Baby with food allergies — The Bump
February 2016 Moms

Baby with food allergies

Has anyone had any experience with a baby with food allergies who is being breastfed? LO's diapers have been bloody and mucousy the past week and he cries inconsolably. We have him on Alimentum formula (smells like dog food) for the next 5 days while I start a diet of no gluten, dairy, soy, or eggs. The doctor says we can slowly try adding the foods back into my diet, but it might take upwards of a year to do. There's no guarantee its one of those allergens either, so the diet might get even more restrictive. It just sucks because I've really struggled with breastfeeding (I honestly hate it, but I want to do it for him), and this selfishly makes me want to give up. 

Anyone gone through something similar? Any encouraging stories? I know that my breastmilk is best for him...but it just seems so hard right now. 

Re: Baby with food allergies

  • No experience, but just wanted to wish you luck! Sorry you're having to work through this! 
  • I'm so sorry you're going through this :/ no advice to share but if it doesn't work don't beat yourself up. It's more important for your baby to be fed and momma to be happy. If trying to bf is going to stress you more than maybe it doesn't work and that's ok!! You know what's best for the two of you 
  • No experience, but maybe try the breastfeeding board? At least when my DD was BFing, they had allergen check-ins and a lot of good info and support.

    Also, while BM is probably easiest on an allergy tummy, it's certainly not easy on mom, and a happy mom is a good mom. If the Alimentum works for him, there's no shame in staying on that instead of starting down the road of diet restrictions if you already hate BFing. Good luck! I hope something works out for the little guy, because I'm sure that must be hard for you to watch :( 

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    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

  • Just wanted to say I hope it works out for you!!! If not, it'll be ok!
  • edited February 2016
    Best of luck! I don't have experience, but I do know lots of moms that have been able to reintroduce the foods that their babies are sensitive to (especially in small quantities with things like dairy) much sooner than a year. Hope it's more like that for you too:)
    *E 10/2012, H 7/2014, F 2/2016*
    Pregnancy Ticker

  • I don't personally but a friend's niece is deathly allergic to pretty much anything and it started off the as an infant too. She had to use special formula and they have to be super careful when they go out to eat (she's around 4 YO now) but she's a happy, healthy little girl who loves all the foods she can eat 
  • My daughter has multiple food allergies that were really hard to initially figure out. My milk was slow to come and she lost a lot of weight after she was first born so the pedi recommended formula, with cows milk. Turned her tummy inside out. Then once we figured out nursing, she cried like she had colic and couldn't calm down. Not easy as a FTM. Did some research of our own and cut out dairy and citrus from my diet. Much happier baby and she doubled her weight in 4 months! Wasn't until she turned a year, we did the blood sample allergy testing. Came back with dairy, raw egg, dogs (we have 6 dogs, she become immune due to exposure) soy, and extreme peanut allergy. When she would eat anything that she was allergic to, she would get hives around her mouth. Over time, I worked dairy back into my diet and I ate pb&j sandwiches with no effect on her, she just can't eat them directly. We made overcooked scrambled eggs (toasty eggs) with no effect anymore either. I nursed her until she turned 2 but gave her coconut milk too and is extremely healthy. The allergies don't affect her eating. Instead of taking her out for ice cream, we go to Jamba Juice for her Orange Carrot Karma Smoothie. Thankfully, my son isn't showing any signs of food allergies yet at 2.5 weeks.
  • I have no direct experience but had a friend who did and I helped her do research. One of the things I read is that an acupuncturist can treat you for the baby's allergies. I see an acupuncturist for my allergies and will definitely try it if my baby girl has them.
  • Thank you everyone for the encouragement. My husband is the only one supporting me if I decide we need to just formula feed. The only big issue is...my husband and I are moving to Uganda for 2 months this summer to do mission work. I feel like bottle feeding will be so incredibly hard! We will have access to bottled water. And I guess we can boil the water to clean the bottles every day. It just seems like it will be very hard to do that. Both options (bf and ff) have pros and cons. I might need to post about the Uganda trip in a separate post to see if anyone has any experience traveling like that while bottle feeding. 
  • That sounds like a gigantic PITA to have to bottle feed in a place without a stable/reliable water source. With that in mind, I'd really try to stick it out with BFing if you can. (I'm someone who absolutely loathes washing bottles, though). 

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    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    Achae
  • Hi, occasional lurker here but I just had to respond to this one. With my first (who is 26 months now) we dealt with this problem. I was determined to breastfeed so I went on an elimination diet that required eliminating all top eight allergens - dairy (+beef), soy, eggs (+chicken), corn, nuts, gluten, fish, shellfish. I can truly say it was one of the hardest things I have ever done! I spent so much time googling, worrying about my diet, inspecting his BMs, etc.

    We took our son to an allergist and a GI specialist in addition to his pedi and ultimately... we never figured out what the allergy was. He was definitely sensitive to dairy and eggs (says the allergist) but even after I had eliminated those he still had green, mucous-y stool often and sometimes flecks of blood. He also had reflux, which we treated with meds until he was 6 months old or so. I stayed on the diet until he was about 9 months old and we had been introducing solids to him for a while (carefully). The craziest part is that as we introduced solids he never had any allergic reactions to them! Now he has NO allergies at all except diaper rash from too much acidic food like citrus. He drinks milk etc.

    Looking back on this time and thinking about how I will do things differently if we face the same problem with this LO, the only advice I can give is - do your best to figure it out but just realize that you may never figure out what the source of the problem is. I never did. Also, having these problems now does not mean you will have the same problem when LO is older. And I can tell you that switching to formula is probably easier than trying to stay on a difficult diet yourself for a long time. Good luck! PM me if there is anything else I can help with.


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