I am going to write in the first person this week, because I have first-hand experience breastfeeding two milk intolerant babies. If you are reading this, congratulations for seeking out the very best for your baby, breast milk!
My first son screamed for the first 9 months of his life. I heard the word “colic” so many times I was ready to scream myself. After much research, motherly intuition, a food journal, and several specialist visits, I found he had reflux and was also intolerant to dairy (along with several other things). The doctors told me it might be better to use Nutramagin and Alimentum, but I was determined to nurse him as long as he was comfortable. This was not easy, but I was able to nurse him successfully for much longer than I originally thought I could. My second son was intolerant to dairy as well. I nursed him for two years, keeping myself dairy-free the entire time.
The bottom line for you, Mom, is to stop eating all forms of dairy. This seems difficult at first, but once you get used to no dairy it will become second nature.
When you shop, here are the ingredients you need to avoid completely:
- Acidophilus Milk
- Lactic Acid
- Malted Milk
- Potassium Caseinate
- Ready Sponge
- Sodium Caseinate
Beware of artificial butter flavor, caramel color, flavorings, seasonings, canned fish, canned tuna, “non-dairy substitutes” (often contain dairy), processed meats, deli meats, supplements and medications (may contain cornstarch that contains casein), cosmetics and hygiene products.
More on Nursing your Milk Allergic Infant
It is important that while you are avoiding dairy, you are receiving the correct amount of calories and calcium for a lactating mother. Here are the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) of some nutrients for non-pregnant, pregnant, and nursing women between the ages of 25 and 50.
*This amount of iron cannot be obtained from the usual diet. You need supplements of at least 30 milligrams of iron each day.
Be sure to consult with your OB/GYN to discuss nutritional and calcium intake. After all, while you are taking care of your baby, you also need to take care of yourself!
It may be hard to pass over dairy-rich foods, such as chocolate or even plain old milk. If you slip (after all, we are all human!), pump if at all possible and dispose of the milk. Your child will probably still receive dairy through your milk, but it will not be as high a concentration. Remember that you probably have a local La Leche League that would be happy to support you and answer any questions you have about nursing. Additionally, many OB/GYN practices have a lactation specialist that can help you as well.
If anyone in your family has allergies, food allergies, eczema or asthma, you should avoid eating milk, eggs, peanuts, nuts, fish and shellfish during the first three months while you are nursing.
Mom, congratulations on your beautiful baby. And GOOD FOR YOU, nursing your milk allergic child!