Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Question for the "Pros"

I wrote here the other day about breastfeeding. I tried to focus mainly on the actual feeding process, and my own experiences with it. What I didn’t talk about was my one “problem” with breastfeeding. Which might or might not be an actual problem. Let me explain.

The feedings were going well, and the only thing that concerned me was how loose his stools were. I really hope that’s not TMI, but you’re here – you’ve read my birth story, you know that I have a baby - surely poop was bound to come up in conversation sooner or later, right? Everyone assured me that breastfed babies have very loose stools, and I tried not to be concerned. But when he was having SO many loose stools that he had a horrible diaper rash (to the point of a bleeding bottom!) I started to worry. When I discussed it with my dr and his dr, they each told me several things.

#1 – it could be my diet. Maybe he was having some problems processing dairy and I could try to cut out all dairy (or a majority of it) and see if that helped things out. My dr was quick to blame it on dairy. His dr? Not so much. She said that I could try it, but it might or might not help.

#2 – it could be the diapers or wipes. Switch brands and types. Try the sensitive ones that are fragrance free. Done and done. I prefer Huggies diapers and they seem to keep him a bit drier, in my opinion. But I will say that the Pampers Sensitive wipes are much softer than the Hggies ones.

#3 – maybe nothing would help. His digestive tract might just need some time to mature and develop a bit and then before I knew it the loose stools would disappear and he would drop down to one poopy diaper a day, just like magic. In the meantime, I should try to let him air-dry as much as possible, use creams and treat it as I could.

So I’ve been mostly dairy-free for about two weeks now. I’ve cheated every once in a while (a girl can live only so long without pizza and ice cream!) and I’m not reading all the labels for those ingredients that mean “Milk” but don’t say “Milk.” But I’m cutting the main things out – you know, the obvious ones. Initially, I thought that I saw a big improvement. Now? I’m not so sure. I took him off breastmilk for a day and a half, and fed him the special formula that’s soy-based, not milk-based to see if that helped.

Yes, he had fewer poopy diapers, but just horrible, horrific gas troubles – followed with vicious bouts of screaming. So that didn’t work, to state the obvious.

The other day, I bought three other types of formula (just small cans) to try and see if they work better. They’re all milk-based, but formulated for fussiness and gas, ones that are partially broken down already to help him with the digestive process. But I honestly don’t know when I’ll try them out. He’s been back on the boob for several days now, and seems fine. Yes, he’s still got loose stools, but with 20-30 minutes spent on the front porch having some “nakey-nakey” time the diaper rash is a thing of the past.

So I ask you, my dear readers. Anyone else encounter this with breastfeeding? Anyone else worry about the dairy in their diet, or how many loose stools there are? Or am I just being paranoid? There are days that I feel like breastfeeding puts SO much pressure on the mom – that whenever something isn’t exactly right with your baby, it’s blamed on the mother’s milk. But maybe even if he was on formula I would have these concerns – or a different set of concerns altogether. Who knows?

Does anyone have any insight or thoughts on this? Just wondering.

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