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to worry about people being told to cut out dairy

(395 Posts)
noblegiraffe Mon 13-May-13 11:51:48

I've noticed on here recently (or maybe I've only just noticed?) that if a mother posts about a fussy baby and she's breastfeeding, it is quite common for someone to suggest the mother try cutting dairy from her diet.

Now I'd have thought that cutting out dairy should be something done carefully and with dietary advice on how to compensate for it.

If you're cutting out dairy, that means you have to cut out nice things like cheese, milk in your cereal/tea, and if you're doing it thoroughly, things like chocolate that contain milk products. This sounds tedious and not very pleasant. It may even convince a mother to give up breastfeeding.

So I would have thought that cutting out dairy isn't something that should be taken lightly.

Also, babies are quite often fussy, and they quite often grow out of it without any intervention. A mother who has cut out dairy may attribute the improvement to her restricted diet and continue on it for months despite it being completely unnecessary and making no difference at all.

It's different to when people make other suggestions on here like 'it might be reflux' because people will need to see their GP before getting a prescription, and tips like propping up the cot are harmless even if it's not reflux. People can go ahead and cut out dairy without any health professional giving it the once-over.

So, AIBU to worry about this advice being bandied about? Or do people not attempt dietary restrictions on the say so of an Internet forum and I'm worrying about nothing?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 13-May-13 11:57:47

YANBU. Cutting out any major food-group whether it's meat, dairy or 'carbs' has to be done intelligently so that the nutrients lost are made up with other foods. I also agree with you about 'it might be reflux' after my own DS as a baby needed an operation to correct something that had a lot of the symptoms of reflux but which was much more serious. Internet diagnoses always risky.

narmada Mon 13-May-13 11:58:58

Well, some people live quite healthily and happily without any dairy at all - e.g., vegans.

Having had a baby that was allergic to dairy and having had the runaround from endless medical professionals who were not even aware of CMPI, I can reassure you that cutting out dairy is sometimes absolutely necessary and had I known about it, my DS mightn't have developed a feeding aversion or colitis.

It was another mother's suggestion that made me consider dairy allergy.

Of course if you are cutting out dairy ling-term you should get dietician input though. But 3 weeks' trual is neither here nor there in the nutritional stakes.

littlepeas Mon 13-May-13 12:01:19

Technically dairy is not a natural part of our diet though - cow's milk is for baby cows, not for humans - so as long as care is taken to ensure there is still calcium in the diet, it shouldn't be a problem. In fact, it is probably healthier for most people and it isn't surprising that many babies are sensitive to it. As it happens, goat's milk is much better for us as goats have one stomach, like us, as opposed to four, like a cow! I do think that women should be made aware of how important it is to have calcium in their diet though, in order to avoid osteoporosis.

narmada Mon 13-May-13 12:02:12

Hunans are not really designed to drink mammalian milks aside from that of their own species. Many ethnic groups have high rates of lactose intolerance in adulthood, and even in people who can happily consume dairy, too much is can result in occult blood loss from the intestinal tract.

LunaticFringe Mon 13-May-13 12:04:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OHforDUCKScake Mon 13-May-13 12:06:31

A fussy baby, YANBU.

But a baby who wakes 10 times a night, screams with abdominal pain, has green mucousy nappies that smell acidic, or dennie-morgan folds would do very well to try and elimenate dairy.

Cows milk is not the be all and end all. In manu ways it can be better for us not to be in our diets, there are plent of other places you can get calcium, calcium fortifie coconut or oat milk, soya milk, dark green veg.

Its not rocket science to get the source elsewhere and theres always the option of supplements.

shelley72 Mon 13-May-13 12:10:28

Hi I posted on a thread this morning about my experience of cutting out dairy whilst bf as I did have a v fussy baby and it was suggested by my hv.

I don't think anyone should cut out dairy on the say so of a random person on the internet. We did it under medical supervision, with the health visitor, gp and regular appointments to the dietician (for us both) and to the paediatric dept for dd. It was miserable (for me) - dd didn't know any different, but her being poorly wasn't pleasant either. She is now nearly 3 and is still cmp intolerant (and allergic to soya) and we are starting (again under hospital guidance) to test reintroduction of cmp. So far we are not past stage 1. We have both had to take supplements so giving up def isn't something that should be taken lightly.

I'm glad it was mentioned to me. It's something I hadn't considered, esp as none of us has any food / allergy issues.

EdgarAllanPond Mon 13-May-13 12:16:56

cows milk intolerance amongst Breastfed northern European babies isn't that common though -

if you aren't of European origin it is worth considering.

People of European descent are genetically adpated, generally speaking to tolerate dairy and cutting it out entirely may (ie we don't know if it might) actually increase the babies long-term intolerance.

cutting out any food group should not be done lightly - not least as things you may eat instead of dairy (eg soya) may also cause signs of intolerance.

Personally i object also to the 'woman-controlling' part of this kind of advice, ie

noblegiraffe Mon 13-May-13 12:17:54

My OP was really prompted by my own experience. My DD had symptoms that pointed to a dairy intolerance (episodes of blood in her nappy). We were referred to a paediatrician, the appointment was a few weeks away. Everything I read on the Internet suggested that I should try eliminating dairy from my diet, however having thought through her symptoms carefully, I decided against, and decided that I would only do it if the doctor recommended it as it would mean quite big changes to my diet to do it properly.

By the time we saw the paediatrician, the episodes of blood (which had been going on for weeks) had stopped. He said that he deliberately made the appointment late as these things can resolve themselves with time. He also said that people think that dairy is a problem far more often than it actually is.

If I'd have cut dairy from my diet, as everything on the Internet was telling me to, I'd be miserable right now. I'd also be stuck with the diet as my DD's symptoms have resolved and I'd think that dairy had been the problem and my diet had solved it, where in fact it had got better by itself.

I'm so pleased I didn't do it.

noblegiraffe Mon 13-May-13 12:23:01

I should say that I don't have a problem with people suggesting that a parent see a doctor about a possible CMPI. That's different to saying 'hey, have you tried eliminating dairy from your diet?'

EdgarAllanPond Mon 13-May-13 12:24:05

noble that's exactly it - the advice is also that it takes 6 weeks to work through (as my friend was told) in which time you would have a completely different baby.

the silly thing was her baby had had a really tough birth which would explain all his symptoms (ie he'd been intubated and spent a week in SCBU ) but because she wanted reassurance (understandably) they kept on trying other things.

missuswife Mon 13-May-13 12:27:28

Of course people should take medical advice on these things, but it's good to hear other people's experiences when you are up in the middle of the night panicking about your baby.

ThreeDudesOnABus Mon 13-May-13 12:28:03

Yanbu, people would rather take advice from the Internet and pop ju-ju juice than question bf.

shelley72 Mon 13-May-13 12:29:16

Forgot to add, I also had to be dairy free for a long time (til she gave up bf recently) and when I started to have it again I had the dodgy tummy. currently pg and dairy has been my main craving. Suppose my body needs it. Am hoping I don't have same issues with this one!

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 13-May-13 12:33:42

I don't think dairy is that good for people tbh, considering all the shite they pump into cows to up production.

Cow's milk is basically breast milk for baby cows. It is nutritionally evolved to cater for the needs of baby cows not humans.

Calcium can be found elsewhere with ease.

noblegiraffe Mon 13-May-13 12:39:49

Whether calcium can be found elsewhere and whether you think cows milk is suitable for human consumption is completely irrelevant tbh.

Notanexcitingname Mon 13-May-13 12:40:44

I do feel compelled to respond to Edgar's post; you link cow's milk protein intolerance to ethnic group. I suspect you are liniking lactose intolerance in adults with CMPI in children. The former is prevalent in oriental populations, and much less so in european populations, and a different condition from CMPI.
I can't give you any figures for CMPI but I can assure you it does exist, and appears to be far more common than one might think. Several years ago these would have been fussy, difficult babies, now we recognise the cause and can put the out of their discomfort.
My DS2 is CMPI (diagnosed by a paediatric allergy consultant, FWIW), and on hearing his symptoms and diagnosis, my grandfather retrospectively thinks my aunt had the same. But in 1950, one just suffered.

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 13-May-13 12:41:44

What's the point of starting the thread if you don't want different views?

MNetters are freakin' odd lately. Very tetchy.

noblegiraffe Mon 13-May-13 12:41:54

I think this sort of thing undermines breastfeeding too. Problems with your baby? Problems with your milk.

5318008 Mon 13-May-13 12:43:54

oh WOW I had never heard of Dennie_morgan folds before, omg, THANK YOU

OHforDUCKScake Mon 13-May-13 12:44:19

Its very relevant. Its exactly relevant. You said in your OP it should be done with dietary advice on how to compensate for it.

If thats not your worry, then what exactly is your concern about mothers stopping dairy to see if it helps their baby?

noblegiraffe Mon 13-May-13 12:45:38

But your view on the consumption of cows milk is irrelevant as to whether women should be advised to try eliminating it from their diet to cure a fussy baby.

And eliminating it from your diet really isn't a simple as switching to coconut milk or whatever.

Likeaninjanow Mon 13-May-13 12:46:12

I told myself to give up dairy, with no medical advice. I had a very poorly baby, and just had an 'inkling' it was caused by dairy. After a couple of days there was an improvement. After a few weeks he was a normal baby. It was amazing.

When I accidentally gave him something containing cows milk at 6 months, he went into full anaphylaxis.

We've been pretty much left to get on with it ourselves & he's a healthy boy. No growth issues for sure. I think, personally, dairy is overrated. A healthy, balanced diet is possible without it.

OHforDUCKScake Mon 13-May-13 12:48:23

"Whether calcium can be found elsewhere and whether you think cows milk is fit for human consumption is irrelevant."

Like I said, its totally relevant to what you said in your OP. Otherwise what is your point if that is no longer it?

As for cows milk not being great for human consumption, its not am opinion, its a fact.

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