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Thread: Gall stones and Breastfeeding

  1. #1

    Default Gall stones and Breastfeeding

    Hi, all.

    First I want to say thanks! My baby and I had trouble breastfeeding at first but with assistance from you guys and a lactation consultant and a lot of tears and practice we were able to establish a good amount of breastfeeding. I still had to supplement my hungry boy with formula but I am his primary source of nutrition and it is wonderful.

    I went to the emergency room last night with severe upper abdominal pain and an ultrasound revealed that I have gallstones. I am not sick - no fever, no jaundice - so it's not an immediate thing, but I will eventually need surgery. That will mean a week of downtime while I am recovering with meds and pain killers.

    My range of food until I have the surgery is pretty limited, but I want any ideas you guys might have about foods that are safe to eat and good for baby too. To give you an idea about what I can't have:

    No red meat
    No pork
    No eggs, milk, butter or other dairy
    No chocolate
    No refined sugar
    No gluten
    No broccoli
    No leafy vegetabes
    No vegetables with 'skins' (i.e., corn kernels, peas)
    No beans
    No fried foods of any kind

    Things that are permitted:

    beets (bleh)
    cucumbers
    green beans
    okra
    sweet potatoes (yay!)
    avocados (yay!)
    vinegars
    garlic
    ripe tomatoes
    shallots
    cold water fish
    lemons
    grapes
    apples
    berries
    papaya
    pears
    omega 3 oils
    vegetable oils

    My question:

    Looking at the list above, would it be better to put off the surgery and subsist on this food or should I go ahead and have it and get back to regular food? Can the stuff I can eat now sustain good lactation?

    Thanks again!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Gall stones and Breastfeeding

    Oh, and my LO is just shy of 3.5 months old ... not ready to wean yet!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Gall stones and Breastfeeding

    Wee post bump.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    5,883

    Default Re: Gall stones and Breastfeeding

    It's such a personal choice really. There's no guarantee that after you have it removed that you will be able to eat everything, particularly fatty or fried foods. I think I would personally want to hang on to my gallbladder a while yet unless it was a quality of life issue, meaning if I had frequent gallbladder attacks.

    I may have gallstones. I still haven't had my ultrasound. I was having attacks similar to gallbladder attacks (or maybe gallbladder attacks), but I have identified some trigger foods. Buffalo wings, fries, and eggs. Not such good foods for me. I really didn't want to find out if I have gallstones yet, because even if I do, I don't want to have it removed right now.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,106

    Default Re: Gall stones and Breastfeeding

    I had a gallbladder attack when LO was 3 1/2 weeks. I scheduled surgery three days later. I was in horrible pain. Screaming in the ER pain and my heart rate and BP were so high the machines wouldn't pick it up. I ate baked potatos, green beans, and just about any other fruit or veggie. Turkey breast is ok but I was very careful with any type of meat. Avacado is a "perfect food" so eat a good amount of that. I will say the only fruit that may create a problem is apples. I don't know why but my doc said stay away from them becuase they are known to cause attacks. The down time isn't bad after surgery. I felt pretty good coming home from the hospital. Just a little sore belly. Not horrible though. I was able to get up and walk around that day and then within a few days I felt pretty good. I had just had my appendix removed 2 1/2 weeks prior via open appy (big huge incision that was left open to drain infection and four other small incisions) so I was still sore as heck from that. They reopened two of the previous incisions and added two more.

    Add foods back into your diet slowly and you shouldn't have many problems. I followed my docs suggestions and I have never had any problems. My sis had a few issues but it all went away after about 3 months. I have noticed that I get gassy when I eat greasy foods but nothing extremely painful like an attack.
    Michelle

    Wife to Donnie , my best friend
    Mom to Trenton 1/9/97, Dillan 11/22/01, Ashton 6/19/09

    All boys, weaned at 15 months, at home with Ashton

  6. #6

    Default Re: Gall stones and Breastfeeding

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*serimet View Post
    Looking at the list above, would it be better to put off the surgery and subsist on this food or should I go ahead and have it and get back to regular food? Can the stuff I can eat now sustain good lactation?
    What you eat doesn't have a significant effect on the composition or quantity of your milk, so you can cross that off as one of the considerations for when to have the surgery. If you're concerned there might be some nutrients you're not getting because of a limited diet, you could cover your bases by taking a multivitamin. But you'd be malnourished before your baby would be. Your body naturally puts baby first.
    Karen
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Gall stones and Breastfeeding

    Thank you so much, you lovely lllladies! I think this answers most of my questions. I made a consultation appointment for Thursday after next and I won't change it unless avoiding fatty foods and most meat doesn't allow me to control it.

    If I can control this thing with diet long enough to get my sweet baby to six months then I'll do that; the only thing I'm concerned about is that a stone might get out and in the way and they won't be able to do it laparoscopically...but I guess the surgeon will be able to give me an idea of that likelihood after he looks at my ultrasound results.

    We had such a struggle to begin BFing. He had trouble latching and I nearly gave up; he would shriek any time his skin touched mine, knowing he was hungry and that frustration was ahead. Now he's a little barracuda and it has been so wonderful. I expect that after the surgery I won't be able to BF for at least a week if I'm on medication. Just going Saturday afternoon/evening and Sunday morning/afternoon (so the Dilaudid they gave me for the pain could clear my system) without BFing made him cranky and fussy. After a week he might not even take an interest anymore.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    2,005

    Default Re: Gall stones and Breastfeeding

    FWIW, I found out I had lots of gallstones and went in for my pre-op bloodwork. That is when I found out I was pg with ds2. I threw up every day of the pregnancy and was able to keep down very little food. Ds2 was born a big, healthy boy. I postponed my surgery until he was 5.5 months old. I spoke with my surgeon and the anesthesiologist about my being able to continue to nurse. I was able to resume breastfeeding the same day I had surgery. I did have laproscopic surgery and was just a little sore for the first few days. I was grateful that my lo was not yet mobile so I could pretty much just keep him in bed with me and nurse as needed. While pregnant and waiting to have surgery post-partum, I avoided any added fats like butter, sour cream, bacon, nuts,, salad dressing, mayo. I couldn't eat any fruits, but could tolerate fruit juice. i was able to eat meats as long as they were cooked without added fat and had gluten in the form of dry toast and crackers.
    Proud mom of 2 boys, both weaned gradually and with love.


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  9. #9

    Default Re: Gall stones and Breastfeeding

    Wow, so you were able to start as soon as the surgery was over? You didn't have to take any pain meds that would make you forego BFing? That's awesome! I will ask the surgeon if that's possible. We could make it one day if we had to.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,106

    Default Re: Gall stones and Breastfeeding

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*serimet View Post
    Wow, so you were able to start as soon as the surgery was over? You didn't have to take any pain meds that would make you forego BFing? That's awesome! I will ask the surgeon if that's possible. We could make it one day if we had to.
    I nursed DS3 right before surgery and as soon as I was able to sit up on my own (without feeling cloudy and drunk) I nursed him again. I pumped prior to surgery for a just in case bottle which he took because he was so young and nursing every 1-2 hours at that time. You can take pain meds while nursing. You can take morphine while nursing as well. I chose not to take any pain meds because I hate the way they make me feel but that is a personal choice whether I'm nursing or not. I also didn't take any pain meds during the appendectomy (before or after) other than tylenol.
    Michelle

    Wife to Donnie , my best friend
    Mom to Trenton 1/9/97, Dillan 11/22/01, Ashton 6/19/09

    All boys, weaned at 15 months, at home with Ashton

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