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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?

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Wed 15-May-13 12:27:17

So if you aren't sure that you had over supply then were you not worried about the bleeding?

The most common cause of blood in nappy is anal fissure. If the drs were suggesting there were tests they could do then I'm assuming they ruled that out?

If you were happy with the diagnosis of over supply then fair enough. Obviously u had your explanation but if you weren't happy with that, and understandably refused the tests because if the pain and discomfort, then dairy/ soy intolerance is a logical possibility wasn't it?

I mean obviously there r other possible causes that are more serious such as obstructions. But I have to say in surprised it wasn't suggested before they talk about invasive tests.

Beachcomber Wed 15-May-13 12:29:37

A GP told me that after a stomach bug you should avoid giving your kids any dairy for a few weeks as it isn't so well tolerated until the gut is settled down. Why would it be any different for b'feeding babies?

Sounds like you have a very sensible GP.

noblegiraffe Wed 15-May-13 12:31:27

I'm appalled that you weren't strongly advised to at least try your baby on a dairy (at the very least) free diet.

But my baby was on a pretty much dairy free diet due to being breastfed anyway.

How it went was
Couple of instances of blood in nappy
Doctor visit. Baby checked out fine, told to return urgently if got worse or come back if it kept happening
Kept happening (erratically)
Doctor visit a few weeks later. Baby still checks out fine. Referral to paediatrician
Paediatrician sets appointment over a month after doctor referral
Blood stops happening about 2 weeks before appointment
Paediatrician says good, that's what I hoped, blood isn't uncommon and usually resolves itself, that's why I didn't see you immediately. Asked if I'd cut out dairy I said no, he said great, that's often a tactic mothers take when it is far less of a problem than it is made out to be.

If there had still been a problem by the appointment, he may well have advised cutting out dairy then, but he wanted to give 'time' a go first.

noblegiraffe Wed 15-May-13 12:36:49

Tobias - when your child has a stomach bug and you are told to avoid giving dairy for a while, they mean milk, yoghurt and cheese. Breast milk isn't dairy.
Doctors don't tell you to avoid giving your child foods containing tiny amounts of casein or such after a stomach bug. That would be silly. And that's all (in teeny tiny amounts) that's in breast milk.

noblegiraffe Wed 15-May-13 12:40:23

Caffeine, I didn't get a diagnosis of oversupply, I didn't get a diagnosis of anything from the doctor. Simply that it had resolved itself as expected and to find out what had caused it would require horrible tests and what would be the point if it has stopped?

Obviously if it starts again, then there would be a case for further investigation.

Beachcomber Wed 15-May-13 12:45:12

The thing is though that to a child who is sensitive to dairy, there is no such thing as a "pretty much dairy free diet".

Either the child is having dairy or they aren't. (Why do you think there are 'trace' warnings on food packaging?)

Years ago we did a skin patch test for dairy on my DD (don't know if it still exists).

This was a skin patch . She didn't actually eat any dairy.

She was supposed to wear the patch for 72 hours (with a control next to it). We had to take it off after 24 hours as she had come out in eczema on her legs and arms (patch was on her back), had a fever and vomited. I phoned the manufacturer and they told me to take it off NOW and wash her skin.

And my DD is not anaphylaxic for CMP. (so far touch wood)

Beachcomber Wed 15-May-13 12:53:28

That is the awful thing with intolerances and allergies - tiny, trace amounts really count.

I used to work with a woman whose child couldn't even be in a room with peanuts. He didn't have to touch them or eat them, he couldn't be in a place where they were present. They found this out when he had an anaphylaxis reaction on an aeroplane and they had to use his epi-pen. Their allergist explained that he had ingested particles of peanut that were moved about due to the air-conditioning.

He is now one of those children who has his epi-pen strapped to his body.

His case is extreme but it highlights how trace amounts can be life threatening.

Coeliac disease is another example (and a good one because it is an intolerance not an allergy) - trace amounts can make people very ill.

noblegiraffe Wed 15-May-13 12:57:04

Trace amounts can count for certain people, but not all. Remember the study that showed only 4 in 1000 babies were sufficiently dairy sensitive to exhibit symptoms when only fed breastmilk. The other intolerant babies (16?) in the study only exhibited symptoms when they started solids or formula

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Wed 15-May-13 13:06:23

That's the trouble beach. People hear the word allergy and immediately think NUTS. Any other allergy or intolerance is greeted with - ah well it cooked it will be fine, or a little bit will do him good and toughen him up. There's an underlying thought process that if they don't know about it then it won't hurt them.

That makes these things even more difficult to diagnose because seemingly babies are like it all the time cos people just don't think . Like a cakes ok if you scrape the butter cream off or " it's only a little bit it won't hurt" something like gluten people don't realise is in sausages for example.

Avoiding something yourself is easy , the hard part is convincing friends and family that its real and not in your head. The older generation especially. A life without milk or meat or bread is to them something they can't fathom and its that reaction that makes people think its so much harder than it actually is.

noblegiraffe Wed 15-May-13 13:16:22

My niece is severely allergic to a few things, I'm well used to checking labels. Don't assume that you are the only people with experience of allergies!

Beachcomber Wed 15-May-13 13:17:50

So true Wheresmycaffeinedrip.

My PIL are terrible for this 'it was only a tiny bit of cheese and she enjoyed it so much, it's mean to deprive her'.

Yes, she enjoyed it - for 5 seconds. She didn't enjoy the 6 weeks of eczema quite so much did she? you utter idiots

Noblegiraffe - I haven't read the study you mention but one only has to listen to other parents to see how common it is for children to react to dairy.

I do wonder if this is a new phenomenon.

Beachcomber Wed 15-May-13 13:18:45

Sorry to hear your niece has severe allergies noblegiraffe.

OHforDUCKScake Wed 15-May-13 13:23:39

How long ago did you see the paeditrician Noble? I hope the blood stays at bay.

wheresmycaffeine I hate that people think seriously allergies is just nuts. We were at a play group today and I nearly had 5 miny heart attacks, an 18 month old girl had cheese im her hand which she aas squeezing and following my son around because they wanted to play togeher, similar ages. I kept having to take him away from her, and go round the play group with anti bac wipes and wipe everything she touched that my son them wanted to play on, she literally covered the trampoline, who'd have thought cheese could spread so far?

Frustratingly the mother watched this all pan out. She knows all about DC's allergies. But I guess it was my problem, not hers.

Had her daughter had peanuts in her hand though and Id told her my son has a peanut allergy, would she have sat back and watched then too? Probably not. Because peanut allergy is a 'real' allergy to people isnt it? I dont think some people realise you can react to milk products just as seriously and in the exact same way as they can with peanuts.

Bakingtins Wed 15-May-13 13:30:49

I haven't read the whole thread so apologies in advance for repeating points. I think many GPs are woefully unaware of possible issues with CMPI. It affects 2-3% of all babies and 50% of refluxers where it persists beyond 12 weeks so is not uncommon. I only found out about it from an internet forum having worn a rut in the GPs carpet for 4 months with my underweight, miserable, refluxing BF baby. It was transformative for us and we did see a dietician (a VERY long time after we'd researched and worked most of it out for ourselves given how long the waiting list for a paediatric dietician was, so I pity anyone who doesn't have the nous or access to resources to research it themselves) for the first 2 yrs of my son's life.
You do need to think about replacing some nutrients, principally calcium for an adult, in the diet, but it really isn't that difficult now there are many calcium supplemented milk alternatives on the market. For a trial period of a few weeks I don't think someone will run into any problems.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Wed 15-May-13 13:33:05

Fortunate in just having had to deal with an intolerance. Worst case senario is she got a tummy ache from an accidental ingestion,which happened alot when she was younger. now she's bigger she can tolerate the odd thing. We attempted re introductions and although she seemed relatively ok we are keeping her off it. Possibly coincidence but last time she got really snotty , and was a bit more whiney. Her speech isn't very good and she can't tell me if she doesn't feel well so until then we will stay as we are.

It was with family we got the " oh I forgot to check that" or " she's be ok with a little bit won't she"

Again no harm intended but because it wasn't an allergy I do think that it wasn't held with the respect it should have been.

That's awful at play group duck sad

OHforDUCKScake Wed 15-May-13 14:04:06

noblegiraffe does your baby still suffer with reflux? Reflux and blood in nappies are absolute classic signs of milk allergy through the mothers milk. Im guessing you havent tried eliminating milk, so I wont suggest it. But be very wary when weaning, when trying your baby on yoghurts or or other dairy based food.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 15-May-13 14:06:49

I'd be really angry about that duck, but I guess you get used to other people being stupid.

I knew about anaphylaxis being not used peanuts - but I thought intolerance was just a 'mild' allergy. I had no idea it was a completely different thing, with different symptoms.

Ideally my dad would have been in a good position to tell me, but his LI improved a lot and now he just eats lactose and ignores the side effects hmm he has an allergy to pet fur and some plants and does the same! Who knows what affect that is having on his health long term...

So it seems even when people do know about allergies/intolerances they can he in denial about how it might be a good thing to avoid them.confused oh well.

noblegiraffe Wed 15-May-13 17:36:06

Duck, my DD doesn't have reflux (well, no more than the normal posseting), it was my DS that was the prolific sicker. I hesitate to call that reflux because that would have people directing me to the Gaviscon where it didn't bother him at all.

noblegiraffe Wed 15-May-13 17:36:50

Thanks, beachcomber.

Beachcomber Wed 15-May-13 21:03:04

I hope things improve for her Noblegiraffe - and that your wee ones thrive too.

It is such a minefield of worry being a parent isn't it.

smile of solidarity. We all want the best for them.

I don't really agree with your OP but I think this has been a good discussion - just what MN and parents sharing is all about, so thanks.

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