Over the last few weeks, I have seen a remarkable difference in my baby. We have been able to take her off of all of her medication for reflux. I have also tried little bits of dairy (yogurt, cheese – occasionally) and thus far she has been fine. She no longer screams all day and I have been able to meet her needs better. I am so grateful for this change in her temperament. I am still off of all soy products (allergic), however, I have tried soy lecithin, soy oil, and soy sauce with no adverse reactions. I really like using Rice Milk and Oat Milk and like baking some things with Almond Milk. Since Earth Balance has the soy protein in it, we have switched to using Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine (dairy-free) as well as Smart Balance Light. I also heard that Smart Balance Organic is dairy-free, so I’ll have to keep a look out for that to try it out. We had a great Halloween (too much candy…) and are looking forward to the fall/winter holidays:) I’ll post what we did for Halloween to keep it safe!!!
I have quickly learned that going dairy-free doesn’t solve everything for my 2 month old nursing baby. We have tried gripe water and Mylicon, however, she still spit up a lot and was fussy. We finally took her back to the pediatrician and we suspect reflux. We were prescribed Zantac and it has seemed to help quite a lot. Because of that, I decided to try some ice cream and chocolate cake. The next day, she screamed all day and spit up all day, even with the Zantac. She also broke out in a very light rash (not sure what from). So, I’m back off of all dairy while nursing in addition to the Zantac. She still fusses a little bit, but it is much more manageable. My biggest challenge now is trying to get my protein in and calcium in. Having fortified Orange Juice, Soy Milk and Rice Milk has helped a lot. Also, including nuts (thankfully we have no allergies there), beans, and meat (I’m enjoying making chicken salad and eating it with Triscuits) has helped a lot. Cooking from scratch and eating whole foods has its benefits, not only with the budget, but on our health as well:) I just need to look at it as having the glass half full rather than half empty, and in so doing will have a lovely cup of lemonade!
With the arrival of our sixth baby, I am once again going completely dairy-free while I nurse her. I am hoping that this will help her with her gassy symptoms as well as decrease her chances of a severe milk allergy like her older brother has (this is not proven, but I have friends who have had much success). In addition to going dairy-free while nursing, I’m also using Mylicon drops as needed as well as Little Tummies gripe water. Both seem to be helping her colicky symptoms tremendously. I have found it quite easy going dairy-free this time as I pretty much cook dairy-free all the time anyway for my other children. That said, I have found a new love in Rice Dream original flavor for my cereal. I much prefer it over soy milk right now and love adding blueberries and walnuts or pecans on top of my cereal. We made homemade pizza the other night and I barely even missed the cheese. I added extra sauce and lots of toppings to compensate. (I don’t miss the extra calories either:)). I love using the grill this time of year to grill garden vegetables and discovered a pumpkin cake that is just heavenly! (My mother-in-law created the recipe as she was experimenting with the ingredients that we had on hand in the house. So moist! I’ll have to post the recipe next month on my website www.milkallergycompanion.com.) Although I miss ice cream (have to get some Soy Ice Cream or Cuties on hand…), overall eating dairy-free has been just fine and I am happy to make the sacrifice if it will help my little baby. For a quick list of menu ideas that are dairy-free, visit this section of my blog: http://milkallergycompanion.blogspot.com/2008/10/quick-list-of-menu-ideas-for-nursing.html
When I had my fifth baby, I felt like I was becoming an expert on milk allergies. My three boys suffered from them, while my daughter showed no symptoms. So when I had a baby girl, I was very careful that she didn’t get any formula. However, she was a very fussy baby. The thought of going through another colicky baby was daunting to say the least. I saw visions of sleepless nights and rings under my eyes. I heard from a friend that she had to go off of all dairy products while nursing because her baby was fussy. You would think that I would put two and two together, but no…I always learn the hard way! I had never thought about a possibile connection between colic and milk (coming through the breast milk). “I wonder…” thought I. So, I decided to take the plunge and go without any dairy products myself. It was the first time in my life that I had sympothy for my oldest son, now ten. Could my food really taste that bad without the cheese and other ammenities? I missed ice cream, cereal and milk, lasagna, and all of my other favorites. I missed goldfish, parmesan cheese, and whipped cream. I began a quest to cook better and to find dairy-free recipes that the whole family could enjoy, since now four of my five children were having problems in one way or another with dairy products.
I have since began writing a book and cookbook that I hope to have ready for sale soon. (www.milkallergycompanion.com) I don’t want other mom’s to have to go through what I went through. Imagine an entire cookbook filled with recipes completely dairy free that the entire family can enjoy! I am really excited about the prospect, if for nobody else, at least for me so that it can make cooking that much easier for my family:)
Back to my baby…so I did the experiment and went completely off all dairy products. She turned from a fussy baby with diarrhea, gas, and colic type symptoms to the sweetest angel you have ever seen. Everyone I talked to asked me, “Is she always this good?” I smile and say, “Yes.” If I had known this, I am convinced that I could have saved my second son and myself months and months of misery when he had his colic. I wish I had known this so that I could have at least tried and made things better for him. After a year of going dairy free myself, I finally got my daughter tested for a milk allergy. It came back negative. My oldest son has a lifetime milk allergy (we keep re-testing him). I can’t help but wonder if this could have been avoided had I gone off all dairy while nursing. I guess I’ll never know:) Perhaps not, but I am overjoyed that my now seventeen month old can enjoy dairy. The funny thing is, that she doesn’t even like it that much. She spits it out and asks for soymilk. Go figure! Anyway, I hope that this helps some nursing mom out there:)