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Milk allergy hell - gah! Help!

(18 Posts)
Milkhell Sun 15-Sep-13 20:47:11

So my EBF is a week off six months and we decided to start with a bottle of formula on the night to gradually wean her off the breast.

She was only taking about 4oz and then last week she took a whole 7oz bottle. Anyway after the 7oz she came out in hives, swelling and it was a rush to A&E. They think she's allergic to cow's milk.

So we've been prescribed Nutramigen Lipil. It's absolutely FOUL. She looked at me as if I was insane trying to settle her to bed with it tonight. No wonder - it tastes like poison and I just couldn't bring myself to even try forcing the issue.

Anyway...despite wanting to wean as I may be back at work in a month (!) if I get a job I've gone for (not until Feb if not though) I'd rather run the gauntlet of keeping BFing and perhaps trying to express rather than make her have this awful tasting stuff.

Weirdly after this faffing about my supply seems to have dwindled!!! I've always had an oversupply and now after the introduction of one bloody bottle with her only taking minimal bits my boobs have gone floppy. Can this even have affected things? I remember them going floppy with DS but not like this and I can't remember when it was. She's literally had about five lots of 2oz-4oz feeds and then the 7oz.

Is soy formula an option? We've bought some and it tastes far nicer but didn't want to give it to her until the Dr okays it. Don't think he will from my quick online research.

For me personally I'm ready to wean her too as I'm wanting to start ADs for PND and get my hormones balanced again after BFing. I'm not prepared to try them while BFing.

Basically it's a hot mess. Help!!

TiredFeet Sun 15-Sep-13 21:06:10

Symapthies! It is a really hard thing to get your head round. My son was prescribed neocate which I understand is even more foul than nutramigen (just preparing it makes me retch). I was so worried he wouldn't take it, but was told to start weaning him onto it well before 9 months as they are much more likely to accept it. I didn't have much luck myself, but he started nursery at 7.5 months and they cracked it pretty quickly. He soon absolutely loved it and would get very excited when his bottle was made up! So don't worry if they don't take it straight away! He still guzzles it down now, and he's nearly 3
If they do struggle then I understand you can get flavourings to add
Often milk allergic children are also soya allergic too (my son is), so I would wait until you get the ok

TiredFeet Sun 15-Sep-13 21:07:30

I guess my tip is maybe try getting someone else to feed her the milk to begin with?

bundaberg Sun 15-Sep-13 21:15:05

soya milk isn't recommended really, which is why you weren't prescribed it. many children allergic to cow's milk also react to soya

there are anti-depressants that are suitable for use whilst breastfeeding.

i can only tell you what I would do personally, and that would be to start the AD's and keep breastfeeding.

giving so few bottles won't have affected your supply, and if she is still happily taking the breast then I think it's unlikely that you have a problem or she would be letting you know!
breastfeeding can be a nice way of reconnecting (for you both) once you're back at work and if you are feeding morning and during the evening then you probably won't need to express a massive amount for during the day. esp if she is eating solids at that point too

Milkhell Sun 15-Sep-13 21:20:46

Thank you both :-)

My boobs have gone weirdly floppy as I say but I'm sure I can remember this with DS who was EBF until he self weaned at 10mo.

Plenty of wet nappies and I'm going to get her weighed next week to make sure she's still gaining.

What a carry on!

TiredFeet Mon 16-Sep-13 00:25:37

One other tip I thought of is that when you are weaning you can work it in to foods, so she can get used to the taste. I used to mix neocate with fruit puree etc. It may be worth heading the advice to get her used to it in the day at least, as it may well be harder to get her to accept it when she is older. I would have liked to continue to exclusively breastfeed but at consultant's insistence I switched to just breastfeeding at night so that we could get him used (loving) the taste well before the 9 month mark
It might be worth asking on the allergy board too as there's lots of mum's with milk allergic children

TiredFeet Mon 16-Sep-13 00:37:17

Also, just to say, I found bottle feeding just as lovely a way of 'reconnecting' as breastfeeding. Given the choice I would have continued to breastfeed, but for the convenience, its a total myth that breast feeding gives a closer connection and I feel really sorry for formula feeding mums when I read it. I loved my lovely cuddles with ds while he drank his bottle just as much as I loved breastfeeding
Maybe talk to doctor/dietitian again if you are unsure what to do? My son still has to drink a lot of prescription formula even now to get a balanced diet so I am glad we cracked it. Equally they might be able to allergy test for soya and then that might be an option in the future. My son is no longer allergic to soya but it makes his eczema flare severely so we still need to avoid it, but lots of children outgrow soya allergies which gives you more options (as there are soya yoghurts, cheeses etc)

gretagrape Mon 16-Sep-13 08:30:08

We moved to Neocate due to CMA - yes it's foul but if you do want to wean rather than continue BFing, it can be done.

I mixed in 50:50 BM/Neocate at first just to ease the transition and then reduced the ratio over the course of about a week until he was on 100% formula.

The first day was tough, I can't lie, but it was just a battle of wills - it was formula or nothing as he was still have reactions even after I'd cut out dairy, soya, fish and eggs for 10 weeks, so we had to be determined - he was safe, secure and we stayed calm, so we knew that the crying was just him showing how pissed off he was at this change. 14 hours later, he took the full bottle, and never had a problem taking it since.

Milkhell Mon 16-Sep-13 09:36:27

Thank you. She's had rice this morning with it mixed in and was okay.

Is there anything you can flavour it with? Vanilla drops? Sugar?

gretagrape Mon 16-Sep-13 09:56:14

I didn't bother to be honest - it was just one tough day until he realised it was that or a rumbling belly and he was fine from then on. I think some people have used flavourings like vanilla (but use the proper extract, not the artificially flavoured crap) but if you get into flavouring it then there's always the potential to forget one time or put too much/too little in and you might be faced with a refusal/meltdown and end up going backwards!

TiredFeet Mon 16-Sep-13 22:49:49

glad it went well mixed in to rice!

you may well find she starts to take to the flavour, DS seriously thinks its delicious now. his nursery even make him neocate ice cream!

Milkhell Mon 16-Sep-13 23:04:44

I'm glad all of your babies love it now - I suppose breast milk isn't the tastiest either! (Mine isn't anyway)...

I think what shocked me is the massive difference to how formula tastes.

Does anyone know if they test for soya allergy at the same time in the blood tests? It's just suspected cows milk allergy at the mo.

Milkhell Mon 16-Sep-13 23:06:06

grin at Neocate ice cream

I really must get her used to it regardless of whether I continue bfing as others have said it might be trickier when she's more picky!

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Mon 16-Sep-13 23:11:55

Have you heard of the cows milk protein allergy support group on the web and on Facebook? They are a fab bunch of parents who are all going through similar things and will be able to answer any question for you. I can't answer myself as we didn't understand what was wrong with my dcs until they were older, but I know the CMPA support group will.

TiredFeet Mon 16-Sep-13 23:22:23

just a thought - presumably you have been advised about cutting milk etc out of your diet whilst you are breastfeeding and also to take calcium supplements?

Milkhell Tue 17-Sep-13 04:42:16

Hi tired - no I haven't. Have been told she's not extra sensitive otherwise she would have had a reaction through my BM? Could I be harming her? She's never had a reaction with BM.

Thank you Survival! I will most definitely check that out.

bundaberg Tue 17-Sep-13 09:14:13

generally food you eat does not make it into your milk, hence why your baby hasn't had a reaction, and this means you don't need to worry about it!

the proteins in food are not able to pass through your gut into your blood where they would then get into milk.

it's generally believed to be the case that in some people the proteins do pass through ,normally because the mother has a "leaky gut" herself... either due to issues such as IBS or food sensitivities they have themselves. A lot of people may not even know they're sensitive to them.
I had issues with my dairy intolerant baby who reacted to my milk. I have now found out that I have a dairy intolerance too, which was why it affected him.

Like I say though, if it was passing through into your milk your baby would have reacted. so you have no reason to adjust your diet

Milkhell Tue 17-Sep-13 09:29:05

Thank you Bundaberg

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