Our Journey with MSPI and GERD

MSPI stands for Milk and Soy Protein Intolerance. It is generally a suggested diet for mothers of breastfed babies that are having blood or mucus in their stools. Or like in my case for babies with GERD which stands for Gastroesophageal reflux disease (indigestion).


Our issues started at about 3-4 weeks old. She would come away from the breast constantly under all circumstances but seemed like she was always in pain or hungry. Having not breastfed my first daughter I thought she might just be going through a growth spurt or she just hadn't figured out how to effectively latch.

 At her 2 month appointment, I actually asked the doctor why she seemed to not latch right. She looked her over and said that she had reflux or GERD and that her throat was bright red and swollen. This was because of the acid that came up from her stomach into her throat. She said that her growth had also plateaued and she was concerned about it. She prescribed her ranitidine.

I thought that it was effective for a little. A day or two later she started coughing, I thought maybe it was a side effect of the medicine. So I called the doctor and asked about it, they said that it was probably just a part of the reflux and said to wait 2 more days.
In those 2 days, she would wake up coughing and choking in the middle of the night. As a mom and a nurse, it was terrifying. Thankfully she was always able to get it out of her airway on her own or with some assistance.

So I called the doctor again. My regular doctor was on vacation so we went to see the doctor that was filling in for her. At the appointment, he said that he was unable to change the dosage of the medication and suggested that we just sit her up more. Although she was never flat she slept in the swing and had a crib wedge. Her crib wedge specifically states it is helpful with Reflux I got it here.

I tried to feed her in front of him and he asked if she was particularly fussy that day. I said no this is how she is all the time. As I was also trying to corral my older daughter into sitting down for 2 seconds while I talked to him. I was extremely frustrated and I just wanted to cry.

This is when he suggested that we see a pediatric GI specialist and made dietary changes. First, he suggested that we change the formula we supplemented with to Alimentum. From then on we were talking to the doctor's office on a daily basis. Checking up on her progress and seeing how she was doing.

In those following days we were instructed to add rice cereal to her bottles 1 tsp. to 2 oz, have her be upright (>60 degrees) for an hour after she eats, I had to eliminate all milk and soy from my diet (MSPI diet), and they increased the dosage of her ranitidine.

I was then saddled with the challenge of completely changing my diet. At this time I had been craving dairy and drinking milk like no tomorrow so it was quite a challenge. I started googling like a mad woman trying to find support, recipes, or other moms that had to take on this challenge as well. I was surprised to find that there wasn't a ton of support but that there were other moms who had done it and survived. Who knew you could live without cheese?!

The main thing I want to get across is to be an advocate for your child. If you think something is wrong, it is. I went for too long thinking that she was just a "fussy baby" or she just was really particular. Not realizing it was more than a baby with colic. I also want to tell other moms to not give up hope, even if you think you can't do it. You can! You are a mom, you are the equivalent of a real life superhero. Don't give up hope, don't give up on your baby. You got this! Read more about MSPI here.

Has your child had tummy troubles? Have you had to change your diet to be able to continue breastfeeding?


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