I know there are so many schools of thought about what we eat, how it effects us... but in the last few months I have a heightened awareness of how what we eat effects not only us, but our nursing baby. With my first 2 babies I was pretty diligent about avoiding the "common" causes of gas for newborns, chocolate, broccoli, beans, onions and peppers were the top offenders on my list. However, with sweet little B, there was a new one that was even harder for me... DAIRY!
You see I LOVE dairy. Yogurt every morning for breakfast, lunch always involved cheese (grilled cheese, quesadilla, mac and cheese, cheese stick...) then dinner was complimented with a tall glass of milk and then my day ended often with more yogurt. I know any of you that are lactose intolerant are feeling sick to your stomach even thinking about that much dairy. But it is true that is how I used to eat.
When little man was 2 weeks old he kept spitting up a ton, I was starting to get concerned that he wasn't keeping anything down. After a few weeks of trying to figure out if anything I was eating was the culprit I decided to try to give up (or at least severely limit) my dairy. I was skeptical at first, but within 2 days he stopped spitting up. I stayed off of it for a week then tried a little, which caused him to spit up again. Now that he is 7 months I allow myself to have a little bit of dairy, usually in the form of cheese (cause who whats a Double Double without any cheese!!) But even now when his digestive tract should be "more mature" he still struggles if I have more than just a little cheese.
I know that spit-up seems manageable to deal with, how about a really fussy, inconsolable baby. Would you give up dairy then? My friend Rachel had a sweet baby boy a week after B was born. He cried a lot, didn't sleep well and was just really hard. So with the recommendation from her neighbor, Rachel did Dr. Sears Elimination Diet. She said that it was so incredibly difficult, she was down to 8 things that she could eat, yet it was worth it because her baby stopped crying all of the time. It took her 3 days on the diet to notice a difference. She stayed on the limited diet for a couple of weeks before she slowly added back in most food groups. Even now that her baby is 6 months old she is limiting her dairy.
Since hearing Rachel's story, and my own experience with B, I have been able to encourage other moms with fussy babies to give up dairy and so far it has worked for 2 of the 2 moms that I was able to pass the info on to. If your baby is fussy or if they are labeled as having Colic, give it a try. Adjust your diet and see if what you are eating is effecting your sweet little one. Yes it is hard, but no harder than hearing a little one that you love so so much, screaming because their little tummy hurts.
When B was just a few weeks old and I was talking to another mom she reminded me that this is just another example of putting someone elses needs above our own. Uggh, not what I wanted to hear, but oh so true!
"In humility, consider others above yourself." Philippians 2:3