Friday, August 8, 2014

Celiac and Breastfeeding

    It's national breastfeeding week. And I have a few days off until my next class, so I figure this is the best time to touch on this topic.
    When I had my first little man, I was determined to nurse him exclusively forever, or at least until I had my next little one. I thought anyone could nurse a baby so long as they weren't part of the 5% of women who have the disorder where their breasts are tubal and they legitimately can not produce milk. Kai was incredibly thin for the first three months of his life, because I refused to admit that he was not getting enough milk. Heck, my supply was enough for a couple kids. He was peeing through every diaper every half hour it seemed. He was well hydrated, but he never gained weight and was never satisfied after eating. He nursed for a half hour, then was hungry again a few minutes later. I finally gave in and gave him a few ounces of formula about three times, at which time he actually gained several ounces. At three months, I finally admitted that he was too tiny for me to be nourishing him the way he needed, and gave him formula.
    I have done so much research since then, and have come across every conclusion in the books as to why I didn't produce the right milk for my baby. No one had any answers for me, and lactation consultants (I went to about 7) laughed at me thinking I was bragging about not producing fat in my milk. I went home crying several times because I was so upset that no one would take me seriously, or that no one really seemed to know enough about nursing to be considered a lactation specialist. One consultant told me I need to go home and eat a jar of peanut butter. Another couple told me all breast milk has 20 calories per ounce, and that I am no special exception.
    One lactation specialist actually listened to me and although she didn't have an answer for me, she definitely made some points that made me think. I do have PCOS, but problems related to PCOS are either an over supply or under supply. With an over supply, you still have a certain balance of fore milk and hind milk. I definitely didn't have an under supply either. I then listened to a webinar about probiotics and digestive enzymes, which was basically led by God, I'm pretty sure. The speaker thoroughly explained Celiac Disease, as well as other auto-immune diseases and their effects on the intestines, which effected fat absorption. I just figured for the past few years that since I haven't had gluten since being diagnosed, I am most likely healed and it's a thing of the past. However, I never took enzymes or amino acids or teas or oils to heal my gut. If I can't absorb the fat necessary, fat will in turn not be produced in my milk.
    While pregnant with my second little man, I took digestive enzymes, glutamine, and flax oil daily, on top of my prenatals with probiotics. I also made sure to get a good deal of fat in my diet. As soon as I had my son, he latched on his own, and he's been gaining like a champ ever since! When he was born, I also got very strict with my diet, making sure I get at least 30% of my daily calories from fat. I normally get about 40-50% from fat to be honest. I also steer clear of sugar, which can throw off hormones, and I only eat whole foods. For the first few weeks of his life, he gained an ounce a day, which is above average! He regained his birth weight within the first week of his life. I am continuing my regimen since it's working, and am so glad I found an answer before he was born in order to be able to nourish him the way I know he should be nourished.
    I couldn't find any information out there about Celiac Disease and breast feeding, except that it's possible. What I did find, was a bunch of bad information.
Good info:
-While breastfeeding, healthy fats such as avocado, coconut oil, flax oil, nuts and seeds should be included in the diet.
-Protein and water should be plentiful at each meal.
-Pumping often increases milk production.
-Breast is best.
Bad info:
-Whey protein shuts down milk production... (it actually increases it!!)
-All milk has the same caloric makeup... (even breast milk for different babies from the same mother is different depending on what the baby needs!)
-Working out and losing weight decreases milk production... (nope.)

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