Talking Allergies

Strange question
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Author:  cauger [ Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Strange question

My oldest is 16 months, when she was born, I breastfed her about 7 months until she self weaned. Strangely, she's allergic to dairy - including lactose, but never reacted to my milk, though I've been told the lactose allergy may have developped after she weaned. She was weaned onto soy formula. Now we have #2.. She's not showing any signs of any allergies yet, but she's only 1 month old, and we're being very careful with her of course. Now my biggest issue is #1 is having hives a lot on her hands and arms. Most likely cause is my breastmilk of course, but it's almost impossible to keep everything the baby spits up on away from our older daughter, who isn't old enough to understand why she can't snuggle the baby's blanket. I freaked out on the inside the other day when I saw our oldest take the baby's pacifier because I swore she was going to put it in her own mouth, and I don't want to figure out what happens if she does that. I made sure that I don't use the same type of pacifier for both, so I don't mix them up and the first time #1 picked up the wrong one by accident (it was cleaned) and put it in her mouth, she made a face and spat it out because its shape is different.

Now, I've been told breastfeeding is a great thing to do, it's good for the baby and all that, but does it ever get less stressful on the mom? I'm glad at least #1 hasn't taken an interest in breastfeeding again since the baby has been here, since she can't have it. Oh yes, a week after the baby got home, I did a skin test, and there was a reaction to my milk, whic I attribute to the hives she gets more often and the really dry skin on her hands. I hate giving #1 benadryl more often because of the hives, but there's not much I can do if I don't notice the baby spits up on something right away and it gets snuggled by the wrong baby after.

Mostly venting, sorry. Hope this gets easier as #2 gets older...

Author:  Alison's Mom [ Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Strange question

That must be so hard on you, to be in that position. Would it help if you avoided all dairy so there wouldn't be traces of (cow, goat etc) dairy in your breastmilk? Do you know if she would react to your breastmilk if it were free of lactose and all dairy? The reason I ask is that I looked into reasons why both my kids had eczema when they were infants, and it pointed to them reacting to food that I was eating. I've read it's very uncommon for a baby to be allergic to breastmilk, but that it's common to be allergic to substances in the breastmilk that are there from what the mother is eating. . . . but who knows?

Apart from that, I'm wondering if there's a way to keep the baby's spit up rags away from your older DD? My kids both spit up A LOT, so I know what that's like. Is it spitting up in huge amounts all the time, or small amounts, or just during feeding? If there's a pattern, perhaps have a large towel ready to keep it off clothing, furniture, blankets, etc and throw that towel straight into the wash? I've also heard that some kids who spit up large amounts might have some sort of reflux issues, which medication can help. Mine didn't seem agitated, or have an upset tummy and only would spit up large amounts so I never had them tested for reflux.

Good luck - I hope you find a solution or at least it gets easier with time!

Author:  _Susan_ [ Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Strange question

Dd was diagnosed with milk allergy at 10 months and was breastfed until she self weaned at 18 months. She never seemed to have a problem with my breast milk but she did have a rash which others attributed to teething. It mysteriously disappeared as soon as she self weaned so I assume it was due to milk residue in my breastmilk.

Does daughter #1 understand that she has an allergy and must avoid milk? (they understand a lot more than we give them credit for)
She needs to learn that mommy's milk may contain milk allergens and so she needs to avoid breast milk or babies spit up.

That being said, she could get hives from contact but it must enter the blood stream for an anaphylaxis reaction. Keep cuts covered and wipes near by.

Author:  cauger [ Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Strange question

I've always got spit up rags and I try to toss them in the wash after they are used, but she has an obsession with emptying the laundry basket, and although the basket is in another room, occasionally she gets her hands on it. I'm not so much worried about an anaphylactic reaction to my milk, because I don't pump or store much that way (only if I have to go out for a long time without the baby, which is incredibly rare). I could try to cut out dairy in my diet for the most part, and I was considering it, but we're big fans of dairy in the house, and it's already a huge thing that all out family meals no longer contain dairy at all, I still have a glass of milk with cookies on occasion after she's in bed (my guilty pleasure).. I have some mental block and can't bring myself to drink soy milk.

I've tried so far to explain to her about her allergy - but I think that concept is beyond her right now, I just say that most of the time milk can make her sick, but I don't think she understands what milk is even. It's hard to tell with her, because her vocabulary is still only "mama" and "dada" and that's it, not even yes or no yet, so it's hard to gauge if she understands. I'm sure this will get older soon as she gets a bit older and starts understanding about her allergy. I think a lot of confusion has to do with her soy formula looks exactly like milk, so she has no idea.

The good news is so far #2 shows no signs of eczema or allergy to anything I eat, whereas at the same age, #1 was developping weepy eczema on her face that at the time we had no idea signaled an allergy. Keeping my fingers crossed she's allegy free!

Author:  _Susan_ [ Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Strange question

Aww, she wants to help! Can you put the spit up clothes in another container? Can you tell her, "No. It's got yucky milk on it and can make you sick." Let her help you with other aspects of the chore such as finding all the socks and matching them up. pick her up and let her turn the machine on that sort of thing.

Author:  cauger [ Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Strange question

She really does love to help. So much so that I had to buy a big expandable gate to block off the kitchen because she figured out how to get into the ishwasher and kept taking out sharp knives and looking at me with a victorious look on her face while I scrambled to get it away from her before she dropped it or sliced herself.. She even figured out the lock on the dishwasher, the little imp..

I'm sure she'll outgrow this pretty quickly, she's just so excited to be helpikng with the new baby, she parades around the house with whatever she can that belongs to the baby..

Author:  Becky [ Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Strange question

Has she ever reacted to contact your breastmilk? There is a big difference between cows milk & breastmilk, and if you are dairy free it might be fine. Best wishes.

Author:  Becky [ Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Strange question

Has she ever reacted to contact your breastmilk? There is a big difference between cows milk & breastmilk, and if you are dairy free it might be fine. Best wishes.

Author:  cauger [ Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Strange question

She has a contact reaction to my breastmilk, but i'm not dairy free. The reaction isn't nearly as bad as straight milk though, probably because it's dilute.. I was almost thinking of that guy that made breastmilk cheese from his wifes breatmilk.. If I was dairy free, my daughter could have cheese for the first time, but it sounds way too complicated and pointless..

Author:  _Susan_ [ Sat Apr 03, 2010 6:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Strange question

I think cheese is highly over rated!
That being said, we do buy Earth Island Gourmet Soy Cheese Alternative. It is dairy free (contains soy) and melts.

Your big girl is not too young to learn about keeping herself safe. Use her contact reactions as an opportunity to teach. 'Uh-oh! You must have touched some milky thing! See the boo-boo? Let's wash you up.' Then, 'Don't touch, it's milky. It will give you a boo-boo' That sort of thing. Children understand a lot before they can verbalize it.

Author:  cauger [ Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Strange question

I fear it begins with #2.. Not diagnosed yet, but I think she's got reflux issues, though she's incredibly happy for a baby with reflux, she's always pushing around some spit up in her mouth, she chokes on her vomit on a regular basis (really not something I want to hear at 2 am, but it happens all to frequently). She sleeps well, but usually there is a pool of dried milk beside her head in the morning, which means at some point she vomits a lot up. She's not eating much each feed (not the 10-15 mins per side like she's supposed to, more like 2-3 mins per side), and she STILL spits up. So i'm eliminating dairy from my diet, not so hard now that I bake and cook dairy free, only my snacks and breakfast have milk. Hopefully it will help, but since this is a big sign of dairy allergy or intolerance I fear this will be happening all over again, though at least this time I know what to do if there is a major reaction later on.. *sigh*

Now i'm debating if I should wait the 1 month to take her into the doctor to mention it on her regular checkup or if I should bring her in sooner. Considering i've had to turn her on her side a few times or treat her for choking, because she was unable to clear her mouth out on her own, i'm leaning to sooner rather than later, but I feel like i'm being paranoid about it all. I just worry about what I read about babies with reflux being more prone to SIDS deaths.. GAH! Why does parenting have to be so hard?

Author:  _Susan_ [ Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Strange question

Call the Dr's office in the morning. If she's not eating and choking, it's not something to tolerate. Don't worry about paranoia, trust your mommy instincts.

Here's hoping it's nothing.

Author:  cauger [ Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Strange question

well, he does eat, just not as much as I think she should be. The choking thing is kind of freaky, but i'm thinking I'll hold off until monday to see if the dairy free diet helps at all. Most ot the time when she does the choking thing, she can clear it out on her own, which is comforting at least. I'm convinced that it's the dairy in my diet that's doing it, so i'm going to try it out.. If it works, i'll mention it to the pediatrician at the regular appointment, and if not i'll head in next week to get her checked out, mostly to make sure she's gaining weight still and theres no immediate danger.

Author:  cauger [ Wed May 05, 2010 10:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Strange question

Things have improved quite a bit since going dairy free.. I only slipped up once by putting butter on my popcorn instead of margarine, but that was such a small amount, I doubt it made a difference in my milk. She's almost never spitting up or throwing up, and the choking is pretty much stopped completely. She's much happier, but I keep having these horrible cravings for milk like things (laura secord chocolate.. milkshakes..) I glare at my husband everytime he pours himself a glass of milk, and I really miss my bowl of cheerios in the morning (I can't bring myself to drink soy or rice milk, I only use it in baking). I'll make sure to mention it to the pediatrician next month at our appointment, see what she has to say about it, and until then at least i'm dairy free.. Maybe in a few months i'll be able to restart the dairy thing and she'll be fine with it, or maybe the doctor is going to get her tested for possibility of allergies..

Author:  andygal [ Sat Oct 09, 2010 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Strange question

Glad to hear things are looking up. I found the first month off dairy to be the hardest, but now that I've been without for almost 6 months I don't really miss it that much(honest!) We removed it from our house altogether though, as that way we don't have to worry about spills and crumbs or cross contamination, which means I don't have to watch my hubby scarf down a piece of cheese, which helps. As hard as eliminating dairy was it was totally worth it to have a happy baby - we saw a huge difference in the first couple of days and after the first week it was like we had an entirely different child!

Also, in regards to "She's not eating much each feed (not the 10-15 mins per side like she's supposed to, more like 2-3 mins per side), and she STILL spits up" - this sounds so familiar. I even saw a lactation consultant when DD was 3 months old because I was certain I didn't have enough milk because she ate so little (which means she didn't sleep worth a darn either!) Once I removed dairy from my diet she slowly started eating a bit more at each session. It's still not perfect, but it's SO much better. My advice is to stick with avoiding dairy. Good luck!

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