Monday, 14 January 2019

How it all began...

I knew something wasn’t right from day one while we were still in the hospital. Matilda was a beautiful, squishy new-born, weighing in at a healthy 9lb 4oz. However, she cried an ear-piercing scream most of the time we were in the hospital, was really unsettled and pooed a ridiculous number of times while we were there. This continued at home and she was having multiple bowel movements within 45 minutes and screaming in pain with each one. I remembered saying to the community midwife ‘I know babies poo a lot but she is going several times an hour, is something wrong?’ The midwife just looked at me like I was crazy. ‘She is just a baby, that’s what they do!’  

But I wasn’t a first-time mum, I have had a baby before and this was not normal. This was extreme. Matilda was a super pooper! This continued, Matilda failed to regain her birth weight and therefore was being monitored regularly for weigh ins with the health visitor. They couldn’t work out why she wasn’t gaining the weight back, they consulted a feeding expert on the phone, while I was present, who could not determine what was wrong either. Breastfeeding was successful, she was feeding well so once again I raised by concerns about her Olympic league pooing, only to be told again, that’s just what babies do. 

It wasn’t until she was about 4 weeks old when she began to develop a rash all over her body that became angrier and more present every time I fed her. That was it. This couldn’t go on. I rang my GP as I needed a third opinion. Now here, I have to really commend the doctor I spoke to that day. Straight away the GP said it sounded like Matilda had an allergy to Cow's Milk Protein and advised me (as I was breastfeeding at the time) to cut all dairy out of my diet and he said she should improve within a couple of weeks. I said goodbye to the large coffee shop sized mugs of milky tea and chocolate biscuits that were helping me to survive not only my new-found role as a mother of two, but also my poor timing of deciding to toilet train my eldest while feeding a new-born, and eliminated all dairy from my diet with immediate effect.  

I can not describe my amazement at how quickly cutting dairy out of my diet worked. Within 24 hours her stomach had began to settle. No more super pooing or ear-piercing screams. Matilda was now functioning at what I would consider a ‘normal,’ baby rate. The rash took a little longer, but gradually improved each day as the dairy levels in my breastmilk gradually diminished. By week two, her skin was completely clear and she was a much happier, healthier baby. 

Our happiness at seeing her improve brought a new daunting concern. . . our daughter is allergic to milk! What now?

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