If you are already here hopefully you understand that TED Mamas is a mother-to-mother support group for breastfeeding mamas around the world who are on, or considering, a Total Elimination Diet (TED), to help identify food triggers contributing to their nurslings’ various symptoms.
No one can tell you if you should or shouldn’t do a TED, it is completely up to you. This decision can be made so much harder by the lack of understanding from mainstream professionals, especially when breastfeeding and eliminations combine.
We hope our resources and groups will help you in your journey.
What is a TED?
TED is a method where you eat only a handful of low risk foods (5-8), until your baby finds a reaction free “baseline”. At which point new foods can be systematically reintroduced to identify which are triggering reactions.
Many begin with the foods suggested by Dr. Sears. Though others do better on a modified TED, especially those with gastro symptoms who can often benefit from a low FPIES risk TED. Regardless of which TED is followed sometimes mamas find they need to tweak their initial foods to find the right combination for their little one.
For more info: https://tedmamas.com/2018/04/18/what-is-a-ted/
Why do people do TED’s?
Many Mamas do TED’s for infants and young children with:
- Colic or excessive unexplained sadness
- Mucus and blood in stools, or green stools
- Skin issues including hives, flushing and eczema
- Vomiting and Diarrhoea
- Persistent recurring congestion
- Coughing and other respiratory symptoms including recurring chest infections and asthma.
Some people with non-nursing children with multiple allergies also use a similar TED method for solid introduction. Others, including individuals or parents of older children, struggling with gastritis, colitis, multiple allergies or atopy try to implement a TED later on.
Many with mast cell involvement also follow TED’s. The symptoms are very broad and multi systemic and can all be triggered and exacerbated by dietary or environmental factors.
When should a TED be undertaken?
Before undertaking a TED it can be best to try removing common allergens.
Most Mamas begin by removing Dairy, Soya, Eggs and Gluten.
If there are more symptoms after 4-6 weeks it can be worth eliminating the rest of the Top 8 allergens: Fish, Crustaceans, Peanuts and Tree-Nuts.
If you’re still experiencing unresolved symptoms, after a further 4-6 weeks, a TED might be the next step.
Though some find additional elimination stages like removing symptom specific food groups help. There are different likely culprits like; GI symptoms are often linked with grains and FPIES triggers; Skin and respiratory symptoms are often linked to more traditional IgE allergies and the “itchy dozen” are known to exacerbate eczema; high histamine and acidic foods like citrus, tomatoes and vinegars can irritate lots of reaction types especially for those who are histamine intolerant or have mast cell involvement; legume and grain-free healing diets like AIP or GAPS also help many.
Soaking grains and legumes for prolonged periods improved their tolerance as it reduces many of the water soluble inflammatory components. Some also ferment to improve tolerance – aerobic fermentation can be preferable especially for those with histamine issues.
Some find as well as dietary eliminations, some food and supplementary additions like supporting digestion through supporting liver function and microbial diversity help not only with the symptoms but also help address underlying causes.
It’s also worth noting many symptoms can also be caused by physical issues like oral ties (tongue, lip, buccal ties), forceful let-down and oversupply. So it is also really important to seek the support of those who can accurately diagnose and help address those things like a lactation consultant or a breastfeeding councillor or similarly trained professional. Be aware that not all who call themselves lactation consultants or professionals have equal training so quality can vary greatly, which is why reputable qualifications like IBCLC and LLL leader are important.
Extreme elimination diets are not for everyone or every situation. They can be an extremely nutritionally taxing experience and should only be undertaken if they are absolutely necessary. For those who are in early elimination, consider some of the ramifications of jumping into a TED, please see our “Don’t be hasty, save yourself some stress” post.
What if a TED is not for me?
As a group we aim to support mamas nursing little ones with a large number of sensitivities and our members are predominantly either on a TED or Top8+ Free. If you think that you’re not at a stage where you are considering that level of restriction; you may find a group to better fit your needs through a simple “CMPA/Dairy free – Breastfeeding” search, many mamas in these groups will also have experiences of less than top 8 eliminations, as they are not exclusive to solely dairy free diets.
For those who know their little one have more than top 8 triggers, if it isn’t possible to identify all triggers or go on a TED. There can sometimes be a compromise of a healing diet or naturally supporting digestion that can help reduce symptoms and support healing along side the limitations that you can do. For more ideas on this please see our “Baseline Struggles” post.
Where do I start with TED Mamas?
If you feel TED mamas is a good fit for your current situation please familiarise yourself with the group guidelines before you contribute posts/comments in group. Any posts/comments that do not meet the guidance will be removed, repeat offenders will be removed.
We ask new members to familiarise themselves with the group resources. We have many resources including food recipe photo-albums, group files and our blog. From a desktop our albums and files can be accessed from the blue/grey menu on the top left hand side of the screen. Most mobile devices have this menu going across the screen underneath the group cover photo.
If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact one of our Admin team as per the group members list.