Breastfeeding with food sensitivities

by Katelynne Eid on April 27, 2015

Share Button

WP_20150225_15_44_21_ProI always assumed I would breastfeed my kids, and I have. But I never anticipated the struggle I would have when one of them developed severe food sensitivities.

My son had been experiencing a variety of symptoms pretty much since birth, but I hadn’t put them together to realize they were all symptoms of a bigger problem. It wasn’t until we were still struggling to get his reflux under control and he stopped putting weight on did the pediatrician suggest we consider the possibility of food sensitivities.

Editor’s note: Breastfeeding research shows that infants do not typically develop food sensitivities until at least 3 weeks of age, and common types of food sensitivities depend on what geographic region you reside. Moreover, there are many possible causes with the same signs and symptoms as food sensitivities. If you are encountering a challenge with feeding your infant, contact your local IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant), La Leche League Leader, WIC Breastfeeding Counselor or another accredited breastfeeding specialist.

I felt strongly that, if possible, breastmilk was the best option for our son and am fortunate to have a pediatrician that agrees with me. Even when our son was having issues putting weight on, she never wavered on her support of breastfeeding exclusively. Since it was not a supply issue on my end, supplementing with formula wouldn’t fix the problem, she said. My son has been exclusively breastfed, so it was determined that the culprit was something he was ingesting through my milk.

It took some trial and error, but we finally figured out that our son has a severe sensitivity to milk and soy protein. It’s called Milk-Soy Protein Intolerance (MSPI). To manage it, I have removed any trace of milk and soy products from my diet. Once eliminated, it still takes up to 4 weeks for all traces to be out of my system. However, within a week, we saw such an incredible change in our son.

Almost all his symptoms have disappeared completely: no more congestion, the eczema on his face is gone, the reflux is under control, he gained weight, and he’s eating and sleeping better!

I don’t want to say it’s been difficult, but managing the food sensitivity has been a lot of work. I am constantly scanning labels to look for hidden dairy and soy and have started making almost everything we eat at home. Some days, I make multiple meals since my husband and daughter have no restrictions on their diet. Eating out has also become virtually impossible, and when we go somewhere, I always bring food for me and him to eat. You should have seen me sitting down to Easter dinner and taking out my own loaf of bread!

Regardless of the amount of planning, extra work or restrictions, it has absolutely been worth it. He is still experiencing the nutritional benefits and emotional connection that breastfeeding provides. Our son is thriving.

I’d be happy to share more information we have learned about this food sensitivity or share some allergy-friendly recipes we’ve discovered if you are having similar issues. Just write it in the Comments; I’d love to chat!

Share Button

{ 0 comments }

15 years

by Alissa Tschetter-Siedschlaw on April 24, 2015

Share Button

alissa tschetter siedschlawFifteen years — a lot can happen in that length of time. Marriages, divorces, births, deaths, adoptions, new jobs and big adventures can paint their way through a life like mine when so many days have gone by.

It truly seems like it was just the other day that a small group of dear friends and I decided to start a local group affiliated with Attachment Parenting International (API) in Des Moines, Iowa, USA — only the second one in the Midwest.

We were all in need of building our intentional village.

Having been a leader of a breastfeeding support group prior, I now found myself facing a new challenge of not only re-lactating to nurse a micro-preemie, but an adopted, drug- and alcohol-affected baby with a plethora of special needs. I finally needed to call in favors for support for myself. But those supports didn’t exist in my community at the time.

My parenting was evolving, and I longed for a group where I could speak more openly and find honest and straightforward, yet gentle and kind friends, while offering the same to others. I wanted us to be the kind of people you trust around your children, because you know we believe in nurturing and validating each other and we want the best for all of our kids collectively, not only individually.

I had been doing Attachment Parenting (AP) for many years before I knew there was a word, but once I realized that we could begin offering support, information and encouragement to others, I was excited to get going. From very early on, we had a few very regular families and we bonded into such a natural support that it wasn’t unusual to see us with one dad pushing someone else’s child on a swing while a mom wore two babies at once, hers and her dear friend’s. We viewed Attachment Parenting not only as our choice in a parenting style but in our broader approach as to how we faced the world.

Later, when some coleaders moved away, my current co-leader of somewhere close to a decade, Laurie Belin, stepped forward and agreed to assist, support, advocate, nurture and encourage so many here in Des Moines — along with me. Other organizations were envious that I had such a phenomenal coleader, but as I moved into a place of single parenting my five children, with many special needs, while trying to provide financially for them, she took on so much more of the responsibility so that our group could not only survive, but thrive and I could just show up and help lead meetings.

Many families have passed through our doors through the years, and many more find support through our private online support group that Laurie moderates with grace and knowledge like few could. We have had a diverse group, and I have been privileged to witness some beautiful parenting and some thought-provoking conversations, and to be a part in some parents’ growth. I have heard myself quoted and am honored to have a positive impact on our AP community.

I have been blessed to lead API of Central Iowa for 15 years. My children are now nearly 23, 19, 15, 12 and 7. My Attachment Parenting journey is far from over, as I believe we carry API’s Eight Principles of Parenting throughout life. I am tremendously thankful for all I have learned, how I myself have grown and for all Laura, other coleaders and I have been allowed to share with families throughout these 15 years.

Thank you, API. I have received so much more than I ever gave.

Share Button

{ 0 comments }

Positive discipline is all about the right relationship

April 21, 2015
Share Button

Some parents misconstrue Attachment Parenting (AP) as promoting undisciplined children and martyred parents, when in actuality, Attachment Parenting has a strong basis in discipline and balance. Parents are encouraged to look at child behavior in a different perspective than a punishment-based mindset. Children need abundant nurturing and an authentic, open bond with their parents based […]

Share Button
Read the full article →

Insight from the International Children’s Yoga Conference on mindfulness

April 20, 2015
Share Button

Last month, I was invited as a guest speaker to the International Children’s Yoga Conference in the beautiful town of Heidelberg in Southern Germany. The main topic of this year’s conference was mindfulness, and my workshop focused on my mindfulness and yoga work with children dealing with chronic illness. Participants with all kinds of different […]

Share Button
Read the full article →

Maintaining connection through long separations

April 10, 2015
Share Button

Editor’s note: April is Month of the Military Child, an observance designed to increase support to children in military families. Attachment Parenting International‘s Sixth Principle of Parenting: Provide Consistent and Loving Care advocates for parents to provide abundant presence to their children and to carefully consider options of non-parental care. Because they experience frequent moves […]

Share Button
Read the full article →

Obeying out of fear

April 7, 2015
Share Button

“A child who obeys out of fear will only do so as long as he or she is scared. A child like this never develops an internalized sense of right and wrong without being policed by a more powerful authority figure.” ~ Love and Anger: The Parental Dilemma by Nancy Samlin How do you feel […]

Share Button
Read the full article →

I took back control of my Cesarean

April 1, 2015
Share Button

Editor’s note: April is Cesarean Awareness Month, an international observance designed to reduce unnecessary Cesareans, advocate for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) and help women heal from the sometimes-difficult emotions surrounding a Cesarean birth. Attachment Parenting International‘s First Principle of Parenting: Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting advocates for parents to research their options regarding […]

Share Button
Read the full article →

What presence means to me

March 26, 2015
Share Button

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on Oct. 24, 2008, but it echoes a sentiment many Attachment Parenting parents have heard from well-meaning friends, family members and even strangers to take some time away from our infants and toddlers, without realizing that ample presence with our children may be exactly what gives us balance. […]

Share Button
Read the full article →