November 28, 2008

Back Story

My daughter was born in December 2007. Her initial diet was nothing but breast milk. She was a very fussy baby that had gas, belly pains, minimal spit-up, and rarely vomiting. With all of her stomach problems she was a terrible sleeper and was consistently needing to be rocked, walked, shushed, and fed. She ate ever 1-3 hours around the clock.

At 6 weeks she developed a sun burn-like rash on her cheeks that I treated with aquaphor. By 7 weeks the dry rash spread to cover her entire body. It was worse on the backs of her knees and behind her ears. At her 2 month well check she was diagnosed with infant eczema and was put on a strict regime of lotion, hydrocortisone cream, and fragrance free everything. In addition, the pediatrician recommended that I eliminate all dairy products from my diet. After just 3 days of a dairy free diet her skin improved tremendously, however, she was still very gassy and irritable. At this point I went on an elimination diet as recommended by Dr. Sears. Her symptoms continued to improve, however, just 1 week later she had blood in her stool. At this point the pediatrician recommended that we discontinue breastfeeding and use the hypo-allergenic formula Neutramigen only. I was devasted as I was not ready to stop breastfeeding just yet. I continued to pump to maintain my supply, maintained my strict diet, and did a lot of crying. After 1.5 wks of formula only, I re-introduced breastmilk back into my daughter's diet despite my pediatrician's recommendation not to. She remained symptom-free and was much less fussy overall.

After 3 weeks of a strict diet I slowly added back in food groups watching for reactions. Thankfully I was able to eat wheat and soy products. I was unable to eat eggs. My daughter began spitting up and had a belly ache/gas later in the day. I also unable to eat milk products. My daughter's skin problems flared up shortly after re-trying milk. Other foods that gave her stomach issues included chocolate, tomato sauce, and spicy foods.

So, since February 11th, 2008 I have been dairy and egg free so that I could continue to breastfeed my daughter. It has been a challenging diet but well worth the trouble.

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