How to know if your baby has “breast milk allergy”

The “breast milk allergy” happens when the cow’s milk protein that the mother consumes in her food is secreted in the breast milk, producing symptoms that make it appear that the baby is allergic to the mother’s milk, such as diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, redness or itching of the skin. So what happens is that the baby actually has an allergy to cow’s milk protein and not breast milk.

Breast milk itself is the most complete and ideal food for the baby, with the nutrients and antibodies needed to improve immunity, and therefore does not cause allergies. Allergy only happens when the baby is allergic to cow’s milk protein and the mother consumes cow’s milk and its derivatives.

When the baby has symptoms that may indicate a possible allergy, it is necessary to inform the pediatrician in order to assess the possible cause and initiate appropriate treatment, which usually includes the mother excluding milk and dairy products from the diet.

Main symptoms

When your baby is allergic to cow’s milk protein, he may experience the following symptoms:

  1. Alteration of the intestinal rhythm, with diarrhea or constipation;
  2. Vomiting or regurgitation;
  3. Frequent cramps;
  4. Stools with blood presence;
  5. Redness and itching of the skin;
  6. Swelling of the eyes and lips;
  7. Cough, wheezing or shortness of breath;
  8. Difficulty in weight gain.

Symptoms can be mild to severe, depending on the severity of each child’s allergy. See other baby symptoms that may indicate milk allergy. 

How to confirm an allergy

The diagnosis of allergy to cow’s milk protein is made by the pediatrician, who will assess the baby’s symptoms, make the clinical evaluation and, if necessary, order some blood tests or skin tests that confirm the presence of an allergy.

How the treatment is done

To treat “breast milk allergy”, initially, the pediatrician will guide changes in the diet that the mother should make, such as the removal of cow’s milk and its derivatives during the breastfeeding period, including cakes, desserts and bread that contain milk in its composition.

If the baby’s symptoms persist even after taking care of the mother’s food, an alternative is to replace the baby’s food with special infant milk. Learn more about this treatment on how to feed a child with cow’s milk allergy . 

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