milk protein allergy/could not breastfeed

by jennifer
(north carolina)

My daughter was born through an unplanned c-section. I was not able to breastfeed her until 4 hours after her birth due to all the medication I was given.

I was shaking too much to even hold her for the first 2 hours after she arrived. I was not told that the c-section might affect my milk supply, and the first day I brought her home from the hospital, she screamed in hunger for hours because I had no milk. At 3 AM I went to a 24-hour Walgreens and bought her formula, and finally, after eating a bottle of formula she fell asleep.

I was so relieved. Even though my milk came in eventually, I never produced very much, and after feeding her for hours all day long she would begin crying by 4 PM every afternoon in hunger.

All the breastfeeding websites said to keep trying and not give her formula or my milk supply would drop even more, but my baby was crying and hungry, so I would give her a bottle of formula. Then at one month old, she began to have bloody mucous in her diapers.

My pediatrician diagnosed her with a milk protein allergy and suggested an elimination diet along with supplementing Nutramigen as she was not gaining weight quickly enough.

For one month I pumped 7 times a day around the clock, including at 1 AM and 5 AM to keep up my milk supply while I waited for the milk proteins to leave my milk.

Everytime I tried to give her my milk, however, blood and mucous would appear in her diaper immediately after. No matter what foods I eliminated-all dairy, soy, eggs, wheat, etc.-she had a reaction to my milk.

Everytime I changed her diaper I felt afraid to see flecks of blood. When I gave her only Nutramigen, the blood and mucous cleared up. In the meantime, my left breast stopped producing milk.

After a month of pumping only a few ounces of milk per day, which I could not give to her I decided to quit.

I am so upset after hearing for so long breast is best and how my baby will be obese and have low IQ and get sick because I cannot give her my milk. I miss being able to nurse her, but I do not know what else to do.

Since receiving only Nutramigen she looks very healthy and has gained weight. She is starting to have chunky legs and a baby belly, which she did not have before. She also has normal diapers. Even though I feel guilty for not being able to breastfeed her, I want to do what is best for her. I just want her to be healthy. She is 7 weeks old today.

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