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The Fun of Gluten-free Breastfeeding

For nine months I ate high protein, lots of fruit and veggies and saltine crackers.  With my beautiful baby girl born and my second, and last, nauseousness filled pregnancy over, I was on cloud nine!  My plan was to eat healthy so my baby girl would be as happy and healthy as my son was while I was breastfeeding.   After about three weeks we went out for lunch and I ordered I large plate of hummus, grilled veggies, crackers and French bread.  The next day my baby girl started throwing up.  I called my midwife and sister only to hear that maybe it was the hummus or the garlic, but it was probably nothing.  I cut out any legumes and garlic; the problems only increased.  Her stomach always seemed to hurt so she was classified as colic.  I am not one to sit back and be told there is nothing I could do.  I cut out dairy and saw minor improvements.  The crying on both our parts continued.  I cut back to only eating plain grilled chicken, saltine crackers and bread thinking there was no way these plain foods could hurt her stomach.   After seeing the problem get worse,
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and finding no help in books or the internet, I decided that wheat, my main food source at the time, may be a problem.  My mother doesn't eat wheat and I've always been told that I may be mildly allergic.  Within a week her attitude seemed to be improving and her potty habits became more regular.  When I tried to reintroduce oatmeal it was followed by two days of straight crying and about another week before she soiled herself again.  I was faced with no gluten or lactose and weighed in at maybe ninety pounds.  I loved to cook, and my family loved it too, so we started looking into what was out there.  We make  lactose and gluten-free pizza, pasta, bread and so much more.  My son, four, has not even noticed that we stopped buying gluten or dairy.  My baby girl also gets rashes from corn, is still a little fussy, but overall her stomachaches are gone and she is extremely healthy!    It has been a long and exhausting switch, but I feel very good about making a sacrifice that to me is so minor but to her makes the world of difference.  My baby girl is almost nine months old and is the happiest colicky baby anyone has ever seen.     

As always, welcomes your comments (see below).

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6 Responses:


said this on
17 Apr 2008 12:46:16 PM PST
Thank you Robin, this article was very helpful! I also find your other blog to be great for games, snack and anything I need. Thanks again


said this on
24 Aug 2010 10:42:45 AM PST
Wow! This story makes me feel so much better. Around the time I got pregnant we discovered that my husband has had a gluten allergy for years now! When he was growing up they thought he just had really bad acid-reflux because after he would eat dinner he'd be on the floor, on his hands and knees, for hours crying about the burning pain in his stomach and throat, yet when they took him to see a gastroenterologist they stuck a camera down his throat and reported that he had no signs of damage from acid-reflux and that he was fine.

Well the pains continued until he left home and ended up reconnecting with his birth family. After which he learned that both his mother and sister have a severe gluten allergy!
So when I met him he was still under the belief that he could have one glutenous meal a day and be ok, but for some reason as soon as I became pregnant (most likely his stress levels jumped up!) he became completely intolerant of any gluten whatsoever and we had to cut it completely out of his diet and make separate versions of all of our meals together (Since sadly it was much cheaper if at least one of us was still eating wheat)

Well I had had an awful time all throughout my pregnancy with nausea and vomiting, sometimes it seemed like no matter what I ate I threw it up. Even in the third trimester when most of that went away I was still having an awful time with acid indigestion every time after I ate.

Well now that our beautiful son has been born, and I have been breastfeeding, we noticed that he has been really colicky and gassy since about day one, and we've had an awful time trying to soothe his hours of crying after he would eat. Until this past two weeks, which have felt like such an easy breeze in comparison, when we realized that he probably has a gluten allergy too. Now ever since I've completely cut out all wheat from my diet too and have been buying and eating the same things as my husband does, we're all one big pain free/gluten free happy family! No more colic and a very happy two month old baby is so wonderful let me tell you!


said this on
16 Jun 2012 8:11:01 AM PST
This is very helpful article, I only have one question: how do you know that your baby is gluten intolerant? My son is only one month old and for 3, 5 weeks he is in pain from colic. I am on a diary-free diet and I don't eat any bread or anything that contains gluten, but it has no result so far. How long do you think it takes for a diet to kick in? Thank you very much for your time, everyone.


said this on
02 Oct 2012 11:27:02 PM PST
The common misconceotion is that gluten is wheat. It is not. Wheat contains Gliadin - one type of gluten. You (and maybe baby) may very well be gluten sensitive, not just gliadin (as with celiac) so this means ALL grains - wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, millet, corn and rice! Believe me, it took me a long time to get to the bottom of it - I had cut out most of the above, bar rice and millet. When I stopped the last two offenders, my health improved dramatically over about 3 days!!! Worth a stab.


said this on
13 Sep 2012 10:12:11 PM PST
I have had five kids and everyone of them was fussy as a baby. This time I thought I would try a gluten-free diet. It took two and a half weeks, for my three month old. Everyone of my babies were fussy until a year. I always knew there was something wrong with my milk. They were only breastfed. I am so happy! I have been tested for gluten but I was fine. The tests are wrong.


said this on
02 Oct 2012 11:35:03 PM PST
You need to be tested for Gluten intolerance - you have probably be tested for gliadin - and most tests are totally unreliable! The blood and stool tests are checking for antibodies to the most well-acknowledged form of gluten – gliadin – and for evidence of coeliac disease.
They will NOT pick up any other form of gluten problem, sensitivity to different grains (which are, after all, all impossible to digest!) or to any disorder other than coeliac disease (and there are hundreds of others). The blood test is not seen as 100% accurate. The stool test is more accurate but is difficult to do as you have to get the test sample back to a US lab within 2 days.
The genetic test is looking to see if you have the genetic pattern that could mean you have now or are likely to develop in the future ANY form of gluten issue to ANY form of gluten (not just the gliadin). It is NOT a test for coeliac disease. If the genetic test is positive, then you might look closer for coeliac disease to see if that form of gluten problem has started... it is very common to rule out celiac disease and then continue on a life of gluten abuse - because no-one ever explains the difference! GLIADIN is only ONE FORM of GLUTEN!!

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Yeah , i will look into getting tested - like you say there is no harm in it . What I found very interesting is the part where you say "Later I got pains in the stomach, usually a dull ache although I could get a fierce stabbing pain there too. When I went gluten free those pains stopped. as did ...

Hi , i was thinking that an intolerance and allergy were about the same thing really but sorry if im wrong. I know celiac is an autoimmune disease but was thinking that is different again, more serious and was erring on the side of my possible issue not being that but more of the intolerance typ...

Karen's point about parasites etc is a good one. They can cause a lot of symptoms similar to celiac /ncgs as you probably know. At 11 I had my appendix removed following pain in the lower right side of my torso. On waking up the surgeon told me that it was actually ok, when I asked what cau...

You can supplement if you want to. IF you are low on iron or vitamin D - then some vitamins might be helpful. The treatment for Celiac disease is a strict gluten free diet. Some people need to cut out lactose for a few months, too. The villi that are damaged in Celiac are the part that ...

First - there is no such thing as a "gluten allergy". Celiac is an autoimmune disease. Just so you understand. It could be Celiac or a different gluten intolerance. I am guessing you aren't going to get tested for Celiac disease. IF it were me, I would be more concerned that maybe there ...