On Wednesday, we took a sample of Mal's poop to the lab to get analyzed per his pediatrician's instructions. She wanted to make sure he was absorbing all of the nutrients he needs since his weight gain is slow. She called us last night with the results: he's absorbing the fat just fine, but isn't absorbing enough lactose. Apparently, it's not uncommon for a newborn's intestines to not produce enough lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose. This is often called lactose intolerance, but that would be an incorrect diagnosis. True lactose intolerance is actually quite rare in babies.
Anyway, the symptoms we read up on when doing our own research matched exactly what Malcolm experiences: watery stools and gassiness. She recommended that we start giving him Lactaid before he eats.
When I started going to class, we started giving Mal a little bit of formula when Tony would run out of pumped breast milk. We noticed that the next day, he was spitting up quite often. So, we went ahead and got him soy based formula. Boy does he hate the taste! The pediatrician instructed us to start supplementing his feeding with formula until his weight increases and I can increase my milk production (she thinks that my milk production is low).
While I was giving Mal his bath last night, Tony ran to the store to pick up some Lactaid. We gave him the dosage she recommended, I then fed him and then Tony gave him a bottle of formula. He was a happy baby. Tony was playing with him on his lap and he was doing his cute cooing and whatnot when suddenly, he vomited all over himself and Tony. Ack! Our first time having to deal with our kid puking! And of course he did it after his bath. He didn't cry or anything so we think he was feeling just fine. This morning, I gave him some more Lactaid and also a bottle of formula (he only drank an ounce this time) and so far we are in the clear. I've come to the conclusion that he just had too much to eat.
I'm really hoping that he puts weight on quickly so we can stop giving him formula every day. It's hard for him to digest.