Milk Protein Allergy
It was a cool January day, we were attending a wedding (Willow's first wedding) and I had just finished feeding her.
It was time for a nappy change and being 5 weeks into motherhood, I definitely appreciated a bit of help when using the public change tables. Ben was changing Willow's nappy while I got everything out for him - wipes, new nappy etc., he handed me her nappy and I spotted it.
Blood. Not a lot, but enough to give me the fright of my life.
I started shaking, saying "oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I think that's blood, oh my gosh", Ben told me to calm down and message Cath (our midwife). So I took a photo of the nappy (don't judge me, when you have a baby you'll understand!) and sent Cath a message. It's okay I thought, it wasn't a lot of blood. She doesn't have a fever, everything else seemed fine. I started to calm down.
Cath called me and calmly talked to me about everything. After seeing the photo she said, "it's nothing to worry about, but it could be a milk protein allergy." Cath booked me in to see a paediatrician right away and we went to see if we could get diagnosed.
After a few more nappies with blood, I decided to cut dairy out of my diet. The blood stopped showing up, and after visiting the paediatrician it was diagnosed now, she had a milk protein allergy.
I was assured that most babies grow out of this by age 2, and it's fairly common but I had two options - opting for a full formula diet with the dairy free formula or continue breastfeeding and completely cut dairy and soy out of my diet. I'm a big believer in fed is best, but I wanted to breastfeed for as long as I could, so I opted for the latter option.
So, cutting out dairy and soy - doesn't seem so hard right? WRONG! It's in everything! But I was determined and 5 months on, I've completely cut dairy out of my diet, Willow is thriving and I honestly don't really think I will go back to having dairy in my diet once the allergy passes.
But I want to share some tips, because there was so much I struggled to give up but have found alternatives that are delicious and hopefully will help anyone else with this same predicament! This is in no way a sponsored post, I just wanted to help1
- Coffee - if you're like me and love a latte, the best milk I have found is Milk Lab's almond milk - it's delicious and pairs beautifully with coffee.
- Cereal/Porridge - my favourite almond milks for breakfast are Nutty Bruce or So Good Almond milk (both found in the fridge section at the supermarket).
- Butter alternative - Nuttelex is great, I prefer the olive oil blend.
- Chocolate - THANK GOD FOR PANA! Honestly, Pana got me through Easter and all my chocolate craving days. Plus, if you can make it to their store in Richmond you can treat yourself to cakes, biscuits and many more dairy-free treats.
- Cakes - I've made lots of my own, and have used coconut oil as the alternative for butter and almond milk as the alternative for milk. But I have found some amazing dairy-free baked goods at so many Melbourne cafes and they are AMAZING, if it's vegan it's dairy free. Send me an email or DM on Instagram if you'd like to know specifics!
- Cookies - Vegan = dairy free, so anything Vegan was great but I am obsessed with Franjo's lactation cookies, the chocolate chip variety is so so good!
- Milkshakes - If you're craving a milkshake, visit Greene Street Juice and enjoy one of their treats, my favourite is the New Yorker and Salted Caramel Deluxe!
- White chocolate - if you're craving white chocolate, this recipe from the Minimalist Baker is AMAZING! (Any recipe on her website is incredible, actually!)
- Yoghurt - CoYo is delicious and a great yoghurt alternative!
- Ice Cream - There are so many amazing dairy-free ice creams, my favourites are the Zebra Dream, Gelista and So Good Almond/Coconut varieties. Plus, sorbets are dairy free!
- Cheese - now this one is a hard one, but if you need cheese in cooking (i.e. for lasagne, Mac & Cheese etc.) this cashew cheese (don't knock it til you try it) recipe is great.
I found that I ended up doing a lot more cooking and baking myself just to be safe. Every baby is different and Willow was very sensitive to even the smallest bit of dairy (I once ate a tiny bite of Ben's dessert and she had a reaction the next day). Plus, it wasn't the lactose that was a problem, it was a milk protein so lactose free products still gave her a reaction.
Anyway, I hope this post helps anyone else in the same predicament - I totally feel your struggle! x