Breast milk is magic. Totally. And when it comes to babies who suffer with reflux, it is generally the best option. For 8% of babies, their reflux only started with the switch to formula milk.
One of the greatest struggles of parents of babies with reflux is finding the right or best milk. This is because there are ingredients in most formulas milks that baby’s immature digestive system just cannot break down and therefore result in more reflux symptoms.
Breast milk, is a different ball game. It is one over which you have 100% control over the ingredients. What goes in, is what comes out.
The La Leche League say
“When someone takes medication or eats food, the substance is usually broken down by the digestive tract and then molecule-sized components of the substance are absorbed into the blood. When these molecules get to the capillaries near the breast tissue, they move through the cells that line the alveoli and into the milk.”
So essentially everything you eat could make it into your breast milk.
The tricky bit, and what everyone else ignores, is that this does not just apply to allergens. It applies to everything.
And there are a number of things that will cause baby a problem because of the natural immaturity of their digestive system. This is not something to overcome, this is something to work with.
This immaturity is completely natural, and once we learn how to respect it, babies fare much much better - and they tend to respond very quickly, with positive changes evident within hours.
I believe I am the only person taking baby's digestive development into account. And this is why my breastfeeding elimination "diet" protocol is so successful.
Plus, it is not a long-term "diet", we get baby to a Place of Great and then rebuild mum's diet to make sure what she is eating is going to be easy for her baby to digest and thrive.
Interestingly, I often find that some things mums are avoiding are completely fine for baby to have. But we are stuck in a place where we think the common allergens are what is causing the problem when in fact some of them may have nothing to do with it. And then some allergens are a problem - but not because of an allergic reaction, but just from the complex nature of their molecular components that can cause baby a problem.
I go into this in a lot more detail in The Baby Reflux Lady’s Survival Guide. Where I also wrote a full chapter devoted to doing breastfeeding mums of babies with reflux.
There’s loads on formula too...
What do you think? Have you struggled to get consistent results on other elimination diets?
They don't work because they neglect the developing nature of baby's digestive system.