I have 2 sons. Both were EBF- including all night long (like every 2 hours) until 8 months old. However, for whatever reason I got my period at 6 WEEKS PP with both boys. Regularly. Every month.
It took me awhile to put two and two together, but now there is no doubt: when I am on my period, things get...bad. One--my supply drops. I have heard this happens to a lot of moms, and basically, we just struggle through it for a few days each month and then supply comes back. Two--poor DS (now 8 months) seems to have a lot of digestive issues, and digestive pain, and poop becomes really green, or mucousy, or thick and foul smelling, with alternating diarrhea and constipation. And finally three--he gets HORRIBLE diaper rash from these poops. Sometimes to the point of blistering.
He is normally a very healthy little guy. But this month has been the worst. He even got a fever and a rash all over his body for a day. I'm starting to feel like I'm poisoning my baby during that time of the month. But sadly, if I were to go formula for a few days, (with the supply drop also simultaneous) I probably would never truly get my supply back. We all know that's a slippery slope. Plus, my body doesn't really respond to the pump anyway.
He is clearly in a lot of pain and misery. Is anything I can do to ease the little guy's suffering? Should I switch to formula??
There are many women who return to their cycle 6-8 weeks post-partum, despite what many believe about exclusive breastfeeding and delaying return of menses. Your observations are correct - often with cycling a mother will notice change of breastmilk supply or even some symptoms in her baby. Are you eating anything different during the time prior to or during menses? Do you have any symptoms at this time? Those answers will allow me to answer your questions more thoroughly.
Oh thank you for your response! It's nice to know I'm not the only one out there who this is happening to.
My diet doesn't change too much during that time of the month, and I don't usually have many symptoms (other than a little cramping). I have a copper T (Paraguard) IUD, which makes my flow super heavy, but I found that hormonal methods of BC affected my supply, so that was the only option.
This past month, I was a bit moodier than usual, which I think could have had something to do with the fact that I night-weaned the babe.
Due to the heavy bleeding, I would ask your primary care physician or gynecologist for a blood test looking at anemia (a Complete Blood Count, or CBC) and ferritin (iron stores). Best to have it done during your menses, to see if you are experiencing low iron or anemia. I can't explain how this would affect your baby in the ways you describe above, but it should definitely be explored if you are having heavy menses. Other thoughts: the acid/alkaline balance in your body may change at this time, and also some women have a heavy die-off of flora during the hormonal change at menses. Things to think about: anti-inflammatory diet that supports alkaline balance, probiotics, and perhaps vitamins and minerals to support detoxification. Since you are not my patient, I can't get more detailed as I do not know your entire health history, but these are definitely things I would explore with someone working with me who presented with the symptoms you describe.
Interesting. The acid/alkaline imbalance would explain why he gets such horrible diaper rash from his poops. I was thinking it kind of looked like a burn. Perhaps that's the effect of too much acid (or alkaline.... not sure which). I'll look into it. I may also consider adding an infant probiotic supplement during this time to help with digestive issues.
Thanks so much for your input- it was really helpful!