Thursday, April 1, 2010

Weaning from Nutramigen fyi

So for those of you that don't know, HL has been on Nutramigen hypoallergenic formula since he was about 3 weeks old with his colic. At our 4 month appointment the pediatrician suggested that it was time to start weaning him off. This is something that I was terrified of doing, I felt like it was going to ruin how far we had come since the colic days. Lord knows I don't want to do ANYTHING that could send us back to nightmare land! But obviously the kid can't live on hypoallergenic food his entire life so at some point we will have to tackle the issue.

After our appointment we went home and decided to start the process. We mixed his bottle with 3 scoops of Nutramigen to a half of a scoop of Gentlease formula. Everything was fine until a couple hours later when he projectile vomitted like the exorcist across the room. No seriously! I have never seen anything like it in my life, he shot puke 7 feet across the room, out of his nose and mouth repeatedly for about 3 minutes!! I don't even know where all of this liquid came from, it soaked the dogs who were laying on the floor below him, it soaked the rug, it covered the wood floors. It scared the crap out of me! And then he proceeded to scream for 45 minutes until he passed out. We continued with the mixed bottles for 3 days and it was a nightmare, he continued to scream for these 3 days. Surprise surprise it was like we were right back in the midst of the colic. So I pulled the plug, enough of that CRAP!

I was torn with what to do, I wasn't sure if HL's system was going to have to build up a tollerance so we'd just have to suck it up and deal with it until he adjusted OR if it was a case where until his system was ready it would do us no good to keep torturing the kid because it wouldn't work until he was ready.

So I headed back to the pedi and asked him and he shared with me some info that would've been nice to know at the previous appointment! (Thanks a lot doc, you're officially worthless! see this post). Here's what he told me in the simplest way I can explain to those non-medical people.

The stomach lining has fingers on one side where the food comes in contact and on the other side is the blood stream. In babies like HL and others with sensitivities the problem lays in the lining. The lining isn't fully meshed together yet so that means when they eat, the milk proteins seep through the gaps in the lining and come in contact with the bloodstream. There are things in the bloodstream that think the milk protein is a foreign invader and therefore they attack it. This is what causes the discomfort, pain, and problems with the baby, because the body is attacking the food. So what that means is that until the lining fully grows together with NO gaps the baby will continue to have the same reaction, the body will continue to attack the food, the milk protein. That means that we have to wait it out, there's no telling how long it will take for his stomach lining to fully develop, it's trial and error. So we were told to go back to regular Nutramigen again for another 2 months and then try again, if he has a reaction again then we go back to the Nutramigen for another 2 months and try again, etc. We keep doing this until he has no reaction which means that his stomach has now fully developed.

I asked the pedi if HL would still be fussy when we finally switch over and he said that you really shouldn't notice any change in him with the switch IF his body truly is ready. So if you're out there trying to wean your baby keep that in mind, if they're crying and reacting negatively to the switch that means that they are NOT ready, their body isn't ready yet and no amount of trying is going to help. You just have to wait it out.

He also warned us not to switch too frequently, that's why he said to wait for 2 months before trying again. Because what happens is those things in the blood that attack the milk protein have a memory and if you allow them to attack the food enough times they will end up ALWAYS attacking it and this results in an adult that can't have milk protein, they're lactose intollerant.

Hopefully that helps some of you in the same boat, at least give you some info and background. I know that I was not very educated on the whole topic and I was literally terrified of weaning him but I'm now confident that when the time is right we'll have no issue, we just don't know when that's going to be yet.


Mattressman said...

I have a son with food allergies and Nutramigen was a life saver for him. It is hard to ween off of nutramigen, but the best advice is just listen to a doctor you trust.

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