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Need to stop night feedings while cosleeping- help!

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  • Need to stop night feedings while cosleeping- help!

    Ok, i'm new here (have lurked on and off ) and have a bit of a situation... first of all i'd like to say that you all seem sooo kind and supportive, and its nice to see like-minded thoughts on all these topics

    I have an 8 month old baby girl, fully breastfed (just tastes of food recently) who also has a severe cows milk protein allergy, and possibly other allergies. She has had blood in her poops 1-3 times a week since she was 2 months old or so, and constant vomiting (occasional projectile) We've been to a specialist who did tons of tests and is really sure this is cows milk protein allergy (through my milk of course) so i have been on a milk-free diet since she was about 3 months old. Of course there has been a couple of times where i ate something and later found out it maybe had traces of milk, but otherwise i've been totally milk free.
    She finally stopped vomiting about a month ago, and we decided to try giving her some Nutrimagen, but she reacted to that (started vomiting again), so we tried Neocate, and that seems to be fine.

    Her poop tests have shown lots of inflammation, but she has gained weight really well and is otherwise happy and healthy.

    Because she still has inflammation, i am deciding to wean her over to Neocate. She has fully breastfed for 8 months, and i am really happy and proud of that. But we really will not be able to get her gut healed up until we know exactly what else she may be reacting to, and that is just so much easier when its not dependent on what i am eating. I work full time (went back to work when she was 4 months), and she is home with her dad while i am at work. Because it can take many weeks to show improvement in her gut when i remove things from my diet, i feel it would be almost impossible to figure stuff out with an elimination diet etc. I tried cutting gluten etc out of my diet as well but it did not help.

    Now my biggest worry is how i am going to stop her from feeding at night since we cosleep. She obviously uses my breast for comfort, not just for food, and has recently started refusing a soother.
    Any tips to how we can do this with the least traumatic effects for her would be much appreciated!


  • #2
    kudos to you for staying vigilant w/bfing through all of your troubles! my concern, though, would be that you'd quit bfing and find out she still has tons of issues, and you've lost all the benefits of bfing that are helping her. i would recommend that you get in contact w/jack newman. he's a bfing specialist and has tons of expertise in these difficult areas. he may be able to give you advise that no one has yet thought of. his email: drjacknewman@sympatico.ca and his website: www.drjacknewman.com

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    • #3
      I agree with Paxmamma about not weaning her onto formula because of the allergies. My second son is dairy allergy and our entire family has been dairy free since he was 3 mo. He is now 14mo. It is not as hard as you think once you are used to it and overall my entire family eats better.
      I got a lot of support and information at this Yahoo group The Foodlab
      If she has any kind of allergies or digestive track issues AT ALL breast milk is by far the best for her.
      I hear that you truely desire to wean her and it sounds like you don't want to be responsible for your milk being off if you have an eating accident. I totally hear you! You should be happy and proud of what you accomplished so far! Please try to find a little more strength to help her through this issue. The longer you breastfeed her the less other aliments she will have such as ear infections and respiratory infections. What would help you be able to struggle through a bit more? Let me know!

      Here are some no-dairy coping links
      Milk: Does it Really Do a Body Good?
      By Dr Jay Gordon

      Babies can be allergic to protein fragments from mom's diet which end up in the milk, but if they are sensitive to those proteins, they would be much more affected by an artificial baby milk made entirely of non-human protein. Even so called “hypoallergenic” formulas are rarely any better. They are made of proteins broken down into smaller fragments to provoke less of a reaction. They are still allergenic and don't solve the problem for many babies.
      Talking to patients about dairy products is a lot easier than it used to be because the “problems with milk” are better known than just a few years ago. Still, it’s hard to combat the $400,000,000 annual advertising budget available to the purveyors of dairy products. Milk does not “do a body good” nor build strong bones. It is a traditional food which has become a lazy staple of the American diet.
      Hidden dairy cheat sheet

      I TOTALLY understand how difficult it is changing your entire eating life for this, but it is worth it. I know I could stop nursing my baby now and eat a big cheese ball but I value the extra health he gets from still nursing and that special connection only nursing provides. If only I count the comfort when he had a runny nose last week!

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      • #4
        Thank you so much for your replies!

        We saw the specialist today- who you all will be happy to know was VERY positive to continuing breastfeeding.
        However, she still has clear inflammation- even though i have been SUPER STRICT dairy free for like 5 months now! Yes- a couple of times i ate for example a cookie, only to find out later it MIGHT have had a bit of margarine that MIGHT have had a bit of milk etc, but other than that its been dairy free all the way. Tried cutting out gluten too but that didn't seem to help much more and when i re-added it there wasn't any change so i figure its ok.
        My concerns are that she wakes REALLY often- and often with a start and starts crying like she's in pain right away- she never ever sleeps more than 2 hours at a time and we've wondered if the pain in her belly is what is waking her up- she also had tons of reflux and TONS of vomiting, though that has settled a lot now.
        We did find she ALSO reacted to the hydrolyzed formula (Nutrimagen) but the neocate which we are giving occasionally does not seem to be a problem.

        I think *I* do have some desires to stop breastfeeding though... I must admit i feel a little trapped the last few weeks- she goes to bed around 7-8 and wakes up every 20-30 minutes between then and when i finally give up and go to bed around 9-10, after running up and down the stairs so many times to let her breastfeed back to sleep and then sneaking out etc...i feel like i have no life.
        And because she wakes so often my husband sleeps in the living room since he gets migraines if his sleep is disturbed- plus he is the one who is home with her all day while im at work (i work 2 days and 2 evenings per week), so she benefits if he is well and migraine free. I miss spending evenings with my family (have a stepdaughter too) and there's no way we can go out anywhere- she will only sleep with me in bed- or on my husbands lap, or while being carried around/pushed outside in the buggy. I'm just getting a bit worn out- and to think that my breastmilk could ALSO be causing the inflammation is just too much.

        The first two months of her life she was severely jaundiced (was under the lights 4x) so we had to live 2 weeks in hospital and go back and forth daily after that for blood tests. They found out it was breast-milk jaundice, so proteins in my milk were preventing her from getting better- we had to put her on formula for 4 days before her bilirubin FINALLY went downward. They were starting to worry she had serious liver problems etc. It was sooo hard to keep it going at that point, but i did-pumping etc and then we went right back to breastfeeding- but ever since i guess my view of my milk has been a bit tainted!

        So yeah. Feeding her to sleep tonight i started to debate in my head. I was pretty sure i was giving it up after today, but now i really am not sure, i do love it. The closeness is amazing- but the problem is that only *I* can give her that- which makes it REALLY hard on my husband when he has her until 10pm the evenings i work and can't put her to bed because he doesn't have boobs...
        She's not so into food yet- just small tastes of things- she takes a bottle with no problem so maybe we just need to start giving more neocate in a bottle so she gets used to my husband putting her down or something...

        Any other tips would be much appreciated. Thank you guys again for your wonderful support!
        Never though to email Jack Newman- GREAT idea, thank you! I will do that. Maybe will get some more clarity there.

        By the way, I am Canadian, permanently settled in Norway, and over here breastfeeding is soooo much more "the norm" and valued- you can just whip your boobs out absolutely ANYWHERE and noone even blinks!

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        • #5
          lotushjerte,
          If it's any consolation your DD's sleeping pattern sounds very much like my DD's at that age. She has no health issues that we know of, so it is possible to see this type of sleep pattern in a healthy baby. She even does the quick wake up and then scream in the middle of the night. Even though I'm RIGHT THERE. (I tell her that she supposed to root around giving me a signal that she wants to nurse and skip the whole crying business, but, she has yet to comply. )

          For us 8 months was when she would first reliably sleep in the evening. Before that it was usually an evening nap she was having not her sleeping for the night. I would nurse her down and she would sleep for 20-40 minutes. And, same as you, I'd have to keep running up those stairs to nurse her back down. Slowly she has started to sleep longer and longer. Now at 15 months she sleeps for 60-90 minutes before I have to nurse her back down. Which I realize doesn't sound like very long but for me it means she only has one wake-up before I hop into bed with her. Generally, with both my kids, I've found sleep a slow process, much slower than most books would indicate. Also, I'm finding her wakings much easier than with her brother because I know that they will stop at some point. DS woke as much as DD does but now sleeps like the dead.

          PS I'm a fellow Canadian

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          • #6
            Well, hello happy Canadians.. HA HA

            My first son was a very good sleeper, very easy to night wean and generally easy to mother. My second has a totally different personality, much as Jessica and lotushjerte describe their babies right now.
            Even if you stop breastfeeding she still might wake up often, still refuse comfort from her father; still do the things you seek to 'fix' by stopping. It is never that simple! I have felt very resentful about nursing today and on one level wish I wasn't but really feel that tommorow I will be glad I still am. Unlike formula, you can't really 'go back' to nursing after 2mo if the cumulative proteins start to bother her. Would you consider only nursing once or twice a day even, just in case? I know you might feel like you could still be responsible for her pain, but as mothers, we always feel that way a little!

            Have you considered corn as an allergy? Possibly eggs? Its much easier to figure these things out through your diet then when she starts eating.....because she will still be getting breast milk the perfect balance of fats and proteins, even if she refuses or reacts to other foods. (corn is used even in hypoallergenic formulas just FYI)

            I am sorry to be a broken record but I will keep nudging you towards breastfeeding!
            You can co-sleep and not nurse! or still nurse during the day! That is just a matter of time untill your daughter will realise your milk is not longer an option at night.
            I know you see this light at the end of the tunnel and maybe this fancy formula will give it to you, but maybe not. Please don't think rigidly about this and after a few days if you decide to nurse again, I bet your milk will still be there!

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            • #7
              i totally want to move to norway! do you have room?

              you sound very frustrated and overwhelmed, indeed! i completely understand feeling trapped.

              i echo naomi's concerns of you nightweaning and not solving sleep issues. my experience is living proof of this. i nite-weaned ds2 and he still woke constantly (still wakes often and has been completely weaned for 8 months).

              i'd encourage you to wait 2 or so weeks and see how you feel then. with both of my children, i went through periods of being discouraged about bfing, feeling resentful, etc, but i always found that those periods passed (perhaps they were hormone-related?) and then i was glad that i hadn't given up.

              and i think that i could probably apply this philosophy to nearly every area of parenting: cosleeping, positive discipline, babywearing, etc. sometimes we get down and frustrated, and a normal response is wanting to change directions, but staying the course is often the best growing experience for everyone involved.

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              • #8
                Hehe ok, you guys win!

                The specialist was very positive towards keeping breastfeeding. I emailed Jack Newman who of course made me feel like an idiot for even considering giving up breastfeeding haha...

                To be honest, the idea really truely did come from a hope of improving things for HER, just the bonuses of how it could be easier for me crept in there afterwards

                So yes, we will continue breastfeeding. But we will also give the occasional bottle of Neocate, because i work full-time, and until now i've been driving home 2x every day to breastfeed (i have a really supportive, awesome boss- and he's a MAN!) and i just can't keep that up after christmas (have been doing it since August). So i'll feed her all night, before i go to work, on my lunch break and then evening. While i'm gone if she's hungry then DH will try giving her solids (which she's not so into yet) and if that doesn't work then he can give a bottle of Neocate.

                Realistically time is going to go so quickly i know that its worth trying to enjoy every minute of all of these phases...

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                • #9
                  Oh, and thank you again to ALL of you- you guys do a wonderful job of giving suggestions without being pushy or making someone feel bad for any decision they may come to. That's not an easy feat!

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                  • #10
                    i'm glad we were helpful. please come back often for support and to update us on how things are going!

                    btw, did jack newman really make you feel like an idiot, or was that a colloquialism? i'd hate to keep referring people to him, if they really feel stupid after talking to him.

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                    • #11
                      Haha Pax Mamma- yeah, he has a little bit of an abrupt way of writing, so yeah, but i'm sure he didn't mean it that way and was just more "to the point" than i am used to! He wrote something like "If the baby is 8 months old, she only needs breastfeeding and solids. Why would you give her bottles of formula?" which made me feel a bit dumb...but I would definitely keep recommending people write to him! Hehe, perhaps its just that he gets a zillion stressed new moms emailing him with crazy questions!

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                      • #12
                        Oh good...I was worried I was being too pushy!
                        Yeah boobies won!

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                        • #13
                          Hahaha yup- Boobies did indeed win! Feeling pretty good about my decision. Read a few more articles and am focusing on enjoying the time with her- taking time to relax (we feed mostly laying down which is great!) and not feel rushed whenever possible helps.

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