Originally Posted by egarcia76
Thanks so much, Shanana. Yes, I'd love to hear what you have to say! DD remained constipated yesterday, so I was finally able to have her drink some apple juice last night. We were moderately successful this a.m., but I can tell this might turn into an ongoing problem. I don't know if she's witholding or what. Btw, I'm also flying to NC soon. Alina (dd) & I are leaving 11/17 to visit my best friend for a few days. I'm a little nervous because I've never flown w/dd, much less by myself.
And while I certainly don't wish sleepless nights filled w/toddler tears & screams, it's comforting to know I'm not the only one up @ 2:00 a.m!
Okay, here goes ...
Once we figured out our nursing problems
, and things were going better with that (around 4 months), it seemed like dd started getting really gassy at night. We were co-sleeping, and she would wiggle and writhe (but not wake up). She would move around, then be still for 5 or 10 minutes, move around, still, move around, still, over and over and over. I would push her knees to her chest and do some other things, and she would eventually pass gas. Then she would be still for a little while, and it would start all over again. It got worse and worse, until I was only getting a few hours of sleep a night, and most of that was while dh had her in the sling (usually until about midnight). Her sleep was also terribly disturbed, and she was tired all the time.
I tried a hard-core elimination diet
for the better part of several months, but it didn't make a difference at all. Then I tried switching from our well water to distilled water (I add minerals), and that seemed to help some. Her bowel movements became a lot more normal. They had been really green and mucousy, and after switching to distilled, they finally looked like normal breastfed baby poop (this happened within 24 hours). But she was still kicking me a lot at night, and it got so bad that we finally had to stop co-sleeping (something she was very unhappy about). Also, after a short period of normal poops, she suddenly stopped pooping for long stretches of time (7+ days). (She was still exclusively breastfed at this point.) She wasn't technically constipated, because the poop wasn't hard when she finally did go, but she was going infrequently, and the longer she went without pooping, the more uncomfortable she got. I know everyone says that breastmilk is absorbed so efficiently that this type of pattern is nothing to worry about, but my instinct told me it was not a good thing for my dd.
So now she was out of my bed, but instead of wiggling and squirming all night (and sleeping through it), she was waking up and fussing. Same kind of pattern ... she would cry out or whine, then be quiet for 10 minutes, cry out, quiet for 10 minutes, etc. I've learned that this pretty much always means she is gassy.
We found that Colic Ease
helped some (Mylicon is useless IMO), but I was giving her copious amounts of it, and it has a lot of fructose in it (it tastes very sweet and is super sticky when spilled). And she still wasn't sleeping well. None of us were sleeping well.
I was also taking her for craniosacral therapy
during this time (due to the aforementioned nursing problems), and was really hoping it would help with the digestive issues. I had a friend who took her son for CST twice, and it totally eliminated his constipation problems. Unfortunately, this did not work for us, although it certainly didn't hurt dd, and was a tremendous help for the nursing stuff.
Oh, and I was also taking her for chiropractic care, which also helped with the nursing stuff, but not the digestion.
After many horrible months, I finally broke down and took her to a holistic pediatrician (we're in an HMO, so I had to pay out of pocket, and it added up to a lot of money). She was around 9 months old at this point. Again, she was never really constipated in the traditional sense, as her stools were not usually hard. But she was going multiple days without pooping, and every time we introduced solids it got worse. I really felt she should be going every day (as did the chiro and holistic ped, as that is the best way the body has to purge toxins). The ped is trained in acupuncture, homeopathy, CST and some other stuff, in addition to being a traditional doctor. I have been open to alternative treatments for a long time, but had never really embraced homeopathy. Well, I am a big believer now! The ped put dd on probiotics (Metagenics, Ultra Flora Plus Capsules DF ... ranging from 1 capsule every other day up to 1 capsule twice a day -- I open the capsule and mix it with some baby food), and also homeopathics. The gas disappeared immediately, and her poops improved right away, and within 2-3 months she was pooping 1-3 times/day with no problems.
The homeopathics were usually changed up every time we went in to see the ped (once a month). She said this was normal, because as the body heals, you peel back layers and uncover "new" stuff. It's not really going in circles ... more of a spiral, if you know what I mean
So everything was going great up until maybe 4-6 weeks ago. Her sleep seemed to be really disturbed again, and when I would go in and nurse her at night, she was passing gas (which she hadn't been doing before). Also her poops slowed down (maybe once every other day), even though I was still using the homeopathics.
The ped moved to a new office too far away, so I finally got dd into the homeopath that I
am seeing (on the ped's recommendation). That appt was about 10 days ago. She changed up the homeopathics again, and we saw immediate improvement, so it seems we're still working our way through that spiral. She said dd's main "issue" is digestion, and she thinks it will take 4-6 months to really get her detoxed. But she said it will always be a weak point for dd, because that's just the way we are (according to her, everyone has a weak point in their system ... it just happens that it's digestion for dd). But we did see drastic improvment right away, although things are still not perfect. We went through a rough spell for a week or two, but that was related to teething. Things are much better now, and most nights dd is doing the fuss/quiet/fuss/quiet/fuss/quiet thing around 4 AM. If I give her Colic Ease and nurse her, she goes back to sleep with no problem, and sleeps well until 8:30-9:30 AM. Two months ago she was up 2-3 times/night, so things are MUCH better now.
So, I am hoping that once her body is done detoxing, we can stop relying on the Colic Ease, and she will FINALLY sleep through the night. She is totally ready for this, and some nights doesn't even want to nurse when I go in. I think she will sleep great once she's not suffering from any discomfort.
And she's back to pooping once/day, occasionally twice/day.
So, to summarize, here are some things you might want to try:
Get some Colic Ease
for dealing with the acute issue. I don't know if it will help with constipation, but it might help with the pain that accompanies it. I have taken it myself for gas pains, and the stuff really works!
If your dd is still breastfeeding, you could try an elimination diet
and/or eliminate foods from her diet. It's my personal (and totally unscientific and untested
) opinion, however, that a healthy body won't have trouble with most foods. I think a food sensitivity is often a sign of an underlying imbalance in the body that needs to be addressed.
Get her on a probiotic
. The stuff I found at Whole Foods was waaaay weaker than the Metagenics, but I think you can only get the Metagenics through a health care practitioner. You could try upping the dosage of whatever you get to match the Metagenics (7.5 billion live organisms of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis (formerly known as B. infantis) per capsule).
I mix the probiotic with Earth's Best prunes/oatmeal
, which both help with constipation. She also gets some of my morning oatmeal. I know some people say prune juice works better than prunes, but we don't do juice. My friend swears by flax seeds
to help her dd maintain regularity. She grinds them and adds them to cereal, etc.
The probiotic will help with any kind of imbalance, but she might need more help than that to resolve whatever the underlying issue is. You could try CST
(find a practitioner here
, and try to pick someone with more than a beginner level of training). We see a massage therapist who specializes in CST once a month ... it costs $30/session. (For an example of a good level of training, you can search for her name -- Kelly Handyside -- and see the classes she has taken.) Like I said, my friend's son was "cured" of his constipation problems after just two visits, so this works great for some people.
You could also try chiropractic
, although it's really important to find a good one. The first woman we saw didn't help dd that much. The second one made it so dd didn't cry during nursing after just one visit
. The practitioner makes a HUGE difference!!!
If that doesn't work, then you might want to bring out the bigger (and probably more expensive) guns. I really cannot say enough about homeopathy ... I am absolutely amazed at how it has helped dd, and now myself, as I sought treatment from a homeopath after seeing how it helped dd. Like the CST, I think this would address any underlying issues, and should help you find long-term relief (although it's usually not an overnight cure, IMO). You can find a holistic child health practitioner or pediatrician here
. Our ped is listed through this site, although I don't know if everyone you would find there has similar levels of training. But it might be worth a look.
Here are some good articles on homeopathy: link 1
and link 2
. And this one
offers links to websites that will give more information and also help you find a practitioner.
Again, the practitioner makes a huge
difference. The homeopath dd and I see came highly recommended by the ped (who came highly recommended by several people I know, including the good chiro, who came highly recommended by my pre-natal and mom&baby yoga teacher ... you get the drift
). Referalls are worth their weight in gold. I don't know if Angie's List covers this kind of stuff. If you have a local Birth Network or LLL, that might be a good place to start. Check out the Finding Your Tribe section at MDC, and ask if anyone who lives in your area can recommend the type of practitioner you're looking for. Find a well-trained CST therapist through the Upledger site, and see if they can recommend a good chiro, homeopath, etc.
One final thought ... Sometimes I look at the path we've taken and think "Why couldn't we have just gone straight to the homeopath, and things would have gone so much faster!! And cheaper!" But I truly believe that each "healer" we've seen brought something to the table. It is my experience that no single person holds all the answers. So it has worked out really well for us to move through different people, different healing modalities, etc., and all of it has added up to help get us to where we are today.
I hope this helps and isn't too overwhelming
. Feel free to ask for clarification here or you can PM me ... and good luck!