before trying a bottle.  If you can, wait at least 3 weeks then try again and see if the problem still exists
  • My LO does that too. The LC said that her instinct to breathe is greater then her instinct to feed so she will detach herself if necessary. I still worry too though!
  • You could have an overactive letdown. The milk comes out too fast and sometimes baby can have difficulty keeping up with the flow. When you feel your letdown, detach baby and let some go into a cloth, then relatch baby. 

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  • When my daughter was 3 weeks old she started squeaking every time she took a breath.  She also had difficulty breathing while breast feeding and on more than one occasion her breathing paused for a few seconds.  We were instructed to take her to the ER by our pediatrician.  They transported us to Children's Hospital where we begin a four day stay.  She was evaluated by an ENT who diagnosed her with Laryngomalacia, which is a soft larynx.  They say it's common and she will outgrow it.  I would definitely bring it up with your pediatrician.
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