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Breastfeeding Elimination Diet

621 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  LEAW
This is really long, but I wanted to include it all....

Mary is 5m, exclusively breastfed (tandem nursing w/big sis). Around 4m, she started having episodes of being very fussy and vomiting (heaving, choking, completely emptying the stomach - not spitting up) 1-3x a day for a few days. Then we got into a spell of 2 bad days 1 good 2 bad 2 good, etc. I have been dairy free for about 3m because of mucousy stools, which cleared up when dairy free. Her stools have always been green but of normal texture until the vomiting started when they stopped being curdy and were just a gritty looking paste. After 5 days of misery I had to do something and went on a strict elimination diet. Nothing but apples, rice, turkey and sweet potato. That was 2 weeks ago today, 14 loooooong days.

Her wight gain was great the first 2 months - 8-1 to 12-something at 2m. After that it significantly slowed, only 13-14 at 5m. As of last Monday she had lost 2 oz over the last 2 weeks which finally got the doctor's attention. We went for a weight check on Friday and she had gained those 2 oz back. We have determined (at least we believe, no tests as of now) that she has had silent reflux since birth and that it has gotten worse lately. The more I read about it, the more all the pieces fit. She always ate very quickly, which I thought was because I had so much milk that she got filled up fast. Looking back, my guess is that it hurt, so she ate enough to take the edge off her hunger, but not enough to gain weight. She started throwing up soon after having a cold - not uncommon for reflux to flare after a cold. We ran some stool cultures, the ova/larva culture is still "cooking" but the rest came back normal - no malabsorption issues. Her poops are getting back to normal texture, but still are green from time to time. We tried Zantac and it seemed to help a little, but she was still having a lot of back arching and screaming while eating and waking screaming, so we are on day 2 of Prevacid. I understand that will take at least a week to start seeing results.

The big question now is if the reflux is caused or worsened by food allergies or unrelated. I have been dairy free for several months because that gave her mucousy poops. I have been on the full elimination diet for 14 days now and she is much happier, but is it due to the meds or diet or both? I think the change in her stools is that she is now eating enough to have waste (curds) in her stools, where she was pretty much starving before
So, how long do I stick this out with basically no change? I am willing to do it for as long as she needs me to, but my body is suffering trying to keep myself and Mary fully nourished, plus nursing Leah 4-5x a day. I'm sure you have been there. If I could even add a little more veggies or spices or something, it would make a world of difference, but I don't want to compromise the validity of the elimination if we do need to continue. How long would you stick with it before adding things back slowly, just in case?

Thanks in advance. It helps to know othershave walked this road and survived. I don't even miss dairy anymore, but I am SO sick of rice and sweet potato!

Editing to add: she has a chiro appt on Friday - the soonest I could get her in

Ann with
Leah 2/03 c/s still nursing
Mary 1/05 HBAC sweetest baby on earth
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My dd is 5 mo. today. She has reflux and food sensitivities. I cut out dairy at 3 weeks old, soy at 4 weeks, meds at 8 weeks, and went on the elim. diet after that. Turkey, pears, potatoes, rice, millet, boring!

She had green (all colors of green) and mucous and sometimes curdy, sometimes runny, sometimes liquid, sometimes pasty poo. After 2.5 weeks on the diet, she stoped "snarting" and went to perfectly normal yellowish poo w/o curds.

I'm still adding foods in. It's a long process. So far we've discovered that she reacts to raspberries, pork, we already knew about the dairy and soy, cantaloupe, etc.

What I did while I added foods was keep a food journal and chart her moods, spitting up, and poo along with the foods I added. I was generous when adding low allergens (chicken, apples, grapes, oats, etc.) and started w/chicken, then apples, and then oats, with only 2-3 days between foods. When I had chicken and oats, I was a lot happier - I could eat decent cereal again, I wasn't starving for breakfast, etc. and I added a high allergen (corn) and waited 5 days. Then another few low ones (green beans, asparagus) and then a high one (wheat) etc. so that my diet expanded fairly quickly yet I knew if there was a reaction. And one time I had such a bad day that I ate some chocolate (dark organic is usually safe, no dairy in there!)

The reflux is still there, but the screaming is more under control. The poo is normal, regular, good texture, color, etc. and when I have a food that she has issues with, it's obvious how much worse the reflux gets, she also has difficulty having a bowel movement.

So, yes I think that food allergies can impact reflux, but no, I don't think reflux will go away if you remove all the allergens. It's been a rough road, and will continue to be, but I always remember that the benefits of breastmilk are 100000x more important than me having a milkshake. We're finally going to the pedi GI on Friday, a long wait to get in.
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Oh yah, forgot - the chiro - we've been going to the chiro for over a month now, and I think it's helped some, but hasn't made any major changes. The chiro reports that she thinks there is a good change in her movement.

I'm considering craniosacral therapy next, honestly, I'm willing to try anything right now.
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