I wanted to share about Bryce's allergy issues for 2 main reasons- to help other moms identify milk and soy protein allergies in their infants, and to be a resource for moms out there who have children with these allergies.
Let me begin by saying I am no expert with this- four months ago I had never even heard of milk allergies in babies! But, with careful research and studying food labels like it's my job, I feel that what I do know can help others. So here is our story..
Weeks 1-2: Bryce never wanted to sleep, seemed unsettled, and my first thoughts were that I had a "colic" baby on my hands. We were exclusively breastfeeding and it was no fun for either of us- he constantly pulled away at first, choked on the milk, and had a painful latch. I went for a lactation consult and things got better- he did still pull away some because he was choking. He seemed uncomfortable and fussy alot. Most people will tell you that this is "colic". I wanted to know more, and so this is when I started to look at all of his issues as a whole..
*not sleeping well
*choking on my milk alot (I had a very forceful letdown)
*fussing ALOT- and during feedings
*tons of GAS- drawing up his knees in pain, waking up frequently day and night because of this pain
*diarrhea/ bloody stool ( didn't see blood until I knew what to look for)
* a ring-shaped diaper rash
I googled some of these symptoms and came up with "oversupply colic syndrome"- it all made sense! I called my lactation consultant and she agreed with me and told me to block feed. She also suggested to me to cut dairy and soy out of my diet for 3 weeks to see if he may have a milk protein intolerance. After the phone call, I googled milk protein intolerance and entered into another world.. it all sounded like Bryce. Other symptoms with this included vomiting, skin rash (eczema), and hives.
A week into the diet I saw MAJOR improvement! His diapers looked better, he had virtually no more gas, and seemed to sleep better. I was excited and sad at the same time- I now knew that Bryce wasn't just a "colic baby". I also realized that this super hard to follow diet was going to be a lifestyle for me as long as I was breastfeeding.
So, here we are 3 months out from diagnosis, and we are still breastfeeding and thriving! We have had "episodes" with this milk/soy protein allergy since then- this stuff is hidden in almost everything you eat. We've been to the pediatrician alot and the pediatric GI doctor. Blood in the stool (from colitis) is the main concern, but thankfully we have still been able to breastfeed. If we ever have to switch, our only option is a hypoallergenic formula (Alimentum or Nutramigen). Although I do miss eating out, pizza, milk, ice cream, Starbuck's, mac-n-cheese, yogurt, etc., I am assured that Bryce is getting all he needs. Not to mention my diet is super healthy for the most part and it saves us money since I can't eat out.
Hopefully, sharing this will help some other mom out there. If you think your child may have allergy symptoms, please talk to your pediatrician and/or try an elimination diet. I will continue to blog about this as we continue this journey (dairy free/soy free recipes, safe grocery list items, etc.).