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natalie

Trouble Breastfeeding

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Hi Everyone,

I was looking through the message boards and I was wondering if anyone here with celiac had trouble producing enough breastmilk. I am in the process of being tested for Celiac and I was making a list of symptoms for the GI doctor. My daughter was diagnosed with Celiac at 2 1/2 years old.

With both of my children ( who are now 6 and 4) I had trouble producing enough milk and I eventually had to give up breastfeeding. My doctor even gave me medicine that is suppose to increase the milk production and it didn't help.

I was just curious if anyone else had experienced this.

Natalie

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I was undiagnosed and visably sick while trying to breast feed the first child. It didn't go well. Part of her colic and problems was probably not enough milk, but I had no help while trying to nurse. I too had to give up.

I don't think the lack of milk is a direct sign of celiacs. For me I was starving away and couldn't maintain weight while trying to nurse. Not a good combination. I thnk a more common problem is a hard pregnancy or unable to keep the child for the entire pregnancy.

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How old is your baby? If baby is only a few days old, it can take time for breastmilk to come in. The traditional cure is to drink a beer, which I did (prior to being gluten-free), and the milk came right in. You could try drinking a gluten-free beer like Redbridge.

I would highly recommend calling La Leche League. They are really trained in helping women with breastfeeding issues.

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Hi Everyone,

I was looking through the message boards and I was wondering if anyone here with celiac had trouble producing enough breastmilk. I am in the process of being tested for Celiac and I was making a list of symptoms for the GI doctor. My daughter was diagnosed with Celiac at 2 1/2 years old.

With both of my children ( who are now 6 and 4) I had trouble producing enough milk and I eventually had to give up breastfeeding. My doctor even gave me medicine that is suppose to increase the milk production and it didn't help.

I was just curious if anyone else had experienced this.

Natalie

This is my first post here!

I am currently breastfeeding my 16wk baby and was diagnosed with Celiac only a month ago. I asked my GI doc if I should stop breastfeeding due to my personal wt loss and anemia. He said based on my lab work I was not considered 'malnourished' and that breasfteeding shouldn't be a problem. However, my baby is going in for the 4month Pediatrician visit next week and I'll be discussing it more with him, particularly after I see what my baby weighs. There are some days I feel like my milk supply is fine, and other days I'm afraid I'm starving the baby. I don't know why BF has to be so stressful!!!

I would recommend talking with your baby's doctor.

-Chantae

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I was looking through the message boards and I was wondering if anyone here with celiac had trouble producing enough breastmilk. I am in the process of being tested for Celiac and I was making a list of symptoms for the GI doctor. My daughter was diagnosed with Celiac at 2 1/2 years old.

With both of my children ( who are now 6 and 4) I had trouble producing enough milk and I eventually had to give up breastfeeding. My doctor even gave me medicine that is suppose to increase the milk production and it didn't help.

I'm also currently BF with a 2nd child (now several months old) and having supply issues and also taking medication, etc. I had undiagnosed celiac with my 1st and no supply issues. This time I'm on a gluten-free diet and do have supply issues. Could there be something that we might normally be getting from gluten-rich products that affects production? I am taking pre/post-natal vitamins, btw.

Curious. Interesting question. I have no answers.

RiceFiend

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Hi there,

I'm not a mom yet, but I'm pretty anxious for August and I was digging through all the books I could find so far. Now one of the best books I read on this subject unfortunately is in German language. With newborns it said exactly what Carla already said on here. The milk has to come in first and for this to happen you have to let the baby suck at first, even if nothing comes out. Because their sucking will help with milk production.

It also said, that if you think, your milk is not enough, and you bottle feed in between, then your milk will go back. With other words, your milk production goes with supply and demand. If you bottle feed your child in between, your body thinks, there is no demand (because your baby ate somewhere else already and not at your breast and is full) and slowly stops the supply, until nothing's left anymore. This also means, if you express the milk besides your baby drinking from your breast, your body thinks you need more and starts producing more.

Then it said, the longer you breastfeed (monthwise, not minutewise), the thinner your milk will become. But don't be deceived, even though the milk gets thinner, the vitamins and mineral still are the same (or even better) than when you started breastfeeding. And even though, it seems as your baby isn't getting enough, it does get plenty.

I spoke with most mothers of the kids that I'm instructing and almost all of them said, they had the same experience and their kids grew just fine.

If you have doubts, get in contact with the 'la leche league'. I heard, they are very good with that. That's what I will do this week, too.

Hope this helped, Stef

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I breast fed all three of my kids. When I had the first one, I was not showing any symptoms of Gluten Intolerance, and was not gluten-free. During my second one, I was showing my Gluten Intolerance symptoms, but had not yet identified the problem, so I was not gluten-free. For my third child, I was gluten-free during pregnancy and breast feeding. For all three, I found that my milk production was about the same, with the exception of the first week. For my first child, the milk came in within a day or two. With child number two, I was experiencing a lot of stress (death in the family 2 days before the birth), so the milk did not come in for several days. I just stuck with it, and let him breast feed as often as he wanted (no supplemental bottle feeding) - and once I was more settled, it arrived!

I think many mothers don't realize what a full time job breast feeding can be. I think with bottle fed babies, the baby gets "full" as it has to digest the formula, and has a longer stretch between feedings. Breast fed babies often don't establish that same schedule, so mothers think they aren't getting enough to eat. I didn't try to establish a forced schedule on my babies, and just fed them as often, and for as long as they wanted (much to my MIL's dismay, after all babies need a schedule...). Sometimes that seemed like pretty much steady :o .

Another thing I read is that the first milk at a feeding is thin, and the "hind milk" is thicker. The baby needs to nurse from one breast long enough to take the last milk out of it, and this makes them satisfied for longer. It also stimulates the breast to produce more milk. I found my best approach was to feed from one breast per feeding, and not try to switch the baby around half way through. I just had to keep track of which one we needed to use next time <_< .

And remember - you have to drink a LOT more fluids, to account for the milk production.

Debbie

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Are you nursing the baby every 30-90 minutes? Going any longer than that during the first few weeks, for most women, will not stimulate your breasts enough to produce milk. I know the doctors say every 2-3 hours, but seriously, I think they are full of crap. My first baby was dehydrated until the La Leche Lady told me to feed much more often.

Also, make sure you nap or at least rest when the baby sleeps, get your feet up, do NOT clean or cook, etc. Breastfeeding is a full-time job for at least the first few weeks. You still have to recover from giving birth--it's like running a marathon! After those first few weeks, you will be SO much freer than the bottle-feeding mommies! It really does get easier!

Lastly, do NOT try to lose weight during this next month. IT WILL come off, don't worry. Just eat as healthy as you can, make sure you drink lots and lots, and eat whenever you are hungry!

I agree with the advice about contacting the La Leche Leagure or a Lactation Consultant!

Best of luck--sorry if I sound curt, I'm really rushed right now!

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I ust reread--feeding on both sides will increase your prolactin levels, which would be a good thing. But feeding on one side at a time can work too, as long as you don't wait 2 hours til the next feeding. You don't WANT her to be satisfied for longer at this point, you want her to nurse often, because that is what will get you to produce more milk.

Are you supplementing with bottles at this point? If you are, you need to pump AT LEAST the same amount from your breasts as she is taking from a bottle, otherwise, it's a totally losing battle. Depending on how much she is taking from a bottle, I would consider ditching the bottles entirely, and letting her nurse every 20 minutes if she wants to, if that's what it takes. If you supplement from a bottle, then your breasts aren't getting stimulated to make milk--and they simply won't.

I hope I'm being clear, and not too curt. Sorry, I'm running out the door now!

PM me if you have trouble finding a lactation consultant or La Leche League person you can relate to, because there's a wonderful one here who can talk to you on the phone for free, and she has 6 kids, and her husband is a pediatrician, so she is very knowledgeable! (She totally saved me with both the first and second babies!)

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Debbie is right with what she says. Both my oldest daughters feed only from one breast at each feeding. When I was breastfeeding I was told to switch half way through.

Whenever the supply isn't there any more for baby's demand, he/she will want to be fed about every two hours for a couple of days (apparently starving, but don't be deceived), until the supply meets the demand again. At which point the regular schedule will resume (every three to four hours usually, longer at night, but not necessarily).

So, yes, whenever the baby is experiencing a growth spurt, there won't be enough temporarily, which will be remedied by nursing more often, until supply meets demand again. Unless a mother knows that, she may decide she doesn't have enough milk and give up, which would be a big mistake.

Drinking raspberry tea apparently helps with milk production.

My second daughter WAS starving her baby, though, after getting pregnant again. Somehow that stopped her from producing enough milk. I was alarmed last time I saw the baby (then nine months old), because she had gone from fat to being so skinny that her bum had skin folds hanging. That little one was ravenous when being fed solids, and would always cry when they stopped feeding her. My daughter just thought she had a temper.

I told her that I thought that if a baby would cry when they'd stop feeding her, she needed more. And that I was alarmed the baby was so skinny. My daughter got mad.

But a couple of days later, my daughter called me, alarmed that the baby's diapers weren't wet very often. I told her she was obviously dehydrated (she looked dehydrated when she was here, but my daughter wouldn't listen). And she needed to start giving that child formula immediately.

The baby refused drinking from a bottle or a sippy cup, so I suggested a cup with a straw. The kid drank a cup of formula with the straw in a couple of minutes. She is now happy again, and getting fat.

Anyway, I am telling you this story just to show you that in certain circumstances, your milk supply CAN dry up. Here it was because of another pregnancy.

If you are concerned about baby not getting enough, pay attention to how many wet diapers the baby produces a day. If he/she is soaked completely several times a day, there is nothing to worry about.

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I nursed my first while actively sick with Celiac. We didn't know what it was at the time and ended up having to stop breastfeeding. Though I produced enough milk in quantity it was not filling enough for my daughter. It looked like water with a little milk added. It definitely didn't look right which I only discovered once I started pumping to try to increase my milk supply as we thought that was the problem.

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I am currently breastfeeding my third child and did not go gluten-free until we figured out some thing with my 2 year old just after this baby's birth. This one is no problem. DD2 had all kinds of weight gain issues, asthma, etc. and I had to go on domperidone to increase milk supply. She has gluten intolerance - I did not get a diagnosis, but took her off gluten when she was about 19 lbs (24 mos). You need to take wheat out of your diet and likely milk as well and you should see a difference. If you are celiac, you will not necessarily absorb vitamins that your daughter needs and wheat and milk antigens will get through your breast milk. Please take a multivitamin. Lastly, take Omega 3s to help brain development in your daughter.

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Whenever the supply isn't there any more for baby's demand, he/she will want to be fed about every two hours for a couple of days (apparently starving, but don't be deceived), until the supply meets the demand again. At which point the regular schedule will resume (every three to four hours usually, longer at night, but not necessarily).

So, yes, whenever the baby is experiencing a growth spurt, there won't be enough temporarily, which will be remedied by nursing more often, until supply meets demand again. Unless a mother knows that, she may decide she doesn't have enough milk and give up, which would be a big mistake.

With all due respect, Ursa, I strongly disagree with a regular breastfeeding schedule as being every 3-4 hours. You are the first mom I have ever met who was able to make that work! And while I am glad for you that it did work, I think it is potentially dangerous to advise a new mom to use that schedule--it is a FORMULA schedule, and rarely works for breastmilk, which is usually completely digested in 90 minutes or less.

I do agree with you, though, that when the supply isn't enough, the baby will nurse more often, but for most moms, "marathon nursing" is WAY more often than every two hours. Heck, all three of my babies nursed way more than every 2 hours even when they weren't having growth spurts! And from what my friends who nursed told me, that is typical.

Another common pitfall is to use a pacifier. If you are having trouble producing enough milk, and your baby is sucking on a rubber version of you, then you're not gonna make much milk!

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...Though I produced enough milk in quantity it was not filling enough for my daughter. It looked like water with a little milk added. It definitely didn't look right which I only discovered once I started pumping to try to increase my milk supply as we thought that was the problem.

That's what breast milk looks like. It does NOT look like cow's milk or formula - it's pale and blue-ish. I went back to work part time when my third baby was only a few months old. When I was at work I pumped milk, and that's what the babysitter fed him the next day. If you are accustomed to the look of thick formula, then breast milk looks kind of like water. But it is normal.

Debbie

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That's what breast milk looks like. It does NOT look like cow's milk or formula - it's pale and blue-ish. I went back to work part time when my third baby was only a few months old. When I was at work I pumped milk, and that's what the babysitter fed him the next day. If you are accustomed to the look of thick formula, then breast milk looks kind of like water. But it is normal.

Debbie

Debbie is right. This is normally what breast milk looks like.

Alison, I guess it worked for me, because my milk was different. It was so rich, that the yellow cream was floating on top when expressing it. It never looked bluish and thin. My babies slept through the night right from the start, and I'd have to wake them because I was exploding. And my daughter's milk is the same as mine.

My oldest daughter breast fed twins for a year without a problem, because her milk was as rich as mine.

I never meant you should put the baby on a schedule. I've always fed on demand. But that was the demand from my kids (and I despise pacifiers, I refused to even have one in the house), every three to four hours during the day, and they'd often sleep for eight hours through the night right from the start (which stopped when they were teething, or needed to increase the milk supply).

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Clair:

Celiac is not an infectious disease to be passed along.

However, if one of the parents has Celiac, chances are, they have one of the genes predisposing to Celiac. If you pass the genes on to your kids, then they have a chance of being a Celiac. Just having the gene does NOT mean you have Celiac. about 30% of the population has one of the genes, but only about 1% has Celiac. Gene does NOT equal Celiac. But, having the genes means you could have Celiac, at some point in life. That is why they refer to Celiac as "genetic."

Gliadin, the problematic part of gluten for Celiacs, can be passed through in breastmilk. If your baby is born and develops active Celiac, many mothers have found it helps for THEM to go gluten free, so that the baby doesn't receive any gluten.

Recent research has found that longer breastfeeding is a "protective" factor in helping decrease the risk of developing celiac disease. Doesn't mean that your child won't get celiac. But statistically, there seems to be a trend.

Hope this helps clear up the confusion.

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Guest j_mommy

I had a huge problem producing enough milk!!!! I also was given meds to help and they did nothing! No joke....when my son was first born we spent a good 18 hours a day just breastfeeding!!!! Eventually I did a routine of breast feeding, formula and then pumping(never got more than an ounce after an hour of pumping!). By then he was hungry again! When he was 3 months...I switched to just formula...I was exhausted!!!!!So I feel your pain......I felt so bad that I couldn't breast feed him any longer!!!!

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My son was in the NICU, and I had to pump, and the pumping really got things going. I was so sore I wanted to scream, though. The pump in the NICU was this huge, ominous thing, and I was always afraid that it would suck me right in. At home I used a hand pump (builds the biceps). All of this was eighteen years ago, so there are probably more modern devices in 2007. Just as an aside, I breastfed my son until he was 25 months old. I read recently that children are less likely to get celiac disease the longer mom breastfeeds, so I was relieved. I would definitely try the pump to stimulate things. Try to relax as best you can, because that helps, too. Maybe listen to some soft music.

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I had a huge problem producing enough milk!!!! I also was given meds to help and they did nothing! No joke....when my son was first born we spent a good 18 hours a day just breastfeeding!!!! Eventually I did a routine of breast feeding, formula and then pumping(never got more than an ounce after an hour of pumping!). By then he was hungry again! When he was 3 months...I switched to just formula...I was exhausted!!!!!So I feel your pain......I felt so bad that I couldn't breast feed him any longer!!!!

I had the same problem--pumped every three hours around the clock for five DAYS and didn't get a drop until the fifth day. I had been given magnesium sulfate to prevent seizures--and it also prevents lactation, apparently. What I did have was good advice from the La Leche League. THey said to stop pumping after 10-20 minutes max. They also gave me the advice of NOT pumping the minute my baby actually latched on, and to nurse him every half hour or so until I produced enough milk so that he could go an hour or two between feedings.

They know so much more than the doctors, it's ridiculous.

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Guest j_mommy

Remember through all these posts...it's totally a personal choice. yes Breast feeding is best but if your body can't or you just can't do it anymore.....don't beat yourself up. As i said before I strictly BF for 8 weeks.....then realized he wasn't getting enough....we did fat tests on my milk(I had to gather it for 24 hours), I had skim milk....the BF milk my child was getting wasn't enough. After that is when I supplemented with bottle. I was only BF-ing at that point for bonding and to make me feel better about not being able to give him BF. I wonder now if this was from teh celiac. As I've read these posts some women had problems and some didn't! Who knows! But best of luck to you!!!!!

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Hi Ladies

I breastfed my little girl 7 years ago for 7 months and I too had supply problems at the time it took a good week for my milk to come in when it came in I was so engorged that I woke up my baby and forced her to eat and she loved every bit that she got. I thought it was at first not eating enough cals because I was barly eating becauses my stomach shrunk she was sitting on my stomach and bladder all the time. I thought that if I increase my cals that would help, it did not. I did have to supplement with formula yuk! I wanted to be supermom but I had to because she was on the treshold of not thriving. And after she was born I started to have D all the time with the gas pain that I could relate to having Labor Pains. If everybody wants to talk to a Laction Consultant all they are going to tell you is don't supplent with formula because you are providing enough for you baby and if you give them formula that you will stretch out there stomachs and when the baby does get to nurse from mom the baby will not be satisfied. I see this all the time. I work for a local hostpital I get to work with the babies in the Nursery at night and we will have the moms send their babies to the nursery after their feeding and may nurse for a good 30 - 40 almost an hour, baby is still hungry and crying, mom has been talking to the laction consultant and belieave everything she says about feeding that they are getting enough don't worry about anything and then the mom sometimes refuse her baby crying cues and mom does not understand why her baby cries and then mom cries, but then you will have mom take the baby and let the baby feed again, again and again. And the consultant also say no pacifiers because it confuses the baby I don't think that is the case for every breastfeeding baby, because you can't just let a baby cry between feeding babies like to suck on anything you give them and yes other babies just want mommy and it will confuse that one baby that will get confused. I have seen plenty of babies that need to eat and mom wants to supplement with formula, in my hostpital we are not allowed to nipple feed breast babies formula we use a little medicine cup and we just put it up to the babies lips and sometimes the babie acctually will sip or suck at the formula and get what they need I know ya'll are thinking babies can't do that they may chock well they do and sometime turn blue but the get pink again we just stop the feed and go to a nipple and sometimes babies just want mom only won't take anything else. To me that is pretty cool because it just lets you know that the baby is aware of his or her surrounding and know when mom is around. One time I had this little boy in my arms after I changed him and he was obviously a breast feeder because he was aggresive he swung himself down and attempted but he was too slow because I promptly put him down in the crib and rolled him to mom :lol:

Im sorry I went to long

Donna

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Donna, the lactation consultants are correct in almost every case.

Babies are made to nurse nearly constantly during the first few days or even the first few weeks. That's how the mom makes milk, just like every other mammal. The problem is the idea that there should be a scheduled break between feedings. That idea came from formula, but it doesn't usually work if you are breastfeeding. If you let the baby suck as much as he wants whenever he wants, even if it's every 20 minutes, the milk will come in unless there is a separate medical issue going on. That's also how to avoid engorgement, by the way--if the baby nurses as often as they were made to, then mom doesn't have time to get engorged!

Of course you will have moms crying in the hospital (I was one of them). Most of us were not breastfed by our mothers, so they can't help us get started, and most of the doctors and nurses are worse than useless because they tell you to nurse every 2-3 hours, which isn't enough to get your milk started. Then your baby gets dehydrated, and when your milk FINALLY comes in, you are so engorged that the baby can't latch on anyway, and then both you and baby are crying. All because these idiots think that you should wait 2-3 hours between feedings. :ph34r:

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HI,

I totally agree with you about this, when I was working the floor with the moms I would tell the moms that especially when the baby is a day old that he or she will want to eat all the time (frezzy feeding is what we call it) Sometimes mom will understand and I would tell mom don't feel guilty if you are too tired for the next feeding let me take your baby to the nursery, and feed the baby a little formula at least 15cc worth to get the baby to rest so mom can rest and stop crying (been there done that) you don't want too overfeed the babies because sometime they spit up and then it just become a big mess sometime on you. But then you will have the mom still upset because they are taking the consultants every word. And the consultants have told the moms that is ok for the baby to stay on for as long as they want (but use mom as a pacifier, no I don't think so) Which I cant stand at times. Yes you might only produce 1/2 - 1 tsp of colostrum until you milk lets down that is enough for your baby they say well the consultants I think in my opion are crazy because they are not with that particular baby all the time for the feedings and don't see how fussy that baby gets when it is in the nursery at 3 in the morning. I love my job working with the babies, I just can't stand it when they think that the Consultants try to take over and the Pediatrians get mad because the consultant are telling the mom of a 4 pounder not to supplement because it is feeding just fine and it winds up in the NICU for temp and not gaining enough wt to go home, that is where the Consultants over step. IN my hostpital they have in the past taken formula and pacifiers away from the moms because they were mad for us letting the moms have what they want for their babies

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Yikes! That sounds horrible! I was one of the lucky ones, I suppose. I wasn't diagnosed when I was breastfeeding my kids -- I was diagnosed with "ulcerative colitis" when I was pregnant with my first child, "irritable bowel syndrome" with the second.

The amazing thing was that I had enough milk for the entire city. Both of my kids were very good "latchers", though. They were really adept at "stripping" the breast well enough so that my milk would let down -- and go EVERYWHERE. This was 24 and 21 years ago, though. Back then, they told me to take Brewer's yeast in order to increase my milk production. First, I don't know if it's gluten-free, and second, I don't know if it's just an old wives' tale.

I do agree with pumping in addition to feeding. Not that lactating women are cows --don't get me wrong -- but farmers must empty the cows COMPLETELY in order to keep them from "drying up". It's the law of supply and demand. When I wanted to go somewhere, I would pump several bottles as I could in addition to feeding. I would start about three days prior to my "outing". The problem for me, though, was that when I then WASN'T pumping, I had copious amounts of milk.

My breastmilk had quite a bit of cream in it, as well. It did rise to the top, and the milk was VERY watery looking, and had that "bluish" tint.

Also, that was back in the day that the doctor said to hold the baby, cuddle him or her, put your feet up, and have a glass of wine! Worked for me . . . . . !!

I have had friends who had difficulty producing milk, as well. By and large, their difficulty was with the baby not stripping the breast enough to stimulate increased production. I can't remember how they remedied that -- it was a long time ago -- but I do know that once they "tutored" the baby with regard to really latching on WELL, they had much better milk production.

Hope some of this helps . . . . . . it must be so frustrating. I'm hoping for the best for you.

xoxoxoxoxo

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