Crying and stomach noises during your baby’s feeding are worrisome and disturbing, especially if accompanied by additional symptoms such as wheezing or arching of the back. A situation like this may require medical guidance, but, as a parent, you also need to be aware of what triggers feeding discomfort and what steps you can take to remedy it.
Stomach noises and crying occur anywhere from a few minutes into your baby’s feeding to an hour following the meal. Additional symptoms often include spitting up, obvious discomfort when your baby is on her back, awaking often during naps or bedtime, diarrhea, projectile vomiting, sour smelling breath and extreme fussiness. Outward signs, such as red patches on the skin or swelling of the face or extremities, sometimes also develop.
Fussiness and stomach noises are oftentimes a sign that your baby has swallowed air during the feeding. These extra gas bubbles rumble in your child’s stomach, causing pain and fussiness. Certain foods, such as wheat or dairy products tend to trigger food allergies or stomach sensitivity if you are breastfeeding. Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux also cause stomach acids to travel back up into the esophagus, triggering stomach noises, pain and crying.
Prop your baby up about 30 degrees or hold him upright during and after his feeding to ease gas discomfort and prevent acids from moving back up into his throat. Place your baby on his stomach so that trapped gas can easily escape. It is also helpful and soothing to place your baby in a bath of warm water. If your pediatrician approves, give your baby over-the-counter gas drops to treat discomfort.
After about 2 oz. -- or once your baby has finished nursing on one breast -- stop to burp her before continuing the feeding. This expels any trapped air bubbles and gives the milk time to digest, which prevents discomfort and crying. If you think a food allergy is the cause of your baby’s symptoms, eliminate suspected allergens from your diet one at a time to see if feeding discomfort and stomach noises cease. If acid reflux is the cause, your doctor may prescribe an acid reducer medication to ward off symptoms.