If you read my story about my “not-so-easy” baby and our struggles I mention one of our biggest struggles was Jameson's gassiness and ability to poop. I wanted to devote an entire story for this topic because it was very challenging for not only him but for me too.
They say when you become a mom your entire life revolves around them. This could not be any more accurate. Not only does my life revolve around Jameson’s schedule, my diet also is affected by Jameson. Yep, I had to change my entire way of eating because certain foods were affecting Jameson. I didn't even know this was possible when I started my breastfeeding journey. This was another reason my breastfeeding journey has been difficult. I completely understand why SO many mom’s quit breastfeeding, or decide not to do it altogether. It is already hard enough just to deal with the aches and pains of breastfeeding but throw in having to watch what you eat, and eliminate certain foods. Jeez, it is insane. But that is what you do for the ones you love. I would do anything for my son, and that is why I decided to go dairy and soy free for him.
Keep reading and you will find out why I decided to go dairy and soy free and how making these changes helped my son with his overall gassiness and ability to poop.
You Can’t Leave Until He Poops
Well, our pooping journey started day 3 in the hospital. Jameson still did not poop and we were told that if he does not poop we might not be able to leave. We were itching to go home but also concerned that Jameson still did not poop. The nurses ended up helping him poop by doing a method where you put a thermometer in his butt and move it around a little. The reason for doing this is because sometimes babies are not able to poop on their own because of their immature digestive systems. This did the trick for Jameson he pooped almost instantly and then a few more times after that. We were given the all clear and told we are good to go home! Yay! We thought that his pooping journey would be easy from here on out but that was farthest from the truth.
Jameson’s 2 Week Appointment
Jameson was almost home for two weeks and he still did not poop since he came home from the hospital and we were getting very concerned. Finally on day 10 Jameson pooped on his own. Phew, this was great but we still were worried that it took him 10 days to poop. Not only did it take him a long time to poop, Jameson was constantly in agony every time he even had to fart. Jameson would arch his back, his face would turn red and he would scream and cry just to get gas out. It was extremely heartbreaking as Jeremy and I sat there trying our best to help him. We would do bicycles, infant massage, tummy time anything and everything but, he still was in so much agony to poop and fart.
At his 2 week appointment, the pediatrician said that for breastfed babies it is normal for them to only poop once every 4-5 days. She said that many babies can take a longer time to learn how to poop as their digestive systems are still learning. She said that if he continues to take longer then a week to poop to call so he can be seen. She also suggested he go on a probiotic called Gerber Soothe. We stopped at the store immediately after the appointment and started to give him this probiotic everyday. We started to notice changes about two weeks of being on this probiotic and he continues to take it to this day. I highly recommend this probiotic if your baby is gassy or having difficulty pooping. But, please talk to your own pediatrician first.
So...Why Dairy/Soy Free?
Despite being on the probiotic and doing daily exercises with Jameson to help him poop he was still having difficulty. He was pooping more regularly but he was still struggling when he pooped and was in pain. I talked to other moms, and did research and I read a lot about how the three things that babies can be allergic to are dairy, soy and/or gluten. I knew that Jameson was not allergic to any of these things because there are certain signs for allergic reactions. One of the most common reactions being a rash. However, even if babies aren’t allergic to something they can still be sensitive to dairy, soy and/or gluten. I read that if babies are sensitive to dairy about 50% of them are also sensitive to soy. They say that when they poop if they are sensitive to one of these culprits they will show signs like Jameson did where they will be fussy and struggle to poop. They also stated that the poops will be very mucousy.
So, I decided I would give up dairy and soy and just see what happens. For anyone that knows me giving up dairy was not the easiest thing in the world for me. Especially because I love CHEESE. Mostly, queso. Queso queso queso, oh how I miss queso. Soy was pretty easy as I do not have much soy on a daily basis. Anyways, I gave up dairy for two weeks as they say to try these changes for a few weeks. I noticed subtle changes in Jameson’s diapers and behaviors. He was pooping every 2 days, the majority of the time sometimes 3. He did not seem to be struggling as much, and he was not as gassy. I was not sure if this was due to eliminating dairy and soy or because he was on his probiotic.
Recently I decided to try to reintroduce dairy to see if this was the true culprit. I kid you not within a few days his symptoms came back. He was super gassy again, waking up in the middle of the night kicking and trying to poop. He was spitting up a lot more and his diapers were back to being mucousy. So here I am again back to a dairy and soy free diet. The good thing is I know that this is not forever. Majority of the studies I read say you can reintroduce dairy and soy as the babies eat more solids which is around 6-7 months. Another positive is being dairy free has made me eat healthier.
If you are having these troubles with your baby and you are willing to sacrifice your diet then I would try going dairy free for a few weeks. Make sure you write down the symptoms your baby had before, and then after you started the diet to ensure you are noticing changes. If you notice changes, and decide you also want to eliminate soy that is your choice. Again, most studies show if a baby is sensitive to dairy 50% of them are also sensitive to soy. Now, most pediatricians will tell you not to eliminate anything from your diet if they aren’t allergic however, most LC’s will recommend you trying to eliminate soy, dairy and/or gluten if there are gas/pooping issues. I personally was willing to try everything because it was heartbreaking seeing my son go through the pain and agony when he was trying to poop and fart.
If you decide to go dairy/soy free reach out to me for some of my favorite dairy free recipes! Also, remember it is not forever and that there will be a time where you can start eating as much cheese and anything else you love again!
P.S-Oatly makes the best dairy free ice cream ever! You're welcome!