We have been a family of allergy sufferers for a few years now, with Gracie not being able to tolerate lactose until she was one and Lils being dairy and soya allergic until very recently (almost 3 years old). I thought that would be the end of our journey, but unfortunately it seems that our newest addition is also dairy and soya allergic. I had really hoped that he would escape, that I would have a ‘normal’ baby for a change – but what is normal anyway? Allergy babies are my normal and after successfully managing two other babies with various problems, I soon realised that I could do it again.
When Gracie couldn’t tolerate lactose I simply cut down on the amount of dairy I ate, swapping the main dairy products for lactose free products. She was fine with that solution and I managed to breastfeed her until around 5 months. She then switched to reduced lactose formula and eventually went to lactose free products herself until she grew out of it all at 18 months.
Lils was a whole other story! A nightmare actually! I really wanted to breastfeed again – you always want to do for one as you’ve done for another don’t you? Except she had tongue tie (I didn’t know at the time) and couldn’t tolerate even the slightest bit of dairy. I cut it all out but her tongue tie meant that my milk started to dry up at around 7 weeks. In part I was relieved – my breastfeeding experience had been nothing short of horrific, with recurrent mastitis and an awful bout of thrush. I was thankful to have an excuse to end it all but at the same time I felt incredibly guilty that I wasn’t going to give her the same start in life as I’d given to her sister.
The thing is, they say breast is best, but honestly from doing both I can say that mum being happy is what is best. I do wish I could have breastfed her but she was happy on formula and I was happy and that is what counts. She was put onto Nutramigen, possibly the most revolting thing you’ll ever taste but she never seemed to mind it and has now come out the other side and is now free to eat whatever she pleases.
Starting again …
So now I have another baby and am starting the process all over again. Before he was born I was worried about breastfeeding for two reasons. Firstly I was worried how I would manage looking after the girls while being stuck on the sofa for hours feeding. But secondly I was worried about not being able to do it at all and having to go to the doctors and beg for formula. If you’ve had to get formula on prescription you will know what a battle it can be.
Thankfully, after a very toe curling start, I have been able to breastfeed once again and it hasn’t taken over my days as I had feared. But, it does mean that I am starting a new journey – a dairy and soya free journey all of my own! Even though I have been through it all with Lils, it seems harder doing it for yourself. I think it is because I started off giving foods that were fine for her whereas I am having to find substitutes for things that I have always had- that is tough!
I have lost so much weight over the last 8 weeks – more than just the normal de-swelling after pregnancy. I am not one to weigh myself so couldn’t tell you exactly but I would hazard a guess at over a stone as I have gone down 2 dress sizes already. There have been days when I haven’t eaten a thing until dinner time as I just don’t know what to have anymore. I would normally have toast for breakfast – bread has soya in it. I would have a sandwich for lunch – soya again! Soya is the main issue, they put it in everything!!!
So, I turned to the internet for help. Well, the internet isn’t bringing back much I can tell you! So, I am going to do it myself and document my journey so that hopefully it will help someone else along the way. I already have a delicious brownie recipe I am going to share in the next couple of days and I will share any other tips and tricks as and when I come across them.
Have you cut out dairy and soya? Have you got any tips?