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Infant Care (up to 18 months old) Message Board

Infant Care (up to 18 months old) Board Index

3 ounces doesn't sound like a lot to me either, since babies eat when they're hungry and stop when they're full, and if she's not full at 3 ounces, most doctors would tell you to let her keep eating. But, for now until you figure out what the problem is, do what the doctor recommends. If she's spitting up a lot, feeding her a lesser amount at more frequent intervals and burping her more might help her hold more down overall.

Breast milk is generally best for babies, however, when there's a possible allergy or digestive issue, it's a lot quicker to diagnose when they're on formula, and the quicker you get the allergen out of her system the better it is for her, so that's probably their rationale for having you stop the breast milk. Try not to take it personally, they're just trying to help your baby. You're still a good mom because you care about your baby and want what's best for her. But if you're not comfortable with that decision at this point, talk to your doctor about your concerns. It's your baby and you have to feel comfortable with your decisions. Your doctor should be able to give you a good medical reason to back up his suggestions so you can feel confident that that's the right decision for your baby. If they can't convince you that that's the best solution right now, they should be willing to consider other options that take into account what you feel is best if it isn't going to harm your baby, or you need to find another doctor you're more comfortable with.

Blood in the stool is usually a sign of an allergy, the most common being milk protein. But either way, lactose intolerance or milk protein allergy, it sounds like it's a problem with milk-based formula that they're trying to deduce. It's very common and most babies outgrow it by a year. Given her symptoms and the fact that they don't think it's just reflux but an issue with something in her diet, it seems like they're going through a process of elimination with the milk-based formulas while you and your newborn are miserable and sleep-deprived, when they could have you just try switching to soy for now and determine the milk issue later. Has your doctor mentioned a concern with putting your baby on soy formula? Most babies with a milk-based formula issue end up on soy anyway, and even after eliminating all of the milk-based formulas, they still don't know which milk-based problem it is anyway. Personally, having gone through all of these same things with my first DD, I've learned that it doesn't really matter at 6 weeks old anyway, because, either way, they outgrow the majority of their infant issues and you'll have to reintroduce it at a year to determine if it's still a problem then. But, doctors don't live at your house with your miserable baby while severely sleep-deprived and recouperating from childbirth, so it's easy for them to say "try this" and "try that" and "see what happens," when most likely down the road they'll end up having you try putting her on soy anyway because of one issue or another with milk-based formula, if they even figure out exactly what the issue is. Personally, at this point, I would skip the milk-based formulas altogether and try switching to soy. You'll have to come back to milk at a year regardless, but you can skip some of the trauma as a newborn, assuming your doctor doesn't have any specific concerns with your baby and soy formula. Some babies are allergic to soy as well, so it may not be the end of the road for your formula issues, but it would cut out some of the steps that you can skip and reintroduce later when her digestive system is more developed and you've had more sleep. But, of course, before you try anything new, you'll want to talk to your doctor about it and make sure there isn't a medical concern for going against the grain with your baby.

After dealing with a milk-protein allergy that young with my first (I had it, my brother had it, my aunt had it and so did our nephew, so it's common with infants in our family, not just with my first DD), I talked to the pediatrician about the possible ramifications of starting my subsequent babies out on soy right from the start and not introducing dairy until they're a year old. At first, they told me "let them have their own allergies" and expose them to see, but they couldn't give me a good medical reason for doing that as newborns as oposed to waiting a year (I wasn't suggesting never giving them dairy, just waiting until their digestive systems are more developed and I wasn't sleep-deprived and recouperating). So together we decided that there is no harm in starting out on soy and not exposing them to dairy until they're a year old and dealing with a possible allergy at that point rather than knowing from the start. But that wasn't an option they would have given me if I didn't make them think about it, because they don't live at my house with a milk-protein allergy with a newborn, so it's easy for them to say "try this" and "try that" and "see what happens" and try to figure out what the problem is when it doesn't matter at that age anyway. The only medical issue they could come up with was that if they're born before 36 weeks, there is a concern with soy formula, so we agreed that if I had a pre-term baby, we'd weigh our options at that point; obviously, I don't want to intentionally harm my babies. Thankfully, all 3 of mine were full-term, so the last 2 started out on soy. My first outgrew it by a year, my second transitioned to milk fine at a year after starting on soy formula (I don't know if she ever had the initial allergy, but it doesn't matter now anyway), and my 3rd is only 7 1/2 months so he hasn't been exposed to milk protein yet. But I'm much more equipped to handle that situation with DS if it arises now that I've recouperated from child birth and he's been sleeping through the night consistently for a few months. I'll introduce it at a year and deal with it then if it's an issue.

Of course, you don't want to do anything controvercial without understanding the possible effects on your baby, but if you're too enhausted and emotionally drained to follow their recommended course of action right now, don't be afraid to make them think outside the box and come up with an alternative plan that works better for you as a sleep-deprived new mom with a newborn who is also recouperating from major trauma to her body. I'm not suggesting that soy formula is your only option, and some babies are allergic to that too, but if "try this" and "try that" and "see what happens" aren't working for you, maybe there is a different course of action they can come up with that is better for you and your family.

BTW, if it is a milk protein allergy, most babies outgrow it by the time they are 2, so most likely it is a temporary problem and not something you'll have to deal with forever.

On another note, if you do have to give up breastfeeding, take comfort in knowing that your baby would have this same reaction whether it's with formula or breastmilk (something in your diet). Don't feel guilty about switching to formula if your baby is having digestive issues, it's not your fault, and it may be the best solution to get your baby on track quickly and thriving. I went through post-pardum depression after I couldn't breastfeed my first and had overwhelming guilt. It wasn't until a few years later that I came to the realization that it was the best thing for my baby to be on formula so we could get her on track with eating and gaining weight when breastfeeding wasn't working out for her. There is such a push for breastfeeding, which is best for babies who thrive on breastmilk, but some babies have digestive issues and you shouldn't be made to feel guilty for doing what's best for your baby.

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