Why does my baby cry while breastfeeding?
Normal babies have frequent, painful tummy cramps during and after feeding in the first few months of life. This happens when milk enters the stomach. The stretching of the stomach sends a signal to the large bowel, which squeezes its contents, causing crampy pain. Its medical name is the gastrocolic (stomach-large bowel) reflex. Mothers may hear the baby’s tummy gurgling and see the baby squirming, turning red, and even crying for a few minutes. If breastfeeding, the baby may let go of the breast. The baby usually settles after passing stool or gas. Everyone has the reflex, but it is more obvious in babies, who take in a lot of milk relative to their size and whose stool (poop) is more liquid. If the baby is hurting the mother’s nipple by tugging and clamping, she can take the baby off the breast until the baby settles a little, and resume breastfeeding once the baby gives hunger signs. If the baby lets go of the breast and cries, mothers can ease the pain by putting the baby over her shoulder and massaging the baby's back for a few minutes. The cramps are often a sign of a good milk supply.