It has been 13 months of exclusively breastfeeding my son. I have been recently getting busy and back to my work regimen so the thoughts of weaning him or doing a mix feed are playing in my mind.
I have researched that after 12 months, breastfed babies can be introduced to whole cows milk and drink it out of a cup. It seems like a great idea. I walked the aisle of fresh milk in the supermarket several times contemplating on this thought. Finally, I dropped a box of fresh whole milk on my grocery cart and hoped this was going to be the start of a mommy-led weaning.
When I got home. I gave my son half an ounce of fresh milk for taste. He liked the flavor and it was not too bad. So that day he had an about 1.5oz. There was no adverse effect so far.
So the next day, I decided to try mixing it with my breast milk. He had mixed fresh and breast milk for sleeping. He also had fresh milk together with his breakfast. About a total of 4oz of fresh milk he consumed that morning. In the afternoon, he had very soft stools and he kept on having bowels before sleeping. Hmmm… Strange.
The next day he had again 3 bowels in the morning and then he began having a fever. So, we needed to see our pediatrician to see if its the whole milk. That was the only thing different in my baby’s diet. Lactose intolerance could be a factor.
Lactose is found in milk and to digest it the stomach must have enough lactase enzymes. Babies may not have developed lactase to digest lactose in dairy such as high lactose cows milk. Of course, I learned this later. Mommy forums on the net have shared that some of their babies were getting diarrhea and red butts after introducing fresh cow’s milk.
So Joshua took a stool exam. By this time he has already passed bowels about 6 times, yet the result came back negative of anything. By his 10th pass, we had a second stool exam and this time it confirmed entamoeba hystolitica. I was thinking, could his lactose intolerance triggered the amoeba? He was absolutely fine prior to the whole milk.
Despite this, Joshua remained strong and did not even show discomfort during bowels. We kept breastfeeding, drinking pedialite, and obeyed instructions to take metronidazole and erceflora (probiotics). I can’t think how Joshua got amoeba. But now we are increasing our hand washing and alcohol..
Though this needs further study, I am.wondering if it is possible that lactose intolerance which causes diarrhea can trigger amoeba to thrive or surface? Reason I ponder upon this is because another mom had her child stop all dairy because she also had diarrhea when milk was introduced. Same as Joshua the diarrhea later became amoeba.
I guess for now, we will stick to breastfeeding because it heals and the antibodies found in breast milk has helped my son remain strong and active. But I am still in a quest to find the right lactose free milk to compliment breastfeeding. You probably are wondering why should I not consider formula. First, it is still from cow’s milk…so same effect. I also have seen how formula milk has rotten with cavities the teeth of my nephew. I am hoping to skip formula and its just my personal preference. I am still researching on lactose free milk and nut based milks to see what will be best for my son.
Meanwhile, this health challenge has taught us a lot about maintaining the basics – wash hands, disinfect, sterilize, and continue breastfeeding (especially when I still can). God is teaching me that He has enabled me to provide the best nutrition to my son and that I should not rush to wean. That time will come and it will be a perfect time.