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Breastfeeding a 17 month old

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Zahira, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. Zahira

    Zahira New Member

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    Hi, I am new to this forum. My son was recently diagnosed in December at 16 months. It was a scary experience because we were told he could have went into a coma. We are still trying to get his blood sugars stable. He gets a lot of lows. But anyways, I have been wondering how many diabetic children are breastfed and if they are encouraged to breastfeed after the first year of life. Before my son's diagnosis I planned to breastfeed until the age of 2. However, I have been getting a lot of discouraging feedback. I was able to meet an endocrynologist that supports breastfeeding just the other day. I don't understand why others are discouraging. He doesn't consume enough breastmilk to have an impact on his bloodsugars. I am seeing a lactation consultant once a month. My son's intake is between 2-4oz a feeding and nurses about 4 times a day.
     
  2. MomofSweetOne

    MomofSweetOne Approved members

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    I'm glad you were able to find an endo that is supportive. The breastmilk would raise his BGs some, but I would think the benefit outweighs the challenge. Especially since his immune system needs all the help it can get right now.

    One thing you could possibly do is CGM. That way you could see the effects of a typical nursing session and figure out how to dose him for it. Or if he just runs it off....
     
  3. Hayden2007

    Hayden2007 Approved members

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    Glad to hear you have support. I would encourage you to do it as long as you can. As you know it is so rewarding for you and your son. I BF Hayden until he was around 2, he was non-D then, but right now that is probably still comforting for you and him both especially through all you are going through.
     
  4. SarahKelly

    SarahKelly Approved members

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    Alright...well...my son is still BFing, he was diagnosed at 19 months and at that point he was so miserable that nursing was one of the only things he did without complaint. After his dx he just kept going and hasn't stopped. I actually didn't give him insulin for his nursing sessions if it was followed by a long sleep because he tended to go down when sleeping at first when dx, but if he nursed in the morning I would just add about 8 carbs to his breakfast count to cover the milk. Now I don't worry about it as it isn't a lot of milk he is getting.
    Our CDE encouraged us to continue to nurse as long as we wanted and really just said to keep not of how it affected BG to see if we needed to cover it or not, so we did.
    :)
    Welcome to the board, sorry about the dx, but know you are not alone and it does get to a point where life starts flowing "easier" again :)
     
  5. Lisa P.

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    Selah was diagnosed at 17 months, she's 5 now, so I'll try to remember back, but yes, we had folks who were reluctant to help us at all unless we agreed to wean her ASAP. And yes, in my opinion it's unnecessary.

    I believe we just went from a baseline of figuring 4 carbs per side and then adjusted up or down depending on the "session" Selah was eating grapes (cut up) by that time and a grape is about a carb, so if she needed 45 carbs for half a unit we could just add a baby food jar, nursing, and make up the diff in grapes, that sort of thing.

    It's a little complicated, but no more than trying to calculate carbs of, say, a fresh apple -- sweetness varies, size varies, how much of the core is left, etc.

    Four carbs can raise Selah's blood sugar 40 to 80 points, so as you move on you'll see that breastfeeding can affect her bg, but by then you'll have learned how to make it work for you.

    Diabetes in toddlers is its own story (just like in kids in puberty, or in young adults, or in kids in sports, every situation has its own challenges) and endos don't always get that toddlers can be different, so if you've found an endo willing to work with you on breastfeeding you'll probably have better luck in these early days on everything. Welcome to the forum!
     
  6. denise3099

    denise3099 Approved members

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    No advice on D since dd was 4 at dx. But i did nurse each child until they were each almost 2. I can't help but feel that his life is hard enough without missing his boobie. :p Some kids wean easily, but do you really want to put both of you through weaning as well as learning to manage D.

    As my 22 month old used to say, "Time to Nurse!" :D
     
  7. Mcweedy

    Mcweedy Approved members

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    wow, I just cried after reading this post... My dd 15 months was diagnosed last Friday and I am very very lucky that my doctors have been very supportive of me breastfeeding, I think they knew that I wasn't going to stop so that had to include this in her diet.

    I sorry I just had to post as I'm still feeling very numb and still trying to get my head around this whole thing. Good luck to you and keep nursing mamma, baba needs you xx
     
  8. Zahira

    Zahira New Member

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    thank you everyone for the support :) sometimes a mother needs to hear support from other parents going through similar situations
     
  9. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    23 years ago when my son was dx'd at 15 months, the endo/cde told me he could no longer breastfeed on demand -- only with meals. That was the worst advice and in retrospect I wish I never followed it. People at La Leche League didn't know how to guide me at the time.

    His blood sugars were still a challenge to control and the stress of imposed weaning before he was ready was detrimental especially at the time of diagnosis. Zahira, trust your instincts. You can figure out how to make it work. Nursing/breastfeeding is a very special time in life between a mother and a child. Big hugs to you!
     
  10. Lisa P.

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    Just an small OT note that those who were breastfeeding their infants 20 years ago, in any situation and on demand or not, have my extreme gratitude. I first breastfed my oldest 11 years ago, by that time it was accepted to breastfeed, public venues didn't disparage it, friends understood it, and hospitals and pediatricians accommodated it. My mother and mother in law couldn't comprehend it -- because in their generation, it was not acceptable. The intervening generation, the women who were new mothers about 20 years ago, made it possible for folks like me to make my own decisions about how to feed my infant. I have no doubt at all -- none -- that if breastfeeding had not been a socially acceptable act when I first gave birth I would not have had the courage to do it. My thanks to those who made it possible for so many today in America.
     
  11. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Maybe some Lisa, but my mom had one in 1961 and two more in the decade to follow and all were breast fed. And she was as Jackie O kinda gal. :rolleyes:
     
  12. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    I never knew it wasn't acceptable in public :D - nursed anywhere and everywhere. Although my now 84 year old mother, wasn't very comfortable initially when I was so free about it. She quickly learned to accept it!!
     
  13. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

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    Sorry, sometimes I get a little carried away. :p
     
  14. mom2Hanna

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    Sarah, still nursing my almost 3 yr old here, she is non-d but I have done child led weaning with my younger 3. My oldest I weaned at a year because I was a young mom and everyone said I should.

    My daughter was dxd at 10 so long past her nursing days but I know if I had a little one I would insist that her endo make breastfeeding work. Lots of hugs to you moms of babies with diabetes.
     
  15. Becky Stevens mom

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    Hello and welcome:cwds: Im glad you posted but sorry about your daughter's diagnosis. I know this must of come as a shock to you but you are among friends here. You come back and post anytime you want to, to get advice or support. And you keep breastfeeding too, that will be a great comfort to your daughter as she adjusts to life with diabetes. And it is so good for her!:cwds:
     
  16. Tweety8

    Tweety8 Approved members

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    Hi Zahira,

    You aren't in Albany, NY are you? Just wondering because I heard at my hospital the other day that a 17 month old baby was just dx'd. Anyway, I hope you all are doing alright. This is a life-changing situation for everyone.

    I just had to post something that I didn't see here in this thread. When my daughter was dx'd, she was 2 years, 6 weeks old. I had completely weaned her from breastfeeding at 23 months. Even though she was showing signs that she was getting sick, months before, it was when I completely took her off the breast that she quickly went downhill, and then was in DKA and almost comatose.

    When we were in the Ped-ICU for two days, two different Nurses came to me with the same question: are you still breastfeeding her? I said no. And BOTH (who were not there at the same time) told me that she was most likely getting some of my insulin through breastmilk and that was why she was wanting to nurse so much. She was probably feeling better after that from getting a little bit of insulin, pre-dx. I was shocked, but this made sense. So did anyone at your practice mention that to you? If this is true, then your baby could go a little lower if you are BFing and then giving insulin. I don't know, I just had to say something because of my experience and what those two nurses told me.

    Hugs to you!
    Kristin
     
  17. Tweety8

    Tweety8 Approved members

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    Lisa, I love it when you get carried away!
     
  18. Katie'sMom

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    I was (an amstill) a La Leche League Leader when dd was diagnosed at 2...the endo discouraged me from breastfeeding, but our wonderful CDE said there was no reason to wean. I tried to use my resources as well as the LLL resources and had a hard time finding answers. Finally, I found a resource that gave a carb count for breastmilk...2 carbs per ounce. so I would WAG the carbs based on 2-4 oz as typical nursing session. Anyway, while dd was honeymooning, the carbs in one nursing session were almost "free" anyway. So we did keep nursing.

    I recommend continuing to nurse for the anti-bodies as well. My daughter avoided any other illnesses until she weaned and a few months later she got a serious tummy bug and we ended up in the hospital with her.

    I have been wanting to write an article for the new beginnings publication about BF a diabetic child and life keeps getting in the way...
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  19. Katie'sMom

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    You go, Lisa!
     
  20. engingirl

    engingirl New Member

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    My 19 month old DD was diagnosed 3 months ago. She breastfeeds a lot! When she was on shots, we didn't cover breastmilk at all. She's on a pump now, and I bolus for around 8 grams per letdown in the morning, and 6 grams per letdown in the afternoon. I try to just estimate how much milk I think she received. It seems to be working well! The doctors have all been very supportive. One of the CDE's gave some not-so-great advice, and suggested I either pump or weigh my daughter to test how much milk she is getting (but given that she grazes, this wouldn't really work for her), and another CDE suggested timing the nursing session (again, that won't really work for her). The CDE suggested that if these didn't work, I could pump and give her expressed milk, which is not a path I want to go down at this stage, or that we could wean (grrr!). However, with counting letdowns and looking and listening at how much my daughter is gulping, it's not been too tricky to estimate, now that she's on a pump.

    Nursing has been soooo valuable for us with diabetes. It's very comforting to my DD, and was wonderful for her when she was recovering from her hospital stay. We now use it to treat low BG levels, and it's a food that she will always take. I'm so thankful that my DD is still nursing!

    Good on you OP for perservering with nursing! Sorry that not all of the health care staff have been supportive, but I'm glad you found a supportive endo. :) My daughter was also very close to being in a coma, and was passing out when we got her to the ER. It was scary! I'm so thankful that the first endo in the hospital who I asked if we could still breastfeed said "YES! Go and pump!" (My DD was in DKA and couldn't take any food for a day).
     

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