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To expect the NHS to pay for me to breast feed

(209 Posts)
pamplem0usse Fri 23-Nov-12 12:28:24

OK so not quite:
10 week old DS has a cows milk allergy. He's EBF so the only solution currently is for me to cut out all dairy from my diet. I'm already a pescatarian.
Dairy free alternatives seem to be really expensive.... AIBU to think I should be able to be prescribed some of these given (a) the amount of money I'm saving them on hypoallergenic formula and (b) since I'm likely to save them significant amounts of cash by helping prevent further allergies develop....

HipHopOpotomus Mon 26-Nov-12 09:08:37

LDNMummy THIS is a very good pro-biotic & it is lactose free (suitable for vegans). It is in capsule form, but for young DC, you can always open capsule & put into a drink etc

trixymalixy Sun 25-Nov-12 16:24:06

I'd forgotten about the frozen bananas, they are really nice.

I'm fairly certain it was viridian that I used. There seems to be a larger range and some cheaper ones available than when I used it though.

It's hard to know when weaning an allergic child whether to keep trying things or not sad. We made a few mistakes, most notably with humous on the dietician's advice, wish I'd followed my instincts.

trixymalixy Sun 25-Nov-12 16:10:22

LDNmummy, both my kids are allergic to egg (DS also to nuts, sesame, lentils, chickpeas sad), you don't need to avoid it if you have a dairy allergy, but if your DD is spitting it out, it may mean it is making her mouth feel funny. It was a long time ago, but I'll have a look and see if I can find what the probiotic was.

LDNmummy Sun 25-Nov-12 16:07:23

Thank you higgy and ace!

Any tips are appreciated. DD has started eating a few new things in the last few weeks so I'm hoping its a sign that she is opening up a bit when it comes to solid foods. She wouldn't even eat bananas until last week! She used to throw them back up too.

I don't like forcing her so after maybe three separate attempts, if she still won't eat whatever I am trying with her I stop trying and wait a few weeks before trying again. It has been a struggle to get her beyond eating only bread as a snack and wanting to breastfeed for every meal. I honestly think she associated solid food's with feeling ill.

I will try all the things suggested.

Acekicker Sun 25-Nov-12 15:43:10

Another good tip is Kosher Parev/Parve (sp?) food. This is food which is neutral in Jewish food laws and therefore is dairy free. Back when I couldn't eat dairy I used to use the tiny Jewish range in our local Sainsbury's for treats and sweets sometimes. I used to live in dread that they would stop stocking it as there wasn't a huge Jewish community in that town so I regularly bought all kinds of stuff from the range just so they could see demand was there (DH's particular favourite was in the run up to Passover one year when I came home with Kosher Sprite for no other reason than 'I want them to keep stocking the parev stuff, they need to think I'm Jewish!')

Also regarding substitutions for kids, my own experience (I was 18 when my allergy was diagnosed) was that I loathed dairy products, all I associated them with was making me feel ill - I was the freaky 5 year old who ate Bournville not Milky Bar, never ate sponge cake etc. You may find you don't need to actually substitute at all, they may not be missing those particular tastes/flavours. There is also the valid point that with genuine allergies, kids do need to learn that life is sometimes a bitch and they simply cannot have what everyone else is having - it is horrible, DS has sobbed and sobbed to me a couple of times when he first started school and kids had brought in cakes that might have had nuts in but fundamentally he has had to learn that lesson. He's now coming up 8 and was extremely matter of fact when I explained he won't be getting an ice-cream on the class outing in a couple of weeks - yes he'll get to take some sweets from his swap box but I can't rustle up a nut free ice-cream to take on a school trip and he has had to learn to accept that.

higgyjig Sun 25-Nov-12 15:29:08

re: Ice cream

freeze bananas

ta-da, ice cream

Co-Op UHT sweetened soya milk for non-sugar tasty soya milk (uses apple juice instead)

LDNmummy Sun 25-Nov-12 15:25:27

Trixy is egg off limits when you have a dairy allergy? I didn't know that but DD has never wanted to eat eggs so I haven't seen her react to it. I actually thought she didn't want eggs because she may instinctively know they aren't good for her. She always spits it out when I have made her some.

Can you please tell me which dairy free probiotic you used for your DC as I couldn't find a dairy free one when I was researching a few months ago. I would really appreciate info on any products you can recommend.

Saintly you said "when I had to go to Chinese supermarkets to buy the flour to make the bread". This was exactly one of my points. Lifestyle does not always permit the time needed to stand in the kitchen and prepare things like bread from scratch. Luckily my DD can eat store bought bread fine.

I think people are thinking that I feel sorry for myself. I don't. I just think that it is not always that easy either. My point was that depending on individual circumstances, it is not actually as easy as people think to manage an allergy like a milk allergy.

trixymalixy Sun 25-Nov-12 10:38:58

The one thing I will moan about though is the lack of egg free cakes in the supermarkets though. Thankfully I like baking and would probably have made their birthday cakes anyway, but it would be a nightmare if I didn't!

trixymalixy Sun 25-Nov-12 10:30:34

LDNmummy, I actually have been through exactly the same as you, I was dairy free from when DS was 12 weeks old as he was reacting to the proteins in my breast milk , he had his first skin prick tests at 6 months old as did my DD. I ended up bfing until they were over two as they wouldnt take the hypo formula. DS was a nightmare to wean as well, we couldn't get him to eat hardly any solids until he was about a year old, it was very frustrating. So I can empathise, and I didn't get from your post that the coconut yoghurt was for other reasons than just a pudding.

I used to buy dairy free probiotics for DS, which would be much cheaper than yoghurts at £5 a pop.

Dairy and soya free is hard, I was so delighted when DS outgrew the soya allergy.

I have to disagree though as I think it's easier for a baby to be dairy free from the start. DS has never had cheese, he's never had cow's milk or eggs, so he doesn't miss these things in the same way an adult going dairy free would after having eaten them, so I don't think you need to substitute in the same way.

It does take a bit of adjustment and a bit of research reading loads of packets to find what they can and can't eat, but it does become just normal eventually. We mostly eat dairy free as a family.

It's nice for them to be able to have ice cream etc, but I do think they just need to get used to the idea that very often they are not going to be able to eat things other people are having. My two are very stoical about it, they don't get upset that they can't have the ice cream everyone else is having and have an ice lolly instead. That's just the way life is going to be and they'll have to get used to it. Perhaps they will be less stoical as they get a bit older, I don't know.

I would also have thought that living in London, sourcing dairy free alternatives would be a lot easier than it is here in Scotland. When I was looking for rice yoghurts and ice cream for DS the postage was astronomical, whereas all the stockists listed were in London. Although it definitely has become loads easier and cheaper than it was 5 years ago to get alternatives,tesco now stocks dairy free cheese and Oatly and pure are quite often on offer.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sun 25-Nov-12 08:24:32

It's far easier to find 'free from' things now than it was even 5 years ago, when DS1 first went GF.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sun 25-Nov-12 08:23:43

As an aside, I have found dairy/soy/nut free Jammy Dodgers. The cheapy Tesco version is made with vegetable oil.

I find that a lot of the time, value ranges are dairy free as they are made from vegetable oil rather than butter, as it is cheaper.

Tesco value digestives are dairy/soy/nut free too. Great for decorating with icing with your toddler!

saintlyjimjams Sun 25-Nov-12 08:00:41

LDN - I have three children who at various times have been gluten and/or cow's milk free. It wasn't that difficult - and a damn sight easier now than it was 11 years ago (when I had to go to Chinese supermarkets to buy the flour to make the bread).

LDNmummy Sat 24-Nov-12 21:55:26

Also, one of the big differences with adults and children dealing with these dietary issues is the other things that can be found in substitute foods.

For instance, when looking for dairy free foods for my DD, these foods are not really catered to children. They contain a lot of things not good for children like artificial sweeteners, which I found in almost all the substitute foods I have tried. This narrows done choices even more and means you have to get the very expensive stuff to ensure it is absolutely child appropriate.

LDNmummy Sat 24-Nov-12 21:50:42

A lot of the people who are saying "it's just food" or "it's easy to be dairy free", are looking at it from the perpective of having this diet as an adult.

In my experience, it is way different when you have a small baby or toddler who is learning to get to grips with food.

I think one of the things that makes it very difficult is also the practicality of maintaining a dairy free diet in a fast paced society. I have to deal with this issue because I live in London. Everything here moves quickly and I barely have time to cook a decent home made meal every day. That is why this society is so dependent on snack foods and ready meals.

In my mothers country we have an almost completely dairy free diet but there is a lot of time dedicated to preparing home cooked meals. Life moves substantially slower so this can be accommodated.

When I am a full time student trying to get domestic things sorted and juggling all that with raising a toddler, it is hard to keep up with maintaining a dairy free diet which means a heavier load of domestic work. It actually makes a huge difference.

Having to source dairy free substitutes for a child with allergies like my DD means making even the simplest things from scratch at home. Not a bad thing at all, but when you consider that you have to do this with even yogurt (not fixating, just an example), you come to realise what a difference it makes to have ready made substitutes available so you can save time and effort and funnel that into other daily chores.

The problem once you find these dairy free alternatives like coconut based yogurt is then the price. £5 for one small pot of yogurt is shocking when compared to the price of even the nicest dairy based yogurt.

I don't know if I am explaining my point very well but hopefully it kind of makes sense.

BalloonSlayer Sat 24-Nov-12 21:45:38

I am impressed that you are so stoical, Orbis.

Nevertheless, if I was your Mum, I would be well pissed off at what you were losing out on and would be ranting about it to all and sundry.

Couthy so sorry at what your DS has to go through - much worse than my DS's allergy (which is bad enough!)

OrbisNonSufficit Sat 24-Nov-12 19:21:16

balloonslayer I have to disagree. It's just food, it's not a death sentence to have to eat something different to everyone else. I'm allergic to a LOT of things (incl additives/preservatives in food) and you just get on with it. Yes, I break out in hives if I eat uncured pork products because it has E250 in it. Yes, I get horrible asthma when I am anywhere near a cat or where a cat has been, or I'm around dust or mould (which is everywhere in old damp housing stock). But life goes on, people adapt to their circumstances. I don't moan about it I just eat things that don't upset me and if I happen to be visiting a friend who has a cat I take a lot of ventolin. C'est la vie.

saintlyjimjams Sat 24-Nov-12 19:16:39

I just bought different stuff when out for whichever child wasn't eating gluten/cow's milk. As long as they could have something I found they didn't care. Used to carry something they liked around with me.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sat 24-Nov-12 19:13:31

And, as I have already mentioned, my cholesterol level has plummeted to very low since I stopped eating dairy.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sat 24-Nov-12 19:12:28

Calippo ice lollies are dairy free too.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sat 24-Nov-12 19:09:57

Balloonslayer - I just make my own ice lollies for all of them! Fresh fruit juice makes excellent lollies.

I was a dairy-aholic before I had to go dairy free for DS3. Now I barely eat it. Except for chocolate once a month now.

messtins Sat 24-Nov-12 19:04:31

YAB (a bit) U. I had to be dairy and soya free for over a year to BF DS2 who is intolerant. It's no more expensive - you don't need to buy "free from" foods, just shop around for brands that don't contain dairy. Calcium supplements if you need them are really cheap.
We got access to an NHS dietician and my DS had prescribed supplements, I wasn't cheeky enough to ask them to buy food for us...
I can see your point when celiacs get food on prescription though, hence you are only (a bit) U.
You could extend your point to say all BF mothers should be paid because they are saving the NHS money - it will never happen - you need to take the knowledge that you are doing the best for your child as all the thanks you'll get.

BalloonSlayer Sat 24-Nov-12 18:34:44

This thread is making me feel frustrated with all the "well just don't buy dairy then, don't bother with substitutes, then it's not expensive" comments.

Most people in this country eat similar diets. They eat cereal with milk on, drink tea or coffee with milk in, have a sandwich for lunch and a hot dinner in the evening. Once or twice a week - or more often - they might have a bit of cake, or some chocolate. Maybe once a week they get a takeaway pizza, and when it's hot they treat themselves and the children to an ice cream.

I do not accept that if you are suddenly told you have to stop eating dairy because you are breastfeeding an allergic DC, that if you buy dairy substitutes so you can eat something approximating the food you used to be able to eat - which the rest of your family are still enjoying - is somehow being self-indulgent.

I've got 3 DCs - one allergic to milk, 2 not. If I took the advice on this thread I would let the two non allergic DCs have an ice cream but give the allergic one a bourbon biscuit. Or make the whole family eat bourbon biscuits on a hot summer day. Actually I have done just that, many a time. The times we have gone out with a pack of bourbons and not let any of them have an ice cream as there's nothing for DS1 and it's not fair.

But also I do think that my allergic DS should be able to have an "ice cream" so I do buy expensive substitutes, so he can have something that every other kid he knows has. I can afford it - lucky me. But still I get annoyed at the price. And I moan about the price. Which is all the OP was doing really.

And I don't expect to get given it for free, and I don't think the OP was either. She was just venting.


LDNmummy Sat 24-Nov-12 18:19:22

Also, it is expensive when a baby is dairy free, not an adult. There is a big difference I find if you are an adult because the range of foods you can/ will eat is much broader.

LDNmummy Sat 24-Nov-12 18:17:37

I actually didn't stop drinking normal milk completely before my daughter started eating solids. I still had it in tea and small portions to see if getting it through BM would help her build a tolerance.

I think in her case this actually worked.

LDNmummy Sat 24-Nov-12 18:14:02

"when DS was dairy and soya free I never bought coconut yoghurt LDNmummy. For puddings he had custard made with bird's eye custard powder and oat milk with fruit stirred in. I sometimes also stirred fruit into Oatly cream. I also made rice pudding, jelly with fruit and certain flavours of the old fashioned blancmange are dairy and soya free. None of those are expensive.

You don't NEED coconut yoghurt, there are plenty of low cost alternatives."

Trixy I was talking about a yogurt substitute specifically because I had talked in my previous post about her having a low level of good bacteria to ward of health problems such as thrush. Not a pudding substitute but a substitute for dairy products that carry the right bacteria to balance out her healthy flora. She has a lot of flair ups which I am trying to balance out with vitamins and freeze dried bacteria.

I'm also dealing with a toddler who is VERY fussy with what she eats and who wouldn't eat any of the things you have mentioned. Its hard enough to get her to drink milk. She will however eat yogurt. In fact its probably the only soft textured food she will eat. She wouldn't even eat pureed foods as a baby.

We usually give her oat milk but we can only get it at the larger supermarket so have been giving her rice milk this week as its the only non soya/ dairy milk available right now.

I think people who have opted to have a dairy free lifestyle don't realise just how much food produce is off limits if you have an actual allergy to milk.

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