Strict elimination diet worth it? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 04-17-2011, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 3 wk old has been suffering from lots of gas and belly pain. The poor girl cries a lot. It's been 1 week since I eliminated dairy from my diet, and for the last four days I've been on a strict anti-gas diet (hardly any veggies, no soy, no beans, no garlic, no onions, no corn,  no nuts, no chocolate, no whole grains etc.- I'm also gluten-free for 3 years now) Pretty much anything that would cause me gas and common irritants I've avoided. My plan was to wait for improvement, then slowly re-introduce things.

 

Has this helped? It's questionable. Sometimes it seems better, other times not. We're also using Gripe Water and Hyland's Colic tablets (which worked so well for my middle child!). They seem to help sometimes. Sometimes not. I talked with a friend the other day who said her daughter was the same way, and she stayed on a severely limited diet in an effort to help her DD. She's convinced that it helped only minimally. Her conclusion? Waiting it out and not starving yourself. It will pass in time as the baby's digestive system matures.

 

I'm feeling discouraged. I'm absolutely willing to stay on a restricted diet if it will help DD, but maybe she's just going to get gas and cry no matter what I do. Should I just avoid the common offenders- dairy, soy, onions/garlic, chocolate and cruciferous veggies, and hope that's enough to make a difference? Honestly, despite my effort to avoid "gassy" foods, I still have the same amount of gas I did before! So why wouldn't baby?

 

Any advice?


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#2 of 12 Old 04-17-2011, 02:07 PM
 
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It takes 2-3 weeks for the dairy proteins to leave your system, so I would give it a bit longer trying that, before starting a full elimination diet.  If baby is gaining weight and has no other symptoms, it may not be a food sensitivity.

 

Honestly though, crying and gas are pretty normal for a 3 week old.  Are you following the tips from "The Happiest Baby on the Block", especially swaddling?  Are you wearing baby during the day?  Is it possible that you have an overactive letdown and/or oversupply?

 

Most babies do just fine when their moms eat veggies and onions and chocolate and dairy and all that.  Some babies can be more sensitive to certain foods, but that doesn't mean you should eliminate all possible offenders from your diet.  I noticed that my son was sensitive to spinach.  It was strange, but it was definitely an issue for him.  My daughter had other symptoms of a food intolerance, so I eliminated dairy and soy very successfully for over 6 months, but I also noticed she was a bit sensitive to onions, but not significantly.  She eats all those now without issue.


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#3 of 12 Old 04-17-2011, 02:21 PM
 
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I have to say yes, it is worth it. I went on a strict diet as well because of gas and crying from my DS and what I ended up doing was one day found he was great so I repeated the same foods for the next 3 days and he was great every day so I would add one food at a time and if I got a reaction I would take it out and retry a week or two later.

After this my son was happy, healthy and hardly ever cried.To this day everyone remarks what a happy baby he is and how he is always smiling. I am still breastfeeding a year later and still can't have dairy, soy and a few other assorted items lest I get a reaction from him. However it has made me decide not to give milk, or soy as an alternative for an additional year.

You say some days are fine. If you want to see if it is your diet then you can try eating the exact same foods you ate on a day with little crying and see if your DD has the same good days. Then you know it is the diet. I should also add that I have never eaten a lot of dairy so I didn't have to detox from it so you should wait the time to detox the dairy before trying this to make sure.
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#4 of 12 Old 04-17-2011, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, she really likes swaddling. I haven't been able to find a comfortable position for her in the Moby wrap yet. She's content for about 5 minutes in it. We basically hold her all day, except when she's sleeping. She sleeps with us at night. She really likes being held "football style" on her tummy or upright against our shoulder.

 

It seems so hard to tell what foods cause her to have problems. Before I started restricting my diet so much, she had one day where she was very content most of the day. I had been eating whatever that day- granola with dried fruit, meatloaf with onions, and she was fine. The next afternoon was awful! Was she just getting those foods the next day in my milk? How long does it usually take for foods to enter the milk?

 

I'm hoping that the dairy restriction will pay off in a week or so.


SAHM to my beautiful, joyful, silent D (9/90) and exuberant, charismatic, not-so-silent S (11/07) and our precious little chickpea DD born 3/11 ,+7 animals. Partner to my lovely "M.O". Trying to live with intention.

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#5 of 12 Old 04-17-2011, 10:00 PM
 
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I would have to say that it is worth it. With my first I did not know any better, and she cried for a good 4 months. With my second, we found the same pattern happening until I found out about the elimination diet one morning at 2am surfing the net to find a cure! I cut to the chase and just eliminated only all dairy products (everything from milk, cheese, yogurt, butter) which was hard to do! In 3-4 days his skin started clearing up and after about a week he was a much happier baby. I would try to eat some dairy (pizza being my weakness) once and a while and sure enough, within the next 12 hours or so, my son would let me know that he was not happy (and his diapers changed too).  With my 3rd now, I am mostly avoiding dairy - but not being so strict as she does not seem to have the same disposition.  One other thing I did differently with our 3rd baby was to take her to a cranio-sacral therapist and ostiopath whom I think assisted in her system working well and in balance. I've also heard wonderful things about chiropractors who are trained in pediatrics who can do very very gentle techniques to aid in babies digestive systems. I didn't know then what I know now and am so grateful for having the support and care that we've gotten.

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#6 of 12 Old 04-17-2011, 10:28 PM
 
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Absolutely worth it.  DD's colic started at 3 weeks.  We got it pretty well under control with a very restrictive diet for me.  It was hard but worth it.  She needed breastmilk and so any sacrifice I had to make was worth her well being.  I was on a very strict diet for about a year and on a happy note...I looked amazing LOL.  In our case, we didn't find the true cause of her issues until she was 15 months old and we got a probable-celiac diagnosis but by following the strict diet I had a healthy 15 month old, on track developmentally, etc. rather than a very sick child who would take years to repair.  Totally worth every bit of effort and sacrifice.  I feel very lucky.


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#7 of 12 Old 04-27-2011, 08:02 PM
 
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I never used Hyland's on a dairy elimination baby because it has lactose.  I'm not sure if it's from milk, but I avoided it anyway. 

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#8 of 12 Old 04-27-2011, 10:37 PM
 
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It is worth it, ime, but I wouldn't cut the gas producing veggies, just dairy and soy and see where that gets you.  Like a pp said, it takes a couple weeks for the dairy proteins to be completely out of your systems.  My babies are VERY sensitive to my consumption of any dairy. 


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#9 of 12 Old 04-28-2011, 05:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyss View Post

I never used Hyland's on a dairy elimination baby because it has lactose.  I'm not sure if it's from milk, but I avoided it anyway. 


yes! Cut those out!

Also I didn't think the whole veggie thing had any scientific basis.

I would eliminate the main allergens (dairy, soy, nuts, eggs) for a few weeks and then evaluate. And definitely no more hylands! I made the same mistake with my son.

I would also say to read and re-read the labels on everything. My PNV's had soy that I missed. My son reacted to soybean oil (they are not 'supposed' to which is marketed as vegetable oil etc. It's a PITA but for me I felt that if I knew 100% what he was reacting to then I make an informed decision on whether I wanted to continue bf'ing. I wouldn't for example survive on like 5 foods. I would wean to formula for that no problem. But dairy, soy I can (and did) do for both of my kids and it was OK.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#10 of 12 Old 04-28-2011, 01:32 PM
 
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Just want to say, I agree with the previous posters. We are on an elimination diet here and were with DD1 also. At 1 year, we had her tested for allergies and found that she was actually allergic to the foods I was avoiding. What a relief to hear that I wasn't skipping them without reason!

 

Patience. At 3 weeks you are both still learning from each other, including what foods make you both comfortable.

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#11 of 12 Old 04-29-2011, 12:33 AM
 
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I think it's worth it. As much as I love cheese, I love my baby more. Breastfeeding cuts risks for food allergis later on, you're saving your family quite the headache later by finding what works for you now. Also ditto the gassy vegetables, I've read many places that it's not the gass producing foods that cause gas in a BF baby but foods that might have aversion or allergy to. I think I read it on Kellymom.
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#12 of 12 Old 04-29-2011, 03:22 AM
 
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Here's an article on gassy foods in moms diet. http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/mom/mom-foods.html#gassyfood
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