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Stop nursing because of a protein allergy?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
My DH and I have been back and forth with my DS's pediatrician now for the last 3 months, because of blood in his stool and frequent (green/mucousy) BMs. She said to stop eating dairy, then with no change to also cut out soy. After doing so things seemed to improve, but then there was a lot of blood (more than before), so we were then referred to a GI doctor. I was very upset after the appt bc he said they want to do a test (rectal scope) to see if it is a milk protein intolerance. He said if it is then I would need to stop BF because it is still milk protein even if I do not eat dairy, and that if I chose to keep it could cause a permanent milk allergy in DS instead of him growing out of it. Has anyone else dealt with this? I do not want to stop nursing as he is only 4 months old :'(
post #2 of 17

I'm sorry that you and your little one are going through this. This may be a dumb question but have you removed all dairy sources from your diet? Maybe the babe has an intolerance to something else you're eating. Kellymom.com is a good website and has tons of helpful information for breastfeeding moms. I hope you get some answers soon!

post #3 of 17

Yes, my sons poop has always been this way unit the last month and he is 7 months old but they are always green. I am surprised your doctors acted this way.

 

My pediatrician said that breastmilk digests really fast in some babies and green poops are totally fine as long as baby gains weight.

 

Then for the blood she had all sorts of reasons. They drool too much and it irritates their digestion because saliva is not digestible. He has a cut from pooping so much. As long as the blood was reddish color they didn't seem to care. I was more concerned than them.

 

I have had two diapers with quite a bit more blood than usual. (usual was a little mucousy blood once a day, the size of a dime.) then a couple quarter sizes twice.

 

I will say, now that my son is not drooling as much it has gone away entirely.  He also did have a little cut too.

 

My pediatrician said as long as hes not fussy, uncomfortable, with good vitals, gaining weight and meeting his milestones not to worry about it.

 

His first poop in the am was the worst. I figured it was from swallowing spit all night.

 

I'm sorry you have to go through this. I would get another pediatrician. Also other solids really helped. Rice cereal pears what ever always seems to help him digest his food. Maybe ask if you can try some cereal in the am and see if it helps.
 

post #4 of 17

Oh and mine started at about 5 weeks.

post #5 of 17

Oh and when I brought up a milk alergy they said that its very very uncommon and he would be in more distress. Then my dermatologist who saw him for a birth mark some how we talked about my concern and she went on and on about how milk is not good for people anyway and if she could just get her patients to stop drinking it their ailments might improve. Milk is for babies. We aren't really supposed to continue drinking it like we do.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yes, I have completely cut out dairy and soy. However, the last episode with the most blood happen to occur when I accidently ate some chips with soy. I didn't realize until later that the ingredients said "hydrolized vegetable protein" and after calling the manufactuerer they confirmed that it was soy protein.
This is why I was confused by the docotor, because he claims that even if I cut out dairy from my diet that he could still have a "milk" protein allergy (meaning any milk, including mine) and that he would need a special formula. I have never heard of such a thing! A human baby being intolerant to human milk protein?! Here is the strange part, he said it would be a formula that is very expensive (no Alimeten) and that the proteins are hydrolzed so that they are broken down more. I say it is strange bc I thought of the soy protein I had just eaten and how it was listed as "hydrolyzed" in the ingredients list. Wouldn't that mean it would be okay then? Also, in regards to this special formula, it's the one that ins companies would not cover until a law was passed a couple of years ago (in TX at least from what dr said).

I am starting to wonder if it's just a conspiracy to get us using this stuff?! Lol

Also, he is a big drooler as well. Dr did say that if it is not a protein thing then it could be a cut and in this case no need to restrict my diet anymore. However, I donhave to say that my tummy troubles are better without dairy anyways!
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebbecky View Post

Yes, I have completely cut out dairy and soy. However, the last episode with the most blood happen to occur when I accidently ate some chips with soy. I didn't realize until later that the ingredients said "hydrolized vegetable protein" and after calling the manufactuerer they confirmed that it was soy protein.
This is why I was confused by the docotor, because he claims that even if I cut out dairy from my diet that he could still have a "milk" protein allergy (meaning any milk, including mine) and that he would need a special formula. I have never heard of such a thing! A human baby being intolerant to human milk protein?! Here is the strange part, he said it would be a formula that is very expensive (no Alimeten) and that the proteins are hydrolzed so that they are broken down more. I say it is strange bc I thought of the soy protein I had just eaten and how it was listed as "hydrolyzed" in the ingredients list. Wouldn't that mean it would be okay then? Also, in regards to this special formula, it's the one that ins companies would not cover until a law was passed a couple of years ago (in TX at least from what dr said).
I am starting to wonder if it's just a conspiracy to get us using this stuff?! Lol
Also, he is a big drooler as well. Dr did say that if it is not a protein thing then it could be a cut and in this case no need to restrict my diet anymore. However, I donhave to say that my tummy troubles are better without dairy anyways!

 

An intolerance to human milk protein is medically possible. But it is REALLY uncommon.

 

I'd say that if the doctor convinces you to switch to this special formula, you should DEFINITELY try your baby on it for a week or so while keeping your breastmilk supply up by pumping or something. Because what if there's no improvement from using this formula? You'll want to go back to breastfeeding, and you won't be able to if you milk has dried up.

post #8 of 17

I would consult with an IBCLC (board-certified lactation consultant) ASAP about this.  Pediatricians don't have much training in breastfeeding.

 

I also would NOT start any kind of solids until at least 6 months and baby's gut issues are resolved.  Adding in food will likely make the problem much, much worse.

 

Is overactive letdown a possibility?  Does baby sputter and choke during letdown?  That can often cause green, mucousy poop and bleeding.

post #9 of 17

You may have already figured out this issue by now but I wanted to post just in case you are still having issues.  (You even got me to sign up for an account just so I could reply lol.)  Milk and soy are not the only protein intolerance that a baby can have.  My youngest daughter had a very similar issue.  When I cut all dairy and soy out of my diet and she was still having blood in her stool the pedi tried very hard to push me to switch to formula.  I decided to do an elimination diet instead.  It has been difficult for me but worth it.  I discovered that the problem was corn in her case.  It's in a lot more then you would think (as I'm sure you discovered with milk and soy).  We are both doing well now and I'm slowly adding food back into my diet.  I found out that corn syrup solids are a main ingredient in formula (even the hypoallergenic ones) so I'm very happy with how I managed the problem.

 

Hypoallergenic formula is regular formula based on cow's milk but further broken down then the regular stuff.  The theory is that if the proteins are broken down enough the body doesn't recognize it as an allergen and won't react to it.  For some babies it works but for others it doesn't.  For the babies who can't tolerate it there are elemental formulas that are supposed to be "super hypoallergenic".  They're even further broken down then the hypoallergenic ones.  Even that doesn't work for some babies though.

 

Having a true allergy to mother's milk is incredibly rare and is called galactosemia.  In nature if it happened all the time (without a formula option) the baby would die so it wouldn't make good biological sense for it to occur often.  It would also be apparent a few days after birth and your baby would be very, very sick.  Your baby isn't allergic to your milk it's something that you're eating that hasn't been figured out yet.  Best of luck.  I hope everything is going well for you and the baby now.  :)

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you for signing up so you could respond; it is much appreciated. I have yet to truly resolve the problem. So far, I have stopped giving Zantac (which helped right off the bat) and started us both on probiotics. This seems to be helping, but I am occasionally still seeing specks of blood (an improvement from the big globs). After reading about oversupply in the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (LLL book), I am convinced that this is how it all started. However, I do think there is still a protein that is bothering him other than dairy and soy. That said, I have to admit that I have still been eating things with soybean oil/soy lechitin bc I was under the impression that these were safe but I am starting to wonder if that is something I should cut out too.

 

My next thought is possibly when I eat peanut butter, because I read that is can cross react w/ a soy sensitivity since it is a legume as well. It also seems to coincide with flecks of blood, so I even though I LOVE peanut butter I am abstaining from peanuts for the time being (as well as the dairy/soy) to see if there is any improvement. If not, I will probably do the elimination diet and start taking out other things.

 

Some questions for you. How old was your daughter during all of this and how long did it take after removing the corn for you to see improvement? Also, did you have an oversupply in the beginning that caused problems? Thanks! 

post #11 of 17

I did have an oversupply in the beginning and had to block feed to get it under control.  I think the oversupply is a result of having the intolerance though.  Her stomach would hurt so she would want to comfort nurse.  Then of course her stomach would hurt again and she would want to nurse more.  She was constantly nursing for the first few months.  This is my fourth baby and she nursed a lot more then the other three did at the same age.  Nursing that often made me have an oversupply which did not help matters any.

 

The blood didn't start showing up in her stool until she was a few months old.  I think it was around 3 months but I could be wrong.  I may not have noticed it until there was a decent amount also so it may have been there before that.  After I went on my elimination diet it took about 3 weeks for her to stop having blood in her stool.  It got dramatically better after a few days but it took a while for her insides to fully heal.  When I checked to see if corn was the problem I only ate 3 small spoonfuls.  My daughter had blood in her stool for a week and a half from it.  :(

 

I remember reading somewhere that some people still have reactions to the oil.  The reaction is to the protein so oil isn't supposed to be a problem because it's fat but sometimes little protein bits end up in the oil and some people are sensitive enough to react to it.  Cutting it out of your diet for a week to see how your son reacts might be worth it.  Since he's not having very much blood in his stool if that's the culprit it shouldn't take more then a week to see if it stops.  Then you just have to eat something with the soybean oil in it and see if he reacts to it in the next day or so.

 

Are you keeping a food journal?  It really helped me pin down what was causing the problem.
 

post #12 of 17

Okay, I realize this post is from a year ago, but it describes my baby to a tee!! I have to know what ended up working for you? I'm about to run a trial on the hypoallergenic formula. I can't believe I've finally found someone who had the exact same problem. Like Crystal, I also had to sign up just so I could reply.

post #13 of 17

Just wanted to share.  I had this problem exactly with my first, did an elimination diet but still found blood in the stool.  I then had a bright idea to take digestive enzymes every time I ate to make my breastmilk more digestible and break down the proteins.  It worked!  she had no more blood in her stools unless I forgot to take the enzymes.  It's worth giving a try.

post #14 of 17

sitting on another breastfeeding support group, I can tell you that the blood b/c of either OS (lactose overload) or b/c of protein sensitivity is not that uncommon...not super common but common enough to see moms dealing w/ it weekly (a given pedi might only come across it a few times a year).  If its just specs of blood now w/ what you are doing and baby seems fine otherwise, I would just keep doing what you are doing. If you start to see more, either try cutting out gluten too or TED (total elimination diet ala dr sears). Keep an eye on the probiotics b/c some have a bit of soy in them. I do think its likely that soy lecithin is contaminated w/ a bit of soy proteins.

You asked about the "hydrolyzed". Enzymatically, there are different enzymes that break down proteins and the amount of enzymes that the proteins are exposed to prior to prep (like prior to making hypoallergenic proteins) will vary. If you are really interested you can look up peptidases or protease.  It could be in the commercial food prep they are only exposed to a low level of the enzymes and for the formula prep they are exposed to a lot more that breaks them up to the peptide level (gets rid of their 3D structure that is recognized by a body as foreign). I don't know this for sure but do understand the enzyme action and how it works to disrupt the original protein structure.

I think many docs think mom's just can't handle the elimination diet to really get rid of the offending proteins. It can be done but it is hard. As baby ages, baby's gut might get better at keeping out the offending proteins too. I think there is a fbook group for moms dealing with MSPI that might offer some ideas for foods for you.

post #15 of 17
Yes my son had this and I cut out all dairy ! That means even reading food labels and eating no foods with dairy. I also cut out soy. It takes up to 6 weeks for the dairy to leave bc it takes up to 3 weeks to leave your system and another three weeks to leave babies! With a very strict diet you can do it . Anytime I are dairy he would get the blood back. Don't stop breast feeding. Cut the dairy out and if you see improvement after 6 weeks you should be good! Also does your baby have eczema, skin rashes to set cheeks, red bum?
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

Sorry it took me a couple of days to respond, however I see some others have chimed in for you. As for me, the best thing I did was to continue breastfeeding and not give my son formula! I don't know how strongly you feel about BF, but if you are like me and thought of having to give your baby formula makes you cry then just hang in there and don't let anyone pressure to do so. Despite what doctors might tell you, your breast milk is far superior to ANY synthetic formula out there! So, trying to remember the sequence of events (it's been awhile now), I believe I took a mom's advice on here and consulted a LLL leader, took my son off Zantac, we both started taking antibiotics, started block feeding to help with oversupply and tried to pay attention to what foods in my diet might be bothering him. I ended up later on cutting out dairy and wheat, this helped me feel better too. I can't say exactly how old her was, but eventually the blood went away. 

 

I am convinced that our problems mostly started because I was given antibiotics (IV) in the hospital for so long during labor b/c my water had broken and I was GBS positive. So, needless to say I didn't have much good gut flora left to pass onto to him during birth. So, that was the first problem, then that coupled with an oversupply and strong let-down led to our road of issues. Just curious, did you receive a round of antibiotics as well?

 

Fast forward to today, knowing what I know now...I would have opted for a home birth and not done a GBS test, used a midwife instead of an OB and definitely not listened to the pediatrician about putting him on Zantac. 

 

I hope some of this helps and that you do what feels right for you and your babe!

post #17 of 17

FWIW, galactosemia is NOT an allergy (to protein or sugar), it is a metabolic disorder.  Huge difference.

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