Nineteen months ago my husband and I became parents. I spent twelve weeks with my sweet colicky baby, his pediatrician, and my counselor before going back to work. Together we worked through postpartum depression, breastfeeding demands, colic, and sleep (or lack thereof). Tucker woke hourly and then spent the majority of his awake time screaming, spitting up, and vomiting.
The pediatrician had me try an elimination and MSPI diet to rule out an allergy or intolerance to dairy, soy, corn, gluten, and eggs. Since I was a breastfeeding mom, we assumed Tucker's colic and sickness was related to my diet. Mom's diet is always the scapegoat. But, not really. That diet did nothing to help Tucker and it just made me miserable...and hungry.
After ending maternity leave and sending Tucker to daycare, I soon received requests from his teachers to bring *more* milk. It was their understanding that he should have 6-oz bottles. I later learned this was a ridiculous amount of breastmilk, as Tucker's belly was only able to hold 2-4 oz. I panicked, as I wasn't pumping that much. I started to pump more at work to spur my body to increase production. For one week, we supplemented with a dairy and soy-free formula while I built up a stash for daycare. It was around this time that I met some wonderful lactation professionals during a Miracle Milk Stroll. The conversations I had with these ladies spurred two wonderful appointments at ELITE. They wanted to know how much and how often Tucker ate. They wanted me to provide a food diary. How much was I pumping? How was I feeling? They watched me nurse Tucker in tears during my first visit.
To provide the consultants with the most clear view of what we were doing with and for Tucker, I created this little chart. I only tracked things for two weeks before my second appointment with ELITE. This seemed to be the holy grail of information for Lara, the IBCLC. She took a look at the two scribbled-on charts and told me the best thing ever...that she had a good idea of what was actually causing my son to be sick and sad and upset and in pain.
Oversupply symptoms are the same as MSPI. Did you know that?! Not once in those 12+ weeks did anyone ask me what the breastfeeding relationship was actually like. Since I was tracking so much information, including the amount of times and ounces I would pump at work and the bottles Tucker would have at school, I didn't leave too much room for interpretation of the cause of our troubles. I spent so much time nearly starving myself, crying in a counselor's office, thinking I wasn't cut out to be a mom... when really, my body was super happy to sustain and nourish the life it had created. It was just doing it a little too well. Within 24 hours of making the suggested changes to our routine, Tucker was a happy-go-lucky baby. He napped well. He stopped vomiting. This is what I had been praying for.
This chart was beyond helpful to the lactation consultants and to me. Since we knew what the issue was and were able to work with it, I was able to surpass my goal of nursing Tucker for just one year. He finally self-weaned at 18-months and one week. I had thought of giving up so many times, but with the right information, the right support group, and the knowledgeable professionals at ELITE, I was able to give Tucker the best start to life.
Because of this experience, I want to offer new moms, pediatricians, and lactation professionals the opportunity to have this chart for free. There is no worse feeling than that of inadequacy or failure as a parent. Take this, share it, use it. Support a new mom. Help these families reach their goals. Give the very best care to these new babies.
Not a nursing mama? No problem. Use this anyways and skip the pumping portion. Track which forumulas you have tried and how they have affected your kiddo!
Free for personal use. Distribute as you wish, but you may not resell. Thanks!