When my first son was born, he was perfect: healthy, strong, and beautiful. In the first week or two we settled in to breastfeeding, diaper changes, and each other. But he seemed to get fussier every day. After a few weeks, he was only happy when he was moving. I had to be driving, walking or bouncing him all the time. He took the breast eagerly, but after a while he’d pull off and scream. When he did fall asleep, he woke up shrieking when I set him down. Even at night, he rarely slept more than 2 hours at a stretch, and always woke up miserable. Stools were odd colors and frequently explosive. The pediatrician said he was growing well and exceeding developmental milestones. There was no sign of reflux. She had me avoid foods known to make breastfed babies gassy, and even took me off dairy for a week, but there was no change. His stools became increasingly mucusy, and at 6 weeks I saw the first spot of blood in his stool. The bloody stools became more frequent, and my poor baby was just miserable. Regular soaks to treat suspected anal fissures were not helping, and we were all at our wits’ end. I made an appointment with a Pediatric Gastroenterologist. He listened to my story and made his diagnosis before even examining my son: a dairy- and soy-protein allergy called Allergic Proctocolitis (AP). Bleeding stopped shortly after I started an elimination diet, and after two dairy- and soy-free months, my son was happy and sleeping through the night.
My story took place in 1997. At that time, dairy and soy ingredients were not highlighted on labels, and there were no helpful blogs and websites to guide me. I taught myself what I needed to know, and followed the elimination diet until my son outgrew his intolerance at 12 months of age. By the time we realized our second son had the same problem I was an old pro! I made a promise to myself to find a way to help other families facing the same struggle. I went back to school to become a Registered Dietitian, and applied for a grant to develop this website in order to fulfill that promise.
Today, my boys are both healthy, strong, and beautiful, with no allergies or gastrointestinal issues. I hope that this website gives you the information you are looking for, the support you need, and the hope you deserve.
NOTE: This website is not a substitute for a medical diagnosis. If you believe there is an issue with your baby’s health, do NOT try to self-diagnose. Please describe your baby’s symptoms to a pediatrician, family practitioner, pediatric gastroenterologist, or pediatric allergist.