While most of us struggle with an overload of salt (who doesn’t love those sodium-heavy foods…cheese, bacon, chips, or how about bacon flavoured chips?), Addison has the complete opposite problem. She needs more sodium. And a little bicarbonate too. It would be so easy if she was eating solid foods, but alas breast milk is the only thing on the menu right now. It would also be easy if I could increase the sodium and bicarbonate in breast milk by eating more salt. Unfortunately, the human body doesn’t work that way.
So here comes the dilemma…how do you get more sodium into a baby? Aaron suggested giving her a sea salt tortilla chip to lick. Well, sodium and bicarbonate are conveniently both found in baking soda. That’s a good start. Except as we all know, baking soda tastes TERRIBLE. The transplant pharmacist and dietitian told us to put 1 ml of baking soda (really a very teeny amount) in a bottle of breast milk and give that to Addison once a day. Yikes. That did not go very well right from our first attempt yesterday evening. Poor little girl was screaming her head off and got wise to our bad-tasting trickery right away. I had terrible mommy guilt after that.
Round two this morning involved a slightly different version. Mix the baking soda up with a few drops of breast milk, add some magnesium which Addison loves, suck that up into a syringe and administer like all her other meds. I tried to jam the syringe as far back into her mouth as I could to avoid the taste buds. That was marginally more successful than the bottle – at least she didn’t break out into high pitched sobs. But our wise little 4 month old definitely knew we were up to no good. There was a lot of gagging and choking involved.
I am saving the other half of the baking soda syringe for later this afternoon. Wish me luck! Or we might have to pull out the bag of tortilla chips.
Elaine, Aaron and Addison