First in a series with Dr. Jay Gordon.
We asked you on our facebook page what questions you had for Dr. Jay Gordon.
Here are his answers to five of your questions:
1. My middle daughter has autism. Are there any supplements that he would recommend for her?
My approach is very basic: a sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy free diet is the heart of treatment kids with ASD. Some children with autism don’t absorb vitamins and other nutrients well and may need higher dose B12 and other B vitamins. Many experts recommend vitamin B12 injections. I rely on either DAN doctors or other super specialists for other supplements such as glutathione, carnitine and more. I strongly recommend evaluation of stool flora and stool proteins to look for malabsorption and maldigestion.
The nutritional routine of SFGFCF (casein-free is another way to phrase dairy free because it involves looking hard for dairy protein on the label even when “milk” isn’t listed) is the start. Not always easy for families but the most important beginning measure.
2. A substantial portion of my friends (who were less than enthusiastic about breast feeding) tell me they physically cannot breastfeed. Yet out of my friends who wanted to breastfeed, only one was unable to. I realize some women truly cannot, but is there a reason so many women today can’t or think they can’t? And are there things women who want to be successful at breastfeeding can do to increase their odds of success and longevity?
Lack of support is the number one cause of breastfeeding failure. I have seen the estimate that 1/20 women actually can’t nurse, but I think that’s wrong. Read, take a breastfeeding class, make sure your doctor, the hospital and its nurses and your husband know that you want to nurse your newborn early and often and that no formula is needed for a healthy baby. (And probably not needed for preemies and babies with mild to moderate medical problems.)
Make sure to get lactation counseling and support all through the first few days and few weeks.
3. I followed his recommendations for night weaning. Any recommendations on transitioning into his own bed smoothly?
Slow transitions work and abrupt transitions are harder and sadder for parents and babies alike. I recommend a sleeping bag or cot next to your child’s bed for a few nights at least. Then, move the sleeping bag close to the door and then into the hall. This takes longer and might feel harder but it’s easier on all of you. AND, make certain you’ve picked a time that suits you and not your friends or in-laws or your doctor.
4.When a baby is totally BF & thriving on it, when should vitamins be introduced & what would be the best.
I don’t agree with the AAP’s recommendation to give iron to all breastfeeding babies not their vitamin D recommendation. I give no vitamins at all to healthy full term babies in the first six months. I start Vitamin D, 400 units in the second half of that first year, and add probiotics and omega 3 fatty acids in the second year. The Omega 3 dose depends on the (palatable) brand you pick. I don’t give multiple vitamins to healthy babies and toddlers and children.
5.I am one of the women whom so many have a hard time believing actually exist; I was absolutely unable to produce enough to feed my daughter despite many many hours pumping, appointments with lactation consultants, herbal supplements and lactogenic foods. I have hypothyroidism that is controlled with medication and when I gave birth, my blood pressure went crazy so I was on magnesium sulfate for 24 hours. Is there anything I can do during pregnancy to help my milk supply? Is it okay to take herbal supplements for increased supply during the 3rd trimester?
Please talk to an endocrinologist who supports your strong desire to breastfeed. I’m not able to comment on safety of some herbs during the third trimester.