Your baby has cow's milk allergy: what to do?
The most important things in brief
- It is in the nature of things that babies do not always tolerate every type of food.
- It is particularly bad for young mothers if the baby cannot drink breast milk.
- The cow's milk allergy in babies is usually not quite as dramatic. Nevertheless, you should take the child to the doctor.
- You need to start changing your diet right away - luckily there are a variety of substitutes that you can use like milk.
In the first months of life, breast milk is undoubtedly the best food for your baby. After a certain time, however, infants begin to pay attention to their surroundings, and it is not uncommon for the foods their parents eat to become interesting. Now the time has come to prepare the baby's first porridge and let it try things out a bit. If your infant has allergies to certain foods, you need to see the pediatrician for awareness. Even a cow's milk allergy to the milk protein is not that rare.
Symptoms often appear with the first milk-cereal porridge
The cow's milk allergy does not manifest itself in the same form in every baby. The most common manifestations include abdominal pain, rash, asthma or breathing problems, runny nose, tiredness, permanent crying, constant restlessness, vomiting, persistent diarrhea or constipation and swelling tongue or thick lips. These characteristics appear in many cases when you want to spoil your baby with a milk-cereal porridge for the first time.
If these symptoms occur while breastfeeding, then this is more likely to indicate a milk protein allergy and not – as many parents believe – lactose intolerance. Firstly, this is quite rare among infants and secondly, it is not connected to the immune system. This means that your baby will not develop these symptoms. Lactose intolerance commonly causes flatulence and diarrhea. Excessive gas development in your baby's tummy is more of an indication of lactose intolerance.
Cow milk allergy detected: what now?
If the doctor does diagnose cow's milk allergy, don't panic, you'll be the first family to deal with this condition. And for a start, it's pretty easy to avoid dairy - because it's now a must. So that your child does not lack anything, you should give him food supplements, such as vitamins for babies.
Because milk is no longer a source of the extremely important calcium, you have to take countermeasures here. If you quickly get your baby used to vegetables such as spinach or broccoli, then continue to supply this nutrient in sufficient quantities. When eliminating foods from your infant's diet, however, you should work closely with the pediatrician and a nutritionist to ensure that a deficiency does not occur elsewhere.
Milk protein is contained in many foods
If you are allergic to milk protein, you have to be careful (lactose intolerance sometimes forgives small amounts of lactose or milk products), because the reactions are very pronounced in many cases. That's why it's good to know which foods contain milk proteins - this is more often the case than you think.
The protein is contained in whey or milk powder as well as in spice mixtures or in ready meals. Here you should be just as careful as with sausage, which can also be a carrier of milk protein. A good substitute is plant-based milk (e.g. made from almonds, soy, oats, rice or coconut). It is usually not a good idea to start experiments with goat's or sheep's milk - the proteins are very similar to those in cow's milk and can also trigger allergic reactions.
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