Thursday, August 26, 2010

new eats

I heard from some research that I did on the internet that babies who are breastfed can have sensitivities to the same foods as mom and dad. I was curious about this and talked to some of my friends with breastfed babies who had food sensitivities. I also talked to my pediatrician who basically said there's no research on it but he's only heard antidotes (with a look on his face like, "you're crazy"). I guess he didn't read this article. I still like him though, I just feel bad for US doctors who get no background in natural health. It could really help them and their patients! Anyway, I digress.

After spending the time talking to these people and reading up on my own as well as watching Eva's spitting up and eating habits I came to the conclusion: Eva is sensitive to tree nuts and dairy. I know this sounds crazy, but Donovan had nothing but an almond butter sandwich the other day and he heaved like no one's business until it was all expelled from his stomach. We don't usually have almond butter (this was at a friend's) so this had never happened before. But he does try to talk after eating nuts and often chokes on his words. So it's slight. But we just figured that out this month too. And of course I'm allergic to dairy... sigh. I hate it but it's true. And it's even more true now then before unfortunately. So the whole theory on what we're allergic to, she is having a hard time digesting early in her life makes sense. Sorry Eva, our genes are crap. No ice cream or trail mix for you (Note: this is just a joke. Eva is very likely only "sensitive" and not allergic, which means she will very likely be able to have those foods when she is on solids and it is appropriate for her to be eating them, ie. later in childhood).

So this all started when I was in Portland I ate a handful of almonds on an empty stomach before a big breastfeeding meal for Eva one evening and she had the most explosive and painful throw up I had ever seen. That was the day that I started to realize something was really wrong and started asking questions.

Unfortunately there is some ambiguity whether or not coconut falls into the tree nut allergy realm. The FDA has recently switched opinions on it, saying it is a part of the tree nut allergen foods, but there are only about 10 total documented cases of coconut allergies. This is only the beginning of the madness to finding foods I can eat. Last night I went to the restaurant 30 minutes early before meeting friends to read the menu and talk to a nice waitress who helped me find something dairy (butter, milk, cheese, milk derivatives) free AND nut free. Boy, I felt crazy! Even in Berkeley oddly enough.

My one sad thing in this all is that the US has really poor regulations on milk in foods and you have to basically completely change your lifestyle, like always cook from scratch and never eat a processed grocery food item and never eat out. Well, I'm not that extreme. The alternative is memorizing or always having with you a long list of words that don't always look like "milk" but basically mean... milk. Why can't we just have some kind of marker on our foods/drinks at the store, like "L" for lactose free. And really mean it! Because I recently found out that "dairy free" powder (the kind used in coffee at church and as a base for bubble milk teas) actually has a milk derivative in it, and yes, it makes Eva and me very, very sick. So PLEASE at the least, don't do fake "milk free" advertising! But in the UK and many other developed countries they are much better at this than the States. Makes me think the milk companies have something they're hiding!

In addition to this there is a long list of foods that are just generally not recommended for breastfeeding moms. Coffee being the most notable on the list. And broccoli. I really love broccoli.

But if you could just see her face when she is eating and it is good milk, you would know why I think that this is totally worth it!

1 comment:

Jonathan, Lyndsy & Heath Manz said...

I'll say it again- you are a GREAT mom to do all this research and care for Eva the way you do. Sucks that some things have to be eliminated in your diet, but knowing it is temporary in the grand scheme is helpful. Their smiles when they are eating are totally worth it- and when the eyes roll back- priceless!