You’ve finally figured out what food your baby is allergic to / intolerant of. After days, weeks or months of painful trial and error, you’ve pin pointed which food needs to be avoided. What a relief! Now it’s as easy as Mum and baby avoiding the food and getting on with enjoying life. But hang on, what’s that? Oh good. More advice from in laws/friends/families/that random person in the elevator. Good. Because being an allergy Mum is an easy, thoughtless situation which you do not struggle with at all and need conflicting opinions on 🙂
I am breastfeeding my now 9 month old, Johnny. He is intolerant to a couple of foods, some foods aggravate his eczema and we are also working to kill candida/improve gut health along side a naturopath’s recommendations (our wonderful naturopath is also a qualified nutritionist).
This combination of things mean that we are living free from dairy, soya, egg, nut, yeast, corn, mushrooms, fish, sugar, wheat, gluten and nightshades. If I eat any of the above, my baby suffers for it. So naturally, I don’t eat any of the above. Logical, yes? Apparently not…
Don’t people love to give advice on how you parent!? It certainly seems like everyone has an opinion on breastfeeding a baby who cannot tolerate all food groups. I have had all the comments, “you need to wean him so you can eat a chocolate bar/drink beer/go out for dinner etc.” “If you don’t wean him now, he’ll be breastfeeding forever” “You’ve lost weight, you need to wean him” “You should just eat a little bit of this or that” “He’s probably not allergic to all those things” “it’s been two weeks and he hasn’t improved” “He needs to go on formula/milk alternative so you can have your life back” blah blah blah blah. I never thought that I would have to justify what is between my breasts and my baby especially when it is for his well being.
I am fine with other people’s decisions on how they choose to feed their babies, why can’t they also accept mine? Feeling the pressure I actually got a script for some allergy friendly formula from the Dr and found the main ingredient is Corn suryp! What! I don’t eat corn syrup and I will not give my baby it instead of nursing him just so I can have a night off and drink beer. No, I will not try my offspring on the milk of another animal instead of human milk so I can fill my body with wheat. No, I don’t feel like I am missing out on eating fast food so much that I need to wean my baby.
When your baby has allergies or eczema, as a modern parent (one who uses google), you fast become an expert in that field. I have spent many a night up until 3am reading through websites looking for ‘the cure’ or at least looking to relieve the itch of eczema. You want the best for your child so you do the best you can.
For me, that is breastfeeding my child for as long as we’re both happy to. Obviously I will not be showing up at the school gate at lunch time in four years time with a boob out but you get what I mean! 🙂
I have embraced an allergy friendly lifestyle, it has added to a passion for creative cooking and I am learning about all kinds of fun ‘hippie’ things such as fermenting, both broths, mineral balls for the laundry etc. It is a change in lifestyle, not the end of life.
Parenting is a very personal thing, you parent in ways that sit right with your own beliefs and values. The way I parent isn’t right or wrong generally, but it is right for my family.