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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Breastfeeding Woes, Part 2: Dairy Issues {Guest Post}

Let me start off by saying I am by no means an expert.  Everything concerning dairy has been a trial and error process that we still struggle with. We are however learning and at this point that’s about all we can do.

It all started shortly after my daughter turned one month old.  She had recently been diagnosed with thrush. We were squirting the thrush medicine into her cheeks and mouth as directed. (If you are ever faced with the thrush problem, I HIGHLY recommend swabbing the thrush spots vs. squirting the medicine inside the cheeks .)

She had been on the medicine for about a week when all of a sudden every evening she would scream in pain for hours. There was nothing we could do to consol her except attempt to walk around with her. We gave her gas medicine which helped to some extent but she was still in obvious pain. Not only was she in pain but she was spitting up a TON.  We were almost certain she was having a reaction to the medicine. Which yes, I still believe she was but I also believe now, from what we’ve learned, that she was also having a reaction to diary.

At this point I wasn’t sure if she wasn’t tolerating my milk anymore or what was going on. All I knew is that my baby was BEYOND cranky - very out of the norm - and was spitting up a ton. Seriously, I went to the store the next day and bought some formula. The price almost made me cry. Ha! I ended up discussing the problem with my sister in law who suggested maybe it was dairy.

So at her suggestion, I stopped eating all dairy. It just so happens that the week this all started my husband and I enjoyed an entire block of cheddar cheese in about two days. We also had made dip using sour cream.

 So no dairy for an entire week. No cheese… milk… ANYTHING! The hardest was the milk. I’m a cereal everyday for breakfast type of girl and to all of a sudden have to change? That was hard.

I kept thinking to myself, “If this proves to be the problem, I’ll just give up breastfeeding because I HAVE to have my milk.” So selfish!  We only had to go a couple of days to realize that indeed dairy was causing the problems. About two days into no dairy our baby girl was back to herself. Not spitting up near as much and was so much calmer at night. 

Since going without dairy I have been able to drink milk again. It doesn’t seem to affect her. Yogurt is out for sure. We ended up accidently having frozen yogurt without processing in our heads that it was dairy and sure enough that night she was cranky and spitting up.  Not having cheese hasn’t been extremely difficult unless we end up going out to eat.

But like I mentioned, we continue to learn things. Specifically, most recently we learned that she doesn’t tolerate cream of (insert food here) soups. We’ve had cream of chicken and mushroom in a couple of different recipes. That night she has gas and tummy pains.  Finding recipes without the soups in them has been the most difficult thing.  Milk still doesn’t affect her and we are slowly being able to eat cheese again in small amounts.

So 6 weeks into not having dairy and we’ve cut back on the amount of gas medicine to MAYBE once a week but even then that’s rare. And thankfully our girl is back to her happy self. 



  1. So glad you have discovered the problem! This post brings back many, many memories. Both of my children have sensitivities to milk in some form. My son had it the worse. Unfortunately, I was unable to breast feed - he was 10.9 at birth and unfortunately I just could not produce enough. We started on the formulas and he could not tolerate ANYTHING! After about four months a spitting up, cranky baby he was diagnosed with a milk allergy (and soy). He was placed on neocate and the symptoms immediately cleared. A new baby! I am glad the milk free diet is working. We lived on that until he was after a year. He could not tolerate milk in anything - not even cooked foods. Just recently he developed gas, cranky, waking up during the night. I switched him to Lactose free milk and the symptoms went away. Yay! Most children usually grow out of it. But if they do develope symptoms again just start doing elimination. And they can be allergic even with no hives, no anaphylactic reactions. Gas, tummy aches is an symptom of sensitivity(allergy). Sorry for the long comment but just wanted people to know they are not alone.

  2. Thank you so much! I appreciate your comment and thoughts. I'll keep all of that in mind as she grows up and starts dairy.

  3. My dd was like that as well. She's 7 now and she did grow out of it! I'm wondering if you made your own "cream of" soups, if that would help?? I know that I have dairy sensitivities, but some things that bother me if I eat them from a restaraunt (ice cream) don't bother me if I make them homemade... The cream soups are easy, easy to home make.... is also a great source for recipes and I don't think you'll find any canned cream soups in them!

  4. Awesome! Thanks for sharing that link! I'll have to look into that and try it out!

  5. You're not alone! My son (now 14 mos.) screamed inconsolably and vomited forcefully as a newborn. At 4 weeks I dragged him to the pediatrician who gave him reflux meds. Didn't help. At 6 weeks I met with a pediatric GI specialist who did a quick test and diagnosed him with "milk protein intolerance." Since I was solely breastfeeding, I cut all dairy out of my diet...lo and behold...a new kid!! I forgot about a month later and ate HALF a slice of pizza. My son cried non-stop for two days and vomited three times. After that I was vigilant about keeping all dairy out of my diet. It was so hard! But we made it. And as soon as he was weaned we threw a big pizza and ice cream party. Now that you've diagnosed the problem, life is going to be so much better for you! And if you do try soy formula and your daughter doesn't tolerate that well either, we used Nutramigen formula to mix into my son's rice cereal (I hated pumping).