S. asks from Franklin, TN on March 11, 2007
Baby Is Allergic to Cow's Milk and Soy
My 2 month old breastfed daughter is allergic to dairy and soy. I've tried changing my diet and eliminating any food that contains these ingredients, which pretty much leaves very little for me to eat. It seems everything out there has some form of dairy or soy. Has anyone else experienced this problem? Any idea on what to eat? I've tried supplementing the soy and cow free formula but I can't get her to take a bottle (or a pacifier).
L.G. answers from Hattiesburg on March 13, 2007
What a blessing that you are breastfeeding. Can you imagine how sick your baby would be by now if you had spent the past two months trying many cow's milk and soy based formulas?
It can be very challenging to adjust your diet to ensure a happy, healthy baby. But there is hope.
Many babies become less sensitive over time and you may find that you can slowly add some foods back to your diet as your daughter gets older.
Are there food allergies in your family?
Here is a link to an excellent article by a good friend of mine: http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVAugSep97p75.html
It is rare for a baby to be sensitive to a food her mother eats. It is more likely for a baby to be sensitive to a food she is given directly. So, it is very important that you be sure no one in your family is "feeding" the baby without your knowledge.If there is a family history of food allergy, it is more likely that your daughter will react to something in your diet. Some symptoms of sensitivity to a food you are eating can include: fussiness during or after feedings, inconsolable crying for long periods, sudden waking with obvious discomfort, green mucousy stools, eczema, dermatitis, hives, rash, dry skin, congestion or runny nose, wheezing, coughing or blood in the stool.
Are there foods you don't like but have decided to eat during pregnancy or breastfeeding for the benefit of your baby? Are there foods you crave? What foods do you feel you have to have when you have a bad day?
These are the most likely suspects for food sensitivity in your milk. Cow's milk is the most common source of food sensitivity and fussiness in babies. There are more than 20 substances in cow's milk that have been identified as human allergens. Calcium rich alternatives to dairy are available.
The best course of action for you may be to try an elimination diet. Being careful to get all the nutrients you need daily, eliminate no more than two foods at a time, so you can more easily pinpoint the offending food. A good elimination diet will last at least 2 weeks, giving your body time to rid itself of all the substance. After 2 weeks, if you do not notice a change in baby, eliminate another food. For babies with mulitple sensitivities, you may see some improvement once you eliminate one food, and greater improvement when wliminating a second or third food.
You may want to start with dairy. Eliminate dairy completly from your diet. This would include all products made from cow's milk. Watch the content of packaged foods as well. Casein and Whey are cow's milk by-products and are often found in pastas and breads.
If after two weeks, there is no change in your baby, this is not an offending food. Add it back to your diet and eliminate something else.
If you see improvement in your baby you can slowly add some foods back to better determine the extent of your baby's sensitivity. You may find that as long as you don't drink milk, the baby is fine. You may fine that all cow's milk products affect the baby. You can slowly test each one and observe your baby for symptoms.
If you would like more specific or detailed help, contact me and I will be glad to work with you or refer you to an IBCLC near you.
J.D. answers from Huntsville on March 12, 2007
Hi- my son is allergic to milk protein, so I understand what you're dealing with. I try to cook simply and pull some out for him, then add in cheese/make the sauce last.
Instead of cream of chicken/mushroom soups, I use the Lipton onion dry soup mixes for flavoring for chicken or beef roasts. I'm not sure if that has soy in it- check it before you use it.
I have found that almost all (!) fast food either has dairy in it or has been cross-contaminated. I generally plan ahead to the extreme and carry lunch for him.
Even things like packaged sandwich meat, rotisserie chickens, cookies, and crackers have dairy in them! Out of literally dozens of types of cookies, I have found only 3-4 at each store that don't have dairy. Also be aware that many stores slice fresh deli meat and cheese on the same meat slicers.
If you would like a great resource, visit this webpage:
I don't mean to give you a list of things you can't have, but do want to give you information. I was unaware of just how many things contain milk (which also has countless other names that mean milk, too).
I have no advice regarding the soy allergy.
Feel free to send me a message if you want to talk more.
R.T. answers from Jackson on March 16, 2007
My baby did the same and I had to switch to Nutramigen which has caused us zero problems thus far. Actually, things are wonderful now.
M.A. answers from Jackson on March 13, 2007
My daughter was allergic to milk and soy also, but she could take the lactose free milk. We tried something different though, we gave her goats milk and she did fine with that. It has more fat in it than regular milk but she did great. I am also lactose intolerant, so I tried it as well and I absolutely loved it. It has a sort of sweet taste to it. Hope this helps out. Good luck.
G.G. answers from Montgomery on March 13, 2007
Have you tried goat's milk?
D.J. answers from Knoxville on March 13, 2007
Hi! I'm a breastfeeding Mom and my son has both of those allergies as well. It's very unusual to find a fomula that isn't cow's milk or soy based and even the ones you do aren't very nutritious. Take dairy and soy out of your diet and after a month or so you will be suprised how much you WON'T miss it. I know it's hard at first but you can do it. If you go to Earth Fare you can buy goat's milk and it taste just like cow's milk but has a little different smell. Goats milk is better for you than cow's milk too. I eat oatmeal in the mornings or eggs and bacon. Lunch I have a sandwhich with hummus, ham, peanutbutter. Dinner chicken or other meat veggies. Anything you are going to eat that requires a little milk you can use breastmilk, goat's milk, or coconut milk (great for baked goods) in it. Message me anytime with questions! Good luck!