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Thread: Breastfeeding & Milk Allergy?

  1. #1

    Default Breastfeeding & Milk Allergy?

    My 3 1/2 month DD is fed by EBM exclusively right now. In the past month she's been extremely fussy and reluctant to eat. However, a week ago she broke out some rash (tiny red bumps) on her chest and stomach, and felt much better instantly, so in the past week she regained her appetite and was all happy again. But yesterday morning she all of a sudden started to cry hysterically again and refuse to eat for 9 hours. Later on in the day she started to eat normally but still break out crying on the top of her lung suddenly from time to time. We happened to visit my in-laws yesterday afternoon, and they are suspecting that she has colon spasm or some kind of allergic reactions to my milk, and are pressuring me to switch her to soy based formula. My Father-in-law is a doc himself (not a ped) and they raised 3 out of their 4 boys using soy formula due to lactose intolerant.

    Other than the rash and fussiness my DD also has been having congestion problems for quite a while (excessive mucus in her nose and throat), which I read can also be a symptom of milk allergy? My question is, can a baby be allergic to breast milk itself? Or it's mainly the cow's milk that's passed onto the breast milk? If so I can correct the problem by cutting my dairy in take and still give her breast milk right (I stopped drinking milk for a couple of months, but still eat yogurt and small amount of cheese)? I'm just not willing to wean her off like this, but don't want her to be in pain either. Suggestions?
    First time mom to my little munchkin - Emma
    Born 6-22-10, 6 lbs. 6 oz.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Breastfeeding & Milk Allergy?

    I would at first see your LO's pedi before you make any decision. There could be something else going on here. And YES, you can take all dairy out of your diet and continue to BF. I did it as well. Read in the allergy section for more info. But I do urge you to talk with the pedi doc about what is going on. Rash and congestion could be an allergy or even a virus and I would want to rule out any and all possiblities. My LO had a sensitivity to dairy and had symptoms such as green diarrhea with specs of blood in it and slow weight gain. Has the baby been around anyone who has been sick?
    In-laws try to give helpful advice and what someone did many years ago is soo different to what is being done today. If your father in law had the proper knowledge of BFing maybe he would have had his children BF!!! BM is the best we can give our babies for sure no formula compares. Just sounds to me like you need to make sure you know what is going on here so I would start with a pedi doctor's appt ASAP. Good luck and keep us posted.
    , While at work I . Happily (for part of the night)
    Made it to ONE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    1,769

    Default Re: Breastfeeding & Milk Allergy?

    Based on the symptoms a dairy allergy is very possible, so would cut it out for now. I also agree that seeing your ped is a good idea to rule out anything else going on and to get a referral to a pediatric allergist.

    If it is a dairy allergy, you can continue to BF as long as you cut out all dairy from your diet. It is doable - hop on down to the allergy subforum. There is a sticky int here with information on how to read labels, some recipe ideas etc. Let us know what you need help with and we can give you some suggestions. The first few weeks are tough, but it becomes a lot easier.

    There is no reason to switch to soy milk if it is a dairy allergy - all you need to do is cut out the dairy. If it is lactose intolerance, which is super rare in babies, there is some mixed info. If it is mild it seems that some moms an cut out dairy and if more extreme you would have to pump and then treat your milk with enzymes. It is much more likely to be a milk allergy than lactose intolerance at this age.
    DS-11/06- known IGE allergies to dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, beef, lamb, duck, amaranth, mustard and more...
    Outgrew pork, oats, soy, chickpeas, peas, turkey, chicken, shellfish and wheat. He has now outgrown more than half his food allergies

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,846

    Default Re: Breastfeeding & Milk Allergy?

    Sounds like your ILs are pressuring you based on what they felt was right for their children, not based on what is right for your child. That rash? It could easily have been viral (tiny red bumps on the torso make me think Fifth disease or Roseola- once the rash appears the baby usually feels better almost immediately). Refusing to eat for 9 hours could have many causes- illness, the beginning of teething (yes, it can start this early), a preference for a bottle... Lots of mucus could be related to allergy/intolerance, or it could also be related to colds, hay fever, to the fact that babies can't clear their throats or blow their noses... There's absolutely no reason to suspect an allergy to your milk for what you observed. Except in vanishingly rare circumstances, babies are not allergic to their mom's milk, but to things in mom's milk that came from something the mom ate. Proteins from cow's milk, soy, and wheat seem to be the most common allergens.

    I would definitely see your pediatrician before making any decisions. And please STOP listening to your ILs!!! It sounds like they are very old school when it comes to what they think they know about breastfeeding.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5

    Default Re: Breastfeeding & Milk Allergy?

    Thanks for the info. I'm going to cut out dairy in my diet and see if it gets better. We are also due for DD's four-month visit so I'll make sure to mention that to the Ped. Yes ILs are very concerned for their granddaughter. They even bought a can of Similac soy formula and drove almost 1/2 hr. to drop it off to us yesterday wanting us to try. But my husband and I decided to wait on that first and see if the change of my diet would help. The rash comes and goes. Her bowel movement is a little random. The past two weeks she's been going only once a week. And when she goes, it's a diaper bomb. The texture and color are good though: saucy, dark yellow, no green or blood or milk curd. Last night her bowel was a little runny, bright yellow. I hope she'll get better and not needing to use formula.

    Thanks again for all the support. I love here!
    First time mom to my little munchkin - Emma
    Born 6-22-10, 6 lbs. 6 oz.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,846

    Default Re: Breastfeeding & Milk Allergy?

    I'd donate the Similac to a shelter. If you don't have it, the chances that you'll break down and use it are that much slimmer.

    I think you're at a good place- change your diet, talk to the pediatrician, see what happens. As long as the baby seems generally happy and healthy, there's nothing more I'd be doing.

    The rash comes and goes.
    That's pretty normal. Could it be exzema? That would point more in the allergy direction. You might want to take pictures of the rash to show the pediatrician- there's no guarantee your LO will be rashy when you take her in.

    Her bowel movement is a little random. The past two weeks she's been going only once a week.And when she goes, it's a diaper bomb. The texture and color are good though: saucy, dark yellow, no green or blood or milk curd. Last night her bowel was a little runny, bright yellow.
    That sounds entirely normal for a 3.5 month-old. Because the body uses breastmilk so efficiently, leaving so little waste behind, it is normal for a breastfed baby to go a week (or sometimes even more) without pooping, as long as the poop is soft when it is passed, and the baby does not seem in discomfort when pooping or trying to poop.

    I hope she'll get better and not needing to use formula.
    Me too. FWIW, formula usually makes things worse, not better.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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