Throughout my pregnancy my love for milk heightened. I craved chocolate milk and ice cream and these were my go-to treats. Then it all came to a screaming halt.
In the first few weeks of little E’s life, his Pediatrician wasn’t happy with his slow weight gain. We attributed it to his sleepy nursing behavior. I visited breastfeeding clinics and well-baby clinics weekly at my local Ontario Early Years centre. The lactation consultants were very helpful, but something still wasn’t right. I started doing my own research and finally decided that it must be something I was eating that was being passed on to him. He spit up an awful lot more than what I thought was normal. I decided to cut dairy out of my diet – one of the most common foods that don’t agree with infants tummies. Immediately, little E’s behavior changed. He wasn’t cranky after he nursed, he didn’t spit up nearly as much and he slept uninterrupted.
It really bothered me that no one mentioned this or even thought about this and if I hadn’t done all the research myself I wouldn’t have come to this conclusion. Sure, I had read about foods being passed through mommy’s milk and affecting the infant – but I still feel like there isn’t enough information out there coming from the professionals you trust the most.
Our pediatrician, even sent me home with a can of formula to supplement him. Even though I was against feeding my child formula, she was so adamant that he wasn’t gaining enough weight according to the charts – and even threatened to refer us to CHEO if his weight gain didn't pick up! It made me feel like an awful mother, but I knew I was doing everything right when it came to nursing. I had read nearly all the books the Ottawa Public Library carried on the topic and was confident that he was getting enough milk. I was instructed to nurse little E until he wouldn’t take anymore and then supplement him with the formula. I did this once and vowed to never do it again after he spit it all up. It made me cry. He was obviously full and that “fake” milk didn’t agree with him.
And so our journey began (a long journey that we are still struggling with today) and I gave up milk. It was hard in the beginning, but it was so worth it. Especially, the decline in night wakings from tummy cramps.
In the end, I realized his so called “failure to thrive” was because of his milk sensitivity. There are so many things I wish I could have noticed or done earlier to avoid all the discomfort little E had and all the frustration Hubby and I went through trying to figure this all out. But as the saying goes, it’s no use crying over spilled milk…