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Dairy free

(9 Posts)
ToTheMoonAndStars Tue 18-Nov-14 12:19:29

My doc has suggested that my DS's reflux might be caused by cows milk in my diet. She had suggested I try going dairy free to see if it eases his symptoms. She said it takes a few weeks to leave my system.

However, I love dairy, I really do, so it won't be easy for me.

I'm wondering if I could try him on a dairy free formula to see if it improves things. If it did I'd persevere with cutting it out of my diet.

If I did this, I assume I'd have to keep pumping as often as he usually feeds to maintain my supply.

Or am I just causing problems for myself by even considering using formula. Does it really take weeks to see any improvement?

Any advice from anyone who's been through this would be really great!

squizita Tue 18-Nov-14 13:21:38

Is it a GP? Perhaps consult a more specialist breastfeeding or nutritional expert? It might be something else! My GP gave me very generic advice and I got the impression "try eating differently" was a stock answer.

I would grin and bear it for 2 weeks then decide ff or dairy free longer term IF it turns out to be that?

tiktok Tue 18-Nov-14 14:48:08

What a palaver....

I agree...speak to a bf specialist. There are a million things that can be tried to help with reflux symptoms, and going dairy free is the last thing to try smile

bakingtins Wed 19-Nov-14 10:33:08

Respectfully, tiktok , I disagree. In cases where reflux persists beyond 3 months it's due to an underlying milk protein intolerance in around 50% of cases. Not all of those will be sensitive enough to react to traces of dairy in BM though.
Yes, it does take weeks. For us 2 weeks to see any improvement and about 8 to see the full extent of it. Formula would shorten that process by the few days it takes to clear your system but you still need days to clear LO's system and days-weeks for gut healing. Babies who react to CMP in BM are also likely to react to the hydrolysed formulas like Pepti as the peptide chains are similar length to what passes in breast milk, you need amino acid formula e.g Neocate. The two problems you are likely to face are getting someone to prescribe it then getting LO to drink it, it is vile.
I would go with squiz suggestion - trial short-term dairy free BF, you will probably get sufficient improvement in two weeks to be able to see a relapse when you reintroduce dairy if it's a factor. If you confirm CMPI you can think about what you want to do longer term and if that's to introduce hypo formula you can do it gradually.
Half of CMPI children also react to soya, so I would suggest in your trial period you don't use soya replacements or it may muddy the waters.
I was dairy free to BF ds2 for over a year, it's ok once you get used to it. By 18m he was fine with second hand dairy in BM, he outgrew the CMPI completely by 2.5y.

tiktok Wed 19-Nov-14 10:38:14

We don't know how old the baby is.
We don't know how reflux has been defined or diagnosed. Refux just means bringing back milk - it is not necessarily a clinical condition. It might be here, but as reflux is often pathologised, we can't be sure.
Either way, the suggestion that it is a palaver to switch the baby to dairy free formula to 'test' the theory is one I am sticking with smile
There are indeed a million ways to help with refux before going down the dairy free route - OP has not said if any of them have been tried.

bakingtins Wed 19-Nov-14 10:56:36

I know. I spent 4 miserable months trying all of them with zero effect. You are quite right, not enough info in the op.
If she has got as far as getting a doctor to suggest dairy intolerance I suspect this is not a happy chucker, though.

OP, I recommend the Little Refluxers support site and the book Colic Solved by Dr Bryan Vartebedian despite stupid title

confusedgirlfromtheShire Wed 19-Nov-14 11:40:59

I could have written this post last week, OP. I was in exactly the same situation with my 8 week old DS2, EBF since 2.5 weeks (although he'd had a bit of formula in the early days while my supply caught up with his demands - after 6-18 hour cluster feeds I was broken, so had no real option). He had all the symptoms of silent reflux plus quite bad eczema on his face from the age of 4 weeks. Poos normal so not an allergic reaction, just an intolerance I thought and I was the same as a child so it was on my radar straight away as a possible cause. I was eating absolutely tons of dairy - chocolate, cheese, you name it, as I was so hungry and this was a quick fix!

The GP was not interested, waving it away as "a bit of colic" even though DS screamed so much after one feed that after two hours (with good burps coming up but not providing relief) I ended up calling 111 as I was so desperate. The doc I spoke to at that point agreed it was silent reflux, and I got a prescription for infant gaviscon, which I thought I would only give if I saw my DS that bad again. Cranial osteopath (I was trying all avenues to explore his discomfort when lying down!) agreed his gut was unhappy and to take out dairy from my diet as much as possible - the cows milk protein being the likely cause of the problem rather than lactose. She saw him yesterday and agreed he was much happier.

This is what I've done while maintaining EBF and not a drop of formula - and I saw improvement within 48 hours. Absolutely extraordinary. He is like a different baby and out of all that pain and discomfort.

- Goats milk on cereal
- Almond milk in tea - quite a lot of it and one sugar.
- Replaced chocolate (my main snack) with loads of different dried fruits (see home baking aisle in supermarket), small amounts of dark mint chocolate, crisps and hummous.
- I am pleased to report that jammie dodgers only "may" contain milk so I have been happily troughing those as my new post-feed biscuit of choice.

So not a major hardship. And with the baby happier, I am less stressed and less inclined to reach for chocolate as comfort. I've not gone completely no dairy either - for example I had a steak pie with dried skimmed milk powder as one of the ingredients in the crust, but it was way down the ingredient list. So I ate it and there were no ill effects.

Good luck, hope this helps a bit!

MamaMed Wed 19-Nov-14 12:15:09

How long do you plan to breastfeed for?

If you plan to do it for less than a year, I'd advice you introduce the hypoallergenic formula now. The taste can be different and babies are very unlikely to have it if you introduce it after 6 months.

On the other hand, if you are happy to breastfeed until 18 months (and being dairy free) then by all means cut out dairy from your diet, and keep breastfeeding.

I also had a colicky baby and cut out dairy from my diet at 4 months (DD was a bottle refuser so couldn't put her on formula). At 6 months we found out she was also allergic to soya and egg, and at 10 months we found out also to wheat. At 14 months I decided to stop breastfeeding but DD refused to have milk at all (coconut/almond) etc so now she has to take multiple supplements and I have to be very careful about her diet (and it's a pain really!). If I could go back, I would have given her the hypoallergenic formula from birth.

Breastfeeding is best but they are exceptions, in cases like these.

bakingtins Wed 19-Nov-14 14:41:06

confused Lindt 70% is your new best friend wink after a year or so of being dairy free I now have expensive taste in chocolate.

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