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Thread: Help me get back to giving baby breastmilk and not formula...

  1. #1

    Default Help me get back to giving baby breastmilk and not formula...

    I need help! I am a mother to a darling 8 week old baby girl born April 10th. I planned to breastfeed for a year but we are having some major bumps in the road. Let me tell you my story and see if you can help me get back on track.

    I had been given IV and pitocin to encourage the birth so I ended up with swollen feet, hands, and breast, so for the first few days she was on bottles of similac ready to feed to supplement what my breasts didn't produce. I gave her what I pumped out and supplemented. I got her to latch and began nursing but thats when the gassiness, unrestful sleep and explosive poops began. Every diaper change was a mess. This continued to week 3. She would only sleep on me, I couldn't lay her down in the bassinet or crib because she would wake up within minutes. The only sleep she would get is laying on my chest. i was exhausted and frustrated so I started looking online and realized that my baby's poops were indeed green and not the standard yellow of a normal breastfeed baby. I started reading the symptoms and self-diaganosed it as "over-supply/imbalance" of my breast milk causing lactose overload. I never saw her pop of the breast but when she was breastfeeding it sounded like she was running a marathon, lots of gulps.
    Because of the gassiness I gave her mylicon drops and gripe water. Mylicon drops didn't work, and gripe water worked at first but then didn't.
    At week 3-4, I started feeding off of one breast per feeding instead of giving her both breasts. I would do this for 2 hours and if she wanted to feed within those 2 hours I would offer the same breast. I thought it calmed my supply down but baby continued to get worse. She was now crying all the time, little to no sleep (except on me), tummy rumbling all the time. She wanted to breastfeed all the time (now I realize it was for comfort, but this was a catch 22 for her, it only made her symptoms worse!).
    By the end of week 4 she was so bad that I made the decision to give her formula and my sisterinlaw saw they had Similac Sensitive that would reduce the fussiness and gas. I gave her a bottle within the next 12 hours my baby completely changed. Gone was the screaming and crying. She wasn't pulling her legs up. She began to sleep for more than 10 mins at a time. I then saw that the similac said something about being for lactose sensitive babies.
    Anyway, I thought that she may be lactose sensitive and read about that and it seemed that maybe that was what is going on with her since she reacted so well to the "lactose sensitive" formula. I called my pediatrician and she felt I was on the right track with giving her formula and to try mixing the breast milk with formula and potentially over time, baby's system would develop and she would grow out of this issue.
    I tried to mix it 1oz of breast milk and it was okay, but as that's all she seemed to be able to tolerate because when I did it at the next bottle, her symptoms reappeared.
    I decided to take her off of breastmilk completely and just pump and store my milk until she could tolerate it again. I gave her 2 full weeks of only formula and at week 7 decided to introduce my milk again. I pumped and gave her 1 oz breastmilk + 4 oz formula. Seemed okay at first, but by day 2, she was back to crying and being fussy again. We did this for 3 days but same symptoms, definetely not as bad as before, but baby was not a happy girl.
    I am now back to exclusive formula for the past 2 days and she is back to being a happy, relaxed baby. (other than constipation, but I am using KARO syrup for that).
    oh and by the way, I thought she may have a dairy protein issue too, so I cut dairy products from my diet like milk, cheese, yogurt.

    So here what I need help with. I desperately want my baby to take my breastmilk, either through nursing or through the bottle. I don't think its oversupply because shouldn't the pumping have mixed the fore and hind milk together and thus eliminate that issue??
    I am pumping approx 25-30 oz per day in about 5-6 pumping sessions.
    Any ideas of what to do, or is it truly some lactose sensitivity?
    thank you for reading my novel, and I appreciate any help you can offer.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    4,894

    Cool Re: Help me get back to giving baby breastmilk and not formula...

    I'm in a rush but didn't want this to go unanswered. If you are suspecting a milk protein intolerance then you would need to eliminate ALL dairy, including hidden items like in breads, cereals and baked goods. And it could take up to 6 weeks to eliminate entirely and see the real results. It can be done, I have been off egg, dairy and soy for months now.

    Another thought is about your milk imbalance. You would think that pumpin would help the problem as you said, however if you are not draining the breast completely then there would still be too much foremilk. I might think about contacting a lactation consultant or our local LLL leader for more hands on help.

    I know it seems frustrating now, but the effort you are making is an amazing gift. It really is worth it once you get everything figured out. And it is possible to figure out.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Northern BC, Canada
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    433

    Default Re: Help me get back to giving baby breastmilk and not formula...

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*kst.7399 View Post
    I'm in a rush but didn't want this to go unanswered. If you are suspecting a milk protein intolerance then you would need to eliminate ALL dairy, including hidden items like in breads, cereals and baked goods. And it could take up to 6 weeks to eliminate entirely and see the real results. It can be done, I have been off egg, dairy and soy for months now.

    Another thought is about your milk imbalance. You would think that pumpin would help the problem as you said, however if you are not draining the breast completely then there would still be too much foremilk. I might think about contacting a lactation consultant or our local LLL leader for more hands on help.

    I know it seems frustrating now, but the effort you are making is an amazing gift. It really is worth it once you get everything figured out. And it is possible to figure out.

    It was two weeks of dairy free before there was any change in my lo. You're doing amazing mama. Why not check to see if there is a LLL Leader near you.
    July 30, 2010-6lbs 2oz- 41w 4d (emergency c-section.) Known dairy, eggs, dogs and cats allergies, eczema, and asthma
    Bonus June 22, 2006 (is 50/50 Custody ) (born 32w) Sensitive to changing temps.
    We BF, BW, Co-sleep and use cloth diapers/pull-ups!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Help me get back to giving baby breastmilk and not formula...

    I wanted to add that your baby may grow out of the sensitivity but it probably wont be till towards the end of the first year. I was off milk and soy till my son was about 8 months old.
    http://milkintolerance.org/foods-to-avoid/
    Also here is a list of words for milk that you can find in an ingrediant list. The diet may feel hard at first but it can actually be quite enjoyable.
    Married 9/17/2005
    Mother to Seamus born 3/9/2010 7lbs 9oz Still nursing with no end in sight!
    I love , , cloth diapers! with #2! Due 4/5/2012. for a Vbac!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help me get back to giving baby breastmilk and not formula...

    Thank you for responding.
    As for the pumping until the breast is empty, I do that all the time because I had read that its important to do that so i can get the fat-rich part of the milk. I generally pump between 15-30 minutes, whatever is needed to fully pull the milk out. I also do some massages and alternate the expression on the breast pump to encourage another letdown. That being said, I do know that the breast pump does not do as good a job as a baby would to empty the breast, but I do see that my hindmilk is getting pulled out because it is much richer and creamier looking that then the initial foremilk which is much clearier. I have noticed that my milk is richier looking of late as I began to reduce the number of times I pumped from every 3 hours to more like 4-5 hours.

    Now for the milk-protein sensititive issue, at the beginning of my venture of going dairy-free, I did go about 5 days with avoiding the bread and looking for the hidden milk in things, but my pediatrician felt that was extreme and really not necessary, telling me to just avoid pure dairy. I went to see her the other day and she told me that she thought a little dairy wouldn't be so bad (because I put creamer in my coffee). She said she also thought it wasn't imbalance with fore/hind milk because of the pumping mixing the milk.
    I asked her about adding lactase drops and if she could prescribe them. She said she thought it was a good idea and said I could buy them at the store. I haven't been able to find them.
    Please, anyone have any experience with lactase drops?
    Also, can people post how "milk protein" sensitive their babies were and how they successfully breastfeed? aka, what did they eliminate and how long, and the success.
    Thank you in advance for all your responses..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Northern BC, Canada
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    433

    Default Re: Help me get back to giving baby breastmilk and not formula...

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*ainarabgirl View Post
    Thank you for responding.
    As for the pumping until the breast is empty, I do that all the time because I had read that its important to do that so i can get the fat-rich part of the milk. I generally pump between 15-30 minutes, whatever is needed to fully pull the milk out. I also do some massages and alternate the expression on the breast pump to encourage another letdown. That being said, I do know that the breast pump does not do as good a job as a baby would to empty the breast, but I do see that my hindmilk is getting pulled out because it is much richer and creamier looking that then the initial foremilk which is much clearier. I have noticed that my milk is richier looking of late as I began to reduce the number of times I pumped from every 3 hours to more like 4-5 hours.

    Now for the milk-protein sensititive issue, at the beginning of my venture of going dairy-free, I did go about 5 days with avoiding the bread and looking for the hidden milk in things, but my pediatrician felt that was extreme and really not necessary, telling me to just avoid pure dairy. I went to see her the other day and she told me that she thought a little dairy wouldn't be so bad (because I put creamer in my coffee). She said she also thought it wasn't imbalance with fore/hind milk because of the pumping mixing the milk.
    I asked her about adding lactase drops and if she could prescribe them. She said she thought it was a good idea and said I could buy them at the store. I haven't been able to find them.
    Please, anyone have any experience with lactase drops?
    Also, can people post how "milk protein" sensitive their babies were and how they successfully breastfeed? aka, what did they eliminate and how long, and the success.
    Thank you in advance for all your responses..
    My lo's dermatologist told me not to bother. We used high steriods on my lo (even her face) because her eczema would get so bad she would bleed. We had to swaddle her tight enough that she could not break free to scratch.

    The ladies here told me that it is worth trying the elimination diet.

    I didn't listen.

    Then I introduced some plain organic yogurt to my lo. Her face swelled up and her lips went purple. (This is an extreme allergic reaction)

    I have since cut out all dairy. And you know what? Its sooo worth it. I know my lo has different reactions then yours but honestly it doesn't hurt to try. But you do need to give it at least two weeks. I went 7 months of high dose steriods on my los face, and they thin the skin. I have used the cream once in the last month since I dropped the dairy.
    July 30, 2010-6lbs 2oz- 41w 4d (emergency c-section.) Known dairy, eggs, dogs and cats allergies, eczema, and asthma
    Bonus June 22, 2006 (is 50/50 Custody ) (born 32w) Sensitive to changing temps.
    We BF, BW, Co-sleep and use cloth diapers/pull-ups!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,944

    Default Re: Help me get back to giving baby breastmilk and not formula...

    The first thing I would do in your shoes is a total dairy elimination. Yes, plenty of moms can have small amounts of dairy and not have it bother the baby, but there are plenty of moms who will tell you that even minor slip-ups with trace amounts of dairy will result in a lot of discomfort in their babies. And an allergy/intolerance to a cow's milk protein is a lot more likely than a lactose issue, since babies are designed to digest lactose, but are not designed to digest cow's milk proteins.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8

    Default Re: Help me get back to giving baby breastmilk and not formula...

    okay, I am thinking about this milk protein sensitivity thing some more..I am giving her Similac Sensitive for fussy babies, which is milk protein with lactose removed. If she had a milk protein sensitivity, wouldn't she react to the formula since its made of that? i looked at the similac website and it gave the ingredients that listed milk protein b/c that formula is a milk based formula, unlike the soy formula.
    Anyway, do you think this is a valid assumption?

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