How do you know?
, Jun 04 2012 10:59 AM
12 replies to this topic
Posted 04 June 2012 - 10:59 AM
My 8 mo DS is breastfed but we have had sleeping issues for months. Desperate, we took him to a chiropractor who is recommending I give up dairy. The problem is, I am struggling with my weight (it's too low) and dairy is one of the foods I rely on for calcium and kilojoules, not to mention yoghurt is convenient. My GP has already recommended I put my son on formula, which I don't really want to do, but I'm really struggling. DS wakes up at least every 2 hours overnight and it is difficult to settle him without boobing him. Last night was shocking, he kept crying out in his sleep like he was in pain, and then waking up upset. DF gave him almost a whole little tub of yoghurt yesterday for breakfast, so I am wondering if that is why he was so unsettled last night. During the day he's happy and active, and he's in the 80th percentile for weight, so he doesn't look or act sick except he is unsettled at night.
So how do you know if dairy is the problem? I'm happy to avoid it in his solids, but how do you know if he is reacting to it in your breastmilk? The chiropractor said it takes 3 weeks to tell the difference and that's a long time for me to cut out dairy.
Any advice gratefully received!
Posted 04 June 2012 - 11:20 AM
Why would the Dr want you to formula feed? Is it that she/he thinks then your baby would sleep? Bad reason for removing breast milk from the diet of a baby considering the multiple benefits of bfing to mother and baby. Some Drs just don't "get it".
Could the discomfort be related to teething?
Have you spoken to your CHN about the frequent night waking?
Perhaps you could do with some extra help with find ways to comfort him at night other than breast, or continue to bf as needed, especially if it is a newer thing, it may pass.
I'll admit to using panadol some nights for when my baby was miserable and I couldn't soothe her (I was unable to bfeed her as she refused breast and bottle) and this would calm her down and she would then drift off to sleep after about 25 mins.
Unfortunately here is a tendency for well-meaning but knowledge deficient people to blame bfing for all sorts of baby issues. If you don't know what the problem is, blame bfing, breast milk etc. Its an easy target and undervalued unfortunately.
If you are having issues with weight could you see a dietician for advice, chiropractors are not experts on bfing and baby diets in relation to night crying. I didn't think so anyway? I thought they were experts in matters chiropractic.
You have been bfing for 8 months and this has been an issue for only ? 2, if bub has been fine till this point the I wonder if there is any need to change your diet, ie it was fine then, why not now?
You could alter your babies diet more easily, but do you need to? If you wanted to try then you can drop the yoghurt etc short term and see if you get any change. Do a short term experiment.
Perhaps firstly talk to your CHN re night waking, crying and soothing. She may be able to help you with this.
All the best.
Posted 04 June 2012 - 11:35 AM
Chiropractors are often quick to recommmend to stop having dairy or wheat, I think purely because they are 2 of the most common things to affect babies through breast milk.
I have a friend who's daughter is allergic to dairy and didn't find out until after she started giving it to her directly. She's now had to cut out dairy from her diet as she is also breastfeeding.
If you are already having weightloss issues but want to pursue the dairy free thing speak to a nutritionist or dietician first so you are also looking after yourself.
When we took DD off wheat it took a couple of days before we noticed small improvements, she had also been waking every hour or two all night. 3 weeks before seeing any difference sounds a little too long to me.
Posted 04 June 2012 - 11:42 AM
You need to go two weeks dairy free to see any changes. My son is dairy and was also soy intolerant when I was breastfeeding so I know how hard it is. Formula would not help unless you went to a soy based one. True dairy intolerance are often also soy intolerant and only a pediatrician can prescribe that specialised formula.
I suggest you give dairy free a proper go for two weeks and see if any improvements. I am vegan so calcium sources I rely on are: soy yoghurt, soy or rice milk on my cereal, cocunut yoghurt ( health food store), tofu, broccoli, bok choy, sesame seeds on my salad etc.
Posted 04 June 2012 - 02:25 PM
A lot of health professionals unfortunately recommend formula as soon as there are any perceived problems. Baby not sleeping? Baby unsettled? Baby unhappy? Must be a breastfeeding problem. Try formula. They are simply ill informed and I think this is very unfortunate as it plants that seed of doubt in many a Mum's mind. You have been breastfeeding for successfully for 8 months.
Chiropractors as well are not dietary experts and as much as I am a Mum of two allergy babies and a fan of their work, I think sometimes they are too quick to be recommending dietary changes.
At 8 months, do you think the frequent night waking could be pain related to teething? Is it a new development or has the frequent waking been happening for a long time? If it is recent, have you tried a bit of panadol to see if that makes a difference? I know DS1 was a terrible teether and he would wake all night every night and the only thing that would settle him back to sleep was getting my boob out
Or, did the frequent waking start when he started solids? Do you think the larger amount of dairy he is receiving directly (as opposed to smaller amounts diluted through your breastmilk) could be causing the problem?
Of the intolerances/allergies in young babies, dairy is the most common. I was dairy free among other things for almost 2 years while breastfeeding DS1 and my weight plummeted to 47kg (52 pre preg, 163cm), so far too skinny when he was 6 months old. As PP have said, you will need to cut dairy from both your baby's diet and your own for a minimum of two weeks to see if it makes a difference. Could you do this as a short term experiment, if only to exclude it?
I found from my own experience, there are plenty of ways to make up the calories lost from dairy and I am NOT a fan of soy products. I managed to get my weight back up to 51kg which was far more healthy. Fill your diet with easy protein and carbohydrates (canned tuna on biscuits), healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, canned tuna/salmon), dips (Yumi make some great dips many of which are dairy free).
If you do trial the diet and think it has made a difference, re-challenge your son with dairy. A recurrence of symptoms (this is called elimination/challenge diet) is suggestive of intolerance/allergy. You might want to ask your GP for a referral to a paed allergist to talk about intolerance/allergies. For yourself, if you want to continue breastfeeding long term a trip to the dietician might be in order to make sure you are not missing out nutritionally as well.
Sorry for the mammoth post
Posted 04 June 2012 - 02:33 PM
Thank you for the replies so far, I should clarify that the reason my GP recommended I switch to formula feeding is for my own health. Even my mum who is hardcore pro-breastfeeding is suggesting I at least FF overnight, I nearly dropped dead when she said that, I never thought I'd hear those words come out of her mouth! I had emergency surgery for an intestinal blockage just before Christmas, and couldn't eat for two weeks, so DS had to go on formula for that time. My mum chose a goat milk formula. I was able to go back to breastfeeding when I could eat enough to produce milk, but it has taken it's toll on my health. For that and other reasons, it is unrealistic for me to cut dairy out of my diet.
My MCHN knows about the waking overnight and I am waiting to go into a sleep school. DS' sleep never really recovered from the 4 month regression but it has got a lot worse in the last month or so.
Posted 04 June 2012 - 02:43 PM
For that and other reasons, it is unrealistic for me to cut dairy out of my diet.
If you are really dead set against cutting dairy from your diet but still wanted to explore dairy intolerance, could you at least cut the dairy from your son's diet for two weeks and see if there is an improvement? If there is, you could then reassess your own diet. Some children with minor intolerances can tolerate small amounts of dairy that pass through the breastmilk, but not have milk products directly.
I know how hard it is to cut out, but as I said in my previous post, I did it for nearly two years. And I *love* dairy foods. If it does come to that, a good dietician would be able to help you make up the calories dairy-free, find you a good calcium supplement and gain some weight at the same time. Mine did!
I was recommended one by my MCHN, is this an avenue worth exploring, even if you don't go dairy free?
Posted 04 June 2012 - 02:45 PM
At 8 months, sounds a bit odd to react to dairy from b/milk.
I would keep a food diary before eliminating dairy from your diet. I don't have much/any dairy in my diet b/c it contributes to my eczema.
It could be something else that you are eating that could be bothering him. Apples use to upset DS1 when he was a baby as well as an overactive day. DS2 use to have diaper rash if I had strawberries. DD has diaper rash when I eat pineapple.
I know other mums who offer water instead of milk overnight.
Posted 04 June 2012 - 06:54 PM
Your story sounds similar to my experience with my daughter who is now 8mths. I definitely suggest getting a referral to a paed allergist. It will take some time usually to get an appointment.
My daughter was unsettled from birth. We had a lot of issues breast feeding and I fought through it all to keep breast feeding because everyone at the time said it was best for my baby. My baby hardly slept for more than an hour at a time if we were lucky. And when she did sleep she would often grimace and cry out in pain, waking herself up as you describe.
We tried everything. First we were told it was colic. Then 'bad colic'. Then reflux. We went to sleep school. It made no difference. And yet she looked healthy and appeared to be thriving, meeting all her milestones and gaining weight.
We failed sleep school again at four months, even though we were there for two weeks. She went on losec. It made some difference to the vomiting but not the unsettledness.
I have some health issues which were exacerbated by the sleep deprivation and breast feeding. I weighed ten kilos less than I did before getting pregnant. I was exhausted and stressed. The GP and the MCH nurse recommended i wean her for the sake of my own health. But given how hard it had been to start breast feeding, I wasn't willing to give it up easily.
We finally saw a paed who said it sounded like cows milk protein allergy to her. We were referred to an allergist. He couldn't test definitively on such a young baby but suggested we try the amino acid based formula. My daughter wouldn't drink it. So he suggested trialling soy formula, and for me to either wean her completely or go dairy free myself. Like you, dairy was one of the few ways I was getting enough calories to sustain my health. I decided to wean.
So it's taken a few weeks to swap bf for soy but we are finally seeing improvement in the length of her sleeps. The 2am bf was the last to go a few nights ago and we saw an amazing difference. When she had a bf at 2am she would then be unsettled the rest of the night, waking every forty mins or so. When that feed became soy formula, she slept soundly until 7am. Last night we had our first ever seven hour sleep. She still woke a couple of times and needed resettling, but did not feed from 11pm til 6am.
Your child may not have an allergy or intolerance. But it's worth seeing a professional about it and see what they say. And for what it's worth, I now think that if the professionals are telling you to wean for the sake of your health, listen to them. You don't want to end up in hospital yourself.
All the best.
Posted 04 June 2012 - 07:04 PM
could it be reflux if you think he is waking up from pain.
or it could just be a sleep issue . Do you feed to sleep? when he wakes up from each sleep cycle he needs to feed again to get back to sleep. ( i have this problem with my daughter)
Posted 06 June 2012 - 09:07 AM
I excluded dairy from my diet for 7 months when breastfeeding as it seemed to cause DD2 some problems (she seems ok with it now). I'm living proof that you don't necessarily lose weight when dairy free, I seem to have a knack for finding dairy free snack food to keep the calories up
If you want some ideas here is some of the food I'd eat: If soy isn't a problem there are a lot of biscuits that are dairy free - just in the health food section of Coles/Woolworths. I would have toast with nuttelex and vegemite for breakfast, a chicken and avocado sandwich for lunch (I'd either cook the chicken or buy a roast chicken from the supermarket) and things like roasts for dinner. I love the Sweet William dairy free chocolate (the individually wrapped ones in a bag are the nicest), dairy free lollipops (sold at Coles), Kez's Kitchen Melting Moments biscuits, Oreos (only the big ones, not the mini), oven fries, potato chips (Red Rock Deli ready salted), soy hot chocolates, Brumby's banana bread...there are a lot of good dairy free foods out there. You can also get dairy free cake, cupcake, muffin mixes from the supermarket. Good luck with whatever you end up doing, it's so stressful trying to work out what's going on with babies and how best to help them!
Edited by flowermama, 06 June 2012 - 09:08 AM.
Posted 21 June 2012 - 08:27 AM
Thank you everyone for your input, I appreciate the support. We are back from sleep school and I think him being used to getting fed to sleep was the issue. Now he is in a routine, eating a lot more solids (so not so reliant on breastmilk), and sleeping so well! He goes to bed at 7pm, has a dreamfeed at 10pm, and then doesn't need feeding till 6:30am. He has slept through a few times, but teething is throwing a spanner in the works a bit. I am so much more rested and feeling a lot less stressed. Sleep school has completely turned us around
And dairy doesn't seem to be an issue after all!
Posted 21 June 2012 - 08:53 AM
And dairy doesn't seem to be an issue after all!
Great news! No one should have to give up chocolate unless absolutely necessary
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