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Thread: Can a baby be "allergic" to breastmilk?

  1. #11

    Default Re: Can a baby be "allergic" to breastmilk?

    Can you give us the rundown on your baby? It would be helpful to know birthweight, lowest weight, and weight at each checkup. It would also be good if you could tell us how often (on average) the baby nurses, how nursing feels, the frequency/quantity of blood in the baby's poop (are we talking occasional streaks or specks or large blobs?), and any other symptoms you're seeing in the baby (e.g. eczema, asthma).


    My daughter was born full term, scheduled c section, 6lbs 13oz down to 6lbs 1oz. It was suspected throughout my pregnancy that she had growth restriction (her stomach always measured extremely small on growth ultrasounds, around the 1st or 2nd percentile). I was considered high risk because my son had undiagnosed growth restriction (he was a full term emergency c section, 5lbs 13oz).
    At one month she was 8lbs 5oz, at 6 weeks 9lbs, at 2 months 10lbs 4oz and most recently (15 weeks) 11lbs 15oz. Her weight gain has slowed but she's following the 15th percentile curve almost exactly.

    She usually eats (nurses with me and she gets 4 bottles @3.5oz each at daycare) 8 times a day. I've had some pain with nursing since the beginning - we saw a pediatrician who is also an IBCLC who took care of the tongue tie and worked with us on latch. Things were good for awhile but I can tell she's getting lazy now that she gets bottles during the day. We're going back to the basics of latching though and that seems to help. She has recently started screaming some when I try to latch her but not all the time. I'm thinking it's a combination of a bit of a bottle preference (tough luck kid, no bottles when mom's home!) and I probably try to feed her a little too often because I want to make sure she's eating enough and I rely on her nursing frequently when we're home to keep my supply up to pump during the week.

    She had a posterior tongue tie clipped at 5 weeks. She was hospitalized for a fever for 3 days when she was 6 weeks old and given iv antibiotics (turned out to be viral but they treated her for sepsis while they waited for cultures since she was so young). She poops CONSTANTLY, almost every time she eats, so sometimes 8x a day. She doesn't have any skin symptoms (we keep her pretty well covered in diaper cream bc of all the pooping to prevent rash). The blood appears inside of mucous blobs and I would say lately I see visible blood in 75% of her diapers. She sometimes has very dark mucous blobs which I'm guessing contain blood even though it's not visible. She spits up maybe once or twice a week (so hardly ever).

    I'm wondering if being on such strong antibiotics at such a young age caused some damage to her gut? I've been on a probiotic but I'm going to start her on one as well.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    24,794

    Default Re: Can a baby be "allergic" to breastmilk?

    Thanks for answering those questions!

    Based on the weights you've posted, I see no issues with her gain. She's growing consistently and following the curve she was born at. So no problems there, right?

    She usually eats (nurses with me and she gets 4 bottles @3.5oz each at daycare) 8 times a day.
    If you want to boost her weight, feeding frequency is an obvious place to start. 8 feedings is generally the minimum number of feedings per day for an EBF infant, so I would try to cram in a few more when you are together. Aim for 10 instead of 8. Remember, you can't feed her too often when you're nursing! I think this goes double for babies with issues with tongue mobility. Give the baby every chance you can to grab a few extra calories, right?

    She had a posterior tongue tie clipped at 5 weeks. She was hospitalized for a fever for 3 days when she was 6 weeks old and given iv antibiotics (turned out to be viral but they treated her for sepsis while they waited for cultures since she was so young). She poops CONSTANTLY, almost every time she eats, so sometimes 8x a day. She doesn't have any skin symptoms (we keep her pretty well covered in diaper cream bc of all the pooping to prevent rash). The blood appears inside of mucous blobs and I would say lately I see visible blood in 75% of her diapers. She sometimes has very dark mucous blobs which I'm guessing contain blood even though it's not visible. She spits up maybe once or twice a week (so hardly ever).

    I'm wondering if being on such strong antibiotics at such a young age caused some damage to her gut? I've been on a probiotic but I'm going to start her on one as well.
    Has she been tested for bacterial infections, especially C. difficile? We had a mom here not long ago whose baby had C. diff and her primary symptom was green and bloody poop. And of course after a course of extremely powerful antibiotics, issues with secondary bacterial infection are fairly common.

    Most of the other stuff you mention is completely normal. Pooping 8x per day: normal. A lot of breastfed babies poop every time they eat and in between as well. Spitting up 2x a week: better than normal. No skin symptoms: excellent.

    It sounds like you have a basically healthy baby who is growing normally and whose only symptom is weird poop. If so, I would seek some second and third opinions, and probably simply continue to watch the baby carefully.

  3. #13

    Default Re: Can a baby be "allergic" to breastmilk?

    A friend of mine had this same issue. Her daughter did not have blood in her stool, however, she was losing weight like crazy and my friend had no other choice but to switch to formula.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: Can a baby be "allergic" to breastmilk?

    Hi Worldmommy. kristenw's baby is reportedly gaining normally, and certainly is not loosing weight, yet has bloody stools. So this situation does not sound the same as your friend's baby?

    Without knowing anything about your friend's situation and what was possibly going on with her baby or with breastfeeding, it is hard to know what was going on there. Of course some babies cannot get enough to eat at the breast and do need to be supplemented either with breastmilk or, if more breastmilk is not available, with formula. But this does not mean that baby must be 'switched' to formula. In almost all cases of poor gain or weight loss, baby can continue to nurse while being supplemented enough to gain normally.

    A baby not being able to digest breastmilk and consequently very ill and losing weight must be placed on very special formula (as they wont be able to digest most formulas either) and is an extremely rare situation.

  5. #15

    Default Re: Can a baby be "allergic" to breastmilk?

    Just wanted to give an update for anyone who reads this thread in the future. I emailed Dr. Newman and he agreed that the g.I. Dr was incorrect with her belief that my daughter was allergic to breast milk. My daughter is just over four months now. Her poops are yellow and seedy now (some mucous occasionally but so much better!). She'll get weighed this week at her 4 mo appt but I know she's gaining well BC she just outgrew her 3 mo clothes . I think her gut just needed a little extra time to heal! Thanks for all the help/information!

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: Can a baby be "allergic" to breastmilk?

    Wow awesome news! Thank you so much for updating!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    24,794

    Default Re: Can a baby be "allergic" to breastmilk?

    Excellent! So nice to hear back.

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