My story; A little about me and why I want to help reduce the risk of food intolerance and allergies in babies!
One of my biggest passions in naturopathy is pre-conception care. The reason for this is not only to improve fertility but to reduce the likelihood of intolerance and allergies in future babies. I thought I’d share with you my story, to get a better understanding…
Most people who know me well, know that I had quite a struggle in my first year of being a new mum to my now 2-year-old, Brax.
Brax was often uncomfortable, you could see he had tummy pains and was constantly wriggling and moving and would get upset with the pain. He had a lot of gas he struggled with, silent reflux, an inability to sleep for more then 20 minutes at a time, he hated his car seat, mucous filled nappies, often with a streak of blood, I had extreme pain when breastfeeding- so much so that I cried at most feeds for the first 5-6 weeks (mind you, he fed very frequently because it was the only thing that would help to calm him), he had a very slight rash along his upper back and bad cradle cap. These are all things that are often fobbed off as totally normal for a baby!
I’m the type of person, that if someone tells me I can’t do what I’ve set out to do, I do it and do it well, to prove a point. When others told me or conversed with others that I should give up on the breastfeeding, I went on a quest to solve the issues we were having, instead of throwing in the towel.
I knew with all these symptoms that something wasn’t quite right and there needed to be change for there to be improvement. Having a sister who had her baby 6 months prior to me, who had discovered her daughter, had intolerances, I had some knowledge and help behind me.
There is a Facebook group just for hundreds of breastfeeding mums whom have babies with intolerances and allergies, these ladies are a wealth of knowledge having all experienced it for themselves and work hard to make their bubs happier and healthier.
So my venture began… I first seen a paed who told me, Brax was showing signs of intolerance and said dairy elimination would be helpful though told me not to worry because he always gained weight well, looked to be happy and healthy and reached his milestones.
Knowing how hard each night was at home, I needed to make things better. I started with eliminating dairy and there was some mild improvement so had to keep experimenting to work it out, eventually eliminating; dairy, soy, egg, beef, garlic and broccoli. I also tried the paleo diet, then the failsafe diet (where salicylates, amines and other food chemicals are minimised), and lastly GAPS. GAPS is what gave us the most relief at around 10 months, however it was very restrictive, and I couldn’t stick to broth, slow cooked meats and vegetables for more than 8 weeks. Every time I’d introduce something new, the mucous filled stools would return, as would the uncomfortableness.
At 6 months old, Brax had a tongue tie, lip tie and buccal ties released- I always thought he had them but when I had them checked early on, I was told that there was just a mild lip tie that wasn’t of concern. Although I do think tie release can make a massive difference and would like to get my own done, (I know of how many severe issues they can cause later in life and of improvements many people experience), I did not see improvement like I had hoped with Brax.
Throughout all this, I was seeing a wonderful naturopath who had us using gut health related products such as probiotics, zinc, glutamine and broth for both Brax and I. We were trying all different interventions such as; chiropractic care, craniosacral therapy, kinesiology etc, all of which were helpful to varying degrees but there was no 1 major game changer. All of the different therapies and supplementation worked well together, to gradually improve things. The last of our concerns was the returning mucous.
Things just got better from 14-16 months of age, slowly but surely, though occasionally if he eats something he shouldn’t we can see the effects. And let’s be honest, we still co-sleep quite regularly because he’s not the greatest of sleepers still to this day.
We avoid dairy, soy and gluten 90% of the time because we feel better for it, But, he has become a healthy, caring, kind and happy kid. I’m proud to say he was exclusively breastfed throughout all of this until almost 2 years of age.
From everything, I learned so much about the importance of mum’s and dad’s gut health and the effect it may have on their children and the impact on risk of intolerance and allergies in children.
There’s a lot you can do to help improve your gut health and digestion, but I’ll leave those tips for another post.
My mission is to assist in reducing the occurrence and risk of intolerance and allergy and I’m excited to help in creating happier, more comfortable babies!
Remember if you are out there struggling, with similar issues, there are many others in the same boat, and plenty of places to go for help. Keep a lookout for my upcoming blogs on the signs and symptoms of food intolerance if you are unsure and another blog post on the 4 simple steps you can use to improve your gut health!