Breastfeeding, formula, reflux & FPIES…

Breast is best! Yes, I agree Brest is best, but sometimes FED is best. I never considered formula for my son. It was too expensive, why would I switch to formula if I can produce free food for my son first the first year of his life. Well, no one told me how DIFFICULT breastfeeding actually was. We took a breastfeeding class at the hospital and they never mentioned that it could take weeks to start getting the hang of it. Every time I breast fed my nipples bled and I felt like someone was literally sticking knives into them. It took me weeks to start feeling comfortable in my new role as dairy cow. We had to have Ezra’s tongue clipped and that helped significantly with the pain as he could now latch properly but even still I don’t feel like I got the hang of it until he was well into his 1st month. I remember feeling like all I did was sit on the couch feed the baby or pump. I was obsessed with not letting my milk supply get to low and was always on google troubleshooting my breastfeeding woos.


At around 3 weeks old the doctor put Ezra on Zantac because he was showing signs of acid reflux. The kid literally spit up everything I put inside of him within minutes. He was a very colicky baby and we had so much trouble getting him to sleep. The doctor suggested I lay off the dairy and see if that made a difference and in that moment the drama began. I drove myself crazy eliminating foods from my diets and trying everything under the son to improve my sons condition but no matter what I did he spit up, lets be real, threw up everything I fed him.


At some point in the middle of all that we noticed the frequency of which the baby pooped…. Like ALL the time, blow out beyond what you can imagine… I mean poop everywhere all the time. The poor kid was pooping 8-10 times a day and they were not pleasant breastfeeding poops, they were nasty massive blow outs that literally got poop every where! Being a first time mom I didn’t think much about it, just assumed all babies pooped a lot, but by the time he was 2 months old it started getting out of hand and I realized this was not normal.


I would talk to other moms and I don’t think they understood the level of craziness that was my sons bowel movements. I think most people thought I was just a complaining first time mom who was sick of changing poopy blow outs. At some point I stopped caring and starting listening to my mom gut, which told me that 8-10 diarrhea diapers a day was not normal and certainly not pleasant for anyone involved.


After many many visits to the pediatrician we finally got a referral to a good GI doctor. The doctor diagnosed Ezra with FPIES (Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrom). Basically the long story short is literally any food on the planet can trigger him to have vomiting and diarrhea within an hour or two of him consuming it. The doctor basically told me I could start eliminating 1 food at a time in my diet until he reached baseline but it would take months to figure out exactly what I was eating that caused it. My other option was to switch to formula. At this point it had been 3 months of agony with this so I decided to switch to formula even though I was deeply saddened to do so.


But it didn’t stop there. We trialed 5 brands of formula until we FINALLY found Neocate. Within a week of starting neocate the colic subsided, the diarrhea was gone, and our child was smiling for the first time ever.


Again all my expectations for breast feeding were gone. I carried the guilt for switching to formula. Let me tell you, the decision was not easy, I went back and forth and back and forth for weeks, crying and agonizing over what to do. When I finally said enough is enough and gave in I had reached my limit and was emotionally done. I wanted so badly to be one of those EBF mommas but my story was just not working out that way.


The lord certainly has a funny way of teaching me to let go of control. I realized I had so many expectations and had prepared myself for it to all go according to my well thought out plan. I spent hours researching, preparing schedules, buying breastfeeding supplies, and pouring myself into making it work that I never considered what God had in store for me. I had to learn to let go of my expectations and lean on the Lord for guidance rather then trying to control. This is still a lesson in progress and I am daily reminding myself to let go.


Other mama’s out there that are struggling with food allergies, or breast feeding or trying to decide how to feed your new baby. Please know this, there is no shame in feeding your kid. Feed him what he needs and do your best to discern what he needs. If your gut is telling you something but the world is telling you the opposite, go with your gut! Obviously breastfeeding is ideal, I’m all for it and will hopefully try it again one day, but ultimately do what is best for your baby and don’t let other moms tear you down.


Breast is best, but HAPPY is BETTER!

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