This is my first post directed to the health worries those little munchkin’s can throw at us and to be honest this is the one that has probably had the most direct impact upon our family life.
A lot of my friends have asked how did you recognise the allergy? How did we know it was more than just a colicky baby or as the grandparents say just a ‘puker’? As much as I would love to be able to say it was as simple as going to GP and having it confirmed this was not the case at all. There are a few things you can look out for however please be aware some babies may have some of these symptoms on their own and these may not necessarily be an indication of cows milk protein allergy (CMPA).Also please remember that if you have any concerns please consult a health care professional such as your health visitor, midwife or GP, but hopefully this blog can give some clarity, even to realise you are not going insane as I thought I was!
Like I said, these can vary dramatically, some children may have all of them, others just a few but some of the most common ones associated (and definitely ones we had) are;
- Muscosy/slimy green nappies or consistent diarrhoea
- Blood in stool
- Vomiting – this can be post feeds, or between feeds
- Reflux/silent reflux
- Ezcema/ rash on skin
- Poor weight gain
- Colic/ excessive crying
- Snotty/congested/ excess mucus
- Anaphylaxis – please seek immediate help
If you suspect from this list that CMPA may be something that your child is suffering from please seek support from a healthcare professional, many GP’s will refer to dieticians to offer further guidance in undertaking a milk free diet. If you are formula feeding your GP should be able to prescribe a suitable dairy free formula however if you are breastfeeding the most accurate way for diagnosis is undertaking a diary free trial, cutting out all dairy from you diet.
I will be frank with you here, this was not easy to begin with, I am probably one of the biggest lovers of anything cheese related, and any food can be sprinkled with cheese right? Also cadbury’s dairy milk and myself were soon to agree on shares in business from the amount I consumed in pregnancy but despite all this honestly what a difference it made to Flossie and my sanity. If I can do this I promise you can, it does get easier and especially with so many hidden treats such as bourbons and emma’s cakes believe me you won’t be missing out and just think your baby will still be getting that yummy mummy milk helping their gut.
GOING DAIRY FREE
One thing I learnt was that dairy is not just cheese, milk and cream it is hidden in EVERYTHING! The only way to eliminate it is to read the back of every packet you buy. Again this may sound like a momentous task and I will admit the first shopping trip took double the normal time but now I have built up a reservoir of the ‘safe’ foods. Also I found my cutting out dairy and soya I have found that generally our foods are healthier, cooking from scratch more as just no other alternative and honestly I may even think I have more energy despite a busy baby and lack of sleep. Dairy is in ham, some bread and even WINE. Also just because one supermarket has bourbons you can eat the other one may contain milk so please double check and more than once I have been caught out where manufacturers change the recipe with no warning label so suddenly a ‘safe’ food becomes deadly.
Once you have started on this dairy free trial it will take approximately 6 weeks to be out baby’s body, 3 weeks for your milk to be changed completely then another 3 for the last bit out baby. Although this sounds a long time symptoms may start resolving almost instantly, we noticed a lot less reflux within a few weeks and by 6 weeks almost all the symptoms had stopped. If they continue or get worse please see your GP.
You may also need to cut out all soya products as well as the soya protein is similar to the milk protein and many babies can react to this too. We found it easier to cut both out at same time, then tried reintroducing soya and ‘failed’ so have kept this out of both our diets for definite for now, I didn’t want to risk a screaming, pooey baby again!
You may also want to see your health visitor or GP as soon as you see a definite improvement as dietician referral may be required and discussion around taking calcium supplements for yourself, assistance for introducing solids and reintroduction of cow’s milk further down the line. Please realise you are not alone in this and there are some great social media pages out there supporting mummies in the same boat.
The materials and information in this blog are in no way intended to replace the professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of a doctor or medical professional. This website does not have answers to all problems please if you feel unwell, have medical symptoms or unsure about anything contact the relevant medical practitioner.