Nursing a baby with a Milk Protien Allergy

I never thought I’d have a baby with an allergy of any sort. Let alone a milk protein allergy! As they say “every pregnancy is different” this can also be said about babies. Every time I think I have motherhood figured out, one of my kids changes the game.

Milk Protein Allergy – The Signs and Symptoms

4 weeks into breastfeeding my 3rd baby I started to notice changes in her behavior. I began writing down and keeping track of everything that I thought was out of character for her.

At 4 weeks I was aware my milk supply had not yet adjusted to her. I knew that I had an overactive let down and when I searched the Internet a lot of her symptoms seemed to be common symptoms associated with an Oversupply.

But not all of them.

I made some adjustments to our nursing routine such as pumping before she ate and block feeding.

Nothing changed.

At 6 weeks, we were still dealing with severe reflux, explosive diapers (that were frothy), hiccups that seemed to cause her pain and “wet burps”.

She began to show even more symptoms that something wasn’t right and everything seemed to just be getting worse.

Breastfeeding was no longer enjoyable…in fact it was down right stressful. The coughing, wheezing, gasping, diarrhea, reflux, burps and hiccups showed up every single time she nursed.

Getting Answers

Finally after a long doctors appointment her pediatrician determined she had a milk protein allergy.

She tucked a small container of soy formula in my diaper bag and said “most moms can’t commit to not having any dairy. Don’t do the mom guilt thing…”

Challenge excepted.

If there’s one thing you should know about me it’s that I like to buck the system. I don’t care what everyone else is doing. I don’t care what is popular and I love to be different.


So that night I spent HOURS learning everything I could about CMPA (Cows milk protein allergy ).  I also learned a lot of things about dairy that I didn’t like (I’ll save that for another post).

Immediately removing dairy from my diet  I began to see improvement within 3 days. The first symptom to improve was her reflux, followed by her bowel movements.

Keep in mind dairy can take up to 6wks to be completely out of your system however you should see improvement within the first 2 weeks of removing dairy.

For me cutting out all dairy was easy. I was able to find substitute products that I love and the improvements in my own health (and skin) is night and day!

If you think your child might have a protein allergy do not wait to meet with your child’s pediatrician. Some children are more sensitive to it than others and the symptoms vary greatly from child to child.

Our List Of Symptoms

Here is a list of the symptoms that my child exhibited, however keep in mind there might be different symptoms for your child!

  • Explosive diapers 
  • Frothy stool
  • Blood in stool
  • Reflux
  • Wheezing 
  • Coughing
  • Wet burps
  • Hiccups
  • Gas
  • Projectile vomiting 
  • Occasional skin rash
  • Colic like behavior 
  • Stuffy nose
  • Apnea

If you just found out your child has a milk protein allergy, do not feel discouraged! You can still have great success breastfeeding your child and in the process you will be improving your own health!

Please share your experience in dealing with a milk protein allergy! What were some symptoms your child showed?

Update (April 2017)

After 6weeks of no dairy, sadly we are still dealing with intolerance symptoms. While things have greatly improved since eliminating dairy, we are not yet symptom free. I have since cut out soy, peanuts and acidic fruits/veggies as well as beef. 

The main symptoms that she’s still having is explosive diapers and congestion. I will continue to eliminate until all symptoms are gone. This has been a very challenging 6 weeks and has required a complete lifestyle change. However I am still determined to continue our breastfeeding journey.

Update (June 2017)

We are FINALLY symptom free!! For the past 2 months I have gone through a rigorous process of elimination diet in hope of pin pointing the exact foods my child is sensitive to! I eliminated ALL of the top 8 allergen foods and added them back in one by one. (To learn more about an elimination diet click here). This was a very stressful, very difficult process. It took a lot of diligence and patience, however after completing the elimination diet I now know exactly what food sensitivities my daughter has. 

  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Egg
  • Beef

These foods in all forms (even as hidden ingredients) must remain completely out of my diet. It’s been a learning process for sure, however after extensive research (and pinning on Pinterest!) my kitchen is supplied with the foods I am able to have and my spice cabinet is as well. (I now make my own seasoning blends – visit my Pinterest board for recipes!). I don’t even have to think or read ingredients anymore and we are back to a much less stressful lifestyle! 

She is now 5 months old and I have attempted to introduce dairy into my diet and immediately she showed symptoms again. I most likely won’t try again until she is closer to one. In most cases the child outgrows an intolerance by their first birthday so I can only hope (and pray) this will be the case for her. If not it will mean an entire lifestyle change for our family as she ventures into eating solids. I don’t know what the future holds, but I am so grateful God gave me the strength to stick it out and continue with our breastfeeding journey. 

Click here for our 6month update!!

I hope this post has been helpful to you, please feel free to ask any questions you may have!

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  1. […] I first found out my 3rd baby had a Milk Protein Allergy (to read our story click here) I did not think it was a big deal to give up dairy. “I don’t really eat a lot of […]

  2. […] on our dairy intolerance situation. If you aren’t familiar with our story click on over to my original post  to get filled in! We recently met with my daughter’s pediatrician for her 6 month check […]

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