Today I present a wonderful post from my friend Dionna of Code Name Mama fame. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
|Ailia trying her first sweet potato|
Today I watched several “old” videos of Ailia (old being in quotes because she's only six months old as I write this). I remember those first three months of her life being so worn out, so baffled, because she was constantly “sick.”
True, she was born at the end of November, and there were a lot of cold/flu germs floating around. But it seemed like she couldn't kick it. Constant snot, congestion, coughing, difficulty breathing. And the screaming every night. Oh, the screaming.
I was literally depressed because my baby could not seem to get healthy.
A couple of friends with food allergies asked if I'd tried cutting any allergens out, but I hesitated. Mainly because Kieran and I had also been sick off and on this winter, and I thought Ailia just kept picking up a bug from one of us. (But also, a little bit, because the thought of going on an elimination diet seemed overwhelming. And I had previously cut dairy for my first nursling!)
After about three months of constant illness, I finally cut out dairy.
In less than a week, I started seeing improvements in Ailia's health.
But hey – it was the end of March, the weather was warmer. Surely it was coincidence, right? I failed to completely cut dairy at first, a little would sneak in here and there. (Butter on toast – how can you not have butter on toast?! Butter on movie popcorn, I must have butter on movie popcorn! There was cheese on that pizza – who knew?!) But eventually, I got almost all of it out of my diet.
I could not wait for two weeks to be up so I could add dairy back in. I just knew it would have no effect.
Also, I really wanted a milk shake.
So as soon as my two weeks were up, I had my milk shake. Less than 12 hours later, Ailia was in the throes of April Snotfest 2012. Le sigh. We concluded she is indeed sensitive to dairy.
Two weeks or so into my dairy-free life, Ailia started reacting again. What in the hell?!, thought I. I've cut out dairy! What is this? Fast forward a few more weeks and I realized she was reacting to eggs.
Since cutting dairy and eggs, Ailia has been so much better. The constant snot and congestion are gone. Occasionally we see a flare-up, and I'm left to wonder whether I had a contamination (we do eat out sometimes) or whether there is something else she is sensitive to (I've heard soy can be an issue for people who are allergic to dairy).
It hasn't been easy, but I am so happy that we're in a different place now.
Also? Cutting out dairy and eggs has made me feel better, too. My pregnancy weight has dropped off completely (that did not happen with my first), I am eating healthier (not as many processed things I can snack on!), and it has made me reassess our diet in good ways.
If your little has food allergies or sensitivities, how did you figure it out?
Have you ever cut allergens for a nursling? How did you feel about it?
Below is one of the videos of Ailia when she was congested due to dairy and egg allergies. Listen to her snuffly (yet adorable) laugh!
And here she is sans snuffles. Even sweeter!
Dionna is a lawyer turned work at home mama of two amazing kids, Kieran and Ailia. You can normally find Dionna over at Code Name: Mama where she shares information, resources, and her thoughts on natural parenting and life with little ones.
Dionna is excited to share her newest project, a journal for mothers. Order a copy for your own mama! For My Children: A Mother's Journal of Memories, Wishes, and Wisdom from Amazon or Barnes & Noble – the perfect gift for yourself or someone you love.