Lactose overload may happen when babies consume large amount of breastmilk. Babies who are experiencing lactose overload can usually gain a lot of weight and may urinate more than 8 x daily. Additionally, frequent bowel motions within 24hours is also observed. Poos may look like those of babies who are lactose intolerant– green and frothy. If you think your baby is suffering from lactose overload, you should make it a point to check the nappies because it can tell you what’s happening. Remember that what goes out always have something to do with what your baby has been consuming.
How It Happens
Your baby may be consuming larger portions of fat very quickly that the lactose is not being completely digested. The undigested lactose that reach the bottom bowel will then draw more water into the bowel that is then fermented by the organisms present there thus resulting to gas and acidic poop.
Once gas starts to build up, your baby may experience stomach pain and he will act like he’s hungry. If you notice your baby sucking then it’s best to let him be because it helps in moving the gas along the bowel. Sucking during a lactose overload helps your baby feel comfortable as it helps ease the pain temporarily.
Unfortunately, most mothers think that since their babies want to suck, they logically feed their babies again resulting in another vicious cycle of lactose overload.
Change Your Breastfeeding Routine
If your baby is suffering from lactose overload, it will help if you change your breastfeeding habit. This is only temporary and you can go back to your old routine once your baby feels well again. Keep in mind that the goal is to reduce the rate of milk going through your baby by feeding him only one breast or by block feeding. If you want to block feed, you need to set a 4hour period and each time your baby gets hungry during the 4hour period, you offer the same breast. You only start using the other breast on the next 4 hours.
Since your baby continues to suck on the used breast, he gets a low volume and a high fat feed which helps in slowing the system down. When the symptoms are gone, you then go back to your normal breastfeeding habit.
Severe Lactose Overload
If you think that your baby is experiencing severe lactose overload, you may want to work out the following to find out why an oversupply is happening.
- Have you been timing your feeds and switching breasts?
- Does your baby feel unsettled resulting in even more sucking and oversupply?
- Mothers with low supply of milk overcompensates by feeding their babies more than what they really need thus overstimulating her supply.
There are more ways to help relieve lactose overload but you may need to consult with your doctor or your breastfeeding counsellor.