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Breastfed baby always sick

(36 Posts)
pinkoyster Sun 02-Jun-13 18:04:32

I'm at the end of my tether. DS is 22 weeks, ebf so far. He gets a cold every other week, which lasts for 2 weeks. During these 2 weeks sleep is naturally disrupted as he can't breathe through his nose so gets up hourly (I use olbas, calpol nasal spray and a humidifier to aid breathing all of which help a little). In the 5 months of his life so far, he has had 5-6 full blown colds with chesty coughs, which take him ages to shake off. So much for breastfed babies rarely getting sick!

As well as his cold, he has dropped 3 centiles from his birth weight. He was born on the 98th and is now in between the 25th and 50th. His poos have been green and mucousy since birth. He poos roughly 6-8 times daily. I often see it come out of his bottom and it is like green water (tmi alert). He is under the care of a paed who has seen him once so far and has diagnosed cows milk protein intolerance. He instructed me to bf till 4 months, then switch to aptamil pepti. I have ignored his advice as I truly believe that bm is best (I am totally dairy free btw). I bf my eldest dc for 18 months and he totally thrived on it. He'd hardly every get ill, and even currently has the constitution of an ox, despite the fact he was a premie. I am just wondering why oh why is my bm so crap this time?!

tiktok Sun 02-Jun-13 18:14:44

sad sad can totally understand why you are fed up pinkoyster

Breastfeeding does not stop babies getting ill.

How confident are you that your baby has cows milk protein intolerance? If this is the case you may be able to control it with your diet. It's a bold diagnosis from a paed who has only seen him once - were there further tests or investigations or appointments with others?

pinkoyster Sun 02-Jun-13 18:23:00

Hi tiktok, thanks so much for repyling. I am certain he has CMI. My husband has it, as did DC1. Even if I so much as touch dairy, he screams constantly the day after. Not to dripfeed, but I have had the latch and tongue checked. On your advice, I even saw a bf specialist, who said it may be oversupply so I allow let down to happen, then latch DS on. My GP sent us for blood tests at 6 weeks, and we saw the paed at 12 weeks who diagnosed it. He also said it may also be lactose intolerence, and he may be allergic to my bm. TBH, I think this may be it as he doesn't appear to be digesting the milk well. I'm just so confused. On one hand I don't want to stop bfing, but on the other, DS is just so sickly that I can't think it's actually doing him any good...

pinkoyster Sun 02-Jun-13 18:25:33

BTW, I am completely and totally dairy free. As well as dairy, I avoid garlic, eggs, onions, beef, all green veg, all pulses and chocolate. This is partly through trial and partly on advice of the paed. My own health is actually suffering as a result, though I am taking calcium supplements.

FattyMcChubster Sun 02-Jun-13 18:27:43

Pink I can't help on all counts but my dd was ebf and had the most liquid poos you've ever seen, literally sprayed out of her!
This went on till she was roughly 4 months then seemed to get thicker iykwim.
I asked and asked as I was quite concerned about it and was met with hmm faces from the hv but after googling and talking to other mums online, it was normal for her and each baby can be different.
There's not much to BM so I guess there's not much to come out the other end! It's got a natural laxative effect too.
Oh and it varied from green to yellow to brown. Lovely.
Hope that helps a bit.

pinkoyster Sun 02-Jun-13 18:47:24

Thanks Fatty. Can I just ask did your dd put on weight well, or was she quite lean? I wouldn't worry about his poos so much if he was putting on weight well, but it seems as soon as he's fed, it comes out the other end.

tiktok Sun 02-Jun-13 19:27:15

Not me who suggested seeing a bf specialist, I don't think.

Allowing let down to happen and then latching on is a way of coping with over-supply but not one I would ever think would be the first option....what a hassle.

Is there a bf-friendly paed you can see?

In most cases of centile drops, the baby is actually ok, but I agree this whole thing needs to be investigated.

tiktok Sun 02-Jun-13 19:27:55

What I mean is, the slow weight gain is a concern that needs resolving ie reversed or accepted as just physiological.

FattyMcChubster Sun 02-Jun-13 19:29:06

Yes she's stayed pretty much on her centile line.
She was pooing all day though, I'd say easily 8-10 times a day? And always when fed.

pinkoyster Sun 02-Jun-13 20:13:01

tiktok, I don't know. I waited 3 months for the initial referral and another 2 months for the follow-up (which's on Tuesday). I can't afford to see a bf-friendly paed privately-am rather hoping that all paed are bf-friendly! I just feel so guilty about bfing, when I know that he's not thriving on it. I never thought in a million years I'd feel like this! Even my very bf-friendly and fellow mum GP said that I have to think about the baby's nutrition rather than my perseverance to bf against the odds. I guess I overcame a lot of problems to get here ( recurrent mastitis, thrush, savaged nipples) and I don't want to quit. I've tried him on the aptamil pepti (only for a few feeds), and he's fine. Normal poos. Big dilemma...

Cupcakemummy85 Sun 02-Jun-13 21:28:38

Hi pinkoyster I'm sorry to intrude on your thread but I'm having similar problems with my dd2, green mucusy poos, slow weight gain etc, dd very muscusy herself.
they thought it was over supply with me and then I went dairy free exactly the same as you.
We are still waiting for our paed appointment. The doctor said it was best if I formula fed and gave us nutramigen (not sure how it's spelt) and she hates it so I am breastfeeding and hardly eating a thing in case at effects her. How do u get aptamil pepti? Is it prescribed?
I know what you are going through. It's really tough

pinkoyster Sun 02-Jun-13 21:50:57

Yes cupcake, aptamil pepti apparently tastes better than the nutrimagen. Something about whey and casein, the latter being bitter tasting which's what nutrimagen is made of, and pepti being made from the whey component of cow's milk which's sweeter tasting. The lovely lady from aptamil explained this to be so may be biased! My lo likes the aptamil, but I feel so sick every time I give it to him. Isn't that ridiculous?! I'm as dairy free as they come, but he's poos are still like water. He's a generally happy chap (when he's not ill, which's seldom) but I just can't believe how rubbish my milk is that it's not doing him any good sad

pinkoyster Sun 02-Jun-13 21:53:00

Sorry, forgot to say I got the pepti through my GP at the advice of the paed. It is only available through prescription, though u can buy it over the counter at Boots for the princely sum of £18 for 400g (I kid you not).

FattyMcChubster Sun 02-Jun-13 22:10:29

Pink I think you're giving yourself a very hard time for what sounds like something you've little if no control over at all. Seriously, you've made massive sacrifices and tried your best so please go a bit easier on yourself. If it comes down to ff, you are still feeding your child- which is what counts! Don't be so hard on yourself, I know it's hard not to but really try not to blame yourself for this.

pinkoyster Sun 02-Jun-13 22:14:46

Thanks Fatty, that made me well up. DH, DM, everyone keeps telling me to knock it on the head but I'm like a woman possessed... I'm just worried I'll give up then end up regretting it..

tiktok Sun 02-Jun-13 23:16:45

It is a real puzzle, pinkoyster - would it help to have a proper explanation from the paed or at least a view of what's happening health-wise? I don't know why your breastmilk would appear to be producing these symptoms, especially after you have changed your diet so much....hope you can get answers.

Ragusa Sun 02-Jun-13 23:41:07

Are you eating soy products? That is often a cross allergen for those with CMPI, although not always.

Loath to suggest more dietary restrictions but might be worth one last shot...

littleginger Sun 02-Jun-13 23:45:51

Pinkoyster you shouldnt feel guilty if you do decide to ff. If the change was that dramatic when you fed lo some of the aptamil then you just cant feel guilty.

Youve overcome a lot in order to contine to breastfeed but youre still encountering problems so all is not perfect.

I dont know enough about bf to know whether its possible to just express for say 4 days to keep your supply up to the level you are currently feeding at and meanwhile feed lo on aptamil for a proper trial run.

pinkoyster Mon 03-Jun-13 05:05:23

Thanks all. Yes, I do avoid soy. I was told at about 3-4 weeks that DS may have silent reflux so GP told me to avoid it. Tiktok, I mentioned my diet on one of my previous threads, and I remember you saying it was overly restrictive. Do you think me cutting out major food groups is contributing to the quality of milk I'm producing? I remember with DC1, I'd have everything, including dairy (he wasn't diagnosed as CMPI till almost 6 months) which resulted in a healthy and bouncing baby, but who used to cry and scream all the time! Also when I used to express with DC1, there used to be a big thick layer of fat on the milk when left in the fridge, but when I express now its literally like water. A tiny thin layer of fat sits on top. Am I clutching at straws?

moremintsliceplease Mon 03-Jun-13 05:23:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pinkoyster Mon 03-Jun-13 07:08:24

moremint, I'm seeing the paed tomorrow. At the risk of drip feeding, he wasn't particularly helpful last time. He seems obsessed with silent reflux!! I've told him time and time again that he doesn't display any of the signs or symptoms.. I did start giving him domperidone and omeprazole for a week when he was 12 weeks but it made no difference to his weight gain or his poos. The CMPI my GP recognised and diagnosed at 4 weeks, and we've had subsequent blood tests which have confirmed this. The only thing the paed didn't rule out was lactose intolerance which's is very rare. If he was lactose intolerant, I'm assuming he'd have to be on a soy based formula?

tiktok Mon 03-Jun-13 07:46:59

Pink it doesn't sound like me commenting on restrictive diet to be honest though I might have suggested you get more informed opinion on this. Your diet will not affect quality of milk . We know this from good research. Fat content is affected not by the mothers diet but by the amount of milk in the breast. The actual type of fat can be affected by mothers diet but not amount.

If you are not happy with the paed then see if your gp can refer to another one. Lactose intolerance is possible but it would not be congenital as your baby would have been ill from the start. He could have acquired it and it would be worth exploring this I think. It is temporary.

tiktok Mon 03-Jun-13 08:58:00

Just checked - yes, I did say your diet 'seemed' unnecessarily restrictive smile

I think it is, in terms of manageabilty and sustainability....hope you get good help soon.

LabiaLimbo Mon 03-Jun-13 09:02:46

Have you considered true lactose intolerance? Some (very very very few, but some) babies are unable to digest lactose. Its really rare but worth considering.

pinkoyster Mon 03-Jun-13 09:17:16

Thanks tiktok. He's actually been like this since birth-lots of watery poos and failure to thrive. I thought it was the dairy at the beginning, and fully cut it out at 3 weeks.

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