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DD has just been diagnosed as lactose intolerant - 5 months old

(19 Posts)
juniper44 Sat 08-Mar-14 11:20:50


I know lactose intolerance is not really an allergy, but I couldn't find a more suitable place to post.

Yesterday, my DD saw a paediatrician who diagnosed her as lactose intolerant. It isn't all that surprising seeing as I am lactose intolerant myself. I had already looked into whether it could be the cause of her problems, but as she is gaining weight (most of the time) then the GP and HV dismissed it. In fact, the HV insinuated I have PND because I'm trying to find problems with her hmm

Until now, she has primarily been breast fed, with one bottle of formula before bed. Last night she had a soya formula and slept through for the first time ever! So definitely sticking with that one!

My problem is, I am now scared to breast feed. I really would like to continue, but I don't want to cause her pain. She's so much happier on the formula but I am just not ready to stop- for my own selfish reasons. It makes me teary to think about.

The doctor suggested that I cut all dairy out of my diet, but that it would take a month before I'd be lactose free. I eat far more dairy than I should as I'm vegetarian; cheese is one of the few sources of flavour for me. I also really like it. Consequently, over the years I've just learnt to cope with the pain and discomfort, but now that I know my milk is causing my baby so much pain I'm going to be diligent over excluding it.

So, after that mammoth essay, I guess my questions are:

1) Has anyone got any advice about how to make my breast milk less toxic to DD?

2) Am I being daft in wanting to continue breast feeding, when formula is by far the most sensible answer?

3) Are there any obvious weaning type things I need to think about? We have started playing at weaning, but we're not really doing meals or anything- just the occasional taste or lick of things.

Thanks for reading all of that, if you got this far!

addictedtosugar Sat 08-Mar-14 11:30:27

You will never remove lactose from breast milk - it is an integral part of milk.
By cutting out dairy from your diet, you would removed cow's milk protein.
Are you sure the pead has said lactose intolerance, rather than CMP intolerance?
If she is lactose intolerant, you need to stick with 100% soya or other alternative milk.
If she is CMP intolerant, cutting dairy out of your diet will help. It may take time to totally clear from your system. Any formula will need to be dairy free (so soya or similar)

Be warned, some kids who are sensitive to CMP are also soya intolerant.

We were dairy free for DS1. Read all labels - surprising things have dairy present. Also read up on other things that mean dairy - like ingredients saying lactose etc.
We didn't bother introduction alternatives - so he didn't have cheese, either dairy or dairy free, as we didn't see the point n a substitution if he didn't know what he was missing.

Find a dairy free spread your happy with, and a milk. If shes on formula, you can cook with that. We were BF, and Oatly was recommended to us by the dietician for cooking with.

juniper44 Sat 08-Mar-14 12:45:15

The paediatrician said that DD probably has quite mild lactose intolerance so might be ok with my breastmilk as long as I cut out dairy.

I think the most obvious solution is to go onto formula.

addictedtosugar Sat 08-Mar-14 13:00:20

The main sugar in mammal milk is lactose.
Thats why its called lactation.
Cutting out dairy WILL NOT remove lactose from your milk. Its impossible, as you are producing lactose as the sugar component in your milk. Eating dairy or not will not change that biological fact.
Please do some research before blindly accepting what the pead has said - if your daughter is lactose intolerant, no mammal milk will do - yours or a cows, or a goats.
If she is CMP intolerant, you can cut out dairy and feed her breastmilk, with all its lactose in there.

juniper44 Sat 08-Mar-14 13:18:29

Lactose intolerance isn't just a yes or no situation; you can have varying degrees.

As previously stated, I am lactose intolerant myself. I have researched it many, many times. My DP is also a doctor so, even though not his field, he has a working knowledge and has access to medical forums etc.

I know that all milk contains lactose, but to varying degrees. Goats' milk, for example, has a far lower content than cows' milk. I can drink goats' milk without problems whereas a glass of cows' milk would leave me on the floor. The paediatrician said human milk is lower in lactose than cows' milk, and if I were to lower / cut out lactose from my diet then it might be tolerable to her.

addictedtosugar Sat 08-Mar-14 16:00:24

OK, I'm going to have one last go at this, then hide the thread.
It is very very rare for babies to be lactose intolerant. It is something that adults experience to different levels. Incidence in a population can be correlated with ethnicity, but very nearly all babies can digest lactose.
If lactose is truely the problem, you need formula.
Human milk contains MORE lactose than cows milk. Cutting out dairy is not going to help in this case.
I would suggest carrying out a little more research into lactose intolerance in babies, rather than the adult research I suspect you have carried out for yourself.
Good luck with your journey.

juniper44 Sat 08-Mar-14 16:59:31

Do you mean to be so patronising?

Waltonswatcher1 Mon 10-Mar-14 16:19:31

Hi juniper
I know lots about our allergies but nothing about lactose -sorry.
I do know though that you must stick with the breast feeding unless the consultant advises against it .
If you dd is prone to allergies then breast milk will be her friend .
If it was me , I would listen only to the consultant about something as major as this - you may find lots of well researched advice on her but they aren't privy to all the facts.
Just get in touch with the hospital and ask for yes no answers !
And I'm sorry you were ignored , if men were the primary carers I think they'd be listened to more! In my experience the easiest diagnosis is over protective mum .

MigGril Mon 10-Mar-14 16:58:04

Hi, I'm a breastfeeding supporter, this is what I know about lactose.
All babies can digest lactose, as we age many human adults lose that ability to digest lactose. unless you are of European or African descent where by there are several gene mutations which have allowed some of its too carry on digesting lactose into adulthood. And yes some adults are less tolerant too lactose then others. But this doesn't apply to babies as otherwise they would die due to the high levels of lactose in human milk.

Babies with true lactose intolerance are very ill from birth and have to be fed special formula and can't tolerate human milk at all.
However they can have secondary lactose intolerance due to allergies or tummy bugs. it's far more likely your lo is cow's milk protein intolerance, and its suffering secondary lactose intolerance as a result. Cutting dairy out of your diet will help with this.
Giving soya formula is a temporary measure as if it is cow's milk protein allergy, then soya is not recommended as they can possibly become allergic to soya, due to the proteins being similar.

What you can do is get (and I'm surprised the ped didn't presided this) the enzymes that he'll them digest the lactose to give with a feed. can't remember of the top of my head what it's called. As giving this will help in the mean time until you can cut out dairy.

ilovepowerhoop Tue 18-Mar-14 22:08:24

it really does sound unlikely to be lactose intolerance and more likely to be cows milk protein intolerance. You cannot reduce the lactose in your breastmilk by cutting out dairy products.

ilovepowerhoop Tue 18-Mar-14 22:12:36

or it could be lactose overload caused by an oversupply of milk

juniper44 Thu 20-Mar-14 21:50:13

I took DD to the GP, as well as asking DP's paediatrician friend. Both agree with the paediatric consultant that it is lactose intolerance.

Consequently, she is now on special formula and I've given up breast feeding. Apparently, breast milk is about 9% lactose whereas cows' milk is about 4.6%, so I was doing her more harm than the formula.

trinitybleu Fri 21-Mar-14 06:37:26

hey, I'm a veggie and had a lactose intolerant dd. I went dairy free and it did help. I bf til 10 months old when she self weaned.

getting ready for work right now but will be back later smile

MigGril Fri 21-Mar-14 07:05:41

trinity, your baby most likely had secondary lactose intolerance due to an allergy as I already tried to explain to op the more likely cause as true lactose intolerance in babies is very serious. Shame none of the experts you have talked to know much about lactation op. Babies really don't get graded lactose intolerance without an underlying reason due to it being there only source of food.

MigGril Fri 21-Mar-14 07:08:40

OP be careful when you start weaning as if it is an dairy allergy then adding dairy to your DD diet could cause a problem. luckely most babies tend to grow out of dairy allergies buy the time they are 12 months.

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 21-Mar-14 07:21:01

Oh god, there is so much misinformation on this thread.

Knowledge about lactose intolerance in babies is changing it doesn't equal failure to thrive in all cases.

My dd was lactose intolerant from birth, the specialist felt that she was also cmpi as a baby and grew out of that but not the milder li she suffered. Her dx was missed she so was bf for a year, during which vomit and diarrhea were very normal for us, but she survived and gained weight as the intolerance was mild enough that she was able to digest some of my milk.

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 21-Mar-14 07:21:51

Also I'm happy you've found a way that works for you OP.

trinitybleu Fri 21-Mar-14 09:09:55

No, primary intolerance. Confirmed by a reducing sugars test on a stool sample aged 3 months. She had no other intolerances or allergies. She was growing well but feeding constantly, permanent green diarrhoea and vomiting daily.

And I know of 3 other babies / children in her year group in our small town with it too (and 2 CMP allergies). It's not that rare.

OP ask for a dietician referral (if you haven't had one already) and find a good HV. I had a friend who fulfilled this role for me and was amazing. I took a calcium supplement to compensate for the lack of diary I was eating. DD had some Nutrimigen for Nursery and as backup but never really liked it.

DD turned 7 yesterday and outgrew the intolerance aged 4, almost overnight. She's v tall and you'd never know to look at her smile

trinitybleu Fri 21-Mar-14 09:14:45

juniper feel free to PM me, by the way.

For weaning you need to check for things like whey and casein on the labels. Lactofree stuff is good (wasn't around when my DD was little and she wouldn't go near vegan cheeses!) but check everything! Things like ham, crisps and tomato sauce have dairy in them, as does Stork in tubs, but not the blocks ... hmm confused

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