Baby Allergic To Dairy? Don't Throw Out Your Breast Milk!

I was one of those moms who had to cut out dairy for a period of time in order to breastfeed. "Oh, that's so hard to do," everyone would tell me. "Oh, I could never do that!" others would say. Listening to them, I thought it seemed like such a daunting thing to do. How would I ever survive without dairy until my baby's digestive tract developed a little more? How could I possibly give up cheese, milk, and chocolate?

Well, I'm here to tell you I did, in fact, survive. It wasn't hard to quit eating dairy. If your baby has Food Protein-Induced Allergic Proctocolitis, or FPIAP, like mine, did during the newborn months, listen to me when I tell you it's not a big deal at all. If you want to breastfeed, you still can!

There are plenty of meal options for you that don't include dairy and do keep your belly full. You will be able to enjoy dairy again before you know it, and please, please hear me out: If you've spent a bunch of time pumping milk, do not — I repeat, do not — throw out everything you've pumped! Your baby will be able to drink it when he's a little older and his digestive tract is more developed.

Your little one could have FPAIP if you spot bloody stool in his diaper. An upset tummy can be another symptom of FPIAP, but it's one thing my little one never exhibited. I learned she had it when she was about four weeks old. She never acted like anything bothered her, but the sight of her diaper was scary for a new mom. I called our pediatrician and was relieved to learn FPIAP is more of an inconvenience than it is a problem. Most babies grow out of it at six months of age, and others at one year.

I was glad to hear that because it meant I only had to break up with dairy momentarily. After two weeks of adjusting and learning how to eat dairy-free, I felt good about kissing it goodbye. At one point, I thought I might even quit cheese for good! Chocolate, on the other hand, was a different story. I craved it like crazy, but it wasn't impossible to go without it. I was able to substitute raisins for chocolate in some recipes, and while it wasn't the same, it satisfied my sweet tooth for long enough. These changes were easy to implement for my baby.

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She was about five months old when I slowly reintroduced cheese to my diet. I started with small amounts of shredded cheese in my salad, waited about 24 hours to see if the dairy irritated my little one, and when it didn't, I celebrated and ate more cheese, slowly but surely. When I was certain she'd outgrown FPIAP, I started giving her the milk I'd pumped before her diagnosis. Now that it's all said and done, I would give up dairy all over again. I want other moms to know their milk is just fine too. Don't toss it; just freeze it and save it for later.

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