I always assumed I would breastfeed my kids, and I have. But I never anticipated the struggle I would have when one of them developed severe food allergies.
My son had been experiencing a variety of symptoms pretty much since birth but I hadn’t put them together to realize they were all symptoms of a bigger problem. It wasn’t until we were still struggling to get his reflux under control and he stopped putting weight on did the pediatrician suggest we consider the possible of allergies.
I felt strongly that if possible, breastmilk was the best option for our son and am fortunate to have a pediatrician that agrees with me. Even when our son was having issues putting weight on, she never wavered on her support of breastfeeding exclusively. Since it was not a supply issue on my end, supplementing with formula wouldn’t fix the problem she said. My son has been exclusively breastfed so it was determined that the culprit was something he was ingesting through my milk.
It took some trial and error (mainly a strict elimination diet on my part) but we finally figured out that our son has a severe allergy to milk and soy protein. It’s called milk soy protein intolerance (MSPI). To manage it, I have removed any trace of milk and soy products from my diet. Once eliminated, it still takes up to 4 weeks for all traces to be out of my system. However, within a week we saw such an incredible change in our son.
Almost all his symptoms have disappeared completely – no more congestion, the eczema on his face is gone, the reflux is under control, he gained weight and he’s eating and sleeping better!
I don’t want to say difficult, but managing the allergy has been a lot of work. I am constantly scanning labels to look for hidden allergens and have started making almost everything we eat at home. Some days, I make multiple meals since my husband and daughter have no restrictions on their diet. Eating out has also become virtually impossible and when we go somewhere, I always bring food for me and him to eat. (You should have seen me sitting down to Easter dinner and taking out my own loaf of bread)
Regardless of the amount of planning, extra work or restrictions, it has absolutely been worth it. He is still experiencing the nutritional benefits and emotional connection that breastfeeding provides. Our son is thriving.
*I’d be happy to share more information we have learned about this allergy or share some allergy friendly recipes we’ve discovered if you are having similar issues. Leave me a message or email (email@example.com), I’d love to chat!