Dominique - posted on 02/06/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )
While the thought never occurred to us, looking back, it's clear that my son has had a cow's milk allergy from the very beginning which been primarily responsible for his acid reflux and eczema. PLEASE PLEASE consider this if you are a breastfeeding mom who consumes dairy products (like I was) or if you are feeding your baby a cow's milk based formula. We didn't get this figured out until my son was 9 months old and I would like to share our story with you in the hopes of helping someone else out.
I thought I'd share my experience with acid reflux and eczema with my now 16-month old son. He was 100% breastfed at the time. When my son was around 2 months old he started showing all the classic signs of acid reflux. He would cry inconsolably for 1-2 hours in the middle of the night, arch his back and hate being put to sleep on his back. His pediatrician put him on Zantac which helped but there would be occasional flare-ups. Around 3 months of age our son developed dry patches on on his legs and by 4 months had full blown eczema all over his body. It was so heartbreaking to see him uncontrollably itching all over to the point of bleeding and then to try and console while he screamed in the middle of the night.
After our son turned 8 months old we started feeding him solids and tried giving him yogurt. Immediately he developed hives where ever the yogurt touched his skin. Our suspicions were confirmed with a blood test, our son was allergic to cow's milk. (Really he's allergic to the protein in cow's milk and most other mammalian milk, called casein. FYI: A milk allergy and lactose intolerance are two separate problems.) Note that your baby does not have to have a skin reaction to be allergic to milk. I began cutting all the dairy products out of my diet, which was really hard to do. But within a couple of weeks we began seeing a dramatic improvement in my son's eczema and his reflux died down.
Now my son no longer has reflux and his eczema is nothing like it was. He just has small patches every now and then rather than a full body rash. I hope you take a milk allergy into consideration. It's hard to cut out all dairy, it's in so many foods that we eat but it's worth a try. Please know that it can take 2-3 weeks for all the dairy to leave your system if you are breastfeeding so stick with it. Also, watch out for that old frozen pumped milk that you may be feeding your little one. Good luck!