Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bad Breastfeeding Advice?

Anna is 15 months old today and still in love with nursing. She shows no signs of wanting to stop nursing and even nurses a few times at night. She even nursed through five weeks of Pertussis this summer. I'm happy with that!

Two nights ago she had a temperature of 103.4 and experienced a febrile seizure. I've been a mother for nearly six years now but that was my first time dealing with one of those. It was terrifying. It was also very physically painful for me because she was nursing when the seizure came on, and she clamped her four sharp teeth right down on my nipple and I wasn't able to pry them off! I honestly thought my nipple was going to be bitten right off.

Normally we don't take the children to a doctor for a fever, but since she had a febrile seizure I thought it warranted a quick trip. The doctor didn't seem to think anything of the seizure, but was horrified that I hadn't taken her to the emergency room for such a high fever. Our older two always get very high temperatures when they're ill and we've never had any problems with that.

Her problem was that she had a double inner-ear infection. The doctor asked if she had diarrhea also and I said yes. She told me that I needed to quit nursing her for 24 hours because "dairy is not good for diarrhea". I didn't feel like arguing with her, so I just smiled and nodded. When I got home I looked it up (as I always do when a doctor gives me breastfeeding advice) and found this from KellyMom.com

The current recommendations when vomiting or diarrhea is present in the breastfed child are as follows:

•Breastfeeding should be the FIRST choice if your child can take anything by mouth. Because of the ease and rapidity with which breastmilk is digested, even if your child vomits or stools shortly after nursing, he will still have retained some of the nutrients. Other foods that are often suggested (such as Pedialyte, sports drinks, gelatins and sodas) offer little nutritional value and none of the antibodies that human milk contains.

•When your breastfed child is ill you'll want to offer more frequent feedings -- this can limit the volume taken in at one time and helps to comfort and soothe a sick child. If your child is vomiting often and not keeping the milk down for long, it may be helpful to breastfeed frequently but limit the length of each nursing session (so your child takes in less milk at once). Another option is for Mom to express some milk before breastfeeding so that the milk flow is slower. RARELY does the baby who is allowed to breastfeed at will during a vomiting or diarrhea illness become dehydrated.

So, I didn't feel the need to quit nursing her. It was so strange, because the doctor seemed to be very supportive of breastfeeding, even past infancy. She treated my nursing a 15 month old as completely normal. She was surprised that Anna was eating solid food, though. I told her she ate nearly everything we did and the doctor said, "oh? so you puree it then?" I said that I just cut everything into small bites and she said, "so she has chewing teeth?" I said no, just the four in front, but she could chew fine with her gums. The doctor didn't seem to understand that. She's from India, so I'm wondering what Indian mothers feed their toddlers?


Diana J. said...

Wow, good for you! I'm glad to have that knowledge in my head for the future.

I have not yet seen a febrile seizure - it sounds very scary. Good for you for getting through it - and pertussis too! (Thankfully not at the same time!)

Hoping your little one feels better soon!

Joanna said...

You are so lucky to have a doctor even that much supportive of breastfeeding! We just weaned at a little over 2 years, and my doctor thought it was ridiculous after 1 year. I'm glad you went to Kelly for information - she is awesome!

Kristin said...

Good for you for looking it up yourself! I've breastfed four of my children for 2-3 years each and I have a 6-week-old now. We also go straight from breastmilk to table food. It seems like the natural normal thing to do (as opposed to pureed baby food) and my children are good eaters for the most part. Isn't nursing wonderful?!

Christy said...

Oh my goodness, yes, breastmilk is not the same as dairy! lol As if you were a cow or something. ;) Ugh, glad you figured it out though. I hope you aren't in lasting pain from the bite, what a scary experience!

BeckyT said...

It's funny, both of my girls have left me with scars on what makes me "female". Sarah was born by cesarean, so I have a scar on my uterus (and one on my lower abdomen) and Anna left a scar on my nipple when she had the seizure.

But we're all fine now :)