Boob to Bottle & Lactose Intolerance

Breastfeeding for me was a love-hate relationship from the start. I enjoyed the quiet, intimate moments with Baby Girl & I appreciated the importance of it for her development & our bond. But I was frustrated by a DD chest (you try finding a nice wedding outfit suitable for that big a chest!). Though near the end I became less prudish – most of UCLH had already seen my goods so why deprive East London?! – I was increasingly fed up of having to consider what to wear that was suitable & decent yet not frumpy.

Furthermore, as Baby Girl became more active & inquisitive about the world, getting her to feed when out & about became harder & harder. And finally, as Baby Girl grew & was drinking more, pumping was proving more of a chore, causing me to feel ever more tethered & trapped while the Other Half roamed free.

So upon our return from France in July, at 4 months, we began introducing formula (Aptamil) for one bottle a day. Although Baby Girl was used to the bottle from her dreamfeed, the smell & taste of the formula was new. The first three days she refused it & I had to finish her off. I cried thinking she’d be on the breast forever. Day 4, she suddenly gobbled it down in one.

We then swapped formula for boob for a second feed the following week. The next week, three, & so on for five weeks until she was fully bottle fed. In week six, when the 3am feed should have swapped over, we simply dropped it as she was full & content on just five formula feeds a day. We also started weaning at five months, helping her feel fuller.

So no. I didn’t last until the recommended 6 months. But it was the right choice for us. I’ve managed two days out on my own & my first night out since finding out I was pregnant. The Other Half has been able to easily take over weekend morning shifts giving me a much needed break & even one night shift (that was a shock to his system!). We’ve even gone on two dates.

Alas, the high was short lived. With formula, Baby Girl’s wind increased until I was awake more than I was asleep at night with her screaming like I’ve never heard before. It was a few weeks after she had become fully formula fed, the penny dropped. She was lactose intolerant.

I used to be lactose intolerant & The Little Auntie (The Other Half’s 7 year old sister) was born with a lactose & soy intolerance, which she’s since grown out of. So we should have been on our guard.

The doctor suggested an elimination diet. No lactose for Baby Girl. So for four & half weeks now, Baby Girl has been on Aptamil Lactose Free stage 1 formula. And the wind is all but gone. She’s now waking in the night due to teething, but she’s her happy, smiley self otherwise.

So what’s next? We’re waiting for our appointment with a Paediatric Dietician to discuss advice on weaning & how to reintroduce lactose to her diet, as it’s likely she’ll grow out of it. But in the meantime, Baby Girl can’t eat most pre-prepared baby food jars & is on lactose free formula. Also no fromage-frais. Woe is Baby Girl!


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