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Thread: Refluxy symptoms/digestive issues - leaky gut in mother?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Washington DC
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    Default Refluxy symptoms/digestive issues - leaky gut in mother?

    Hi all - my first son is 13 weeks old (born naturally, vaginally) and from about 5 weeks we began noticing reflux symptoms which we've put a lot of energy into trying to get to the bottom of. We are still struggling and I'm looking to you for additional advice!

    He is exclusively breastfed - though also gets 400 IU of Vitamin D, usually a dose or two of gripe water each day (when we can't get him to sleep because he's so refluxy), and takes the Klaire Labs probiotic.

    E was tongue and lip tied and we did a frenectomy at 7 weeks. Over time his nursing has improved a great deal (thanks to advice from a great LC too) and he gulps less air, which definitely helps with his symptoms.

    Also at around 5-7 weeks I had an oversupply issue which I addressed with block feeding, and that also seemed to help.

    His pedi recommended Prevacid, and at 8 weeks old with him not sleeping hardly at all and crying for multiple hours throughout the day, we had him on it for one month. We just took him off 1 week ago because I didn't think it was helping much.

    I have also been on a TED for 3.5 weeks (and have been off dairy for 6 weeks). I currently am only eating meat and canned fish and most fruits and vegetables, along with oils. At the advice of an LC nutritionist who suspects I have a leaky gut, for about two weeks I've also been taking a probiotic and digestive enzymes. My own digestion has become awesome!

    E has definitely improved from those days of hardly any sleep and tons of crying.
    However, he still burps abundantly at each feeding. He also spits up quite a bit (or has silent refluxy spit up) especially in the early mornings and evenings, and is usually less interested in nursing at those times. It is hard for him to get past a single sleep cycle in the daytime because he usually burps at that time, which wakes him up. I wear him for all his daytime naps because its the only way he'll sleep more than 45 mins. Air inside of him makes him uncomfortable and wake up at night sometimes too.

    Additionally, while I know everyone says that BF babies often don't poop frequently, the fact that he goes 2-4 days without pooping, then will have a POO-NAMI (or up to 5 diapers in an afternoon) of pastier, darker stuff that doesn't smell as sweet and is not seedy does concern me.


    Any advice about what else could be aggravating his system? I wanted him to be symptom-free before I began re-introducing foods, but a month on the TED is about all I can take.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,740

    Default Re: Refluxy symptoms/digestive issues - leaky gut in mother?

    Hi, I also had a child who was diagnosed with reflux. I also had OP. It is a difficult situation. In our case, the "symptoms" we reported to our pediatrician were lots of crying, short sleep stretches, "wet" burps, baby upset when laid flat, and colic-type crying. And LOTS of spitup. But baby was otherwise entirely healthy, growing and developing normally. We did gas drops, zantac, prevacid and gripe water, we lifted one end of his bassinet with books, bought a "wedge" for him to sleep on... I forget what all. Nothing did much. One thing I never did was change my diet- I did not eat much dairy or soy at that time, and that was the only thing anyone suggested I might eliminate.

    What we found worked best was nursing very frequently, holding baby most of the time in an upright position, helping him burp when he needed but not being super proactive with burping, and bedsharing so he could nurse more quickly and easily at night and I could get more sleep. And TIME. Reflux in infants typically fades away as baby is able to sit up and then stand up on their own, and of course if OP was/is part of the problem that reduces with time as well.

    Did your LC say your baby should be "symptom free" before you reintroduce foods? And what symptoms? Spit ups and short sleep stretches and burping and crying are sometimes indicative of an issue but more typically are entirely normal. It's a matter of degree, and you say that the worst of these- the discomfort causing crying, is much better... I think looking at every spit up or burp as a "symptom" is not appropriate and will just drive you crazy.

    Also while indeed some IBCLCs and breastfeeding experts in general do theorize that a mother's gut health is at the root of infant digestive issues, not everyone agrees. It is not an area that has consensus by any means. What IS generally accepted is that a very small percentage of infants react negatively to the proteins in certain foods that are also passed to baby via breastmilk. I will link an article that touches on that and also a protocol on diet elimination for nursing moms below.

    If you think your diet has improved your own health, then great. If your child's health appears improved, great also. But when a mom is on such a strict diet when nursing, it raises the concern that mom may not have the caloric/nutritional intake needed to maintain overall good health. If you are ready to be off the diet, it might make sense to listen to your body.

    As far as the poops, the general consensus is that what you describe is normal for many babies any time after about 6 weeks of age. Again, not everyone agrees.

    Colic in the breastfed baby (see info on diet eliminations at end) http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...baby&Itemid=17 and Academy of Breastfeeding medicine: http://www.bfmed.org/Media/Files/Pro...ish_120211.pdf
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; June 16th, 2015 at 11:24 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    24,911

    Default Re: Refluxy symptoms/digestive issues - leaky gut in mother?

    x 1000 with MaddieB's excellent post!!! Especially the parts about consensus on gut health. There really is no consensus there, though people who give advice are often very strong in their beliefs regarding poop frequency and the prevalence of leaky gut and what dietary changes are necessary... Basically, people are serving up a lot of KoolAid, but you don't have to drink it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    34

    Default Re: Refluxy symptoms/digestive issues - leaky gut in mother?

    Many of the things you describe are entirely normal for a baby, including the darker poop after several days of no poop. That's the color of poop that's been fermenting in the gut for a while

    Don't make your life harder with crazy food restrictions. Having a newborn is hard enough.

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