Cows Milk Allergy And Breastfeeding
Breast milk is the best form of nourishment for your baby, even if theyve been diagnosed with a cows milk allergy.
While cows milk protein can pass into breast milk from your diet, most babies with a cows milk allergy can tolerate it. In rare cases, babies do react to the cows milk in their mothers milk. If this happens, your healthcare professional or doctor may advise you to avoid all dairy products to see if this makes a difference to your babys symptoms.
What Is Milk Intolerance And Milk Allergy
Around 1 in 10 young children has a reaction when they drink cow’s milk. This could be because they have a lactose intolerance or a milk allergy. Milk allergy is much more common than lactose intolerance in children under 5.
Lactose intolerance is a problem with the digestive system it means your child doesn’t have the enzyme needed to digest lactose, which is the sugar in milk.
Milk allergy, however, is a problem with the immune system the body reacts to the protein in milk. An allergy usually involves other parts of the body as well as the stomach, and may cause symptoms such as a skin rash or swelling of the face.
Your doctor can confirm whether your child is lactose-intolerant or has a milk allergy by doing some medical tests. Don’t use unproven tests such as Vega, kinesiology, Alcat or allergy elimination tests for children. A milk intolerance is very unlikely to be the cause of mucus or coughing.
Many young children grow out of their intolerance or allergy. But don’t start giving them cow’s milk until your doctor tells you it’s safe to do so.
What To Do If Your Child Has A Milk Allergy And Reacts To Formula
If your child has an allergic reaction to formula, contact your child’s doctor right awayeven if the symptoms are mild. At the very least, your child’s doctor can help you find ways to alleviate the symptoms of a milk allergy.
If your baby is vomiting, develops swelling, or has difficulty breathing after consuming the formula, these are signs of a more serious reaction, and you need to seek urgent medical care.
If your child has a severe allergy, you might need to use an epinephrine auto-injector to treat a reaction. You’ll also need to closely read ingredients on products and likely change formulas to a product that will not cause a reaction.
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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 baby’s 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 child’s diet as it contains important nutrients.
The Two Types Of Allergy To Cows Milk
There are two kinds of cows milk allergy. One of them is mediated through a type of immunoglobulin called IgE, which causes classic food allergy. This kind is easier to diagnose, as children have more classic symptoms of allergy such as rashes, facial swelling, or flushing. There are also blood tests that can help make the diagnosis.
The other kind is not mediated through IgE, and is tougher to diagnose with certainty.
Babies with non-IgE mediated cows milk allergy can have various symptoms, such as vomiting, fussiness during or after feeding, diarrhea, or blood in the stool. The problem is that lots of babies without allergy can have vomiting, fussiness, or diarrhea and there are other reasons why babies might have blood in the stool, including having a small cut in the anus. The only way to definitively diagnose non-IgE mediated allergy is to eliminate all dairy, see if the baby gets better and then reintroduce dairy again and see if the symptoms come back.
For lots of understandable reasons, many doctors and parents dont want to do that reintroduction once a baby gets better but the baby getting better may have nothing to do with the diet change.
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How Is A Lactose Intolerance Diagnosed In A Baby
If your baby has signs of a lactose intolerance, dont diagnose the condition yourself. Talk to your pediatrician. Theyll have more experience distinguishing between a lactose intolerance and a milk allergy.
Since a lactose intolerance is uncommon in infants, your doctor may refer you to an allergist to rule out a dairy allergy after also ruling out other common digestive issues.
The allergist may expose your babys skin to a small amount of milk protein, and then monitor their skin for an allergic reaction.
If your baby doesnt have a milk allergy, your doctor may take a stool sample to check the acidity of their poop. Low acidity can be a sign of lactose malabsorption, and traces of glucose is evidence of undigested lactose.
Your doctor may also suggest removing lactose from their diet for 1 to 2 weeks to see if their digestive symptoms improve.
How Milk Allergies Affect Babies
When a child has a milk allergy, the proteins in the milk stick to certain antibodies that are created by the immune system. The symptoms produced by the immune defenses that cause the reaction can be mild or severe.
Read Also: Do Allergies Make Your Head Itch
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A Partially Hydrolyzed Formula
- Produced to ease natural ways of digestive distress such as fussiness, gas, and piping
- It has easy-to-digest proteins that are somewhat cut Down.
- Provides complete nutrition.
Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease® is the first step to a more settled baby. If you find that your little one has fussy feedings, consider whether they are on an amino acid formula like Enfapro-Gentaye AR or Prosobee.
Both offer fewer nutrients than traditional formulas and maybe too much for some babies systems at this stage in development .
Luckily theres now another option: our new milk-based product explicitly designed with newly born under 3 months old in mind which means all those essential building blocks delivered straight through breastmilk without any need whatsoever about conversions.
Cows Milk Allergy Is Uncommon
According to a special communication published in JAMA Pediatrics, while 14% of babies are reported to have cows milk allergy, only about 1% actually do have it.
As for the diet restrictions for breastfeeding mothers, the authors report that those are likely not necessary, even if there is an IgE-mediated allergy. So many mothers are putting their nutrition at risk, or stopping breastfeeding, for no good reason.
Its also worrisome that in 81% of the published guidelines on cows milk allergy, the authors of the guidelines reported a conflict of interest with formula manufacturers. This does not mean that the guidelines arent good or accurate, but its troubling that the formula manufacturers are supporting so much of the research.
If your baby has been diagnosed with cows milk allergy, and you have changed your babys diet or your own, dont stop these changes without talking to your childs doctor. But definitely talk to the doctor, and be sure that you understand exactly why your baby has the diagnosis and whether any further evaluation makes sense.
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What To Do For Milk Protein Allergies
Does your baby’s poop look loose, mushy, blood-streaked, or mucousy? They might have a sensitivity to cow’s milk protein. Your pediatrician will probably recommend an elimination diet, which involves removing triggering foods from Mom’s plate . Formula-fed babies might switch to a different type of formula. Symptoms should improve within two or three weeks.
Although unusual baby poop can seem alarming, experts stress that minor intestinal inflammation isn’t a big deal, and your pediatrician will likely recommend re-introducing your baby to dairy at some point. Most children grow out of cow’s milk protein allergies by the time they turn 5 years old.
Diagnosing A Milk Allergy
If you suspect that your infant is allergic to milk, call your doctor, wholl ask about any family history of allergies or food intolerance and then do a physical exam. Theres no single lab test to accurately diagnose a milk allergy, so your doctor might order several tests to make the diagnosis and rule out any other health problems.
In addition to a stool test and a blood test, the doctor may order an allergy skin test, in which a small amount of the milk protein in inserted just under the surface of the childs skin with a needle. If a raised spot called a wheal emerges, the child may have a milk allergy. If your child is positive for a milk allergy, your doctor may tell you to avoid milk.
The doctor also might request an oral challenge test when he or she feels it is safe. This involves having the baby consume milk in the doctors office, and then waiting for a few hours to watch for any allergic reaction. Sometimes doctors repeat this test to reconfirm the diagnosis.
Vomiting And Spitting Up
Spitting up after eating is quite common in infants and is a process of normal growing up. If the spitting up is not forceful or painful there is nothing to worry. However, if it is vomiting, it might be an indication for formula intolerance. It might also point to other health concerns.
Read More: Top 7 Causes for Child Vomiting
Lactose Intolerance Vs A Milk Allergy: Symptoms
A milk allergy, or more specifically cows milk allergy , is the immune systems abnormal reaction to cows milk and related dairy products. Milk from sheep, goats, or other mammals can also sometimes cause an allergic reaction.
On the other hand, lactose intolerance is when theres not enough of the digestive enzyme lactase to break down milk sugars. Lets find out the difference between a milk allergy and lactose intolerance, their symptoms, causes, and how to tell which one your baby might have.
A few symptoms that a milk allergy and lactose intolerance have in common are bloating, gas, and indigestion. There are also some key symptoms that set them apart. Symptoms of a milk allergy can be more severe and require medical treatment. Lets find out more about the symptoms for each condition.
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What Foods Are Most Likely To Be A Problem
Some of the most likely suspects are cows milk products, soy, wheat, corn, eggs, and peanuts.
Other suspect foods:
- Any food that a family member is allergic to
- A food that mom recently ate a large amount of
- A new food
- A food that mom doesnt like, but is eating while breastfeeding for the benefit of her baby
- A food that mom craves, or feels she has to have after a bad day
Conscious likes and dislikes of foods are signals that your body may be reacting to them in an abnormal way.
Keeping a food journal with a record of foods eaten and babys behavior/symptoms, with time of day for each, may be helpful when trying to pinpoint a problem food.
How To Tell If You Have A Milk Allergy
Cows milk is the usual cause of milk allergy, but milk from sheep, goats, buffalo and other mammals also can cause a reaction. An allergic reaction usually occurs soon after you or your child consumes milk. Signs and symptoms of milk allergy range from mild to severe and can include wheezing, vomiting, hives and digestive problems.
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Cows Milk Allergy Management
If your doctor suspects cow’s milk allergy, they may suggest eliminating cow’s milk protein from your babys diet. This isn’t as daunting as it might sound.
- For Breastfed Babies Breastfed babies can be exposed to cow’s milk protein fragments passed in breast milk when their mothers eat dairy products. Breast milk still provides the best nutrition for your baby, so you shouldn’t stop nursing. You should not remove dairy foods from your diet without speaking to your doctor.
- For Formula-Fed BabiesSwitching to a formula that is hypoallergenic may help. The majority of babies with cow’s milk allergy feel better after a switch to an extensively hydrolyzed, hypoallergenic formula like Nutramigen. In fact, some cows milk allergy symptoms like colic may stop within 48 hours* after a formula change. Talk to your doctor to see if this is the option for you.
As your baby gets older, your doctor may suggest you start reintroducing your child to foods made with cow’s milk. This should always be done carefully and under a doctor’s supervision. More than 75 percent of children outgrow cow’s milk allergy by the time they are five years old. So, you may not be facing a lifetime of saying no to your child’s pleas for ice cream and mac and cheese. In the meantime, there are other ways you can manage CMA and the symptoms associated.
Cows’ Milk Allergy In Babies
Cows’ milk allergy , also called cows’ milk protein allergy, is one of the most common childhood food allergies. It is estimated to affect around 7% of babies under 1, though most children grow out of it by the age of 5.
CMA typically develops when cows’ milk is first introduced into your baby’s diet either in formula or when your baby starts eating solids.
More rarely, it can affect babies who are exclusively breastfed because of cows’ milk from the mother’s diet passing to the baby through breast milk.
There are 2 main types of CMA:
- immediate CMA where symptoms typically begin within minutes of having cows’ milk
- delayed CMA where symptoms typically begin several hours, or even days, after having cows’ milk
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Digestive: Frequent Vomiting Reflux Or Spitting Up
Babies often spit up , but anything beyond the occasional post-meal spit-up should be examined by a doctor. Many infants who spit up dont seem bothered by it and maintain a healthy weight we call them happy spitters. For other infants, spitting up may represent something more concerning like gastroesophageal reflux disease or vomiting. It can lead to low or no weight gain.
In infants, frequent reflux or vomiting can be related to CMA. Almost 50% of infants with reflux may be diagnosed with CMA. In those cases, taking cow milk out of the diet should help resolve reflux. Read more information on reflux and vomiting in infancy. violent vomiting a few hours after feeding is the hallmark sign.)