After the whole breastfeeding ordeal, I was in a good routine pumping and feeding my daughters, both times the same events occurred. I would feed my breast milk to my baby (this occured with both of them) only for her to arch her back and cry as if they were in pain. I didn’t understand what was happening the first time around. I heard so many different realms of advice, from colic, to reflux, to trapped gas..the list goes on. We traveled down each of these routes back and forth between the doctor with Audrey. If it was colic then why did it always occur after every feeding? I was burping her like crazy and she always expelled gas but would still jolt in pain. We tried adjusting her bed at an angle so any chance of reflux would be calmed a bit. Still she would cry the most awful cry, it was like she was pleading with me to help her to fix what was wrong,but I didn’t know what to do! Luckily for us, my cousin had a baby about 6 months prior to Audrey being born and had gone through a similar situation. They suggest we switch to a formula, something like gentle ease formula. It seemed she could have a milk allergy. Remember that whatever I consume goes directly to the milk I produce. I tried cutting out dairy completely but the task was very difficult. Have you ever noticed how many things contain dairy!?? Especially when the easiest and definitely the fastest things to make, are casseroles, most containing dairy! My attempt failed. Great, yet another thing I couldn’t do for my child. After much brooding I decided to give the gentle ease formula a try in hopes it was just a sensitivity and not a full-blown allergy. Experimenting with different formulas would give us “good” or better and bad days but never where we wanted to be. We tried ‘Gerber soothe’, ‘Enfamil gentle ease’ …it never seemed right. Finally we knew we’d have to go the full milk free route and try “Nutramigen,”a hypoallergenic formula …
Within a couple of days of being on this new formula Audrey was 10 times better. She was happy and smiling after meals, she slept better, it seemed like a miracle. What is difficult about his formula, besides the smell(I say something similar to stale Cheetos,) is the price tag! For a large can of say “gentle ease” it is $26 for a large can of the “Nutramigen” it is $40. Yeah, there’s the kicker. And a large reason why we tried everything else first. The price tag adds up once you consider how much a baby eats on a daily or weekly basis. We would go through at least a can every 8 or 9 days. And now with Zoey we go through a can in 6-7 days (she’s quite the eater!) For those mommies at the wit’s end and looking for possible answers I have included a symptoms list below, some we encountered and some we didn’t, I noted our experiences with all!
-spitting or throwing up- both my daughters did not have this, so it made it more difficult to “diagnose”
– lack of weight gain, which I guess goes along with the first one.- so no this wasn’t really an issue for us.
-diarrhea- this was experienced with Zoey but not Audrey! And with Zoey it didn’t always occur.
-bloated stomach-yes! Both my girls had a bloated belly after feedings- like it was so filled with gas it extended out
-irritability, crying, and other colic symptoms- yesssss! This was the big symptom for us!
Milk allergies are often confused with colic because the symptoms are so so similar.
What you need to know about milk allergies in infants is actually something you already do know…’mother knows best!’ Follow your instincts! You usually can feel when something just is not right with your baby. Make sure you look at different options and check in with your doctor, talk to other mommy friends, give new formulas a go, and don’t fear backing away from the breast milk. I froze mine and tried to reintroduce it at a later age. (Frozen supply is good for 6 months!) What is interesting about these infant milk allergies is that they can often outgrow them! Some begin outgrowing the symptoms as early as 4 months, but the average is 6 months or a year. I incorporated my frozen supply into the girls baby cereal when they were starting “solids”. I was unfortunately never able to reintroduce my milk to the point they could drink it again because my kids allergy stayed until about a year with Audrey and Zoey is almost 8 months and still has the allergy. Occasionally(about every couple months), with Zoey, I do try to introduce a new formula (one that doesn’t quite break the bank as much!) so far I have had no success but here’s hopin’!