by Danielle K.
I didn't have much luck BF my 1st daughter 10 yrs ago, for starters I was young and thought it would be "easy"...ha. I didn't get her to the breast until 6 hrs after birth simply b/c the nurse never brought her to me and asked the simple question of "Would you like to BF now?". Then my Hubby thought it would be OK if she had a little sip of formula in the nursery while I slept (mind you if she wasn't rooming in with me, I made him follow her EVERYWHERE, lol) - I was livid that they offered him a bottle when my chart said strictly BF. Pack on a hefty helping of post-partum depression, him going back to work right away, being almost alone, young and a bit of colic later = disaster. She ended up on Nutramigen after a bit, I only BF for approx. 1-2 months if that and I felt horrible.
So the 2nd time around (now) I insisted on being Breast-Only once again. I make tiny babies and my 2nd was no different, with the exception of even a smaller mouth than my first. I suppose she didn't latch correctly in the hospital b/c even after just 1 day I had sore cracked nipples and pain.The hospital LC was little help (my nurse did better education), I was sent home with breast shields and gel pads. A couple of days later I noticed my nipples were bleeding and Baby even vomiting up the blood, and SO MUCH MORE PAIN ( To the point I yelped and cried uncontrollably whenever I fed, not good).
I kept up, even pumped a few times instead of straight feeding and supplemented with a few formula bottles. I was determined to BF, nothing would stand in my way. I didn't produce all that much with my 1st, and this time was also no different. About 7 days later my milk finally came in slowly but surely. I called a local LC who came to my house with a scale and notes for me, she observed me feed AND pump, weighed baby before and after feeding and even after a spit-up and assured me she was indeed taking in adequate breast milk ( Thank goodness for her re-assurance and tips - it was well worth the money. I encourage women having any trouble to contact a good LC ).
Then came April 23rd (the night before Easter) when she was approx. 5 weeks old - I changed her diaper and noticed red blood in her stool - OH NO! I panicked, called the Pediatrician on-call and he said it sounded like a cow's milk protein allergy/sensitivity/intolerance.
Great - just what we needed when we are still trying to get BF down pact! I also remembered giving her a formula bottle supplement and thought maybe it was that??? Brought her in on Easter Sunday and her stool still tested + for blood. I was told by the Dr on that day that I had 2 options:
#1 Probably the easier and most encouraged of the 2, STOP BF altogether and put her on Nutramigen or Alimentum. Viola end of story.
OR #2 Remove ALL dairy/soy/casein/whey protein from my diet and continue BF and continue to test her stool.
I chose #2, much to his surprise. I remember him saying "It's not that easy to just remove dairy from your diet, it's harder than that. If she comes back in a week with blood still in her stool you will have to stop BF and formula feed, sorry."
I didn't take NO for an answer and won't let someone else say what I can/can't do so I removed dairy for that week (as much as I knew of for being new to this) and strictly BF - no formula all week. On Friday there was still blood present but not as much - it wasn't the formula :( But Dairy takes 3-4 weeks to leave Mommie's system, so I decided to stick with BF and if needed supplement, to give her the Nutramigen as needed. (Like I said, I never produce "A Lot" of milk, it's just my body) I researched and researched and researched my butt off!
I surprised even my family and friends with my determination. And next follow-up visit her stool was completely NEGATIVE! And every visit there-after =) I slipped up once and ate a garlic-knot not realizing they are soaked in butter (what was I thinking??) and 2 days later she had blood streaks in her stool, but 2 days after that it tested negative, so whatever I was doing was working. Even her regular Pediatrician was proud, she didn't think I'd be able to do it either - don't get me wrong, she TOTALLY supported me but in her words "I don't think I'd be able to do it, but if you are determined, I think you can!".
So I know what I can/can't eat, at home or in restaurants - pretty much the whole menu at my fave Chinese/Japanese/Vietnamese/Taiwanese restaurant is OUT save for the sushi (with NO soy sauce), but I'm OK with that. And I have not been to an Italian restaurant since she was 5 weeks old and diagnosed either (I am Italian, this is hard for me, lol) - when I did go for a shower to one, I ate salad and bruscetta the whole time, no meat and no pasta. Note: Italian and French bread are dairy free! Yay. But I don't feel "deprived", nope. I know I'm doing it for MY BABY. She's getting her Mother's Milk and she's healthy, I'm eating wayyyy healthier, buying almost all organic, or vegan, or parve options and I know it's not forever. It may be a good diet ;) Not that I have lost any wt in 4 months.....but, at least I am healthier. Now, don't get me wrong, I still supplement with Nutramigen.
I'm not one of those people who are against formula or think it is evil or "bad" for babies. I know BF is not for everyone, I'm realistic ;) But I am determined to try and make it a year BF my daughter, it will be hard once I'm back to work full-time But I am going to give it my all!!!! So what if she gets bottle fed while I'm gone or if she just needs "a little more"? I try and pump what I can so she can get my milk while I'm gone, whether it's a whole bottle or mixed with formula to make a whole bottle. She eats 6 oz when bottle fed and I only produce at most 4 - 4 1/2 oz (TOTAL) when I pump. But I know that's just my body, and although it gets me down a lot of the time, I try to come to terms with it.
I am doing what's best for My Baby. What works for one may not work for another, but take all the advice, and stories shared and suggestions and research and find what works for YOU. Because it CAN be done! And you will feel SO good in the end!
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