Allergies and Intolerances

It’s increasingly common for babies to be diagnosed with Cow’s milk protein allergy or Lactose intolerance. Symptoms of these and other issues such as lactose overload, often overlap and therefore lead to confusion or misdiagnoses from health care professionals. It can sometimes be quite difficult to distinguish between them so I’ve gathered research and articles to help you figure it out.

If your baby does have an allergy or intolerance it is important for you to know so you can help treat it. Some intolerances are temporary so may rectify once your baby gets older.

Intolerances frequently develop when newborn baby’s immature digestive systems have been exposed to substances that interfere with their natural gut flora (good bacteria) and lining of the stomach. This could be due to either medications, such as antibiotics or proteins found in cow’s milk, from formula or passed through breastmilk.

A food intolerance involves the body struggling or being unable to digest a particular food substance.
If you think your baby has Lactose intolerance or this has been suggested to you, this article is informative:
https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/lactose.html

A food allergy triggers the immune system causing responses, such as skin flare ups, wheezing or bloody stools.
* Note that severe allergies can trigger anaphylaxis.Check the NHS webpage for signs and symptoms
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Anaphylaxis/Pages/Introduction.aspx
Anaphylaxis is a serious reaction and you must call 999 or take your baby to A&E immediately if this occurs.

If you think your baby has an allergy or it has been suggested to you, have a read through the Cow’s milk protein allergy website: http://cowsmilkproteinallergysupport.webs.com/symptoms
If your baby does have an allergy get your GP to refer you to a Paediatric Dietician.

If your baby has any of the following symptoms:

  • Green frothy, mucous stools
  • Slow weight gain
  • Frequent feeding
  • Windy / gas
  • Discomfort
  • Unsettled

It could be your baby is getting a lactose overload. Read this article as it’s easy to confuse this with an allergy or intolerance.
https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/lactose-overload-babies

It should be noted that babies require lactose for brain development, this is why it’s prominent in human breastmilk. Cutting out major food groups from a babies diet unless medically indicated may be detrimental to your baby. That said it may be suggested that the Mother omits certain foods from her diet if an allergy is suspected and she is breastfeeding.
Read more about allergies and intolerances on the NHS webpage:
http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/Could-my-child-be-intolerant-to-cows-milk.aspx