Dairy Intolerance In Breastfed Babies: Symptoms And Remedies
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If your baby is colicky, spits up a lot, or is generally miserable after nursing you may be dealing with a dairy intolerance.
Dairy intolerance in breastfed babies is increasingly common because of our poor gut health.
You see, baby inherits our gut health when she passes through the birth canal. If our gut health is not up to par baby ends up inheriting less than ideal gut flora. .
On top of all that she had terrible reflux. She spit up all the time and her spit up was mucousy, yuck! She also screamed after every feeding and I didnt really know why.
Luckily I went to a La Leche League meeting with an amazing leader and started to get to the bottom of OGs nursing and digestive problems. It turned out that she had a dairy allergy/intolerance!
What Should I Do If I Think My Baby Is Allergic Or Intolerant To Cows Milk
If you think your baby is having a reaction to cows milk, see your GP to discuss your concerns.
They will be able to assess if your babys symptoms may be caused by a cows milk allergy or something else. Make sure you get medical advice before taking cows milk out of your childs diet as it contains important nutrients.
How Do I Know If My Baby Is Lactose Intolerant
It can be tricky to diagnose lactose intolerance, as the symptoms are similar to other conditions. Things to look out for include:
- Stomach pain
- Bloated stomach
- Excessive wind
These symptoms usually appear within three hours of the feed.If your baby is showing any of these symptoms or you think he is having trouble digesting a feed, you should consult your doctor or healthcare professional. They will be able to advise on the best way to address the condition.The good news is that, once diagnosed, lactose intolerance is quite manageable and your little one will be able to continue feeding. It shouldnt affect his development.
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Finish The First Breast Offer The Second
The fat content of breast milk increases during a feed and also increases the closer together the feeds are. If a mother is shortening feeds or feeding on a schedule this could lower the fat content in breast milk. Less fat reduces the time spent in the stomach resulting in the lactose passing through the stomach and bowel without being properly digested . Finishing the first breast before offering the second side will help your baby to get the proportion of higher fat milk he needs.
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What Is A Milk Allergy
When a baby is allergic to milk, it means that his or her immune system, which normally fights infections, overreacts to proteins in cows milk. Every time the child has milk, the body thinks these proteins are harmful invaders and works hard to fight them. This causes an allergic reaction in which the body releases chemicals like .
Cows milk is in most baby formulas. Babies with a milk allergy often show their first symptoms days to weeks after they first get cow milk-based formula. Breastfed infants have a lower risk of having a milk allergy than formula-fed babies.
People of any age can have a milk allergy, but its more common in young children. Many kids outgrow it, but some dont.
If your baby has a milk allergy, keep two epinephrine auto-injectors on hand in case of a severe reaction . An epinephrine auto-injector is an easy-to-use prescription medicine that comes in a container about the size of a large pen. Your doctor will show you how to use it.
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Alert: Foods With Hidden Lactose
If a lactose intolerant child craves for ice cream parents generally offer sherbet as a substitute. Ready-made sherbet does contain some dairy, but its a low-lactose food. Sherbet is a good example of a hidden source of lactose because you probably dont think of it as a dairy product. Other hidden sources of lactose include ready-to-eat soups, salad dressings, and processed breakfast foods.
Finding out that your baby is lactose intolerant can make parents feel at least temporarily upset and helpless. They have to keep a tab on everything their child eats, and ensure that his diet is rich in other foods that are good sources of calcium and protein. It may seem a little confusing initially, but there are plenty of options and a child can grow up perfectly normally without milk in his diet. All you need are alternate food sources and a positive attitude!
Hetal Chheda is a Consulting Nutrition Expert and Lifestyle Coach based in Mumbai, post graduate in Foods and Nutrition with over 7 years of experience in the Nutrition industry. Hetal was on board nutritionist with the leading group of oncologists for 5 years and was a clinical nutritionist in one of the leading hospitals in Gujarat. She has set up Health Kitchens and has developed over 500+ recipes.She takes workshops on Importance of Nutrition in Children, Lifestyle changes for optimum health, +50 fitness regimes and heart health. You can read more about her at www.hetalchheda.com and www.yourhealth.diet.
Milk Intolerance In Babies And Children
Some babies and children have a reaction when they drink cow’s milk or formula made from cow’s milk. This could be due to 2 things: a lactose intolerance or an allergy to milk. If your child has one of these conditions, you will have to alter their diet to cut down on milk or avoid it altogether.
- wheezing or difficulty breathing
- they are pale and floppy or unconscious
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Weaning And Lactose Intolerance
At the start of weaning, you dont need to do anything differently. The usual vegetables and fruits are perfect for weaning a baby with lactose intolerance. As time goes on progress to adding in starchy carbohydrate foods such as bread, rice, pasta, cereals and grains and proteins such as eggs, meat, fish, beans, lentils and other pulses, so that your baby has a varied diet consisting of three meals a day by 6 ½ 7 months of age.
How Can I Tell If My Baby Is Lactose Intolerant
My name is Ally, a mother of 3 adorable angels Tom, Clara and Tanya. Having worked with children and families in a variety of capacities for the past 30 years, I am a child development specialist. My career as a child and family therapist began with my training as a clinical social worker and psychotherapist.
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How Do You Diagnose It
A visit to your doctor / GP is a great idea because lactose intolerance can look like lots of other things. Babies poos and their tummies are very sensitive things!
To confirm lactose intolerance the baby would need to do a hydrogen breath test and send a sample of the poo for testing for the presence of reducing sugars. Easier said than done! Often a history alone is quite sufficient.
What To Do If Your Baby Is Lactose Intolerant
If you think your baby is having digestive trouble, you should visit your GP who can help with a diagnosis. It might be that your baby is referred to a paediatric dietician for more expert care.
If your baby is less than a year old, why not try our Baby Symptom Checker? It includes lots of helpful tips, and youll be able to print a symptom summary to show your GP.
When lactose intolerance is suspected, you may be advised to eliminate lactose from your babys diet. You should only do this under the guidance of a healthcare professional, wholl also provide advice around how to ensure that your baby still gets all the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. Calcium is one nutrient requiring special attention. That’s because the body usually gets it from foods contacting lactose. If theres insufficient calcium in the diet, this can affect normal bone development8.
If youre breastfeeding, you should continue doing so, and your baby may need lactase drops to digest the lactose in your breast milk. Usually, the enzyme drops are mixed with a small amount of expressed breast milk in a sterile container, which you can then give to your baby from a spoon just before their feed.
The amount of lactose in your own diet isnt related to your babys intolerance, so eliminating lactose from your diet wont make a difference here. If you think your baby may be reacting to the lactose in your breast milk, the best thing to do is seek advice and guidance from your GP.
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Treatment For Cows’ Milk Allergy
If your baby is found to be allergic to cows’ milk, your GP or allergy specialist will explain to you how to manage it. This will include removing all cowsâ milk from your childâs diet for a period of time. Your GP may also prescribe a special infant formula that doesn’t contain cows’ milk for bottle-fed babies.
If your baby gets a cowâs milk allergy in reaction to the dairy you eat or drink, your GP may tell you to avoid cowsâ milk products in your diet in case these affect your baby.
this is the case, your GP may tell you to avoid cowsâ milk products in your diet in case these affect your baby.
Your GP or dietitian will help you work out the best diet for your child at whatever stage they are at and closely follow your child’s progress. Your doctor will suggest reintroducing milk after a while to see if your child has grown out of their allergy.
Is Lactose Intolerance The Same Thing As Milk Allergy
Lactose intolerance is often confused with an allergy to milk and/or dairy. However, these are two very different conditions. Milk allergies in babies typically appear in infants in their first year of life but in some cases, children may outgrow a milk allergy later on in childhood. In comparison, a lactose intolerance typically sets in later in childhood or even adulthood. Also unlike a milk allergy, an intolerance to lactose is not life-threatening. The symptoms can cause great discomfort but can also be avoided by avoiding lactose-containing products.
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What Causes Lactose Intolerance In Adults
In many cultures across the world, levels of the enzyme lactase start to fall after three to seven years of age . They often fall so low that an individual may become lactose intolerant . This may not happen until adulthood and will affect consumption of cows milk products with lactose. This is not the same as lactose intolerance in babies 5. Mohrbacher, 2010 reserves the name primary lactose intolerance for this adult type.
Is Lactose Intolerance The Same As Cows Milk Allergy
No. Having a reaction to traces of cows milk protein that enter breast milk via the mothers diet is not the same as lactose intolerance or lactose overload. However an ongoing food allergy can damage the lining of the gut where the enzyme needed to digest lactose is produced, causing symptoms of lactose overload. Lactose overload and cows milk allergy can therefore both be present at the same time.
Eliminating lactose from a mothers diet wont help a babys symptoms of lactose overload because lactose is added to breast milk in the breast. However, if the real issue is sensitivity to cows milk protein then avoiding foods with lactose probably will help the symptoms because cows milk proteins and lactose tend to be found in the same foods.
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Lactose Intolerance Causes In Babies
While lactose intolerance in babies is rare, it can still occur. Lactose intolerance in babies stems from two causes:
- Premature newborn babies are more likely to have lactose intolerance for the first few weeks after birth due to developmental lactase deficiency. Lactose intolerance in premature babies tends to go away not long after birth.
- Genetic lactose intolerance in babies occurs when the lactase enzyme is not passed down. This prevents them from digesting lactose at all. Youll likely see symptoms, such as severe diarrhea, after the first feeding.
If you have concerns that your baby has lactose intolerance, contact your pediatrician.
Keep in mind that a breast milk allergy differs from lactose intolerance, and may not be diagnosed by a lactose intolerance test. To learn more, read our article on milk allergies in babies.
Digestion Issues In Babies
Im having a roll of lactose intolerance, reflux and cows milk protein intolerance in babies. So I thought it was about time to write a blog on this topic. Im separating them as these are big issues and cows milk protein intolerance/allergy is up next.
What I have found interesting is the dearth of good research on this topic and I think that deserves a correction.
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What Is Lactose Overload
This is what the majority of newborns actually have but is so often, wrongly labelled as lactose intolerance. Lactose Overload is caused by having too much lactose in the system for the baby to break down, so the digestive system carries on as it should, but it cant cope with the amount of lactose it is receiving.
The overload of lactose then moves from the small intestine into the large intestine where it draws in more water through the intestinal wall this is called osmosis. The bacteria present then ferments the lactose producing a range of symptoms that are listed below. When this happens the baby, or infant actually looks like they are trying to suck more. This is because sucking is their instinctual tool to enable comfort, and lactose overload obviously creates discomfort. However, this looking to suck is often misread and mistaught as a hunger cue only, leading to parents feeding more, resulting in more overload of lactose to produce more symptoms. And so the cycle goes.
Unfortunately, the widely taught practices of feeding from both breasts in one sitting, in quick succession, or cluster feeding creates lactose overload for our newborns, as does overfeeding. Not only because the amount of lactose the child receives is too much, but also because these feeding practices push the milk through the digestive tract too quickly, which doesnt allow enough time for the lactose to be broken down appropriately.