Nicole: Hello, it’s Nicole Vascianna, postpartum nurse, lactation counsellor, doula and founder of the Village Maternity Services. So I’m at the park today; I’m working on learning how to pause, stop, take some time out and just slow down, and I really quickly wanted to address an email I received from a mom who’s breastfeeding and she’s also bottle-feeding as well. She wanted to know if it was safe and okay to introduce rice cereal and or oat meal before her baby is six months of age.
We know that it’s recommended that we don’t give the baby anything other than milk for the first six months, but I feel sometimes that we tell parents, we give them this information but we don’t tell them why. We don’t tell them why you shouldn’t do it and then we also don’t give them the effects, like what’s going to happen if you decide to this.
I wanted to address that really, really quickly because again, I was that mommy with that baby and I was giving the rice cereal and the oat meal in the bottle, and… So let’s talk about the effects.
When your baby is born, their digestive system is actually pretty much permeable. It’s immature, so they have these holes in their digestive system. Their body’s not producing all the enzymes that it needs in order to properly break down certain food particles.
So when you introduce food into this sort of system that’s not ready for it, what happens? Well, makes it that your baby may be experiencing gas and bloating; they’re really uncomfortable, and that’s that stuff kind of sitting in there working its way out but the body can’t properly break it down and metabolize it. Again, I said that their system has microscopic holes in it, so some of those food particles actually slip through their digestive system and ends up into their bloodstream.
Now once those food particles are in the bloodstream, the body goes on attack. Their immune system is like Oh my God, this is a pathogen, we’ve got to break it down; we’ve got to destroy it. Their immune system is now in overdrive. How do you and what do you see as a result of that? You may see your baby breaking out into rashes, like this is all autoimmune – it’s all immune system. You may see rashes, you may see eczema.
I experienced this a lot with my son and I had no clue what it was or what was causing it, and it was because we were doing the formula, we were doing the rice cereal; we were doing the oatmeal in the bottles so that he could sleep a little longer so mommy could take a nap. In long-term we see that these children develop allergies. They’re more likely to develop allergies because again, this is their immune system overreacting to stimuli.
Again, I’m that mom whose son goes to his friend’s house and I have to send him with Benadryl and Epipen just in case he has something that he’s allergic to.
I share this information not to bash anyone – not for anyone to feel bad, but it’s great when you have information and you can make informed decisions, especially decisions that are going to affect your life and your kid’s life long-term. This is stuff like long-term we’re dealing with, and so if I can just help someone else avoid that by just sharing this information, and that’s what this is all about, then my life was… I had purpose and… because I helped someone.
If you have any questions about that, like I still wasn’t clear or you want to reach out to me about something else, you can get in contact with me on my website, that’s villagematernityservices.com, also, my email is info@villagematernityservices and you can even call or send a text to my business line, that’s 3054821649.
Remember ladies, we go further when we go together.