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Thread: Dairy sensitivity - when will it get better?

  1. #1
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    Default Dairy sensitivity - when will it get better?

    My son just turned 3 months old and was diagnosed with a suspected dairy intolerance. Increasing fussiness, fussing at the breast, mucusy poops, and waking early from naps with intestinal discomfort where his main symptoms. I am on my 9th day of dairy-free and overall he seems to be doing better, but not 100%. Today he has been a super fussy nurser and napper, and just had a mucusy poop. It seems like we have stretches that are back to normal and then they get worse again - is this normal? I know dairy can take a while to get out of our systems, but does that translate into this kind of two steps forward one step back kind of pattern? I get so happy when we seem to be making progress and then it crushes me when he starts to fight against nursing again...

    My daughter had this too, but it was a while ago and complicated by severe reflux.

    If there is a food allergy forum, does anyone know the link?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dairy sensitivity - when will it get better?

    "Suspected dairy intolerance" doesn't sound like a diagnosis to me. More like a hypothesis. There are other possible explanations- oversupply, allergy/intolerance to something other than dairy. Were any of those possibilities discussed?

    It can take several weeks for the dairy in your body to work its way out and stop bothering baby, but most moms see marked improvement in just a few days, particularly if they are very rigorous about their dairy elimination and not slipping up with "hidden dairy". (Dairy is an ingredient in many foods that you wouldn't suspect- baked goods in particular.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Dairy sensitivity - when will it get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*vtntchma View Post
    My son just turned 3 months old and was diagnosed with a suspected dairy intolerance. Increasing fussiness, fussing at the breast, mucusy poops, and waking early from naps with intestinal discomfort where his main symptoms. I am on my 9th day of dairy-free and overall he seems to be doing better, but not 100%. Today he has been a super fussy nurser and napper, and just had a mucusy poop. It seems like we have stretches that are back to normal and then they get worse again - is this normal? I know dairy can take a while to get out of our systems, but does that translate into this kind of two steps forward one step back kind of pattern? I get so happy when we seem to be making progress and then it crushes me when he starts to fight against nursing again...

    My daughter had this too, but it was a while ago and complicated by severe reflux.

    If there is a food allergy forum, does anyone know the link?

    Thanks!
    This is really tough to sort out...my baby who is now 9 months old had the exact same issues as you are describing, exact! Her pediatrician said the same thing, it was likely dairy and allergies. I went on an intense elimination diet and things did get better with her poop, but that was it. In every other way she is exactly the same! Awful napper, had a love/hate relationship with breast, etc. So for us, in my opinion it turned out not to be an allergy. My guess is that my oversupply and letdown were pretty over the top, which I already knew, and once that went away for good she is much more fond of nursing. As far as naps, have you tried sleeping with baby? Are you putting baby down a certain way and then baby wakes up if you are missing, breast is missing, you aren't in the room, pacifier fell out, etc? The napping issue for us is about one thing, me! She sleeps like a log if I'm in the room.

    Does your baby have skin issues? Severe crying? Mine had a very bad case of eczema that got better, but I have reintroduced ALL of the foods I cut out, with hearty portions...so again, I think it was unrelated.

    That love/hate relationship thing to me sounds like oversupply or definitely a flow-related problem. Check this out and see if it rings any bells, this helped me a ton:http://www.mobimotherhood.org/MM/article-milkflow.aspx

    Anyway, if it's truly dairy, just log in and there is an allergy forum on here as you browse down the list. It's just so hard to tell allergies vs. oversupply vs. just the way your baby is and nothing at all might be "wrong". Keep us posted, hopefully we can help you more as time goes on!
    and Mama to two little girls

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Dairy sensitivity - when will it get better?

    Thank you both for your help! We are trying dairy first, as it's supposedly the most common allergy/intolerance. What's been confusing for me is I really have seen an improvement overall, but then he will have a bad nap or bad feed and it makes me feel like I'm on the wrong track. For example, yesterday was almost perfect, and today was horrible! He fussed for every feed but one, and had one horrible nap - all of which is usually followed by a big poop - getting less mucusy I think...

    I do have an overactive letdown, but not an oversupply. My overactive letdown with my daughter didn't calm down until she was 9 - 10 months. DS does usually choke and consequently gets a big gas bubble when my milk first lets down and he often pulls off and the milk sprays him in the face. But I'm just not sure that it's that entirely (could be part of if it...) as nursing clearly seems to cause him intestinal discomfort as well... though if he nurses after having a good poop he does well often.

    I am a little worried that it's nuts - I eat a lot of nuts... but I have seem improvement... it's so frustrating and it can make you go crazy trying to figure it out!!! I just want to put him to the breast without his first response to be to freak out...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Dairy sensitivity - when will it get better?

    No skin issues, and no severe crying - he was such a mellow little guy until 11ish weeks and then got increasingly fussy... the fussiness I think really has calmed down this week.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Dairy sensitivity - when will it get better?

    I have no idea if you have a dairy issue here or not, but the fact you have eliminated dairy for over a week without marked improvement suggests not. Food intolerance in breastfed babies is pretty rare, so I would suggest, rule out other possible issues first.

    "Fighting against nursing" is the most serious thing you list, as that could (if it becomes bad enough) lead to baby not nursing. And it is not a symptom of dairy intolerance as far as I know(?)

    I have no idea what "waking early from naps" means. A three month old is not necessarily going to take a specific length of nap. Mucous in poops in a well gaining baby is not a health issue and neither is fussiness. Both could be from a cold, seasonal allergy, or teething as well.

    Is baby gaining weight normally?
    Do you schedule feeds, or naps, or nightime sleep, or is baby nursed on cue?
    How many times a 24 hour day does baby nurse?
    Any signs of oversupply or forceful letdown?
    Any other signs of allergy (blood in stool?)
    This artcle explains allergic proctocolitus in the breastfed infant and describes how to do systematic food elimination and/or a food diary should you decide the issue is likely your diet. http://www.bfmed.org/Media/Files/Pro...ish_120211.pdf

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Dairy sensitivity - when will it get better?

    the fussiness I think really has calmed down this week.
    OK well in that case there has been some improvement that MAY be related to your diet?

    Why not keep eliminating the dairy for another week or two to see if things keep getting/staying better. If they do, (and you would prefer not to eliminate dairy forever) I suggest, drink a nice big glass of milk and see if baby has an adverse reaction. That way you can test if the issue really was/is dairy or just a coincidence.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; September 14th, 2013 at 07:20 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Dairy sensitivity - when will it get better?

    There might be an imbalance of foremilk/hindmilk caused by something other than oversupply. My DD was just like that, and it was because she was nursing inefficiently. Read the post at the top "confused about foremilk..."

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Dairy sensitivity - when will it get better?

    All babies have occasional bad days/bad naps/bad nursing sessions. Try not to let them color your idea of what's going on. Look at the big picture- is baby generally doing better now that you've eliminated dairy? If so, give it a good 6-8weeks to see if things improve all around.

    Also, sometimes when a mom eliminates dairy, they replace it in their diet by increasing their intake of something else. And sometimes that something else can cause problems as well. Try not to replace dairy with ALL soy products or ALL almond products (just as examples). Try to maintain a varied diet where you can.

    And finally, check all your products just to be sure there are no hidden dairy ingredients. Here's a good website about how to read an ingredients label for dairy products.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Dairy sensitivity - when will it get better?

    Hi everyone! Thanks again for the help! I've been off of dairy now for two weeks and my son has been doing really well on a number of fronts. He's been doing a really good job nursing, which leads me to believe it's not my overactive letdown as I still have that (no oversupply). He's been napping really well too - he goes down and sleeps peacefully for 40 minutes where as before he would wake up a little while into his nap clearly uncomfortable and then wanting to go right back down. He's also been generally happier throughout the day without the low-grade fuss he had before. He still does have some intestinal discomfort on and off, and his poops do still look funny in color sometimes, but they have decreased in frequency, and aren't full of mucus.

    I have been avoiding eggs and soy as well, and cut out the large quantities of almond butter I was eating but not almonds. I did just have a small amount of egg this morning and he had a meltdown this afternoon at a birthday party followed soon after by a weird green poop? Guess we will see how we do tomorrow.

    It does seem like he's doing better, though the on and off tummy aches and weird poops throw me off. I am just hoping that he keeps up with the good nursing as this really is the biggest problem. He's been nursing happily every 2-3 hours on demand, where as before he would be pushing 3+ hours and not happily.

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