My nursing experience started off on shaky ground. As I've mentioned in my Nursing Diaries
, it was a bit of a challenge. Whether trying to get my daughter to latch correctly, coping with sleepless nights, or pumping at work. I was prepared for all of these situations, but I wasn't nearly prepared for how my daughter reacted to my breast milk.
The only thing I was allowed to munch on was those stupid ice chips during labor. After 17 hours, I was so hungry I could have eaten anything or anyone in sight. The nurse offered me lunch, along with a small can of soda. I remember telling her that I wasn't able to drink soft drinks, since I'd be nursing. She assured me that it was ok to have. So I scarfed down the entire meal and washed it down with Sprite. It was so nice to finally have food in my stomach. But, the relief that I felt didn't last. Following a nursing session, my newborn baby girl cried uncontrollably. My hubby and I tried everything to calm her down. Nothing worked!
What I thought was a one time thing became like an everyday scream-feast. Her peaceful demeanor would be followed by low moans, pushing, and a load cries. Not even the pediatrician could give me a clear cut answer as to what was going on. I began writing everything down, and my further investigation led right back to me. That's right! I realized that the food that I consumed was affecting my baby's stomach. Every time I ate something, Princess would cry out in agony hours later. She became so gassy that she wouldn't sleep at all. I started to wonder if my daughter was allergic to my breast milk.
I called a lactation consultant who broke it all down for me. She said there was no way that my baby girl could be allergic to my milk. However, there is a chance that she was developing gripe as a result of the food I was consuming. She recommended that I start from scratch which meant completely stripping down my diet. I began omitting dairy and certain leafy veggies which lead to some improvement in her condition. A friend of mine from work recommended that I try a gluten-free diet. Even though I don't suffer from celiac disease, I figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a whirl.
Low and behold, Princess's gas subsided. On top of that, I felt less tired and bloated. I couldn't believe the difference. Once her digestive track matured (around 6 or 7 months), I began slowly adding dairy and eventually went back to my old eating habits.
Princess is still nursing, and is doing much better. I no longer follow a strict gluten-free diet. But, I'm beginning to think maybe I should go back. For those of you who aren't familiar with gluten. Here's some info for ya. In a nut shell, gluten is a type of protein found in foods like wheat, pasta, and rye. It can affect the intestines in those who suffer from celiac disease
. Gluten can prevent vitamins and minerals from being absorbed which can lead to fatigue, bloating, and bad skin. Even though I don't suffer from the condition, I am still very sensitive to gluten. With that said, I've decided to go back to my old gluten-free diet.
Who would have thought that nursing would lead me to a gluten-free path? As I mentioned, it's been a hard road. I've taken many detours along the way trying to alleviate my daughter's problems with gas, and mine too. But, I've finally reached my final destination. It's only been a few days and I'm starting to feel much better.
For more information on Celiac Disease visit PubMed Health
Do you suffer from digestive problems?
Weather Anchor Mama