I asked my friend to guest blog. And here she is on the first Mama Monday!
I can’t begin to explain the heart-wrenching feeling of hearing you child scream in pain. As a new breastfeeding mom, it was my sole responsibility to provide nourishment to this tiny helpless addition to our family. Breastfeeding is said to be a wonderful and bonding experience between a mother and baby; so what do you do when it’s causing your child pain? Around 3 weeks old our little girl, Rachel, started exhibiting colicky behaviour, which soon progressed to blood curdling screams and nursing strikes. No words can describe the failure I felt. I thank God that He gave me persistence. I was determined to figure out what was wrong and after weeks of reading, trial & error and an elimination diet, I learned that Rachel had a dairy and soy allergy. This was the beginning of a monumental learning curve…
As a bf mom, what you eat enters your breast milk. I was set on breastfeeding, so the only option was to change my eating habits… and was I surprised! Dairy and/or soy is in nearly everything! Unfortunately, it is not as simple as checking a label for “milk” or “soy”. There are tonnes of hidden sources to be aware of: whey, vegetable oil, tamarin, artificial flavoring, and on and on… Did you know that processed meats contain dairy? Most bread contains soy? And most chocolate contains both? Basically processed and restaurant foods were out and home cooking (from scratch) was in.
I, like a lot of people, am a sucker for convenience. I had good intentions to eat healthy but the allure of fast food was too hard for me to ignore… but now I wasn’t doing it for me, I was doing it for Rachel. How many times have I heard “God won’t give you more than you can handle” and “God can make good come out of every situation”? Although it will always hurt to remember Rachel’s screams, I am so thankful she is still able to get all the benefits of breast milk; I am so thankful she is a happy and healthy baby; and I am so thankful for the diet changes that have resulted in our home. Reading labels hasn’t just led to cutting out dairy and soy, it also led to the elimination of preservatives, additives and chemicals that seem to make their way into so many foods. We went from a family that ate in, maybe, one meal a week to cooking every meal at home. From fat, salt and grease to organic, fresh and local. From heavy processed carbs to whole grains and seeds. We are loving every bit of it and don’t feel like we have sacrificed. Instead, it has become a blessing.
Next week she will be back with some of her favorite recipes and substitutions!