please reassure me...

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
please reassure me...
Tue, 08-07-2012 - 2:00pm

I know I don't need to ask this, I know the answer, but after a while of being told by doctors that you're inane, you start to believe it.

I won't repeat the whole rant I've posted in a few other places today, but the short version is that my DS's GI, whom we see for DS's chronic belly issues, has declared that "maybe it's something in breast milk that's bothering him, and you should only nurse him 1 to 2 times a day so you can find out."  This is after informing me that she doesn't believe in food intolerances past infancy except dairy and gluten, that he and I both should start reintroducing other foods simply because there's no way he's intolerant of them, and that he only nurses for comfort.  Well if he only nurses for comfort, how is he getting enough milk to bother him?  I asked her that and she had no answer except, "Well, comfort is his primary motivation but he still gets some milk."  And, "some kids are prone to constipation" and maybe he's holding it on purpose.  Right, he was holding it at 3 weeks?  5 months?  Bull.  The kid has food issues and somehow I don't think bm is one of them. 

So the specific questions:

1)  I'm not nuts, right?  Breastmilk is healing whatever is going on with this poor child, not causing it?  Specifically, chronic constipation as well as intolerances to gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, peas, and cantaloupe.

2)  6 to 8 sessions a day is not outrageous for a 2 1/2 year old, correct?  I know it's higher than most, but not so off the charts that you'd immediately wonder what the heck is wrong with him and push hard to cut back.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2008
Thu, 08-09-2012 - 4:36pm
Oo, wow, I am certainly no doctor but I do take exception to a few of this dr's opinions.

1. "Maybe it's something in breastmilk that's bothering him". That's a viable statement and why you've been so careful on tracking down what's bothering him and removing it from his diet as well as yours. It's possible there are additional items that are bothering him but I certainly don't know what they could be.

2. "Doesn't believe in food intolerances past infancy except dairy and gluten." I definitely don't agree with this. My dad is almost 70 and he has a whole bunch of food intolerances, particularly if he eats the item several times in a week.

3. "You should start reintroducing all other foods." You have done an AWESOME job tracking what you've eaten and what all his symptoms have been. If you introduce all these other foods that you've proven bother him, you're just going to have a miserable screamy kid who doesn't know what to do with himself.

4. "He only nurses for comfort." I disagree with this but so what if he did? He has some sensory issues and this soothes him. Why take away his source of comfort?

5. "Some kids are prone to constipation." I do agree this is true but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do everything you can to prevent it. I can't remember if you decided to do the Miralax or not?

6. You are definitely NOT nuts!! You're absolutely correct in that breastmilk is a help to his GI issues, not a cause, especially with all the detailed tracking of the dietary triggers that you've done!

7. No, 6-8 sessions is not outrageous for a 2 1/2 year old. Jason has no food issues and only the mildest of sensory issues and he nursed 6 times a day at 2 1/2. No worries.

Emily, you're an awesome awesome mom to Eli and I can't imagine many other moms being so dedicated and thorough in terms of getting to the bottom of all his GI issues. Is it possibly time for a new GI doc??
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Fri, 08-10-2012 - 7:58am

Just wanted to add that six to seven sessions per day is fine. In fact, your child may somehow sense that this is one thing that is helpful to whatever troubles him, and therefore his body just seeks it. Way to go that you have been open to giving what he nees - the doctor is wrong in thinking it is just a comfort, in his case, it is likely more of a need than for many other children of that age.



iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
Fri, 08-10-2012 - 2:18pm
I have to agree with everything that Dana has said. Yes, it could be some food in your diet that you've yet to illuminate that is bothering him. But I disagree strongly that there is no such thing as food intolerances in older children, other then dairy and gluten. I know parents who can attest to that and Allergist and such who would agree with me.

I also agree nursing 6+ times a day is not abnormal for a 2 1/2 even if it might be above average for EBF'ing 2 year olds. I also disagree that if the only reason he is still nursing is for comfort that that's a good reason to stop. I doubt that is the only reason he is nursing but so what if it is.

As far a his frequent constipation goes, I don't think that normal for any child and definitely warrants looking into. I think there is likely a reason for the frequent constipation that can be treated. Yes, sometimes kids get issue like constipation for which no known cause is discovered leaving little to be done about it other then hoping it will go away soon. But if there is a reason for the constipation such as something he is consuming then you have the right to know that so you adjust his or your diets (or both) to alleviate the constipation.

Now as to reintroducing foods, there is no reason IMO you should reintroduce foods you know has caused problems in the past. Maybe at some point in the future he can try tasting some of the illuminated foods if he really wants to be able to consume them and see if he still reacts to them. But for now I just don't see the reason to do so. It seems to be simply based on the doctor's unsupported belief that food intolerances, with a couple of exceptions just don't exists.


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009
Sat, 08-11-2012 - 6:40pm

Oh my Emily, I'm so sorry, I absolutely hate it when doctors discount a mom's instincts about her baby.

First let me say it's not abnormal for Eli to breast feed 6-8 times per day if that's what he wants. I also agree he may be making up for some of the nutrients and calories he's not getting b/c of the restricted diet. Breast milk can fill in the gaps so to speak and babies can be smart about how their body feels. So I too doubt the breastfeeding is causing any problems and suspect it's actually a help. Generally breast milk will help the bowels.

Your story reminds me of the show "Mystery Diagnosis" which when I watch I'm usually shaking my head that the doctors aren't listening well or just pooh poohing a mom's concern.

I agree another opinion is in order and that you need to be careful about who you choose. When my dil lost her second baby Elianna, her mom did a search about her condition and found a doctor in Chicago, (we live in PA). My dil emailed him and he called her the next day and talked to her for 1.5 hours. She eventually had surgery with him that allowed her to have baby Silas. You can't always do that but even if you can talk to someone more expert that may help give you direction or they may be able to recommend someone in your area.

I don't recall but have you worked with an allergist? My youngest had allergy issues and food intolerences and we had a great doc here in PA (he's now retired). He talked to us about "allergy overload". He described it this way. For example if I'm sensitive to milk and also allergic to grass, maybe I can occasionally drink milk but I might not get away with it during the summer when the grass pollen is more active. So basically the more things you are exposed to that you are allergic or sensitive too the more you react.

I might try to call and talk to any doctor you are considering before a visit or at least a nurse (no receptionist) in the office about your concerns and make sure they understand how far you have gone with the other doctor so they know they need to have a greater expertise.

Another option might be to contact a local LC to help search for a doctor. We have a great local LC professional organization and we have a group email. It's not uncommon for an LC in our group to post and ask for help finding a specialist in various disciplines who is familiar with breastfeeding or extended breastfeeding. So ask your local LC to network to help you find the right doctor.

Are you near a bigger city that might have a children's hospital? Some people find it helpful to seek 'alternative therapies" like chiropractic, acupucture, herbalists, etc. Of course be careful and seek the same kind of recommendations you would for any health care professional. I have personally had great success with chiropractic and acupuncture for some of my health issues (not the same as Eli's).

Be persistent! Sometimes it's the mom or the patient who figures out what is wrong and can help direct the doctors. Don't give up on the medical may just need to keep going until you find the right one. I wish I could give more concrete help. Definetely keep us posted



Kathy Kuhn IBCLC

iVillage lactation consultant

and Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas and Charlotte

Kathy Kuhn IBCLC ivillage lactation consultant Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas, and Charlotte