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Healing the gut tribe : August

post #1 of 348
Thread Starter 
Hi ,
If you are new to this tribe please check out our original thread :


We are mamas who are on a gut healing path for ourselves or our little ones through diet and natural supplements. The diet most of us are using is the SCD diet (again refer to the above link for explanation) or the Maker's Diet. Some are using the SCD with adaptations from the Maker's Diet, but still SCD legal. We're learning as we go and offer support and our experiences. To view some of our children's stories visit :




Healing the gut is SLOW, but it can be achieved.

I hope some of you may find this thread helpful .

post #2 of 348
I'm just replying to subscribe. We aren't on the SCD, but we are going to do the maker's diet ... basically it just confirms what I've been learning anyways about how important it is to heal the gut in order to get the rest of your health in order. So, I am interested to read of all of your journeys.
post #3 of 348
Thread Starter 
I actually agree with the Maker's diet more than the SCD, but MD is not toddler friendly. The SCD is better for dd, but I have incorp. certain things from the MD into her diet and am seeing the benefits. I added 50:50 fresh carrot juice and switched her cheese from organic to raw goat milk organic. I also changedher 24 hour yoghurt to goat milk yoghurt and am trying to find a place near me to buy raw goat milk to make the yoghurt from that. I just ordered the 30 hour raw organic goat milk yoghurt from www.whiteegretfarm.com and might just stick with that.

Keep us informed on your progress !

post #4 of 348
Is there a big taste difference between goat milk yogurt/kefir and cow milk yogurt/kefir? I have never had goat milk, but noticed the MD calls for only goat milk yogurt the first two weeks and was wondering about that. The only goat milk that I think I can get ahold of is ultra pasteurized and I've only seen it in quarts at Wild Oats - I would go through about 6-8 quarts in one week. As it is I make our yogurt with organic cow's milk and then mix it in smoothies with raw cows milk. I want to stick as closely as we can to the MD, not only to heal anything going on with us that we don't even know about (I'm sure we (dh & I) are over ran with candida), but also so we can accurately tell others about it too. So far the only issue I can see will be the goat milk vs. the cows milk for the first two weeks.

I'm also hoping to make it as kid friendly as I can for my boys ... a lot of what is allowed the first two weeks they already like, but they will have to do without somethings and then adapt to others (for instance, no breads or tortillas at all, and after the first few weeks, learning to like sprouted bread and whole wheat sourdough). It'll be easier for my younger son than my older son ... thankfully I'm pretty sure they are both rather healthy (don't get sick and both bf), so hopefully by flubbing a little for them, they will still reap the health benefits in the long run without having to notice too big of a difference in their daily eating. (What am I thinking ... they are kids ... they barely eat as it is!!! :LOL)
post #5 of 348
Thread Starter 
My little wonders - What a good mama you are to do all this for your kiddos !

Goat milk is much easier to digest than cow milk. Raw milk has enzymes that have not been killed by being pasteurized. You can see how both these things would make digestion and absorbtion much easier for a babe with impaired and damaged digestion. You may recall that Rubin has three stages of the diet in the back of his book. He tells those who are sick or with digestive problems that it is imperative to start in phase one which calls for raw goat milk yoghurt. Those who are healthy and already eat well may start the diet at stage three which allows for cow milk and suggests raw, but does not demand it. It all depends on how impaired your digestion is and how much help you need in digestion. I think that goat milk does taste a little different, but not much. I have been told that the milk will have a funky taste if the female goat is kept with a male goat, but will taste like cow milk if only female goats are kept together. Don't even ask where I got that tidbit of useless info .
When your boys can eat grains you might want to check out Food For Life Ezekiel 4:9 tortillas. They are flourless and completely sprouted so much easier to digest. I just wish they didn't have sprouted soy . Not sure about soy for myself and dd.
I know that dd's pancreatic enzymes were low in January five months before we started the diet due to the CDSA stool test from Great Smokies Lab. Since switching her from cow to raw goat cheese and yoghurt she has make much quicker progress.
I need to do some research to see if the raw goat milk cheese and milk has good bacteria in it in addition to the beneficial enzymes. I called alta Dena goat farm that makes the cheese I get from the local HF store and asked that question, but the girl was clueless and could not even understand my question . More research to do. I feel like I'm neglecting one of your other questions. I will repost if that is the case. Please bear with my .

post #6 of 348
Thread Starter 
I am just cutting and pasting the following response I wrote to a mama who is really on the fence about starting the SCD for her babe. I have tried to encourage mamas to read the book - you cannot make an informed decision off other mama's advice and stories. The most powerful thing you can do is educate yourself! This diet may not be the best thing for you or dd/ds. You may want to add things from the Makers Diet to SCD as I did, but you won't know unless you read the books and research for yourself. Empower yourselves - READ!!!

You are the one who has to make this decision and you have the tool to do it in your hands. I thought the diet was rediculous and returned the book to the library after just looking at the recipes in January. Only when I heard of someone that it had helped with digestive problems did I check it out again and was DESPERATE to read it. After reading it EVERYTHING that dd had gone through for the past 10 months made sense. No one could have talked me out of placing her on the diet at that point even though it meant giving her SO many foods that I thought she was allergic to. DD was not eating, vomiting 3 times a day and only keeping 9 oz down per day. She was in the NEGATIVE 30% on the weight chart. So, I felt very desperate to help her.
I think the most powerful thing you can do as a parent other than show your child unconditional love and acceptance is to educate yourself so that you can stand behind the decisions that you make for your child knowing that they were the best decisions you were capable of making. To know that you have done all you can in your power for him/her is so very important.
I regret not doing research into vaccines before dd was born and I will always regret that! I accecpted what I had learned in nursing school instead of doing my own homework even though my Mothering subscription was routinely carrying an article connecting vaccines to autism. I always thought "Oh I eat organic whole foods, have no bad habits (i.e. smoking or drinking), and excercise routinely so my baby will never get autism : ." The hindsight of the foolish is 20:20 when their eyes are opened .
Please just read the book and then with all the mama's wisdom and love you have for your babe decide what is best for him/her. I really do know that this is a very hard decision for you to make and this is the best advice I know to give. You are a wonderul mama or you wouldn't be doing all this searching. The diet may not be the best thing for him/her right now. Trust yourself!!!
Forgive me if I have been too harsh. I try to be very careful about giving advice and just try to share my experiences and point parents to the resources they need to make informed decisions. I can't stand it when people try to shove info in your face or use scare tactics. Know that I meant well even if you found this reply offensive.

Peace and ,
post #7 of 348
Thank you so much for all your information Moneca! It is like finding a gold mine! Thank God that we are not in desperate need (at least as far as we can "tell") of healing, but I am sure there is stuff going on that we don't even know about. I am so happy to hear how well your dd is doing ... may she continue to heal and thrive!
post #8 of 348
So we are on day two of the diet, but I guess we aren't doing it 100%. Selkie is still nursing so it will never be an all the way thing, but even the changes we have made are making an absolute difference. Selkie ate an entire egg this morning and part of a chicken pancake for lunch! Quillian is also doing it (just starting him today) and I'll let you all know how that goes. He has some gut issues, but you'd never know if you didn't look really closely. I'm hoping to see a big chenage in both of them. I'm toying with the idea of doing it myself, hoever I have been vegan for awhile and don't know if I could eat meat : I have digestive issues myself which got 99% better on the eat to live diet, but maybe this is th final 1%. I'm really thinking about it. How many of you have chosen to do this with their kiddos?
post #9 of 348
hi i feel like i have a similar problem as you guys but follow a different diet. i don't like "diets" but a pain that i was having in my stomach went away after quitting all meat but fish (trying to eat things that are easy to digest). i noticed it flared up whenever i ate a lot of meat so here i am. i went to the dr and he did say it was something with my stomach but put me on a medical trial of some medicine to lower the acid in my stomach. i am not taking it b/c it just doesn't sit well with me. ever since i started eating this way i have no pain in my side!!! i also just got a yogurt maker and hope that will help.

i don't expect anyone to know what is wrong with me. sometimes i wonder if it was an ulcer b/c i was under a lot of stress. took some motrin and excedrin out of true necessity and i rarely take those things. i feel that as long as i'm not having pain in my side my body is telling me i am doing something right. i hope to avoid any medicine or a GI exam. yikes!

mountainmom, that probiotic thread is long. why don't we start a new thread about making homemade yogurt?
post #10 of 348
I just posted this on the "old" thread on the allergies forum before I had read all the posts and realized you all had moved! Awesome info here! I'll add a little more to my post...
DD's birthday was Monday (July 25) and JANE... Happy Birthday!

I'd been trying for a week to make the 24 hr SCD yogurt from goat milk but had never gotten the temp right, so ended up making the frosting for DD's cake out of organic Wallaby yogurt, Marscapone cheese (my natural foods store won't order the Farmer's or dry curd cottage cheese), and agave nectar. It tasted awesome on the carob cake I made from a recipe from the MDC nutrition forum (not SCD legal). DD didn't want cake...but of course I ate some and I also have been eating the chocolate mousse cake we bought from a local bakery. Not a sign of ezcema on her, just some red around the anus. I'm very grateful I can enjoy foods like that but want to limit my consumption for her sake and mine--I know they aren't the healthiest.

Hi everyone,

Yes, this thread is great and it is great to see so much activity on it. I've heard a lot about the maker's diet but have yet to investigate it. I do have Joseph Mercola's book, "Dr. Mercola's Total Health Cookbook and Program." He advocates a kind of "eat for your type" diet-not blood type, but based on "metabolic type,"
which you determine based on a questionnaire. The forward of the book is by the author of the Maker's Diet, and Dr. Mercola advocates the Maker's Diet quite a lot on his website, so I imagine the diets are similar. However, Mercola's diet is not like the SCD diet at all. Mercola is into raw dairy, beef, and eggs. Similarly the Nourishing Traditions author advocates feeding babies raw egg... I tried that w/ Jasmine at about age 9 mo and she threw up shortly thereafter! Mercola doesn't recommend eating grains, and Nourishing Traditions says only eat grains if they are properly soaked... and of course there are no grains whatsoever on the SCD. I can't imagine that the SCD would help someone loose weight-as replacing grain based flours with nut based flours would add more calories/fat into the diet.

DD's digestion has certainly improved-whole food pieces used to come out undigested in her stool, but not anymore. I simply attribute that to age (she just turned one). She really doesn't get the eczema anymore, even if I eat the "wrong" foods-for which I'm very grateful. I think she got the eczema at 5 months because her system could not handle what I was eating. I think my digestion was poor from being on antibiotics for a month shortly after her birth, for both a breast infection and a retained placenta, not using probiotics, and eating a lot of chocolate and baked goods. Her digestive system, not being fully mature, of course, couldn't handle all the foreign proteins and toxins(?). Yes, I now see it was due to food sensitivity-not allergy per se.

In August I'm doing a consultation with a nutritionist I've been pretty impressed w/ (she knew what the SCD was!) to get her take on things!
post #11 of 348
Hey Sarah, I'm so glad to hear you are Jasmine are doing better!

We are still not 100% SCD. DS is still addicted to his rice milk, and seeing as we've only just weaned, I'm not pushing it for the next week or so. I'm also going to find it hard to give up my raw milk kefir (made from Body Ecology starter powder) seeing as I've noticed some very positive changes from it. I guess we are both just being stubborn! But since cutting all grains out of my diet, I can definately feel the benefit. Even with adding honey and more fruit.

The Body Ecology Diet is also for healing the gut, and advocates only a few grains: quinoa, millet, amaranth and buckwheat, which supposedly do not feed the yeast b/c they are more like seeds. Also red skinned potatoes. The SCD says this is rubbish. It's so weird that they have been developed for the same thing, yet diametrically opposed on many issues. Also stevia... the SCD says it's got a chemical structure like a steriod and should be avoided, the BED uses with impunity.

Enough to make you go completely

I'm ordering the Maker's Diet from my library, been meaning to read for a while now so I'll let you know my thoughts when I get a chance to read.
post #12 of 348
Thread Starter 
Well, first I'm mountainmon. While I would love to be mistaken for Coleen a.k.a. mountainmom ( she is a master herbalist and VERY wise mama who helped and encouraged me quite a bit over the last year ) I suppose I should make the distinction.

Elisabeth - I'm happy to hear things are going so well. You're a wonderful mama to try everything in your power to help Selkie . Don't stop breastfeeding. I believe that it is more healing to the gut than anything. I mean, look I'm paying 50.00 per 16 oz. of cow colustrum to heal Sierra's gut. You have the real thing for free !

Nicole - There is so much info in the probiotic thread, not to mention ALL the wonderful links. I'm not qualified to start a thread that could compare to that one. It is lengthy. Jane has been at this longer than I have and has done much more research. She may be up for that daunting task :LOL .

Sarah - So good to hear from you again. My chiro told me that it was dangerous to eat raw eggs because there was something called biotin in them that our bodies could not break down and could cause damage. I have no idea what biotin is or if that statement is true. I will try to do some research.
Sounds like you are piecing together a healthful and realistic way of eating from different specialists' ideas of the perfect meal plan. I'm just trying to use my common sense and experience to figure this all out. I don't think SCD is really healthy, but it IS healing Sierra's gut. There is some really important stuff that she misses out on like raw foods (esp. dairy IMO)and eating organic whole foods.
It is wonderful that DD is doing so well!

To everyone. Please learn from my mistakes this past week. First I tried placing Sierra on some probiotics with the HSO from the Makers Diet. I saw that there was barley and fermented maple syrup or molasses in the mix. I figured that the good of so many organisims would outweigh the negative effect of just a little illegal food source. WRONG :. I saw a more cranky dd and more putrid smelling stools again for a couple days . I know that aloe is healing to the gut. I bought some organic aloe juice and slipped about 1/2 an oz in dd's grape juice today. The eczema on her ears burst forth within an hour of consuming it and she had a most putrid smelling diarrhea a few hours later . Ends up aloe is on the illegal list - would have taken me a minute to check instead of being so convinced in my own head that it had to be legal. Oh well, she is doing wonderfully despite my mistakes .

Peace to all ,
post #13 of 348
Thread Starter 
Elisabeth and Amy - Jane and I have been discussing the whole idea of BM and the SCD trying to figure out an answer for both of you. There is just NOTHING on it in the book. Jane did find the following post on www.pecanbread.com :


I realize that you may not belong to pecanbread.com so I have just cut and pasted the whole post below. Remember that we do not know the author and can not claim any of it as true. I thought it might help .

From: "iwrf" <welovetyandkiona@...>
Date: Wed Dec 1, 2004 5:53 pm
Subject: Re: Starting SCD with allergic breastfed baby iwrf
Send Email

Yes! SCD should be wonderful for both of you!

I have a special interest in this area, I have worked with lactation
for many years and SCD for a few. Let me explain this the best I
can, to help you understand how breastfeeding and the SCD interact.

You are the primary person who needs SCD, in addition to your son.
Unfortunately, health care providers are not tuned in to the
digestive health of the mother most times when we are pregnant, and
don't recognize a mother with a "leaky gut." As the mom, we then
pass these whole undigested proteins into our milk and give our
breastfeeding infants the same digestive environment that we have
(which we are often unaware of), which can create "allergies" and
eczema, because it is like they are eating these whole foods from
birth, and their immature immune systems can't handle this. Simply
put, at this point, especially since 90% of his nutrition still
comes from you, his digestive health mirrors yours.

As far as the breastmilk is concerned, PLEASE keep breastfeeding!
This is truly the best thing you can do for yourself and your child,
and you will both benefit together as you both become healthier. How
wonderful that you have found a resource like SCD to help you both
heal! The especially important part of your milk right now (aside
from the bonding experience which is essential) are the
immunoglobulins present in it. There is Secretory IgA, which comes
through all the time and is helping to tame some of his allergic
responses, and there are specific immune proteins generated at other
times. For instance, if he is exposed to a germ of some type, he
passes this through your nipple to you. The very next feeding,
immune complexes are made (only in the breast, they don't go
systemic for you) and are passed back to him to help him fight
whatever he's been exposed to. (Nature's pretty amazing, eh?!)

(If he is still getting this much nutrition from breastfeeding,
chances are he is slightly anemic and thin. As long as your health
care provider is monitoring this, it shouldn't turn into a big
problem. The important thing for him to learn from foods right now
is to experience and be comfortable with different textures, long
term exclusive breastfeeders can end up with texture issues.)

Lactose in breast milk is not the issue here. Babies have something
called salivary amylase, which helps them start breaking down sugars
in their mouths. This disappears after a year of age if not
breastfeeding, or when breastfeeding is no longer the major source
of nutrition, whichever comes later. Because of this enzyme, lactose
is broken down most of the way before it hits the small intestine.
Lactose is not the primary problem here, it is the whole proteins
leaking through your gut barrier which later pass into your milk.
What SCD will do is help heal your gut so you stop passing proteins
through for him to react to, which in turn will help heal his gut.

If you can be more specific with the allergies he has, there are
many people on this board who can help you accommodate those
allergies and still be very successful on SCD. I have worked with
SCD with many folks, and with breastfeeding moms of allergic babes,
and have not yet found a way around eliminating allergens completely
from both of your diets for at least a short period of time.
Otherwise he won't be able to heal completely.

Good luck with everything, sounds like you are choosing the right
paths to help heal your son. It's not easy, but can be very
rewarding. Feel free to email me if you need to.

PA who uses SCD
on SCD about 3 years
mother of Kiona, almost 4, healed from many GI problems, down from
over 40 food allergies to 7, no longer ASD
mother of Justice, 1, down from over 20 food allergies to 4
stepmother of Tyler, 14, GFCF, no longer ADD

Hope this helps ,
post #14 of 348
It's raw egg whites that inhibit biotin absorption. Raw egg yolks are very beneficial. http://www.mercola.com/2005/feb/9/raw_eggs.htm

Yeah I have the Garden of Life HSO's too ... a nice big $45 bottle of it sitting in my fridge irritating me. I've heard fabulous things and bad things about them. Of course I heard the bad things after I bought them :

Of course the crankiness and putrid stools could have been die-off. Or not. Actually it's kind of crazy how a lot of symptoms are commonly explained as "die-off" but is it really that or intolerance? Personally I find that if I eat perfectly, I feel better, not worse. Don't know if that's good or bad.

As long as we are sharing, DS had some duck with me 2 days ago and he didn't digest it well. Pooped 3 times the next day and of course Mr. Independent wouldn't let me change his diaper right away. Preferred to muck around in it and grind it in by riding his car. Got a bullseye rash. Mama Smarty Pants decided to use aloe vera on it and he screamed . Poor baby. Had to resort to nasty Desitin, but the rash is gone in a day.

So this is where we are now:

DS's poops are 99% firm and well digested for the most part, even on our previous lots of rice diet. It's mostly yeast/sugar sensitivity we are working on now, to heal his gut for good. He (and I) really cannot tolerate sugar, potatoes, wheat, etc. And I suspect that he is still allergic to dairy but I've been hesitant to do a full on test of it.

And as I have noticed insomnia and anxiety in myself and also DS from food reactions, that is my ultimate goal with him.... to fix his gut so he can calm down. Besides a normal toddler obsession with "no" he is very focused during the day, it's just when it's time to sleep he gets jittery and fights it like there's no tomorrow. It's stressful, exhausing and time consuming for DH and I. He's been this way since he emerged from the womb. Plus frequent nightaking, DS has slept through the night maybe 10 times in his life. Lately I've been supplementing with magnesium since that works so well with me and it seems to be helping him. Sometimes.

And of course after reading SCD knowledge on bifidus...
... I wonder if the loads of Baby Jarro he has consumed for over a year did him more harm than good (his stool sample showed tons of bifidus but no acidophilus growth). But it did get rid of the diarrhea so who knows.

This is a very interesting article regarding gut health, vaccines, immune response and autism.
I've been looking to the knowledge of the autism community more and more... not just for the mercury issue... but those kids almost always have damaged guts and there's lots to learn from them.

One quote stood out:

Another complicating factor in the whole vaccine process is the common practice of acetaminophen (i.e.tylenol) administration prior to, and following vaccination of children. Acetaminophen has been shown to deplete glutathione levels, which are critical for detoxification in the body. Between acetaminophen administration and mercury it would lead to a severe depletion of already low glutathione levels.
No wonder our current generation of kids have messed up immune systems.

And also, I'm thinking about doing a cleanse now that DS has just weaned. Any recs?

Considering The Master Cleanse. Hey, if I use honey instead of maple syrup, it's SCD legal :LOL
post #15 of 348
Thanks for posting that about SCD and bf'ing Moneca, as I read it again, it makes a lot of important points.
post #16 of 348
Thread Starter 
Jane - very interesting article on autism. Oh, the bullet we both were blessed to dodge . My dh tried master cleanse for about 3 days a few years ago. He thought he was going to die so he broke it too soon. Before you decide on a cleanse read the makers diet. he has some suggestions in there. Thanks for the info on biotin. yes, it could have been die-off. Sierra had the exact same bifidus 4+ and lack of any other good bacteria in her CDSA. She had also been on Baby Jarrow for months. I wonder...

I would be glad to reveal my cheap, crazy, and perfect way of making 24 hour yoghurt if anyone needs help. It took me 5 weeks to find a way of making it without oveheating and killing the good guys. I make org cow for DH and I. Sierra gets org goat. Would love to make org raw goat if I could find the raw milk closer to me. I drove 2 hours last fall to buy some, but that is a bit of a haul.

post #17 of 348
Originally Posted by mountainmon
I would be glad to reveal my cheap, crazy, and perfect way of making 24 hour yoghurt if anyone needs help.
That would be great, Moneca! I did finally invest in a heating pad which seems to be the right temp-I was going to wrap it or drape it around the container and see!

That was a great article on breastfeeding!

Jane, do you feel better on the SCD as opposed to what you were doing right before that?

My dd also fights sleeping at times, and I've noticed I sleep better when I eat mellower foods... so I'm sure there is a connection!
post #18 of 348
Must Read Article

Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) in children

Gut flora is something we do not think much about. And yet the number of functions the gut flora fulfils is so vital for us that if some day our digestive tract got sterilised we probably would not survive.

Well-functioning gut flora is the right hand of our immune system. The beneficial bacteria in the gut ensure appropriate production of different immune cells, immunoglobulins and other parts of the immunity. But, most importantly, they keep the immune system in the right balance. What typically happens in a person with gut dysbiosis is that two major arms of their immune system, Th1 and Th2, get out of balance, with Th1 becoming underactive and Th2 becoming overactive. As a result the immune system starts reacting to most environmental stimuli in an allergic or atopic kind of way.

The mixture of toxicity in each child can be quite individual and different. But what they all have in common is gut dysbiosis. The toxicity that is produced by the abnormal microbial mass in these children establishes a link between the gut and the brain. That is why it is logical to group these disorders under one name: the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAP Syndrome). The GAP children can present with symptoms of autism, ADHD, ADD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, dyslexia, dyspraxia, schizophrenia, depression, sleep disorders, allergies, asthma and eczema in any possible combination. These are the children who fall into a gap in our medical knowledge.

Any child with a learning disability, neurological or psychological problems and allergies should be thoroughly examined for gut dysbiosis. Re-establishing normal gut flora and treating the digestive system of the child has to be the number one treatment for these disorders, before considering any other treatments with drugs or otherwise.
Dr. Campbell-McBride cured her child of learning disabilites with diet and uses the SCD in her practice. I'm trying to locate the book she wrote, Gut and Psychology Syndrome. It is published in the UK and only available on her website and at www.amazon.co.uk
post #19 of 348
Yes, Sarah, I can completely tell the difference using SCD... it's better than my previous diet of no sugar, limited fruit, no juice but still eating non gluten grains. I didn't believe it until I tried it.

SCD uses fruit and honey but no grains/corn/potatoes at all. Fruit and honey are monosaccarides and more easily digestible. The sugars are absorbed before they reach the large intestines. More complex carbs like sugar, grains, etc. in a damaged gut are not fully digested and end up fermenting in the intestine and becoming food for the yeast and bad bacteria...which then grow and make digestion even worse. Thus the name, 'The Vicious Cycle'.

Re: Making Yogurt

I'm a wimp, I use a machine... the EuroCuisine from WilliamsSonoma.com. It comes with individual jars but I also use a pyrex glass bowl that I found fits it exactly. I use either a few tablespoons yogurt or Yogourmet as a starter.

However, I may try to rig up a "Moneca Special" with a heating pad b/c I would like to be able to make more than a qt. at at time.
post #20 of 348
More on Breastfeeding and The Gut

Actually that post above that mentions amylase: the enzyme that digests carbs is not all correct.... breastmilk itself contains it. And the baby's pancreas does not start to produce it until after 6 months.

Trivia: Ever wonder why cereal mixed with breastmilk doesn't stay thick? Breastmilk contains amylase, which is an enzyme that digests carbohydrates. The longer the mixture sits, the thinner it will get!

I have always known that the several bottles we gave DS during his first few days of life contributed to his gut problems. (His hematocrit levels were high, bf'ing was going great, but he needed more fluid.)

If I knew then what I know now I would have asked a bf'ing friend for some of her milk, or demanded banked milk. Again, this is sooooooo common. It's not a wonder that babies today have increased immune system problems.

The Case for the Virgin Gut: Even the Occasional Bottle of Formula Has Its Risks

Supplementation of the Breastfed Baby: "Just One Bottle Won't Hurt"-- or Will It?

Delaying Solids
Delaying solids decreases the risk of food allergies.
It is well documented that prolonged exclusive breastfeeding results in a lower incidence of food allergies.

From birth until somewhere between four and six months of age, babies possess what is often referred to as an "open gut." This means that the spaces between the cells of the small intestines will readily allow intact macromolecules, including whole proteins and pathogens, to pass directly into the bloodstream.This is great for your breastfed baby as it allows beneficial antibodies in breastmilk to pass more directly into baby's bloodstream, but it also means that large proteins from other foods (which may predispose baby to allergies) and disease-causing pathogens can pass right through, too.

During baby's first 4-6 months, while the gut is still "open," antibodies (sIgA) from breastmilk coat baby's digestive tract and provide passive immunity, reducing the likelihood of illness and allergic reactions before gut closure occurs. Baby starts producing these antibodies on his own at around 6 months, and gut closure should have occurred by this time also.
And we started cereal at just after 5 months b/c DS was a big baby and having sleeping problems.... of course everyone, doctor included, said it would help him sleep. A week or so later, eczema appeared.
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