Allergic to cow's milk or mommy milk?
We did our first “advantages of breastfeeding” presentation in class last Friday. We had an interesting question, “Why would someone choose to formula feed for non-medical reasons when the benefits are so compelling?” I also found the dairy topic timely as we are at the height of the holiday season here in the states, where cream and milk are common ingredients in holiday recipes.
One mom told the story about a friend of hers – and it’s a common story. The baby was allergic to milk.
Many of us have heard “the story” where a baby had to stop breastfeeding because the baby demonstrated a milk allergy. What is not always explained is that the baby is not necessarily allergic to your milk. What baby might be allergic to is the protein from the cow’s milk that mom is consuming that passes into the milk that she is making for her baby.
Read more about milk intolerance HERE http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001321/
So what are the signs in an infant that demonstrate a dairy allergy? Here are the most common symptoms of a dairy allergy. (Courtesy reminder that this is not a medical blog – please check with your care provider if you are seeing any of these in your baby).
If your baby is demonstrating a lactose intolerance, you can continue to breastfeed. It will take some effort on your part, but as Tina’s story demonstrates, it can be done.
Here are the things to look for as you learn to read labels as dairy ingredients are not always obvious. Casein and Lactose are the two recognizable components of milk. In the manufacturing process, the components may be separated even further. Look for these ingredients on labels on your path to a dairy-free diet:
What can you do as the dairy products work their way out of your system and out of your milk? You have to choose: you can continue to feed if you are comfortable putting the stress on your baby’s body, you can supplement with formula, or you can search through milk-sharing banks for a mama who is already on a dairy free diet. These mamas understand what you are going through, and some are willing to pump a little extra so your baby can continue to be breastfed as you sort through your pantry and adjust your diet.
Given the major advantages to a breastfed child, I encourage you to at least look into your options before you opt to make a commitment to formula. The good news is that as a child’s digestive tract matures, a lot of the things that they can’t tolerate as infants are outgrown. Not in every case, however, in most cases, the change is temporary. And if it isn’t, at least your baby had the best opportunity to try for breastfeeding that you could offer.
Read more about living with a dairy allergy here:
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It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.