change of diet

It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver ~ mahatma gandhi

penny turned 6 months old yesterday. baby girl is already a half year old! i’ve reached the halfway point of my goal in providing exclusively breast milk to little p. for those of you that have been following my journey, you’ll recall my struggles with milk supply and latching among other issues. every day i thought, “my breastfeeding days could end today” but i kept trudging along.

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i made the little party hat using a 12 x 12 glitter scrapbook paper, felt number stickers, patterned scrapbook paper for the zig zag, and a fluffy pom from a decoration.
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penny also loves to grab her feet and feel different textures and fabrics.

nowadays, supply isn’t the problem, the content of my milk is. since her newborn days, a red flush would briefly appear around p’s eyebrows whenever she nursed or drank from a bottle. i would wonder if she was reacting to something in my milk but would always dismiss it. she also sneezes throughout the day and frequently has watery eyes though both have improved in the past few months. i was reassured that both are normal, but i couldn’t shake the feeling that they were, again, allergic reactions.

p’s poop count has also gone up. she used to have 1~2 bowel movements a day or every other day. during the past month, i’ve noticed that penny regularly has 3~4 poopy diapers.

some causes for concern:

1) almost always occurs during a feeding so she needs to have her diaper changed then resume feeding

2) started having a poopy diaper after nursing in the middle of the night when she used to only poop during the daytime

3) all seem watery and/or have mucous

4) one diaper had mucous and blood

#4 caused me to call my pediatrician and i saved the diaper as well. when we went to the doctor’s office, we were told it could be a possible reaction to my diet. initially i thought it was coconut oil because i had started adding it to oatmeal to have more fat in my diet. however when i referred to the baby tracker i saw that penny has been having multiple poopy diapers since september. i only started getting alarmed when it began happening more frequently. yesterday she had 6 poopy diapers!!! i really don’t think it’s normal.. and that milk is just passing right through her system without being digested. i’m constantly feeding her to replace what comes out but i don’t know if that aggravates the situation. she stops eating when she’s full and hasn’t surpassed 30oz a day.

now i’m thinking it’s a milk protein allergy. i was on the fence about this, and still kind of am, because i thought i didn’t consume that many diary products. i don’t drink cow’s milk, i drink almond milk. i have butter and cheese occasionally but i do eat yogurt several times a week if not more. after much research and talking to a friend that had gone through the same problem, i discovered that dairy is in almost every single food. it’s incredibly difficult to avoid dairy because it’s hidden in a lot of food products. if you’re trying to eliminate dairy, it’s advised to avoid soy and whey as well.

i don’t know if it’s connected but last night i had a snack of nutella on oatmeal bread before bed. hours later, as i rocked penny to sleep after nursing her she started pooping in my arms. after i changed her, she fell asleep but then she ended up having two more poopy diapers when she woke up! 3 bowel movements, and all before 8am.  i looked at the ingredients for nutella and saw that it contains skim milk and whey. the oatmeal bread that i’ve been mindlessly eating contains soybean oil and whey. i thought i was being careful, but i wasn’t.

what’s even more difficult is that it can take up to 3 weeks for milk protein to leave my body.. and then up to an additional 3 to exit penny’s. we’re talking 6 weeks maximum of poring over every ingredient in everything i eat. i’m already dreading thanksgiving because i won’t be able to eat mashed potatoes (my favorite), biscuits, mac & cheese.. and i’m too depressed to even think about what else.

although penny is a happy baby and very playful and active, she has been getting fussy after feedings. i don’t know if she’s reacting to the milk but it gets me worried. (by the way, that’s another sign of a possible allergy: fussiness after feedings.)

i had thought sticking to a mostly korean diet would help because dairy products aren’t often used, but soy is used often. i guess i’ll just have to ask my mil what’s in the foods she brings over and kindly ask her to omit soy.

this is all very overwhelming because i feel terrible that penny is going through this. i attributed her recent frequent awakenings to her being hungry because of the constant pooping but she slept from 7:10pm-5:20am straight last night. she woke up to nurse (and poop) and slept until 7:25am. currently she’s on a 2-hour+ morning nap. hopefully it just means she’s tired, and not dehydrated… -__-

lots of smiles

lots of smiles

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practicing sitting up unassisted

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hope you get better soon, cutie…

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