Is My Baby Intolerant to Cow Milk? Ways to Tell and What to Do
When we breastfeed, everything we eat and drink affects our breast milk. Sometimes our babies can have an intolerance or allergy to certain foods/beverages that we consume. Cow’s milk is the number one intolerance of babies, whether nursing or not. This is due to babies not being able to digest the complex proteins and milk sugars that are found in the milk.
So how can a mom tell if her nursing baby is intolerant to cow’s milk? There are several signs to look out for, such as the baby appearing fussier than usual. Often, mothers think that their baby may just be more tired than usual, or something else may be affecting them; however, this fussiness is a result of the discomfort felt by dealing with the milk proteins received through the mom's milk. Digestive disturbances may be another sign. Your baby can become gassier than usual, have greenish stools with mucus in them, or become constipated. This usually will show up about two hours after nursing and can still occur up to forty-eight hours afterwards. New skin rashes are a common side-effect as well. These skin rashes can take the appearance of breakouts, eczema, and/or reddened skin.
If milk intolerance is suspected there are some things that can be done. First, remember that it takes some time to digest the foods and drinks you consume, which then pass into your breast milk (taking anywhere from two to six hours pass into breast milk). Begin to write down what you eat and when you ate it, as well as when your baby began showing symptoms. Dedicating a small notebook to this information is a great idea. Make sure the notebook is small, so it can easily get tucked into a purse or diaper bag. This way, you can write down information while nursing if you are away from home. Next, began to eliminate milk and milk byproducts from your diet to see if that clears up any of the symptoms in your baby. If symptoms persist, call your, and your baby’s, physician and take your notebook with you. They may want to conduct some allergy testing.