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Kristin’s Story

An Interview with Kristin, who was on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet while breastfeeding her baby

Describe the trouble you were having with your baby.
My son Jake was colicky starting at around 4 weeks. Even before that, he seemed gassy, but it got worse at that point, and really bad by six weeks. He had a squealy shreiky cry, and would pull up his legs like he was in pain. We couldn’t seem to console him unless he was bounced on the yoga ball with pacifier in mouth. Then, he would only sleep for a few minutes at a time. His poops were bright green, like spinach. After talking with some other moms and hearing their words of wisdom and experiences, I began to think that maybe his super gassy-ness was due to my diet.

What foods did you eliminate from your diet?
I started by eliminating the most obvious — dairy and wheat. At first, I just cut out the milk in my coffee and daily ice cream consumption that I’d become accustomed to during pregnancy, but that didn’t make much of a difference. So then I cut out all gluten as well, and only after I cut out all dairy incl. baked goods and products made with any type of dairy, did I notice a real difference.

How old was your baby when you eliminated these foods?
6 weeks

What changes did you see in your baby after changing your diet?

He started to sleep for longer chunks during the day, had long awake periods during the day when he was happy, and he started to sleep better at night — especially when swaddled and with the pacifier.

How long did it take for the changes to take place after changing your diet?
A few days.

What happens when you add these foods back into your diet?
I tried to introduce wheat at around 3 months, and he seemed fine, so I’ve put some wheat back in my diet now. I tried dairy at around 4 months, and it did not go well — he was really gassy — usually about 24 hours later — so I don’t think he’s able to tolerate it yet. I’ll try again at around 6 months.

Has it been difficult to change your diet?
Yes and no. At first it was hard, but I’m used to it now. I do miss protein foods, especially cheese and yogurt. The hardest part is narrowing it down to one food. Talking to friends who have had similar experiences has been really helpful. And of course, Sure Foods Living had lots of great info, too!

What advice do you have for other breastfeeding mothers who might experience the same trouble with their babies?
Listen to your intuition. My doctor — and even the lactation consultant — said that most likely his colic was not due to anything I was eating. Of course I don’t really know for sure, but I do think that my son has an intolerance to dairy — maybe wheat and soy as well. My pediatrician doesn’t think he has an actual food allergy, but I think I will test him in a year just to be sure.