As you might be aware by now our son Finlay had issues with food intolerances / allergies. It started at 3 months old, suddenly he started having reflux and then not long after he would cry and scream whenever I was breastfeeding him. This broke my heart as I was hoping to keep going with breastfeeding. After doing a little googling I found out wheat and dairy are the usual culprits for digestive issues for babies. So I quickly removed these from my diet but there was only a slight improvement. I was devastated and spent a lot of time trying to work out what I could do.
I was also very confused as I thought I was quite healthy. From what I’d been told, what you ate during your pregnancy didn’t affect allergies in your babies and if anything the more you restrict your diet the more chance of your baby having an allergy. I would see sites like Quirky Cooking (gluten / dairy free etc) and think ‘oh god imagine that! I won’t have to do that because I’m eating that stuff during this pregnancy’. I would crave dairy and drink Hilo milk, literally from the bottle. Other cravings included Haribo jelly teddies, milo and fruit. Milo has added vitamins in it yeah? And well a bit of sugar was fine, I’d burn it off- I’m in good shape. Everyone keeps saying how good I look.
Back to some more investigating and I found a Naturopath that did allergy testing using a saliva sample. The results showed Finlay was having issues with just about every food under the sun; red meats, eggs, nuts, seeds, fruit, all dairy, even some vegetables and most grains apart from rice and spelt.
So I removed these foods and Finlay changed within days. He was so much more settled and best of all there were no issues breastfeeding. I had no idea how to manage the diet though, everything I used to eat was gone. To begin with, I was just eating rice cakes with nutlex on them and carrots (showing my lack of cooking skills). After a few weeks it became slightly easier as I learnt to use the foods Finlay could tolerate. However, after a few months, weight was just falling off me and I ended up getting so run down that I developed shingles. Worst of all Finlay’s results plateaued and I wasn’t able to add more foods back into our diets as he was eating solids then.
I honestly felt pretty upset that the naturopath hadn’t given me any guidance apart from cutting out lists of food. So I went to another naturopath (one I had seen years before) and was loaded up on vitamins and supplements to help recover from shingles and provide me with some of the vitamins & minerals I was missing.
Sleepless nights followed trying to work out how to make this better for everyone (including the husband that was having to get take away because I was struggling to keep his food requirements met!). With more research I discovered leaky gut – where food particles pass through the gut as the lining is destroyed. This causes allergies and intolerances and although I had taken the irritant foods out I hadn’t actually fixed the problem. I was back at the beginning basically.
What followed was more research, a variety of diets and two new naturopaths to add to the mix which I will go through in the next blog.
I just wish I know before being pregnant…
What do you wish you knew before you or your partner was pregnant?