Breastfeeding round 2

Is officially over.

This is something I have mixed feelings about. For one, I’m really happy to be able to eat food again, but it sucks (<— pun?) when you can’t feed your baby the way you would in an ideal world. All in all, I’m thankful that I have the resources and medical help to nourish our baby in a way that will make her feel good and thrive. I’ve learned with kiddos, though, that you can have a plan and expectations of how you’d ideally like things to go, but you also must be flexible and adapt according to baby’s needs and whatever challenges arise. If you’re not flexible, you’ll just end up frustrated 99% of the time. 😉 Those snuggly breastfeeding sessions, even in the middle of the night and I was totally zonked, are something I’ll cherish and already miss. 

So what happened?

Last week, we had an extra tough week with the reflux. So bad that Tom stayed home from a work trip; this is something he hasn’t done in the 10 years I’ve known him. We’ve been to the pediatricians at least once -sometimes as much as 3 times- per week since P was born. At our last appointment, after a night where P cried and vomited nonstop for four hours straight, the doctor gave us a can of Elecare, which is an elemental formula. It’s hypoallergenic, and everything has been broken down to strictly amino acids. The doctor was confident that P’s reflux wasn’t structural and that it was aggravated by an allergy. Her diapers had suggested this for weeks, which is why I started to eliminate foods from my diet. First it was dairy, then eggs, then soy. I also found that she would react after I had nuts, so I started to eliminate those as well, and found myself with basically nothing left to eat. I ate a lot of very bland foods, since spices and certain veggies and fruit can affect reflux babies, too. It was hard, but I figured it was worth it if I could continue to breastfeed.


For the first time ever, despite the fact that I only have one working boob, breastfeeding was actually going well. I could feed her from the left, and we’d top her off with the Alimentum formula. She has never really done well with the Alimentum and would have the worst spitup sessions after nights of more formula. This is also when she would choke the most often, which I’ll never get used to. It scares me every.single.time. We switched her meds to Prilosec (she also takes an infant probiotic), which seemed to be helping, but from the diapers, something still wasn’t right.

The pediatrician said that I should give her the Elecare formula and strictly pump for 2 days and see how she reacted. I knew dong this would negatively affect my supply, even though it meant I could finally have a plate of scrambled eggs (my favorite food!). We decided to do it later in the week after the Prilosec had more time to kick in. If Elecare wasn’t the answer, I wanted to be able to breastfeed while we figured out the next move.

The day before we decided to make the switch, P started refusing to breastfeed. She was in so much pain, getting her to eat became a battle. She’d cry in frustration and finally drink a bottle after totally working herself up. So, we took it as a sign and I started pumping only as we switched her to Elecare. The pediatrician said if Elecare was the answer, it would make sense to stop breastfeeding since at this time, we have no idea what she’s allergic to. (They won’t run allergy tests until she’s a year old, but as of now, the ped is saying she’s MSPI. This would explain why the Alimentum bothers her. Even though it’s hypoallergenic, it’s still derived from cow’s dairy, and many MSPI babies will still react to it.) The first night we gave her the Elecare, she went to bed that night without the screaming painful spitup. We were shocked. We’ve had a couple of difficult nights since then, but on the whole, yeah. That’s all I’m saying. (I don’t wait to jinx anything.) We got a prescription, thank goodness, because a can of Elecare is $40 for a 2-3 day supply. 

I’m pumping until I have nothing left, and dropping sessions each few days so I don’t get plugged ducts. Typing that makes me cry, but I’m really happy I was able to give P breastmilk until just under 8 weeks, despite our many challenges. It broke my heart to think about throwing away everything I’m pumping right now, so I’ve been donating it. Knowing that it’s going to women and babies who need the milk makes me feel less sad about having to stop breastfeeding before I was really ready.


Even though I miss the breastfeeding, I’m still using the bottle feeding sessions as a time to snuggle and slow down. I’m praying that this little lady will keep feeling better and better.



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  1. Angie on January 3, 2016 at 7:43 am

    I’m so sorry you had to go through this and glad that you have what seems to be a solution.

    I was on an elimination diet with my 4th baby, and it got to where I ate about 7 foods for many months. Luckily for us he was immensely better when I was on the elimination diet, so I stuck with it for quite a while. And the even better news is that he is now a robust and healthy 4.5 year old with no known allergies!

  2. Laura on January 5, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    Hey there. My daughter has multiple food allergies and showed signs of it at just a few weeks old. Eventually I also stopped nursing. I wanted to let you know that because the doctor put her on a special hypoallergenic formula it was somehow covered by insurance (100% and delivered to our doorstep)! All that was required was a prescription. You may want to check into it if you haven’t already. Best of everything to you and your sweet family!

    • Fitnessista on January 5, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      which one did you use? we’re on elecare. thankfully it is covered and they’ll have it delivered, but we’re still waiting for all of the paperwork and red tape to go through!

      • Jill on January 13, 2016 at 12:47 pm

        Just wanted to let you know that we traveled down this journey as well. You are not alone.

        I stopped breastfeeding at 6 weeks because DD was allergic to everything it seemed. We got a prescription for Neocate and it too was 100% covered by insurance since it was medically necessary. Which we are forever grateful for, as that stuff is so $$$$$$.

        Praying for you guys during this transition. I wanted breastfeeding to work, as this is our first. But my dear daughters health and comfort was much more important.

        Hugs you way! It will get better 🙂

  3. kim on January 8, 2016 at 3:59 am

    This was 12 years ago (UGH) i am old! But same thing happened with me and we had to use nutramigen, She is now allergic to Legumes (so all beans, peanuts and sesame as well) She just recently outgrew coconut,almonds and we think cashews

  4. Rhiannon on January 29, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Praying for you. I go through binge sessions of the blog now since my 10 month old feels like an 80 hour a week job 🙂 After I quit breastfeeding, we had a new baby. Nutramigen was our answer, which it sounds a lot like what P is on. Now I worry about the transition to solids since they never tested her for anything either. I cringe each time we give her a little something with dairy, but the doctor’s office acted like thats the only way to know. Here’s hoping they both outgrow whatever allergies they have!

    • Fitnessista on January 29, 2016 at 10:42 pm

      i hope so, too! i’m terrified of when she starts solids. we’ll probably have to do it very gradually and just keep an eye on any potential reactions

  5. Carolyn on February 19, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Wow! This post gave me flashbacks along with your PPD one. The puking, the switch to formula (Alimentum for us), the prescriptions for reflux, the probiotic, the low weight gain. Been there did all of it. We ended up buying a Tucker swing for our son and he slept in that until he was 5 months old. All of this, of course then contributed to PPD and anxiety. SO glad that’s over. This happened with our first, and now he’s gonna be an only. I’m not that big fan of newborns, either. Even my threenager beats and infant. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on February 19, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      i’m so sorry to hear you went through it all, too. tom and i said that if we went through this the first time around, we would have only have had one kid. it’s really hard. xoxo

  6. Julia on July 22, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Hi Gina i am reading and rereading your posts about reflux. My 9 week old has silent reflux and I have bo idea how to make her feel bettet. She is on zantac and nexium but is still miserable. I am miserable. What dose was P on that made her feel better? Did you see a specialist or just your ped? Thanks for any advice and thanks for sharing your story.

  7. Melissa on January 11, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Thank you for sharing.

    We are in the process of having to begin that elimination journey… the zantac is not enough.

    Starting with dairy (dreading eggs/nuts if we have to). But what are things that prompted you (diapers/BMs) that the medicine wasn’t enough? We keep getting the round about responses and I don’t want to wait if it’s something we can start to help him feel better.

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 8:47 pm

      it was the constant crying and vomit. the diapers were awful, too. she had so much mucus in her system, she’d either choke on it or it would come out in her diaper 🙁
      if you give the zantac a couple of weeks and there isn’t an improvement, i’d ask for prilosec. it’s the *middle* reflux drug (prevacid is next). i hope it works for you!

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