MSPI (Milk Soy Protein Intolerance) By The Month: Our Journey, Month Two!

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I’m going to be expediting the process of sharing the first few months of our journey as I’ve gotten a bit behind! Hopefully there aren’t any objections.

If you’ve been following along with our MSPI journey so far you might remember that we are entering into our second month with our little guy, and our first month post MPSI diagnosis. If you need to catch up, head on over here to check out my post from last month.

Now that the decision had been made to embark on this elimination diet, the focus was on the removal of all dairy (both casein and whey) as well as soy. Even though I had never been much of a milk drinker per say the idea of giving up cheese and yogurt, and yes the occasional ice cream definitely seemed daunting.

Let’s just say my first scouting trips to Whole Foods, Sprouts, Natural Grocer’s, and Trader Joe’s were more than a little interesting. I did a whole lot of wandering around the aisles, reading label after label and quickly discovered that soy and soy lecithin were in SO many things. Here it was the dairy which I thought would give me the hardest time, but really it was the soy that was going to cause me the greatest difficulties. [Read more…]

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MSPI (Milk Soy Protein Intolerance) By The Month: Our Journey!

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I’ve decided it’s definitely time to get back to sharing more of our MSPI, milk soy protein intolerance journey with you all. As I’m sure many of you have noticed, I’ve gotten a bit distracted with sharing money saving, keep your budget healthy too, deals. I just can’t help myself, as deep down I’m a bit of a bargain junkie. 🙂

I’m going to be starting a new series entitled MSPI By The Month, where I will be chronicling our journey with MSPI (and subsequently all of the other dietary sensitivities and allergies which we’ve uncovered along the way).

I would like to share about our sons first month of life and how we came to the MSPI diagnosis, as yes, for us we figured it out pretty quickly.

Even in the hospital it seemed like something was a bit amiss, as there were times like it sounded like he was sort of stuffy and already had a gurgly sounding belly. We were also having some issues with breastfeeding as latching wasn’t going so well, and it really did seem like he was hungry all the time. He wouldn’t sleep for more than 20-30 minutes at a time and was so very restless. I decided to try pumping instead, which was far from an easy decision. Thankfully my milk came in even while we were still in the hospital so I was able to pump a good bit for him. This helped some with what seemed like constant hunger but it still appeared that something was off with his little tiny belly. [Read more…]

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Top Resources for Moms of MSPI (Milk Soy Protein Intolerant) Babies!

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So your baby has just been diagnosed with MSPI, or you suspect that your little bundle might be struggling with some dietary sensitivities, especially those related to milk and soy proteins. Where do you turn? What do you eat? How in the world are you going to live without dairy (which I openly admit that I LOVED before I got started on this MSPI journey)?

These are just some of the many questions that I had when we first discovered that our sweet boy had MSPI, and honestly they became part of the inspiration for starting this blog.

I did a TON of research and read everything that I could get my hands on. Of course I searched more times then I can even count on Google as well. I found both awesome and of course not so great information so I thought it could be really helpful to have a list of some of the best resources all in one place. I hope you find some of these as helpful as I did!

MSPI Mama has many awesome tried and true recipes, including several Quick Start ones that don’t use too many ingredients that aren’t normally found in your pantry already! These can be especially helpful when you might be feeling overwhelmed with getting started on the MSPI diet. As far as I can tell she hasn’t updated this blog in awhile, but there is still plenty of good stuff here so definitely worth a look!

The Children’s Healthy Care of Atlanta has provided a very helpful printout explaining what MSPI is as well as an extensive list of foods which may contain milk and/or soy proteins. There are also food safety guidelines included.

Maryea over at Happy Healthy Mama has a great post detailing their journey with breastfeeding and MSPI, including photos of diapers that you might find helpful in comparing with your little ones’. (consider yourself warned that this isn’t for the squeamish) 😉

The Intolerant Offspring is loaded with recipes for not only those dealing with MPSI, but a plethora of sensitivities and allergies as well. They even have a sweet feature which allows you to search by multiple allergies!

Reflux Rebels is not only helpful for those that are dealing with reflux but also has some helpful information on MSPI as well.

MSPI and Reflux Mamas is a closed Facebook Group specifically for moms who are dealing with MSPI and or reflux with their little ones. With almost 2,000 members there is a lot of knowledge and support to be found here!

KellyMom is a fabulous resource for breastfeeding in general. They have a wealth of information on all things related to nursing including Dairy and other Food Sensitivities in Breastfed Babies.

MSPI Moms links to weekly check-ins from the Breastfeeding Board on the The Bump. This looks like it hasn’t been updated in a bit either, but still contains helpful links to questions, answers, and discussions.

My MSPI Baby…of course don’t forget to stop back on a regular basis as I’ll be continuing to share about our journey with MSPI, as well as healthy tips, recipes, and deals related to babies, children, and sensitive families!

Please leave a comment if you know of any other resources so that I can add them to this list!

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10 Tips for Exclusively Pumping Moms!

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As I mentioned in my very first post, What is MSPI Anyways, I’m an exclusively pumping mama. The decision to exclusively pump is not one that is made lightly or easily. Exclusively pumping is very hard work which requires some serious time and dedication, especially for the first few months when you are building your supply.

I tried breastfeeding in the hospital and we were having latching issues and he would only feed on one side. I had multiple visits from lactation consultants, who seeing my discomfort and frustration suggested that maybe I would like to try to pump instead. I decided I would at least be willing to give it a try although the idea of cleaning pump parts all the time and being attached to this milking machine for hours a day didn’t seem too appealing. I did however want to provide this precious little baby with the benefits of breast milk if I could.

I’ll be honest the first few times pumping was awkward and not comfortable at all either, but I decided to stick with it. Months later we are still going strong, and yes, it does get WAY easier!

Here are a few things that I discovered along the way that have made a huge difference in my exclusively pumping journey so far.

1. The first few months you will need to pump A LOT! Basically ever 2 to 3 hours around the clock if you want to build up your supply. I would sometimes go a tiny bit longer in between pumps in the middle of the night, but I almost always tried to get in at least 8 per day. This seems insanely overwhelming, but it pays of in spades once you get past your first 12 weeks or so. Because of all the early pumping I was able to drop down to only about 5 pumps per day by 3 months and still have more than enough milk for my little guy, and even am able to freeze a good bit as well.

2. When you are pumping every 2 to 3 hours you’ll want to pump for at least 15 to 20 minutes per session. Most of the time I pumped slightly over 20 minutes and now that I’m past that initial first 3 months I pump for about 30-40 minutes at a time since I’m only pumping about 5 times per day (sometimes even 4).

3. A good quality hands-free pumping bra friend will become your best friend! My personal favorite has been the Simple Wishes Hands-Free Breastpump Bra…if it’s in the budget it never hurts to have 2 so you have one on hand while the other is in the the laundry.

4. Invest in a high quality pump or rent a medical grade one if you can. I’m personally renting the Medela Symphony and consider it to be a great investment, although plenty of ladies have fantastic luck with the Medela Pump In Style Advanced.

5. Keep an extra set of pump parts on hand if you can afford it…extra valves and membranes are a must, as you don’t want to find yourself in the middle of the night with a whole in one or one that isn’t producing a good seal anymore.

6. Sometimes no matter how diligent you are with your pumping schedule your supply drops and you need to boost it up again. Two options that I’ve found to be quite effective are Mother’s Milk Tea and Fennel Essential Oil.

7. Make sure that you are using the right size flanges or shields, this can make all the difference when it comes to reducing soreness and improving output. Many ladies have success with Pumpin’ Pals.

8. Don’t focus on the act of pumping and stress out about how much milk you are getting…this only makes it so much more laborious and can effect your letdown. Honestly my iPhone or iPad are a must have when I’m pumping. Sometimes I will read an eBook, surf my Facebook feed, or update my calender for the week.

9. Keep a manual hand pump in the car just in case you forget your electric pump. Having this emergency back up can be a real lifesaver! I keep the Medela Harmony in my car at all times.

10. Never quit on a bad day, when you are feeling overwhelmed and feel like you will never be free of the pump! There will be lots of days when you want to quit, but there is a good chance that the next day will be better, wait until it is to make this decision.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information which I’m sharing with you on this blog is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please confirm any information obtained from or through this blog with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this blog.This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

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I’ve Eliminated Dairy & Soy From My Diet So Why Am I Not Seeing Improvement?

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I feel your pain and anxiety, really I do! After about a week of being off both dairy and soy, and let’s face it even feeling like I was starving at times, I couldn’t figure out why my poor little guy still seemed to be suffering so much.

That’s when I began to do even more research and discovered that it can take as long as 3 to 4 weeks for all the milk proteins to fully be removed from your body, so you really need to wait that long to evaluate the results. This of course can seem like an eternity when all you want to do is help your sweet little babe, but if you do truly start to see improvement after a few weeks it will all be worth it, promise!

We did start to seem some improvement with the amount of gas and digestive issues that he was having in about 2 weeks and some clearing of his skin in about 3 weeks. Although things almost seemed like they were worse for the first week or so. Once we got to about 4 weeks we brought a few more diapers to his pediatrician to be tested and low and behold no traces of blood! We clearly had found one of his sensitivities. [Read more…]

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Let The Elimination Diet Begin!

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Did I already say that I was a little overwhelmed when I found out that I was going to begin on an MSPI elimination diet?! Ummm yeah, no dairy and no soy…yikes! I actually thought giving up the dairy was going to be harder, but really I think it was the soy as it seems to be in almost everything. Now I should point out that I chose to also eliminate everything with soy oil and soy lecithin as well. Some babies don’t require this strict of a diet, but one thing that you should know about me is I’m kind of an all-in sort of person, so I quickly decided that if there was any possibility that either of these soy substances could cause my little man any issues I would rather just cut it out right from the start. Of course you might not find it necessary to be so strict, and if that is the case you’ll have more food choices available to you.

So after it was decided that I would be eliminating both dairy and soy, including all the hidden forms of dairy that I shared with you in my post What is MSPI Anyways. I headed off to Sprouts and Whole Foods to begin this journey. Well needless to say I did a ton of wandering around the aisles reading labels and wondering what in the world I could eat, all the while I was in shock as to how much this new diet was going to cost our family as well! That’s something else that you should know about me I’m quite frugal by nature and the price of many of these alternative foods such as coconut yogurt and vegan cheese had my head spinning just a bit.

I eventually purchased a few things that I thought were “safe” for me to eat, but still didn’t really have much for making actual meals. I begin to scour the internet for resources and recipes, many of which I now have tried…some which have been awesome, and some of which have been pretty awful to say the least. So, my hope is to share some of my tried and true favorites with you so you can save yourself from some of the epic fails that are out there. Believe me your husband and children will thank you as well. 😉

Of course it didn’t take me long to decide that I needed to start making many of these items myself, and not only would I save a TON of money by doing so, but they would be even healthier. I will be sharing all of this with you as we continue on this elimination diet together.

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What Is MSPI Anyways?

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If you have found your way to My MSPI Baby chances are your baby has just been diagnosed with MSPI (Milk Soy Protein Intolerance), or you are researching symptoms that your baby is experiencing and you are thinking that this just might be what’s going on with your little one.

Let me share our road to an MSPI diagnoses with you and you can see if any of this might sound familiar.

When our third bundle of joy was born I decided that I was definitely going to breastfeed this time around, even though it didn’t go so well with the previous two (stay tuned for more on this later). 😉 However, once again we had some issues right from the start but this time I decided that I would try exclusively pumping, as at least he would be receiving all the wonderful benefits of breast milk even if it was being delivered in a bottle. Of course many of you that have been down the exclusively pumping road know, there is definitely a lot more involved, including middle of the night pumping sessions, washing pump parts and bottles, maintaining a strict pumping schedule the first couple of months, and so much more…but regardless, I had a new found determination to make this work!

Right from the very beginning it seemed like this little boy had some funky things going on with his tummy…so much gas, congestion, and a total inability to sleep for more than just a few minutes at a time. Yes, our sweet little man was definitely giving us a run for our money.

Over the next few weeks even more symptoms started to arise….colicky behavior, explosive bowel movements, eczema on his face and head, and some definite signs of reflux (which our older two children had dealt with before).

We tried everything that we could think of including Infant Gas Relief Drops and Gripe Water. Both would take the edge off for very short periods of time, but the relief never lasted for long as they were essentially just acting as a band-aid…treating or covering up the symptoms, but doing nothing for the root cause.

We decided that it was finally time to take a trip to our pediatrician to attempt to get a better handle on what was going on, as this little boy clearly wasn’t happy and was suffering in some way. Of course if you know anything about me it’s that I’m a researcher, so I of already had a strong suspicion that we were dealing with MSPI and possibly reflux as well.

If your baby is experiencing  reflux, medication can sometimes help relieve some of the symptoms, but if the reflux is being caused by a sensitivity to milk and soy proteins, these will need to be fully removed from his or her diet to get to the bottom of the cause of the reflux.  Sometimes switching to a dairy and soy-free formula will take care of the problem for those babies who are bottle fed. But if your baby is being fed breast milk like mine, you’ll need to remove all dairy and soy ingredients including the hidden ones.

After sharing all of this goodness with our doctor, she too thought it sounded like there was a definite possibility that this is what we were dealing with too. However, there really isn’t a good definitive test to diagnose MSPI (especially in babies so young). About the best they could do was test some of his stool samples for traces of blood, which they ultimately found. So my elimination diet would begin as ironically enough I was even more determined to make this whole breastfeeding, or in my case pumping thing work!

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Make sure to share in the comments section down below so that we can all learn from each other!

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