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Non-Dairy Diet for Breastfeeding

January 18, 2010

So I mentioned a few months ago that I was off dairy because of Isaac’s extreme fussiness, coupled with the bloody mucus specks we were finding in Isaac’s diapers.  I did a lot of reading and most resources indicated that it takes dairy a week or two to completely leave your system, so I did my 100% no dairy test for over a month.  I started the elimination diet on November 16th and kept it up through December 22nd, at which point I started adding back little bits of dairy at a time.  I talked with the doctor and he said that adding the dairy back in should cause a “night and day” change immediately, if that was indeed the thing that was bothering Isaac.  Most online resources disagreed with the doctor and said that some babies can tolerate low dairy but get fussy with high dairy levels, etc – so I decided to add it back a little at a time to see how it would effect Isaac.  Oh – and the bloody specks in his diapers did go away after about 10 days off of dairy.

When I added dairy back in just before Christmas, I started off with one serving of dairy every few days, then one serving each day, and as of today I’m probably up to about 2 servings per day on many (but not all) days.  I haven’t seen any changes in Isaac’s behavior at all, and the bloody specks have not returned.  During the first few weeks of No Dairy I thought I saw improvement in him, but considering how he’s acting now with my “low dairy” diet, I think his behavior change can be chalked up to age.  Or maybe he is OK with low dairy and couldn’t handle the amount I was eating before.  Who knows.

In a way this is great because now I don’t have to worry about staying off dairy for the remainder of my time breastfeeding him.  It’s also a relief to know that we don’t have to keep him away from dairy when he’s a little kid, because a cow’s milk protein intolerance can last until children are up to 2-3 years old.

At Isaac’s 2 month checkup he cried so hysterically for the entire appointment that the doctor was visibly rattled.  It was horrible to the point where the doctor could hardly discuss anything with me due to the extreme shriekings and cryings of Isaac.  When he got his 5 immunizations he was already crying at top volume so he couldn’t cry any louder after he was actually hurt from the shots.  I pointed this out to the doctor and asked if it was normal and he said no.  I finally calmed him down by letting him breastfeed, but not before the doctor commented “I’ll mark him down as ‘Extreme Colic.’”  I told the doctor that I’d been off dairy for 2 weeks and this was the result (not a miracle cure at that point, basically) so he suggested I try eliminating both nuts & eggs from my diet.  So I eliminated both of those which was awful because eggs are in everything and nuts are in all these raw food things that I’ve been making.  I added them back in one week later, and once again didn’t see any change in Isaac’s behavior.

In summary, I’m annoyed at how baby fussiness is automatically blamed on the mother’s diet. Here are all the things I have been instructed to stop eating in order to help Isaac’s fussiness. I starred the ones I’ve actually tried. 

  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Citrus
  • Dairy *
  • Spicy anything
  • Garlic
  • Wheat
  • Nuts *
  • Egg *
  • Soy *
  • Shellfish

I think this is a ridiculous number of things to avoid. You’d be left with a diet of meat and rice if you avoided all these things.  Gross. None of them made a noticeable difference.  The only thing that has seemed to have an impact on Isaac’s fussiness is his age – he’s been getting gradually less fussy as he gets older. 

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Johanna permalink
    January 18, 2010 2:57 pm

    Oh god, how annoying. The best advice I’ve ever gotten has been from my intuition 😉 Have you gone to a chiropractor yet? I think I mentioned this before. Mine said she’s “cured” colic babies so its worth a try.

  2. January 18, 2010 3:56 pm

    I know, seriously annoying!! We haven’t tried a chiropractor yet…my mood is to be annoyed by all colic cures at this point. Plus he’s too old for colic now. Argh!!!

  3. Lucia permalink
    January 18, 2010 7:00 pm

    Oh yuck. I hope James is being supportive and joining in these dietary restrictions. Not fair that you have to endure these limitations 😦 Hope the whole thing turns out to be age and that you can make your raw blueberry and cream cake soon!

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