Most breastfed babies have no issues with anything that their mom consumes. Breastmilk is a storehouse of goodness, which is why doctors and midwives always stress its importance. However, sadly, there are some babies who are plagued by allergies, eventually with their moms arriving at the conclusion that breastmilk is harmful to their sweethearts. But, that is not the case. Here are some things that you should know before you stop nursing your baby:
The Fine Line Between Milk Allergy And Milk Intolerance
The problem lies in understanding whether the baby is allergic or intolerant to milk. While a milk allergy is uncommon, milk intolerance is scarcer. What makes this confusion dangerous is that most people use these phrases interchangeably. Here’s what you should know:
If the baby has a milk allergy, it’s their body that is reacting to the proteins found in cow’s milk. This means that as a mother, you might have to re-check what dairy products you are including in your diet. If the baby is formula-fed, chances are that the kid is reacting to the proteins in the formula.
In the case of milk allergy, the immune system of the baby seizes to see these proteins as helpful elements and to fend them off the body, reacts to them. The following are some of the common symptoms of milk allergy:
- Frequent spitting up
- Abdominal pain or colic-like symptoms
- Blood in stool
- Less weight gain
- Skin rashes
- Coughing and sneezing
- Trouble breathing and swelling in different body parts
This has nothing to do with milk, but the digestive system of the baby. When the baby fails to digest the sugar present in breastmilk and/or in the formula-feed, it’s known as milk intolerance, commonly known as lactose intolerance. However, this is an extremely rare condition, and these babies fare better being fed formula that contains little or no lactose. The symptoms of milk intolerance are as follows:
- Bloated stomach
- Spitting up
- Infant eczema
- Irritation or colicky
- Failure to thrive and gain weight
Dealing With Milk Allergy
If your baby exhibits any of the symptoms mentioned above for milk allergy, contact your pediatrician immediately. Remember that all babies have different physiology and you really can’t blame yourself for anything. However, it is important that you figure out the allergen and make the necessary changes in your diet at least till the time that you are breastfeeding.
- Once you see the symptoms, the allergen needs to be figured out.
- Begin with dairy and also include items that have casein and whey
- Have patience because it may be weeks before you can pinpoint what is it that your baby is allergic to
- The allergic symptoms also need to subside. Sometimes, this haul can be for about three weeks or more
- If removing dairy products from your diet has no results, start with other food items
- Try eliminating soy from your diet
- Keep a diary to track all things that you are omitting
Talk to healthcare experts and try to figure out as soon as you can. Don’t worry about the changes in your diet, for once your baby weans, you can safely consume the stopped food products again.
DO NOT Stop Breastfeeding
It can be frustrating to realize that something you consumed can make your bundle of joy suffer. We understand that changing the diet radically can be difficult.
Breastmilk is good for you as well as your baby. Moreover, its hundred percent safe and nutrient rich, which protects your baby from harmful pathogens. If the baby gets an allergic reaction, often it is because of something that you ate. Remember, with a little patience and some minor changes in your diet, you would provide the best nutrition to your baby.