Advanced search

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?

OHforDUCKScake Mon 13-May-13 13:07:22

noble you cannot compare low carbing or low calories diets to eliminating milk. If you eliminate milk you get calcium from different sources, low carbing and low calories is dropping something entirely.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Mon 13-May-13 13:08:57

I agree ducks

People rely far to heavily on cows milk. It's not this wonder drink its made out to be. It causes more problems than people think.

EglantinePrice Mon 13-May-13 13:09:05


I'm not at all worried about grown women deciding to cut dairy out of their diet. In fact I bet a lot of people would benefit from this change to their diet.

It may even help their babies fussiness and therefore prolong breast feeding.

Of course if they did this because their baby was passing blood, I'd be worried. But I haven't heard of this happening.

As for consulting a professional... IME GP's don't know a great deal about bf. I think mine would glaze over if I went and discussed this with her. Of course I wouldn't cos I can't imagine what I would expect her to say to me. Waiting for an appointment for a specialist referral could take ages.

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 13-May-13 13:10:01

It really is that easy, if you eat very cleanly. Last time I checked no-one was spiking my chicken breasts or green veg with milk proteins. It might be more difficult if you are used to a diet consisting mainly of processed foods, but that's not really healthy either is it?

Lots of people chose to cut out/cut down on dairy for many reasons.

I have milk, not often, generally only when I've run out of almond milk and don't have time to get to Holland and Barrats for more. I'd be happy enough if it disappeared from our shelves tomorrow, from a welfare POV.

If missing out on dairy is not for you, fair enough, but why question those who are happy to get their nutrients from other sources?

noblegiraffe Mon 13-May-13 13:10:53

I have no problem with a doctor suggesting that a mother eliminate dairy. A doctor who has a full medical history and the baby in front of him is in a very different position to someone on the internet suggesting that the mother give it a go.

PourquoiPas Mon 13-May-13 13:11:14


Yes, ideally any major changes to a diet should be done under medical supervision with the help of a dietician. Unfortunately, in my experience the NHS doesn't really give a crap have the resources to do this, so you are just left to yourself to try different things.

My DD had terrible reflux from 3/4 weeks (in retrospect when I started consuming a lot more cows milk products) and it took me 5 months to 'win' a referral to the paediatrician. She is 10 months old and we are still waiting for the bloody appointment.

We had 4 months of misery while I was fobbed off by everyone, and are weaning her with absolutely no help on how to ensure she gets enough calcium/fat. But apparently as she is gaining weight now we are dairy free its not a priority case. I'm pretty sure it's the cows milk as once we started weaning she got awful excema/hives if some touched the skin but what the hell do I know!

So the reason why people say to give it a go is because the NHS won't help.

JenaiMorris Mon 13-May-13 13:11:31

OK, so it's cows milk protein that gets into breast milk.

It surprises me really that it would - I'm not denying that it does (I am woefully ignorant when it comes to human biology) but yes, it suprises me.

I suppose some drugs make their way into BM confused

Interesting stuff though.

Can anyone recommend an unbiased explanation of how BM is produced?

noblegiraffe Mon 13-May-13 13:18:20

Of course if they did this because their baby was passing blood, I'd be worried. But I haven't heard of this happening.

I'm guessing you've never searched 'blood in nappy'

I just did a quick search on MN. How about this thread

The baby had been seen by A&E who said it was probably a tear and still people were giving advice to just cut out dairy.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Mon 13-May-13 13:18:33

noble drs know nothing about allergies intolerances etc.their answer to any fussy unhappy baby is colic or reflux and even then they miss reflux a hell of alot. If many of us listened to the drs and didn't seek advice from
Mums who had been there then there would be many more of us with horrendously unhappy children stuck on an array of medications they don't actually need.

noblegiraffe Mon 13-May-13 13:22:53

cleanin I am not questioning those who are happy to get calcium from other sources, I am questioning those who suggest to mothers that the problem with their baby is their diet and they should simply eliminate dairy from their diet to 'see if it helps'.

OHforDUCKScake Mon 13-May-13 13:26:25

noblegiraffe like I said, GP's are notoriously uninformed abiut allergies and intolerances,

Like I said, just take a peak in the allergy forum. Here you go, I will limk it for you to make it easier.
please see how it really is in here OP

Start a simple thread asking hwo supportive or suggesting their GP's were of allergies or intolerances. Ask how many positively poo pooed their suggestions, ignored it, laughed them them away, and who did actually end up being diagnosed eventually/elsewhere/privately.

Before you make the assumption that a GP is educated in this area, see dor yourself that they are absolutely NOT.

You have no idea.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Mon 13-May-13 13:31:21

noble people post on here when they are desperate. When they feel drs aren't listening , and they feel there is a problem. They post because their babies are distressed nothing is helping and they haven't slept in months. They want help, and many are willing to try anything and everything to help their babies and to continue breast feeding.

Just what would you suggest we say to these mums when we have been through similar things and shock horror managed to pinpoint milk as the problem. Would you rather we lie? Would you rather we didn't offer the advice that helped us soooo much. ?

OHforDUCKScake Mon 13-May-13 13:32:34

Good question caffeinedrip

KobayashiMaru Mon 13-May-13 13:37:56

I was told on here to cut dairy out as my baby might be lactose intolerants. Hmm, ok, why don't I stop eating dairy so the tiny bit of lactose won't get into my breastmilk which is much more full of lactose ?

He was severely lactose intolerant though, and needs a special diet.

DorisIsWaiting Mon 13-May-13 13:37:57

Op you seem to think that giving up is a massive issue, but for many of us it isn't.

Yes dairy is in a huge amount of products ( a significant number of which it really doesn't need to be in bread being just one example). Maybe a little more cooking happens at home than the ready made variety (no bad thing and is much healthier).

I was willing to try anything to make my baby happier within 24hrs my dd was a changed child, we have tried reintroducing at various points but she still struggles and with soya too. It helped that dh is also dairy free (adult onset although wth reflection his mother thinks he was probably intolerant as a child too).

I am also veggie which does make things a little more challenging but not impossible.

Ultimately I think you want justification that you did the right thing. Just because it was all too difficult for you.

UptheAnkhwithoutapaddle Mon 13-May-13 13:43:17

Yes it's much better to be on high doses of ranitidine and domperidone for reflux at the age of 2 months old on the doctors advice than to cut out dairy to see if your baby can actually sleep for more than 30 mins at a time.


noblegiraffe Mon 13-May-13 13:43:56

caffeine, in that situation, of months of not sleeping etc, then saying 'hey, have you considered a CMPI?' is reasonable. (That's not the same as suggesting you eliminate dairy, btw, it's suggesting a closer look at the symptoms, against the symptoms of a CMPI).

But suggesting dairy elimination isn't only given in that situation. It's given as a solution to random baby problems, including the one I linked to where the symptoms suggested something else entirely.

noblegiraffe Mon 13-May-13 13:47:09

Doris it doesn't matter if giving up dairy wouldn't be a problem for you. People suggest it to women to 'give it a go' with no idea of how big a challenge that would be for them.

I would think there are more people that shop at ASDA rather than Holland and Barrett as a matter of course.

LadyInDisguise Mon 13-May-13 13:47:18

I am questioning those who suggest to mothers that the problem with their baby is their diet and they should simply eliminate dairy from their diet to 'see if it helps'.

But this is the point of MN isn't it? That people are telling their stories, share what has worked for them. So that other can also have a look at these possibilities.

You seem to think that anything that is slightly related to health should only be under the umbrella of a GP. This isn't the case. I think that people need to take responsibility for their health and that starts by not expecting everybody else to solve the problem with them.

UptheAnkhwithoutapaddle Mon 13-May-13 13:47:39

Noble giraffe, you are displaying an amount of ignorance about similarities in the symptoms between reflux and CMPI

And too much faith in the knowledge of GPs - this is backed up by the opinion of DD's paediatrician btw..

LadyInDisguise Mon 13-May-13 13:49:02

But the people who would find it a challenge to cut out dairy just won't do it...

DorisIsWaiting Mon 13-May-13 13:49:21

Dairy elmination is usually 1 option of many suggested.

If nothing changes then that a couple of weeks withput dairy for the mother (no real hardship). If it works then most people carry on for a couple of weeks to make sure then try reintroducing it if the symptoms return then they're pretty sure so they speak to the healthcare team.

All in all most women would speak to their GP's with a month or so (not a massively long time woithout dairy!)

OHforDUCKScake Mon 13-May-13 13:51:46

You want to hear something funny noble?

The thing you linked to did not prove your point. Im fact, it probably proved ours.

In your link, the person took her baby to A and E and they said it was probably a tear in their bottom (now remember us saying HCP's are notoriously uneducated about CMPA CMPI and their symptoms?) I searched that OP's name and her other posts are about stomach cramps, a well known relfux drug, her baby suffering with reflux.

With all that, all those symptoms and blood in the nappy it was very likely to be CMPI or CMPA.

I just hope that mother did try eliminating milk/changing the babys milk.

DorisIsWaiting Mon 13-May-13 13:52:24

I don't shop in holland and Barratt we get all we need from tesco and Lidl (and DD1 is Dairy and soya intolerant). It really is not THAT difficult (yes you need to read labels for a while)

noblegiraffe Mon 13-May-13 13:54:38

Ultimately I think you want justification that you did the right thing. Just because it was all too difficult for you.

That's not right at all, actually.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now