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Multiple allergies - should I continue breastfeeding

(12 Posts)
silversixpence Sat 21-Nov-15 13:57:44

DS is 5.5m and exclusively breastfed until recently. I have suspected CMPI for the past six weeks due to mucus in stools, projectile vomiting and poor weight gain (dropped two centiles). His weight gain improved slightly after I cut out dairy from my diet but he has had several days with large projectile vomits, eg yesterday he vomited after every breast feed almost immediately. I am wondering if he could also have an egg or fish allergy. The community dietitian prescribed alfamino formula which he kept down fine in the morning.

I would like to know the following: should I be pushing for an allergy referral for skin prick testing?
Can I wean him as usual but without dairy/egg?
Should I carry on trying to breastfeed or switch to formula?

I have read that continuing breastfeeding could help him to grow out of the allergy quicker. If this is true I would persist despite the misery of being dairy free!

MayfairMummy Sat 21-Nov-15 16:36:03

my DS2 had multiple allergies. i fed until almost 12 months. By the end I'd cut out egg, soy, dairy, nuts, legumes (very hard for a pescatarian). i can empathise :-/

realistically, unless you're dedicated, its very hard to find all the allergies by excluding them from your diet as well as his. It sounds like there is possibly more than just the dairy. if you are happy to cut the things out of your diet to challenge him, then I'd stick with breastfeeding. If you don't think you can, and (and here's the important thing) THEY ARE CAUSING ISSUES that are long term, or you don't want him to deal with, then cut out breastfeeding and keep the allergy food/s out of his diet.

Latest research, though, is saying that a high risk baby exposed to high risk food early is less likely to develop an allergy than if it's excluded from their diet 'just in case'. Surely the exposure through breast milk counts! Also, 'mild' allergy reactions no longer warrant cutting the food out of the diet (though docs not up to date may still recommend this). The concern is that keeping it out of the diet entirely may lead to it becoming a severe allergy on exposure. Eating it in the first stages of the food ladder will hopefully increase sensitivity and allow moving up the food ladder.

Two centiles is a very small amount to measure... if it's correct, i wouldn't worry at all about it (it's the difference between weighing before or after a wee!), but you might have the description wrong. having said that, latest research is that allergy babies can be fat or skinny, but usually are short (my DS2 was denied any allergy investigations for 8 months because he was too fat - he was 90th centile for weight (but 7th centile for height; strange given dad is 6'3"))

Re weaning, yes, wean as usual, but keep a strict food diary; don't introduce dairy if you know it's an issue; try egg but do it early in the morning and watch closely.... biggest thing is probably keeping a food diary.

Would ask for allergy referral. Gold standard for getting information on allergies is the food diary. Skin prick testing can help, and is very convenient, but food diary is better.... and SO easy to do if you are on formula and starting solids. Harder if you are breastfeeding and starting solids, as you need to do all your foods too, which are much more varied.

Sorry; disjointed post in between bouncing 5.5 month old DC, plus dealing with DS2's mild reaction to sweeties bought when out with daddy this morning...

silversixpence Sat 21-Nov-15 16:58:40

Thanks for the advice - sorry I didn't mean two centiles, I meant two lines on the centile chart i.e. he went from between 25th and 50th to below 9th!

Excluding dairy is a bit miserable already, not sure how I feel about no egg or fish as well.

MayfairMummy Sat 21-Nov-15 17:54:49

You could always trial it for a while and food diary? Might not actually be the issue? I do appreciate that it's really hard - i think a high % of drs recommend cutting out breastfeeding because a lot of mums don't actually manage to cut out ALL of the dairy/egg/whatever and it's not always "good enough". You could always express to keep up your milk (and freeze it for later), and trial the egg/fish with just formula, then go back to breastfeeding when you're sure? it's a faff, but could give you best of both worlds if it isn't actually egg/fish....

Oh, and I should say, start a probiotic straight away. Kids on probiotics grow out of their allergies, on average, faster. (those that grow out; not all of them grow out of all of their allergies). if you're having trouble finding one that suits you, we use symprove (but have multiple allergies; more than my list above). expensive but v good... but you might find a cheaper alternative that suits you better.

My DC3 is 6 months in a week. She's gone from above 75th to below 9th for weight. Also short. I cut out dairy, soy, corn, eggs from my diet until she was about 4 months old (nasty green mucous poos, but MUCH less of a problem than my DS2). Have now added them all back in to my diet, and trying to feed them to her too now, mainly for hope of her not becoming ana to them. Her body seems to be coping much better than when she was teeny... and she's tracking her centile for first time since i started solids. However, I'm doing this because she's coping with it better and we're not having major issues just at the moment (though i am keeping an eye on weight). Definitely would not have been able to do that with DS2, who reacted much more violently to food exposures.

I've been doing this for a few years now, but find that excluding dairy is actually pretty easy as long as you're prepared to pay a bit more for prepared foods, and/or make stuff at home. Dairy substitutes abound, thankfully.... (though you probably have to give up your favourite brand/cafe cake etc). I find cooking things like a cake then freezing in slices is good so i can just grab and go for DS when we're going to a party/whatever, and he still gets to have his treat. Might work for you too?

good luck!

lavendersun Sat 21-Nov-15 18:02:45

I did this, egg, dairy, wheat, peppers, aubergines and courgettes were off the list for DD and I have an epipen for shellfish so they were off too!

It wasn't easy (good for weightloss though grin) but once everything was out of my (and her) system we carried on bf for 2 years and 10 months - mostly because she had anaphylaxis to dairy and I just thought it was easier to carry on rather than not.

She was neutropenic too so that had a bit of an influence as I was constantly stressed about her immune system.

This wasn't out when I was free from all of the above but I do still cook without dairy and wheat a fair bit.

Lovely book, you will not feel deprived and can still make things that even friends coming round for dinner will love.

No idea what you should do though - DD's egg, dairy and wheat allergies were confirmed by blood tests.

MayfairMummy Sat 21-Nov-15 18:27:20

I'm a bit with lavender. i would have carried on bf but was on hols with nasty lung infection and DS stopped b/f (taste of antibiotics?). i dried up and didnt have energy / kit to express. having said that, didn't know some allergies until after i'd stopped.

although ds' dairy, egg, nuts, soy all come up on blood tests/skin pricks, his wheat, corn, legumes (peas, lentils, beans, chickpeas etc), gourds (squash, melons, courgettes, etc) and red peppers are all non ige and cant be diagnosed by tests, only food trialling .. which was MUCH easier when it was only his food i had to control.

because it was almost a year, and he didnt take quickly to neocate, we just skipped formula entirely

silversixpence Sun 22-Nov-15 17:05:33

The book looks great, very tempted to add it to my collection.

How long did it take to arrange skin prick testing once referred? I'm considering having them done privately if it's not too expensive.

lavendersun Sun 22-Nov-15 17:59:24

Ours were done on the day - but blood tests not skin prick. I think that if you have a full blown allergy you have a severe instant IgE response, a lesser allergy produces an IgG response and an intolerance is a gastric/metabolic response.

It is nearly 9 years ago now so my memory is rusty.

We had an epipen for the main culprits so they were definitely IgE for DD.

She was three before we had skin prick tests as the severe ones were known by then. They were just to confirm my suspicions. I took some lovely looking vegetables to the clinic!

How is your DS?

Clarella Mon 23-Nov-15 12:16:07


Two things, firstly I know a few friends who have found their children to be very allergic and had to cut an awful lot out. So to continue bf is your decision - it might not be easy to switch to the formula as it's not very tasty, but it is possible.

Continuing bf could be very good to support immunity etc - it's up to you though whether you can cope with this. I am still bf my almost 3 year old and have found it great for so many reasons.

Secondly - my son had colic type issues and looking back I think o could have tried cutting things out. He definitely had a tongue tie which made him more windy and sickly, but he was vomiting the most when he had a uti which we didn't know about. No temp, no other signs at first, just very unhappy and being sick at around 3 months. I was dismissive of the uti test but it showed he did have one.

My area then puts them on prophylactic antibiotics till they can be scanned. His scanned showed VUR or kidney reflux so a tendency for UTIs. He has to be on the antibiotics till next test, at 4.

The area I live in are very very hot on this and work outside the nice guidelines as they currently stand, informing all gps locally to test and baby with feeding/ colic/ reflux issues.

It's unlikely but I just wanted to highlight this possibility.

The other thing I would do is contact your local la leche league and see if you can join a local fb group as there are many women who have to cut things out and often a leader has a lot of experience in this. Ours is a qualified IBCLC.

Clarella Mon 23-Nov-15 12:19:04

Joining a group such as lll would mean you can ask questions, share recipes etc and generally mutually support each other / moan. Df and soy free chocolate

Ps try cutting out soy first.

BeenAndGone Mon 23-Nov-15 22:37:53

DS is allergic to dairy, soy and eggs. I'm a coeliac so gluten free. I breastfed him for 2.5 years in the end. It was a faff in the beginning, esp soy as it's absolutely everything but you get used to it pretty quickly.

He's 3.5 now and is outgrowing all of them and slowly moving up the ladders.

There's a cross over with cows milk proteins and soy proteins and around 40% of babies with CMPA will have allergies to soy so it may be worth cutting soy out first.

I found breastfeeding to be a life saver with DS as he has an IgA deficiency, which is common with allergy babies. He was forever unwell in the first two years and we were constantly in A&E and breast feeding helped a lot during that time when I struggled to get anything else into him.

I would push for skin prick tests and a dietician referral. Fwiw my nephew has egg, dairy, soy & nut allergies and is still breastfed at 2. He has outgrown the egg & soy allergies and moving up the milk adder too.

It's a personal choice really as it's a big commitment.

chocci21 Thu 28-Jan-16 19:16:32

Hi my DS (now 3 years old) was allergic to wheat, egg, dairy, peanuts, oats and a host of other things and has outgrown most except for egg, diary and peanuts. I stopped breastfeeding at 4 months as his eczema was weeping and he was constantly on antibiotics from infections and that's what the doctors advised, I regretted it shortly after but he was doing so much better on Neocate so I was relieved too.

My DD now 5.5 months is also allergic to soy, wheat, egg, dairy, oats, beef, legumes. I've cut all these things out of my diet and would like to continue breastfeeding if possible, so MayfairMummy, LavendarSun and the rest of you, it's really encouraging that other mums are in similar situation and managed to persevere for so long!

MayfairMummy - did you give your kids Symprove from a young age? I'd love to get DS and DD both onto them.

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