It is finally time to welcome your new baby in the house! There are going to be a lot of sleepless nights and painful breastfeeding. Yet, the enjoyment of the little clothes, laughs and beautiful colours in your baby’s will most definitely lift your spirits. In the end, your baby’s care and your self care are the most important for you. Times like these are a bit stressful. You need to make sure of what you are feeding your baby, at what time of the day. Newborns can be very sensitive to a lot of conditions - and allergies are one of them.
Allergies through breast milk occur very rarely. Around 2 to 8 percent babies are allergic to direct consumption of cow’s milk. Among babies who have only been fed breast milk, the risk is a maximum of 0.5 percent.
[Read more about everything that you need to know about breast milk]
Yet, even then - a newborn’s health can be unpredictable or sensitive. Keeping the warning signs in mind - you should try your best to take the right action at the right time. Along with the warning signs of an allergy - if your newborn is crying without no reason regardless of what you do to calm them - they may be at a risk of a breast milk allergy.
Any allergic reactions will have mmune-like reactions and symptoms. This means that a weak immune system (one that is still developing in babies) is not going to be able to keep the body protected. Breast milk allergy signs include:
- constant irritability
- breaking out in hives/eczema-like rash which could be around the mouth or anus
- abdominal pain
- while spitting out a little after a meal is more than normal, having mucusy/bloody coughing and/or vomiting is dangerous
- mucusy/bloody diarrhea
2. Blood tests
Not all babies are able to get an accurate test result or report of whether they are allergic to proteins in milk through the mother’s breast milk. Along with differences in occuring signs in each baby - the allergies are also very discontinuous. Many children can outgrow the allergy or have it come back later in the future. Therefore, doctors recommend safe food experiments. They are closely monitored, the most accurate and best to predict an allergy.
3. Give up dairy
If you are predominantly consuming cow’s milk while you are nursing - a protein allergy can develop in your baby through your breast milk. Thus, giving up dairy and eating dairy free snacks might help keep both you as well as your baby’s health positive. These snacks could include veggies with hummus/chickpea paste, healthy kale chips, apple slices with nut butters, etc.
The main reason is mostly because your baby’s immunity is not strong enough to fight off the protein - making them not able to digest the milk or food being given. After two to four weeks, infants older than 6 months tend to outgrow the allergy. So, make sure to not stop breastfeeding as that is very dangerous. Instead, stick to restricting your diet to healthier alternatives after talking with your doctor. Once your doctor has given you the safe pass - you can continue to consume dairy products of your choice.
Galactosemia is an extreme allergic reaction of when your baby cannot have the breast milk at all. This is because the baby’s liver is too weak to break down breast milk components like galactose. Signs of galactosemia occur within days of birth and include:
- failure to thrive
Doctor’s strongly advise that a galactose-free formula is best for your newborn to stay healthy and safe.
5. Lactose intolerance?
Your little baby could just have a lactose intolerance condition instead. While it is rare for children below 2 years of age to have this condition - being safe and preventing the condition is better for both your health. A doctor or professional will help you with a safe and positive treatment plan.
6. General condition?
Many nursing mothers have reported eating cabbage, broccoli, cow’s milk, onions, or chocolate. Due to this, there is general irritability and crying in their newborns. Don’t get too worried though! This is just a general gas reaction in babies. It can actually help your little one slowly start to get used to new flavours or foods. Some babies could also have a common colic. After a small discussion with your doctor - you can easily learn the tricks to calm your baby down.
7. Keep tabs with a professional
You must be aware that nutritional deficiencies can occur for both your baby and you when you limit your diet. As you have lost a lot of your energy since your recent delivery - having a rich and good diet is important for you. Sometimes, when you go dairy-free, you end up losing out on all the positive health benefits that you need. So, be sure to get a proper consultation from a trusted professional or doctor. They will help in not only correctly recognise the triggers for the allergy but also help you get the best treatment plan for your baby.
8. It’s not your fault
Moms tend to always blame themselves for something that they clearly did not know about. Instead of getting too worried - calm down and try to assess the situation. Your baby might just be generally irritant about something. Get a doctor’s accurate advice and take the next step if you feel there is some questionable danger. If everything is alright - ice cream is not your guilty pleasure, but rather something that you definitely deserve to take a break.
Most important of all, stay healthy and happy!