Breast Milk---lactose intolerance?

Karrie - posted on 01/18/2011 ( 25 moms have responded )

71

26

7

Is it possible that my baby could have an intolerance to my breast milk. She spits up A LOT and is very very gassy. I can't imagine a baby being allergic to breast milk but she really seems to have a problem digesting it. Is this normal? Does anyone else have the same problem?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Michelle - posted on 01/21/2011

620

24

63

First of all... Is she feeding well??? A baby who is breastfed and showing signs of an upset tummy/gassy/spits up maynot be getting the hind milk (the fatty stuff). Instead they drink the watery formilk and this is high in lactose (sugar) and can cause a young baby to be fussy. If she is feeding well and gaining weight then...you can think of an allergy.

my daughter was allergic to milk proteins - there are more proteins in breastmilk than cows milk!!!
I had to swap to soya formula as she was allergic to the breastfmilk proteins... some babys can stand this and will only be allergic to cows milk (and can get by on goats milk etc...) First of all...Try and cut out dairy products from your diet. It will take two weeks for your baby's body to be rid of the milk proteins...and will take this long to see if it is the dairy thats causing her to be fussy. If after a month you have no improvement, then go see the doctor.
Other signs to look out for with a milk protein allergy is blood in the stools (poo) and mucus too... the poo may be more green than yellow and seedy.. and you may notice she either gets really bad diarrohea or real bad constipation. If you notice blood in her nappy, take her to see the doctor asap.

I hope this helps :)

Ruth - posted on 01/22/2011

47

10

0

I had this problem with my daughter and she could not drink breast milk, and despite what everyone kept telling me that it was impossible for her to be allergic to breast milk, she was. I worked with the doctor and we cut everything out of my diet and she still had problems. Finally we had to switch to formula because she was loosing too much weight and PROBLEM SOLVED she could eat without pain the one that worked best for us was similac sensitive. the other brands like emphelmel (sorry cant spell these) actually had a bit of lactose in them and they would cause her to spit up and cry. All of this caused her to have a really low weight that took a couple of months to get her out of the grey zone with, and she had reflux from the spitting up which took medication to get rid of. If your daughter is spitting up mouthfuls, cries a lot, and has A LOT of gas pick up a can of similac sensitive and give it a shot. I wont her and it will tell you if there is something in the milk that is hurting her.

Michelle - posted on 01/21/2011

620

24

63

sorry I didnt read all the posts before writing this, as I wanted to just give my opinion on your question - not read everyone elses comments...

I honestly from all the other comments you have made regarding how your daughter eats I would take her to your peadiatrician just to get her tested for an allergy or intolerence... do it now and find the reason for her gassyness and spewing - it took the docs 3 months before they diagnosed my daughter as having an intolerance to dairy and a milk protein allergy. Shes three nearly, and grown out of the allergy, but the intolerance I feel is with her for her life as its on both sides of the family.

Things that can help her upset tummy include:
infocol before a feed
massage in circles on her tummy (clockwise)
riding bike movements with her legs
a warm bath

and the biggest one - cuddles on your chest skin to skin - this has helped every baby I know with relux as they are upright, your warm skin soothes them and they hear your heartbeat which makes them feel safe and relaxed.

Her poos as you describe seem ok, typical breastfed baby poo - my daughters was like this until she reached 2 months, then the blood came and the mucus - which is when I decided enuff was enuff and made the doc see her.

Sarh - posted on 01/19/2011

2,516

26

176

OH OK!!
The gas and bowel movements make me want to say it sounds a lot like my son when he was first born before I figured out to cut dairy from my diet. Are you consuming dairy? He does just fine with my breast milk now. I was giving him mylicon before every feeding!!! The spitting up sounds like reflux. She is 3wks? How far away is here 1m check up?? If it is more then a wks away I'd take her in or at least call and talk with the nurse.
Good luck, both sound like easy fixes.

Sarh - posted on 01/19/2011

2,516

26

176

Your 3wk old is drinking 6-8oz every 2-3 hrs? Try giving her just 2-4oz, she may finish the bottle because it is there and soothing her, but sounds like she may be over eating!!
Is she fussy after she eats and while (before) she spits up?

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

25 Comments

View replies by

Samantha - posted on 05/11/2013

1

0

0

Yes! My child has a lactose intolerance. She was breast fed also, I just had to watch what I ate so she wouldn't get constipated or have worse reflux.

Daria - posted on 01/21/2011

49

18

2

I also meant to state to try and burp her before during and of course after she may have excess air before you start nursing which was also some of the problem with my son after the G.I. Dr. suggested it to me...

Daria - posted on 01/21/2011

49

18

2

I had that same problem it was just acid reflux so the pediatrician told me when I gave a bottle with my milk to add an teaspoon of single grain cereal per ounce of milk just to thicken it up. Also, I had to stop drinking whole milk or any kind of, I had to drink Almond milk (Almond breeze is a very good brand)

Dora - posted on 01/20/2011

642

31

109

It is very possible for a baby to be allergic to the mother's milk. Women who state it isn't true either have not experienced it or don't know of anyone in their lives who have had to live the unfortunate fact. It sadly happened to my girlfriend and she was devastated. You can have your baby's blood tested to see if they are truly allergic to your breast milk or maybe it can be that your milk expresses to fast either in the beginning of the feeding or at the end of the feeding. Definitely get this checked out. Good luck.

Jennifer - posted on 01/20/2011

23

55

3

i agree with some of the other ladies, that 6-8 oz is alot for a 3 week old. When my 5.5 month old was 3 weeks he would nurse just to sooth himself i was being used a a binky. This caused him to over eat at some nursing sessions and spit up. Try to feed your three week old less and maybe try a binky for soothing.

Kendra - posted on 01/20/2011

71

43

4

Are you ACTUALLY nursing her from the breast or just bottles? If only bottles, it is something you are eating. Dairy is likely... cut it out completely including whey protein. Soy has higher estrogen so that is not a good substitute for all the time but works for some things. Good luck!

Kendra - posted on 01/20/2011

71

43

4

It is more likely that she has a sensitivity to something you eat. Dairy is common for this. Also OALD (overactive letdown) and oversupply cause spit up. Kellymom.com has some great info too on both these things.

Karrie - posted on 01/19/2011

71

26

7

Sorry let me be more specific she is not eating 6-8oz every 3 hrs she eats about 3 oz every three hours I pump the 6-8oz and that is what she recieves in her feedings. Also she spits up more after eating but it can be up to two hours later she is still spitting up, the gas and very strainful bowel movements are pretty much right after she eats and can last up to 45min after off and on.

Sarh - posted on 01/19/2011

2,516

26

176

If the feeding her less doesn't work, try cutting dairy out of your diet. My son is lactose intolerant and I can't eat dairy... which is really hard for as I was borna dn raised and still living in WISCONSIN! lol.
CJ also has reflux and spits up a lot ALL the time, not just after a feeding. Is your baby spitting up just after eating? Or is it all the time?
Good luck!

Tiffany - posted on 01/19/2011

1

30

0

I have a two week old who also has trouble with gas and I have used the gas drops, which seemed to help. He feeds every 3 hours and he nurses for about 20 to 30 minutes. I alternate between breasts with each feeding and pump an hour or so after I nurse, which seems to have helped a little.

Carolyn - posted on 01/19/2011

898

19

140

6-8 oz is alot for a baby in one feeding at 3 weeks

from what i have read, your baby's stomach is about the size of a golf ball at that age, and for a very long time.

try feeding less at a time but more frequently. best you can do is trial and error, try 3 oz, see if baby is satisfied. if not, add a half ounce and go on from there. Rmember breast milk is already half digested, and goes through baby quickly so it is normal for a breastfed/ expressed milk fed baby to feed more frequently than a formula fed baby. it is also fattier and more filling, so it is also normal for a breast milk baby to drink less milk ( 2-3 oz as opposed to say 4)

my son made a pig of himself at the breast. he would nurse and nurse and nurse for ages, and then spew and spew and spew until he nursed again. he also had ALOT of gas. i started trimming back his feedings, stop switching sides and the spitting up decreased and so did the gas. he still went the same length of time between feeds. So it kind of confirm my idea that he was over eating. His poop was always normal as well so it wasnt a milk imbalance, it was just how much he was getting. trimming back his length of time at the breast had no impact on his weight gain, he was still 17lbs at 8 weeks (that is how it worked out for us, eveyone is different) i would hate to think how much he would have weighed if his gain was infact affected ( good lord)

as for the gas to help with the pain we used gripe water, and oval. combined with playing the baby trumpet ( bicycling his legs, doing toes to the nose, lightly pressing his legs into his belly) Logan became a totally different baby.
another story, a friend of mine, her fiance had the baby alone for the first time and fed her her normal bottle, thought she was still hungry, so fed her another. she took it, but spit up ridiculously afterwards. so yeah babies will over eat, and then eject what they dont need.

[deleted account]

Lactose free milk still has dairy protein in it so that won't help if it's a dairy issue. I agree with Sarah about trying to do less milk at a time. Excessive spitting up can be from over eating and babies can do that easily on a bottle because the milk comes out much easier.

Amy - posted on 01/19/2011

1,761

18

248

Try looking at your diet. I have an "over supply" as many would say although i'm feeding two babies with the milk and neither are having issues as you describe.

Chelsea - posted on 01/19/2011

711

45

13

try switching to soy milk or lactose free milk for you and see if in about a week it your baby improves

Claire - posted on 01/18/2011

14

0

0

My son - now 4 1/2 months old - had (and still does to some extent) this same problem. He would projectile spit up many times a day and it seemed like almost everything he ate would come back up. He also had bad gas and tummy pains as well. I talked to our pediatrician and did quite a bit of research on it - he suggested that it could be acid reflux and sometimes they will put your baby on a low dose antacid. It can also be something in your diet, although the research that I have read suggests that this is not as common as people like to think it is. Basically, we were told the spitting up was more of a laundry problem than any problem with our baby. As for the gas, try peddling her legs like a bike - that can help release the gas.

[deleted account]

It sounds like you may have oversupply. Pumping can actually make this worse. I saw your other post about pumping. Have you thought about getting her straight on the breast? You can also look up La Leche League. If there isn't a group near you you can still call the closest leader and they will help you.

Karrie - posted on 01/18/2011

71

26

7

Her bowel movements are yellow curdle, I do pump and my supply is aprox 6-8 oz every 2-3hrs but my breast does empty completely and her bottle that she receives is that whole 6-8 oz. so I would imagine she is getting a pretty good mixture of foremilk/hindmilk, I live in a small town with no LC here maybe I will try to change my pumping to every 4hrs? Do you think that would help?

[deleted account]

No. Lactose intolerance in an infant is diagnosed within days of life and has severe symptoms like failure to thrive. She could have some reflux or be having a reaction to something in your diet. The most common cause is dairy. You could try cutting it, but it takes up to 2 weeks for the milk protein to be out of your system. Lots of babies go through periods of spitting up a lot. You could try keeping her upright for about 20 minutes after eating. Tummy massages may help ease gas. She could be getting too much foremilk causing foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. Does she have green, frothy poops (other symptoms are gas and fussiness)? If you suspect an imbalance then you just need to really make sure she empties the first breast before you switch. If you can easily squeeze milk out then she needs to go back on that side. If you have oversupply then you could try block feeding. This is where you feed on one breast for a certain time. A mom may feed on the right side any time baby wants to nurse for 3 hours then she will offer the left side any time baby wants to nurse in the next 3 hours. It's also great for babies who like to snack. Hope this helps!

[deleted account]

Hi Karrie, I just read your other post which states that you are pumping a lot. Pumping will increase your supply. Is it maybe possible that you have an over-supply? In that case your baby might be getting too much foremilk which could make her gassy. Frothy green poos would be an indication for that. Is there a local La Leche League group in your area? They could help you with both your problems.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms