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Wit's end, desperate, ped is now saying try 48 hr of soy formula**UPDATED....not how I'd hoped****

post #1 of 198
Thread Starter 
Warning: DESPERATE mom here....

I have an 11 week old. This is baby #3. #1 nursed 4yr, #2 nursed 2yr and quit while I was pregnant. I experienced a lot with the first two...#2 had horrible reflux, etc, and we made it through pretty seamlessly.

#3 started out a lazy nurser, but had a great latch and such. Then she was just finicky...I had overactive letdown and huge supply. About 4 weeks she started getting excessively fussy. During this time I started block feeding to help regulate supply/letdown and hope that the fussy was maybe a foremilk/hndmilk imbalance. This helped the supply/letdown problem, but not the fussy. She still only nursed about 3-5 min every couple-3 hours, but was gaining fine. The fussy escalated to full on all day crying about 6-7 weeks. She would wake up fussy, cry nearly all day. I walk holding her/slinging her/tummy holding her, trying to nurse her, binky her, you name it...for hours and hours a day. My back is shot and my other two kids are totally neglected. For the last 4-5 weeks she literally has MAYBE 30-40 minutes of content time, from 6am-11pm. She screaming in the car, the stroller, etc.

Went to Dr for 8 wk checkup...she had moved from the 98th % to 60% in weight from the 4 week checkup and was 2lb lighter than my other two at that age. Dr said she was fine size and would pick up eating when whatever this was worked itself out. I tend to agree.

She is obviously uncomfortable...crying in pain, like she is trying to expell gas and such, but also very gaggy and spits up into her throat, chokes, gags, cries. We started her on Prevacid, and it's doing nothing (and she has been on it awhile now, so it should be). I elimated all dairy, including hidden, from weeks 6-9 with no luck. I have since added back in half and half in coffee and some whey protein, since cutting it all didnt seem to do anything.

When she is crying/agitated she refused to nurse, which means sometimes she goes hours w/o food.

I have talks to the LLL leaders and tried everything they recomended, as well as independent LC's. The only thing I have NOT done is a full elimination diet. I am struggling to get enough calories down as it is and honestly, I have no idea how I would do it with such limited food options.

The odd part....She does not do it at night. When she finally crashes (10pmish), she almost never cries until morning (6am ish). She will get agitated and squirmy, but rarely wakes and cries. Maybe 1 night a week she is uncomfortable enough that she squirms and grunts and keeps me up. But doesnt cry. I spent a couple daytimes making the house quiet and dark but that didnt do it either.

Also, if she has not eaten for hours and is crying and I pump, she will take the bottle with gusto, but refuse to nurse. However, during the spurts where she is happy, she loves to nurse.

I am so beaten. My older two are a mess and my household is flat falling a apart because of the screaming. My 2yo wants to give her away, lol. My 11yo is stuck taking care of my 2yo who then cries because she wants me. (this is daytime when DH is working). I am seriously at wits end. I am holding tight to This Too Shall Pass, but watching my other kids suffer is killing me.

So I had a very frank talk with Dr this evening. She is more mainstream than I am, but very respectful of my choices, and also a dear friend, so I can be frank with her and vice versa. I asked her if I should do a full elimination diet. She of course worries about my keeping my weight where it should be. She said I could. Or I could pump for 48 hrs and give DD3 a soy formula to see if she improves in which case I would know if was my milk and could then start an elimination diet Knowing that it would yield the desired result. Of course, knowing my stance, she knows I probably wont. She and I also talked about, if that was it, what if she then refused the breast after. I dunno, gut says that while it would be easiest, my heart isnt in it.

I just keep wondering if I am missing something???? She clicks a tiny bit when she nurses...is it horrible gas and the latch is wonky? Gas drops dont help worth a crap. LC said latch looked okay a month ago.

I really am hitting a threshold I never have with other kids. I need a break. I need to figure out what is causing my baby such discomfort for so much of the day, and I need to mend my other kids'.

Help? Anyone??
post #2 of 198
Have you tried rx reflux meds? I would try that before trying formula.
post #3 of 198
Have you tried infant probiotics? They often help with colic - so they may help in this case.

I really feel for you.
post #4 of 198

Have you tried taking the baby to a chiropractor? The baby could have neck or back pain that's making her so miserable, rather than something in your diet. Or, it could be more than one factor, and just taking care of the dietary factor wasn't enough when she was still in pain.

If you're going to do a trial of formula, I'd recomend a hypo-allergenic formula, rather than a soy formula. Soy is a very common allergen, and I think it would be torture to go through this trial of formula just for the baby to remain miserable.

However, I don't recomend a formula trial until you've tried ALL else.

It's important to avoid the foods that are bothering her, and it's also important to eat enough to keep you nourished so you have the strength to care for your children. Have you looked into the blood type diet? From my (very informal) survey of nursing moms following that diet, babies seemed to react badly to the foods that were on mom's "avoid list", and then a few also reacted badly to foods on their own blood type's "avoid list" that were otherwise OK for Mom. Of course, this doesn't work for every mom/baby diad, but IMO it's a better starting point than an elimination diet, since BTD includes a list of foods to emphasize.

Here's the link to the online list of what foods are good for which blood types. I'd recomend getting Eat Right For Your Baby out of the library or purchasing a copy, but that online link can get you started.
post #5 of 198
Another thought, did you cut out soy when you cut out dairy? I have heard that ~60% of babies cross react. If you didn't, and decide to go the bottle/formula route, I would suggest an elemental formula, not soy, to see if soy is a culprit.

ETA I see wise Ruthla had a similar thought. we were posting at the same time
post #6 of 198
I second a chiro! I am not normally a Chiro kind of person but it did wonders for DD when she was a baby! I wish I did it before 4 months....It prolly would have saved my milk supply! The first place this baby I have in my belly is going is to a Chiro!

I hope all is well!

Big Momma
post #7 of 198
Thread Starter 
Eclipse- She has been taking 30mg of Prevacid for awhile now, with no luck. My 2yo had nasty reflux & had much improvement w/ 15mg. I was reallly hoping that's be the magic bullet, but no luck.

Patiogardener - I haven't, but great suggestion and will definately start that asap. Regarding soy, I actually don't eat soy in my diet in general, so while I didn't cut it out, I can't imagine any snuck by.

I haven't tried chiro.When I checked into that for my 2yo there wasn't anyone local w/ the credentials that would make me feel good about taking an infant. I'd go back and see if anyone new have popped up.

Ruthla- thanks for the formula advice. I don't think I can get past the mental block of giving formula w/o being truly unable to nurse. However, I will keep the hypo-allergenic type in the back of my mind, just in case.
post #8 of 198
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know, if I did a total elimination diet, how long it would before I notcied some kind of difference? I know it takes a couple weeks to truly eliminate some things from the system, but should there be a noticable difference of some kind within day?

If it is horrible gas, anything other than Mylecon?

And thanks so much for the prompt replies. I very much appreciate it. If nothing else it helps back me away from the edge of the cliff.
post #9 of 198
Sounds a lot like my DD at that age. It's so hard.

I did a few foods at a time instead of a full out elimination diet. I gave each food two weeks. I had a good guess as to which foods to try because my son has a lot of allergies (though he did ok with my eating his allergns when nursing)

Anyway, you said you don't eat soy, but unless you try REALLY hard not to, there is a very good chance you do. It's in EVERYTHING. Both my kids can't have it, so I'm very aware of that in particular. If you are eating packaged foods, chances are, you are eating soy. I'd give that and gluten a try before giving up.

I know how hard this is. It took about a month of playing around before DD stopped with all the crying.

Good luck. If you need recipe ideas if you decide to cut foods out, feel free to pm me. My family lives each day without dairy, soy, gluten/wheat, citrus and nuts, so while not at a full elimination diet, without a lot of common allergens.

Also, do you eat a lot of acidic foods? Tomato, oranges, pineapple etc? If so, try cutting those back too.
post #10 of 198
When I say it was about a month, that was to be completely better - we started with just cutting out dairy- some improvement came about day 5, a lot better by about day 10, then I cut out soy and it got better yet. Dairy can take up to three weeks to get fully out of your system... different foods stay for different lengths. Hope that helps.
post #11 of 198
Thread Starter 
Stephanie, I eat the same things nearly everyday. I weightlift/bodybuild as a hobby so I am pretty anal about tracking my food. I nearly keeled over giving up dairy. When not watching dairy, my diet is nearly always:

Meal 1 - 6 egg whites + 1 whole egg and a mess of veggies, 1/2 c old fashioned oatmeal, tbsp natural peanut butter

Meal 2 - 1.5 scoops of 100% whey isolates w/water, lowfat cottage cheese or yogurt mixed into a shake

Meal 3 - 5oz of either chicken, fish or turkey, veggies w/oil/vinegar, 4oz swet potato

Meal 4 - Same as meal 2 but with natural peanut butter OR 6-8 egg whites/veggies and a handful of almonds

Meal 5 - Same at meal 3

Meal 6 - Same as meals 2/4

So obviously VERY dairy heavy...you can imagine how hard it was to cut out dairy for 3-4 weeks, lol. So if I cut eggs and nuts as well, shoot, I may shrivel up.

I can get more creative with my grains and meats and such, but with new baby and toddler and such, it really just stick to what I know and gets food down, plus really good supplements.
post #12 of 198
Thread Starter 
Is this a reasonable game plan?

1) Cut out all major allergen possibilities (oh how I love dairy) for the next couple weeks (dairy, soy, peanuts, eggs, and anything else??) and if there is a marked improvement, continue with that until I am sure it is a food, then add back in slowly.
2) infant probiotics (DH just ran to grab some)
3) If I can find a good chiro, I will try that
post #13 of 198
Originally Posted by DeChRi View Post
Is this a reasonable game plan?

1) Cut out all major allergen possibilities (oh how I love dairy) for the next couple weeks (dairy, soy, peanuts, eggs, and anything else??) and if there is a marked improvement, continue with that until I am sure it is a food, then add back in slowly.
2) infant probiotics (DH just ran to grab some)
3) If I can find a good chiro, I will try that
Sounds good to me, but I would reverse the order and try 1-2 days of probiotics and chiro if you can get an appt with a good pediatric one in the next day or 2 before elimination dieting. The elimination diet is hard.

Good luck! Please let us know how it goes.

Oh - another thought. Do the symptoms get worse after you work out?
Also, check your supplements for hidden dairy and soy if you go the diet route.

I'm cheering for you in cyber space.
post #14 of 198
along with a chiropractor, craniosacral work is reported to really help fussy babies.
post #15 of 198
What's confusing to me here is that your DD is okay with taking a bottle of expressed breast milk. Let me know if I misinterpreted your original post, but it seems like mine had the same response around 6-9 weeks (though not nearly as bad, it seems like) where she would be way fussy/back arching at some times when I tried to nurse (and get too worked up to eat), but took the bottle quite a bit easier. It made me think it had something to do with letdown (or maybe positioning/reflux in that she liked the more upright position of taking a bottle than the more horizontal position of nursing) and not diet. Another similarity we share is that my DD is and has been a great sleeper at night. She's fussy during the day, but sleeps for a good 9 or 10 hour block with usually only one or two wakings, where she'll nurse and go right back to sleep. (Which also made me think it maybe had something to do with reflux or letdown, since my diet hadn't changed from early evening to middle of the night, and the side lying position is supposed to slow down the flow a little, right?)

She's 10 weeks now, and things have gotten a lot easier ... which is further confusing to me, since I didn't make any permanent changes.

And just brainstorming a few things, though your list of ideas to try is great: gripe water? maybe a day of feeding her expressed breast milk when she's fussy and nursing when she's calm (I know that's a big hassle, but it might be a step to take before the formula)? abdominal massage? long relaxing baths (for both you and her -- you could try nursing in the tub)?

Edit: I did do block feeding for almost 3 weeks, and attribute some of the improvement to that -- now we're back to one side at a time.
post #16 of 198
You might try cross-posting in the allergy section in the Health and Healing forum.

I think it takes at least 21 days for a full elimination diet to work.

I too was wondering if you could pump and feed her pumped milk, since she seems to be content taking that.
post #17 of 198
(((HUGS))) I know how hard it is. I have had issues with all 3 of my babies, for various different reasons. The only thing I would add to the previous advice is that you could try different relfux meds. Not every baby is healed by the same meds. Try Zanatc or something else. I wouldn't stop at just Prevacid.

Did I read you right that she takes the bottle just fine? and is not fussy later? because if so, then there's your answer--your milk is just fine and it's not your diet; it's something with the latch/let-down, milk supply. But if you are saying she takes the bottle fine, but is crying and fussing later, then that's a whole different story.
post #18 of 198
i agree with latch issues, especially if babe is taking bottles fine. at about that age, millie would get terribly frustrated with how long it took to let-down. i have oal and had os, but i block fed to correct this and then i ended up having surgery and struggling with supply. have you watched these videos? http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...id=6&Itemid=13

the assymetric latch that dr newman talks about helped my dd when she made that clicking noise. when i latched her, i would then pull her butt around so that it snugged her chin into my boob. most lc's will tell you to do a symmetrical latch with chin and nose both barely touching the boob. however, the fussing stopped when we started using assymetrical latch, her puking decreased, and she fed for longer periods. i got easier letdown, too. i would also suggest compressions as they helped with easing let-down.

also, eggs were hard on my baby. i used to eat eggs just about everyday, but not nearly in the quantity that you do. i cut those out and her puking stopped. i think that was a combo of eggs and oald.

good luck!
post #19 of 198
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the advice. You know how cause and effect kind of blur together when you are stuck in the abyss of crying babies? Let me see if I can give an example of the bottle part....Like this morning...she woke up for the day at 6am, crying crying crying. She hadn't nursed for a couple hours, and that was just for a few minutes. I tried to nurse her but she screamed at me. Acted like she wanted to, but wouldnt latch. Worth noting, the first 6 weeks of her life she had no issues nursing, besides just being kind of a lazy nurser. Had latch assessed then and was told it was okay. SO I put her in the sling, grab a binky and we start walking. After 10-15 mins she took the binky, relaxed and started dozing/crying off and on. After 30 min she dozed off so I tried to set her down. She woke up, but then laid there in her cosleeper by herself, perfectly happy for 5 min or so. She started fussing so I picked her up again and gave her to DH. She instantly started rooting on his bicep and crying. He says, she is hungry. I said, I just tried to feed her. I took her and tried to nurse her. THe second my breast hit her lips she screamed bloody murder. It took about 30 min to get her calm that time. After DH left for work I pumped 4oz, added some probiotics and gripe water, sat down, tried to nurse her first, no dice. Offered the bottle and she drank it right down and is now happily snoozing in the sling.

She has never once, since 5 weeks, fallen asleep at the breast. Nursing will sometimes carry on for 3-8 minutes, and ends when she pops off screaming. So now, she will sleep for a bit on me, wake up, and we will start the same process as above. She will wake screaming. During the day she rarely sleeps for more than a few very agitated and wrestless spurt of a few minutes.

I just, for the life of me, cannot figure out cause and effect.

I almost wonder if I could have over-corrected my letdown/supply overload? I can tell my supply is way down, but I feel pretty sure that it is adequate. Letdown is not as fast, but within the first 30-60 sec usually.

Exercise doesnt seem to influence one way or the other.

I will watch that video regarding latch, and maybe worth revisting that with a LC.

The bath tub nearly always a temporary fix. Good reminder.
post #20 of 198
you mentioned she makes a clicking sound when nursing.. Has she been properly evulated for a Cleft pallate? or a Retracted jaw or tongue?

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