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The term allergy refers to a hypersensitivity reaction initiated by immunological mechanism. Mainly three factors are responsible to develop allergic reactions:

  • Appropriate genetic background
  • Contact with the allergens
  • Environmental factors

A baby can’t be allergic to breast milk but if it happens it is due to the cow milk which the mother has consumed or the food she has taken. The allergy is less common in breastfed babies. Cow milk’s allergy is most common.

Breast milk allergy symptoms

Blood in the baby’s stool and inflammation of the bowels, colic fussiness, eczema, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, skin rashes, itchy eyes etc are the symptoms of allergy.

If a baby develops these symptoms, to diagnose it the physician will first conduct stool tests to rule out other causes. The nursing mother will then need to eliminate dairy products from her diet for about ten days. If the problem clears up, dairy can be reintroduced. To see if the symptoms re-occur other dietary experiment may still be necessary in the same way. Tell the physician about any allergy in family.

Baby allergic breast milk treatments

Once the allergy causing food is diagnosed, it should be eliminated or be taken in small amount by the mother , according to severeness of allergy.

It is still vital for the nursing mother, to get adequate nutrients. So, talk to the doctor for the substitute. Milk protein coming from cow’s milk may persist in breast milk for about 10-15 days. Symptoms may not improve before then.

Breastfeeding can reduce the chance of developing milk allergy. Human milk offers an ideal balance of nutrients and a generous supply of a protective antibody which helps to protect the infant from bacterial infection and probably reduces the entry of antigenic food protein fragments and reducing the incidence of food allergy.

One problem with mother’s milk is that it may contain allergens which the mother has absorbed and it may appear in her breast milk.

Lactating mother may have to modify her diet to protect her child. Her restriction may include the avoidance of milk products and other highly allergenic foods like eggs, peanuts, citrus fruits, chocolates, nuts, any specific cereal, certain meat, fish etc. She should avoid caffeine, alcoholic beverages, spices, smoking etc. It will reduce the risk of allergy in the infant. Advice of a physician skilled in food allergy management is desirable.