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M&Lsmomma 11-16-2012 10:55 PM

I don't normally post around here, so thank you in advance for any help/advice/insight you can offer!

Short background: DD was a miserable baby starting at about week 2. She did nothing but scream and cry any time she was awake and feedings were stressful. She got to the point of only drinking about 2oz at a time (at 5 weeks old) and then screaming her pretty little head off and the peds clinic said I needed to take her to the ER if she was crying for more than 2 hours and was unconsolable. I did. They assured me nothing was wrong with her. Insulted my parenting. And I KNEW there was something wrong. I went the next day and bought Alimentum per the rec of my friend and w/in 24hrs I had a new baby. A few weeks later finally someone listened to me about my suspicions of silent reflux. (but not before she lost weight and had a horrific day of fighting to only get 8oz into her) Got zantac. She started eating better. Just after her 2mo appt. she started passing a lot of mucus in her stool and having very frequent watery stools. Took her in. They tested for everything under the sun and found nothing. Gave me a GI referral since it hadn't cleared up. It finally did clear up. Then I finally got in to the GI. Just in time for the mucus to reappear. GI thinks that it's still an allergy to either the milk or something else in the formula. Also says the zantac dosage was so not enough and upped that. And advises us to switch to Elecare. We were headed out of town today so she gave me 4 cans to try out. Once we're back home I'm suppose to call and if things have gotten better she will start the paperwork to try to get WIC to cover it, if they haven't we'll figure out where to go next. DD also is up and down on the weight gain. When the mucus started, she lost 10oz in a week. Prior to that she had one other loss that I'm aware of. She's just now 11lbs at 3 months old and she was born 7lb 13oz. GI says she should have gained ideally 2lbs/month, so she's not thrilled with her lack of weight gain. [Okay I guess that 'short' got *long*, sorry.]

So, I'm wondering - have any of you had babies with allergies when there is NO history of alleriges in the family at all? I honestly can't think of a single person in either of our families with allergies. The only thing there is history of is Chrons disease, but it's not in our immediate family.
Secondly - Have any of you had success transitioning to regular foods and dairy products after a year old when you've needed to go as far as AA based formula?
Does anyone know if WIC in Virginia will cover Elecare? And if so do they cover as much as needed? I've read that they in certain states they only cover like 3 cans for 3 months. Or if Tricare does (DH is active duty)? We SO cannot afford to spend $400+/mo on formula :( It honestly would.not. be possible for us.

DD is generally a happy baby. The issues don't seem to bother her to be honest. But getting her to eat is stressful. I can get 20oz. max into her through the day. And most times it's not a calm feeding, it's kicking legs and squirming and turning her head. I'm hoping w/ the correct dosage of zantac and the new formula this will get better. And I thank you for reading all of this and for any help you have :)

luvsviola 11-17-2012 12:07 AM

Re: Allergies/Elecare?
My son is from a family with no allergies. He is 3.5 and still on Peptamin Jr. It is a hypoallergenic formula for older kids. He was on Elecare til 3 and is tube fed. His formula is about $3500 a month, but Medicaid covers it. He was adopted from foster care, so he has no copay for us.

Allergies are a crap shot. I would ask for a referral to an allergist. WIC in Indiana usually covers 9 cans of Elecare a month for kids 0-4 months, 10 cans for 4-6 months, and 7 cans for kids 6-12 months. You would need to get private insurance to cover the rest if they will, or look on eBay to see if you can get it cheaper. Some private insurances will cover it if you can document a reason for it.

What kind of allergy testing did you do? Blood or skin?

Good luck!

M&Lsmomma 11-17-2012 06:44 AM

Re: Allergies/Elecare?
Thanks for your reply :) We didn't do any allergy testing. I switched to Alimentum on my own out of desperation when no one would listen/believe me that something was wrong. The ER doctor actually asked if it was my first baby, as if I didn't know babies cried! She's my third, and no baby should be as miserable as she was. And since the Alimentum worked, the peds clinic wrote the slip for WIC to switch her. But the GI doctor didn't do any other testing. Should I request testing? Would they even do it with her being so young?

luvsviola 11-17-2012 09:14 AM

We did a blood test for DS at age 2. It was easy...just a standard blood draw. It takes a couple weeks to marinate. Before that, we did Elecare out of desperation because he screamed hysterically for hours. At 4 months, he stopped eating and we went to an NG tube.

SPJ&E 11-17-2012 12:05 PM

Re: Allergies/Elecare?
I could have written pretty much all of that. Silent reflux, milk allergy, weight loss/dropping off the chart for months...all of it. We had to up his Zantac doseage weekly (is is VERY weight sensitive) and he hit the maximum within 1 month of being on it. Once he was at the max and it stopped working, we switched to Prevacid. It made a huge difference in him. So if the new Zantac doseage does not work, ask for Prevacid!

Nutramigen seemed to work for a while, but once we switched to Neocate (the equivalent of Elecare), he did a lot better. Some babies just can't handle even the broken down milk proteins in the hypo-allergenic formulas. I'm betting Elecare will work wonders for your little girl!

My son has done great on Neocate. He was even able to go off of the reflux meds at 9 months! And he slowly worked his way back onto the chart. He stays in like the 3rd percentile, but he's staying on there! He is 14 months old now and doing really well. He still cannot do any dairy at all. We hope that he'll outgrow the allergy, but as of right now, he has not. We have done NO allergy testing. His ped (who is awesome with food allergies) does not do allergy testing until 3 years old.

Anyway, Virginia WIC will cover Elecare and also Neocate. You just need the doctor to fill out the form, which takes 2 seconds (just like with the Alimentum). Up to 1 year, mine got 8 cans per month. He gets 6 cans per month now (but they can override it and still do 8 if need be). You will likely need more than that, but it is a HUGE help, as I'm sure you know.

I hope you can get some relief for your little girl soon! Keep us updated!

SPJ&E 11-17-2012 12:18 PM

Re: Allergies/Elecare?
Oh and just to give you an idea of our son was 7.5 lbs. at birth and 8.5 lbs. at 2 months. He had been nursing and gaining reall well and then he started crying constantly and refusing to eat. He would nurse, pull off, nurse, pull off, etc. He was not a happy guy, despite me being 100% dairy free (we figured out very early that it bothered him). He was put on Zantac and we started supplementing with Nutramigen at that point.

By 3 months, he would not nurse anymore at all (not that he would much anyway, obviously). At 4 months, he was 11.5 lbs. He then got diarrhea that would not stop and he started losing weight again. We switched to Neocate at 5 months and the diarrhea was gone that day! He was 13 lbs. at 6 months, almost 16.5 lbs. at 9 months, 18 lbs. at 1 year, and is about 20.5 lbs. now (at 14 months, 1 week).

M&Lsmomma 11-17-2012 02:06 PM

Re: Allergies/Elecare?
Thank you! It helps so much to hear others stories. It just worries me that she went from 40th percentile in weight a month ago to 10th! :(

So now I have another question - way TMI - about baby poop. So today her poop was a total curveball for me. It's still got mucus but not as much. But now there are black flecks in it. And also, do you recall the 'seedy' newborn poop stage? It has some of that seedy white chunks in it. Should I call the GI or wait and see for a few days? She's been on elecare since Thursday late afternoon. My friend said perhaps she was just such a mess that the elecare is cleaning her out? The only good thing I can think of is that she's only had one poopy diaper today as opposed to the 2-4 she had been having.

luvsviola 11-17-2012 03:19 PM

Re: Allergies/Elecare?
DS's poop on Elecare is much more runny than regular formula poop. It is amino-acid only, so it is broken down much more easily. He still didn't have really formed poop at 3 years old on Elecare. I'd give it some more time.

Beth. 11-17-2012 06:29 PM

Re: Allergies/Elecare?

M&Lsmomma 11-17-2012 08:46 PM

Re: Allergies/Elecare?
I've been doing a lot of googling, which could be good or bad, but I've come across a LOT of parents stating that these issues arose following their babies being vaccinated at their 2mo appts. The rotateq (most specifically) and dtap. DD had her 2mo vaccines on a Tuesday and the mucus/frequent bowl movements started on Saturday. I had mentioned this to the ped but they said that wouldn't cause this. I'm starting to believe otherwise. Anyone else notice this correlation?

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