Lactose Intolerant?

Nikki - posted on 03/15/2011 ( 37 moms have responded )

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I am having issues with breastfeeding and formula... Every time he eats he seems to bring everything up. I have started him on Soy based and he seems better... What do you think ladies?

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Lactos intolerance in an infant is extremely rare and would be diagnosed in the first days of life. Symptoms are severe and include failure to thrive. It sounds like a milk protein allergy. I would suggest cutting dairy out of your diet because milk protein passes through breast milk. You should see an improvement in 2 weeks or so. Regular formula will definitely make it worse. Breast milk (with you not eating dairy) will be the most gentle on his tummy.

Jennifer - posted on 03/17/2011

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i'm sorry, i'm confused. if "the soy is what is working for him, and the soy is what he gets" then i really don't understand why you posted this to a breastfeeding board. we are here to sort out whatever issues you are having so as to help you establish a stable, and secure breastfeeding relationship. the title of your post "Lactose intolerant?" leads us to believe that you aren't sure if this is the issue and we have given you our opinion. the fact that your little one keeps soy down better than your milk signals to us that chances are that it is a dairy protein intolerance. a dairy protein intolerance is totally compatible with breastfeeding, if the mother is so inclined.

97-99% of women are physically capable of making enough milk for their child, as long as they are not on medications that lower supply, or have had breast reduction surgery. there are medications one can take to increase milk supply. there are also herbs, supplements, and foods one can consume to increase milk. stress and dehydration will decrease milk.

your original post did not mention him puking. is it possible that he has reflux? what other symptoms is he experiencing that lead you to believe he is lactose intolerant?

i am sorry if you feel you are not being heard, things to get lost in translation on the internet.

Jennifer - posted on 03/17/2011

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Nikki, please don't mistake those that are trying to help as people being critical of your judgment. we are all trying to help you succeed at breastfeeding.

having a low supply right now does not mean you have to give up breastfeeding. we, as women, are designed to feed the babies we grew inside our bodies. we spent 9 months growing a baby from scratch, and now that your baby is here, your body WANTS to feed that baby. that being said, there a many, many things that can hinder the nursing relationship. one major hinderance is supplementing with formula. the best way to increase your supply is putting your baby to breast, even if that means around the clock. have your baby's latch checked by a professional. an improper latch means that your baby is not sending a strong signal to your body to produce more milk. there are solutions to every breastfeeding problem. we are MADE to breastfeed, trust your body.

dairy is a convenient source of calcium but NO ONE needs dairy. calcium is found abundantly in green leafy vegetables. a serving of broccoli has more calcium than a glass of milk, for instance.

lactose intolerance, and dairy intolerance are terms that are often used interchangeably, even by doctors but they are very different. as other have mentioned, lactose intolerance in an infant is very rare (kids and adults can develop it as they get older, though). dairy intolerance in infants is very common because the proteins pass easily through our milk but are very hard for baby to digest (because in theory, we shouldn't be consuming the milk of a different species at all so the tummy of an infant doesn't know how to digest it). human milk has more lactose in it than the milk of any other mammal. we also have the largest brains compared to the rest of our body than any other mammal. lactose plays a very important role in human brain development.

i promise, we are genuinly trying to help you breastfeed. it is what this community is here for : to help women breastfeed. we cannot recommend you switch to formula, we can only try to help you successfully breastfeed. there is so much misinformation in today's society about breastfeeding so we are here to help combat that. we hear too many stories of women who are told that their milk "isn't enough" for their baby when that simply isn't true.

Aleks - posted on 03/17/2011

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Nikki,

You posted this and asked for our opinions, yet you seem not to welcome them at all. Seems to me like you have made up your mind of what it is that you want to hear, want to do and are going to do. Why then post?



As for the soy, yeah, your child may not come down with some deathly disease because of if, well at least not initially, but I have done my research regarding it as both my children experienced dairy intollerance. And yeah, its not necessarily without side effects as many believe. I would encourage you to do some research yourself regarding it. And if you still happy in giving it to your child then by all means do it.



As for eliminating dairy, I was able to successfully cut out all dairy from my diet (hey, also managed to at the same time cut out all soy too! Now that IS a feat cause these two ARE in everthing). No it is not easy, but it definitively worth while. For my baby's benefit I will do everything. Besides, when I did cut out all dairy I found that my diet became so much more healthier. It takes a bit of work, but is worth it. Basically one has a diet that consists of very little processed food and that is definitively a positive :-)

I have supplemented with calcium tablets, used fortified milk (rice and oat). Ate plenty of green veg. Its doable, one just has to want to do it and my babies' health was more important than an "easy" diet, but that is just me. Like others before me stated, there plenty of sources of calcium other than dairy. Actually if you did some research you would find that societies that have the highest consumption of dairy have the highest incidence of osteoparosis!! You may not believe this but it is true. There are many societies on this planet that do not consume any dairy at all, never have and probably never will in their entire life, and most of them would not know what osteoparosis is. But I digress.



All I wanted to say was what Jennifer Laur said regarding posting in a breastfeeding forum a question and then arguing against everything most people have said here. If you have *decided* to stop breastfeeding because *you* believe your baby is lactose intollerant (no matter what others have said to you) and started to ff because you believe you aren't producting enough, yet don't want to hear advice on how you can improve your supply and take steps to continue your breastfeeding relationship twith your baby then, may be, posting in a breastfeeding forum is not for you.



Sorry, but this thread has essentially wasted my time and probably other posters' times too.

Aleks - posted on 03/16/2011

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The fact that he is "a little piggy" as you have called him tells me that he is not lactose intollerant. A lot of GPs confuse lactose intollerance with dairy protein intollerance. Infact, dairy protein intollerance is sometimes referred to (incorrectly) as secondary lactose intollerance. Given your description of your baby, a lactose intollerance is not really possible. True lactose intollerant babies are VERY SICK - life threatening so!

What happens in lactose intollerance is the body does not have enought lactogen (i think that is what it is called but don't quote me on that) to be able to process the lactose, ie sugar, found in milk. While the protein intollerance means the stomach, bowels, and generally the "gut" does not have the necessary maturity to handle the hard and difficult to process/digest proteins found in ALL dairy. A lot of lactose intollerant people can still eat yoghurt, but dairy intollerant person cannot. Most people with dairy intollerance are children and they tend to outgrow their initial intollerance.

If you are so concerned regarding your calcium levels and hence do not wish to continue breastfeeding without cutting out dairy you still should discuss formula options with your GP. As not all formulas are the same, some formulas can only be purchased with a prescription from the doctor and are available at the pharmacy only, and as I said before soy formula is not ideal for the reasons I listed.

37 Comments

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Stevie - posted on 04/08/2011

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We were diagnosed with lactose intolerance at 2 months old. We essentially had colic symptoms.

My daughter is still breastfed. We began crushing 1/2 lactaid pills and moved on to 1/2 chewable Lactaid pill.

She does great, from time to time we have flare-ups due to her stool being acidic because of the lactose intolerance but it is manageable.

Best of luck!!

Lexi - posted on 03/19/2011

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My son had issues throwing up any time I had dairy in my diet. I had to go on a lactose free diet while I was breastfeeding. I could eat cheese, just not in large amounts and no milk. But he is not lactose intolerant now. He is almost two and loves his milk cheese and yogurt.

Adriana - posted on 03/19/2011

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I noticed you said you can't make enough milk it all depends how much and how many times you nurse. You can pump which can help the flow increase. And warm compress's. If he's asleep and your getting engorged, pump. When he wakes, feed.

Adriana - posted on 03/19/2011

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Babies do react strongly when you switch from Formula or Normal milk. You can either keep going to see if he get's used to it or give him 2% which is basically lactose but not as strong. It worked for me. They do say the regular milk has more fat for their brain but it's just not fair to make him drink something that's only going to make him sick.... I'm sure you wouldn't like it.

As far as soy, I don't know much.

Talk to his doctor or a nutritionist. I'm sure she might say to stay on the whole milk....

Lise - posted on 03/18/2011

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Being dairy free is not easy, but it IS possible. My daughter cannot consume cow's milk (cheese, butter, milk, etc.). We have been dairy-free for 4 months. There are a lot of alternatives.

Jody - posted on 03/18/2011

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if you have calcium requirements take a suppliment, you don't need to eat dairy to get enough calcium there are many other dietary sources besides dairy. How else do you think people who are allergic to cows milk or are lactose intolerant live? IT is possible, but it appears you have a little bit of a defeatist attitude about this. If you have made up your mind and don't want to breastfeed then don't, if you want to use soy formula, go ahead but don't make excuses just do it. Do what is right for you and your baby.

Jody - posted on 03/18/2011

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Remember not to confuse cows milk allergy with lactose intolerance they are two different things. Lactose intolerance is much less common in babies than in adults however being allergic or sensitive to cows milk is pretty common. And if it is an allergy to cows milk it takes a long time for it to get out of you system if you are breastfeeding and you cut it out of your diet, you have to completely cut dairy for at least a month. And there are many things that he could be allergic to. There is also the possibility of a different medical reason, sometimes the muscle at the top of the stomache is loose and they spit up a lot! with an allergy they usually vomit (so it;s ususally forecful and involves rythmic stomache spasms instead of the little burp and flow we often see with spit up)

You really need to talk to you doctor, makes notes about what you remember and have notice and take him in. If he has allergies it is important to get things resolved so yu have a game plan. You also want to ensure he is gaining enough weight if he is having feeding issues.

Good luck! I hope things get better for you and your little one.

Brenda - posted on 03/17/2011

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Because you keep stating that it's not possible to cut diary out of your diet because it is in everything, I want to say that, yes it is possible. You can cut dairy completely out of your diet. My son is allergic to egg, peanut, wheat, dairy and soy (not allergic to soy any longer). I cut ALL of these from my diet. I'm not saying it is easy, but it can be done. Believe me, I KNOW how hard it is to change a diet around and cut out foods that are in everything. You just have to read EVERY label and do your research.

Havefaith09michaia11 - posted on 03/17/2011

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I agree that you need to choose what you are to do for your son. I only sugessted talking to the Dr 1st because its so much nicer to have their opion on it. I had trubble with mine coming in at the begine and suplemented and got alot of bad feed back from WIC. I almost gave up then I tried anther nursing possion and that worked for me. As for your situation Lactose intolerance is real but usaly it showes up diffrently for each child. I am lactose intolert my self. I hope the soy keeps working for you and I'm sorry you can't produce enought I know people with that issue. They tryied every thing. I think its not esasy having that. Good luck to you and hope you son keeps improving :)

Jessie - posted on 03/17/2011

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No problem. I deal with a whole lot of grief about my sons food issues, people (even FAMILY) just don't GET IT. Nor do they bother to care. My mother nonchalantly feed him cereal he couldn't have when I was working and then told me about it and said 'well if he couldn't have it he would have thrown up already' Guess what I had to deal with when I took him home that evening? Horrible diarrhea, cranky baby and he still has a rash (eczema) on his face 10 days later. Also, most of my family thinks I was a freak, FOR breastfeeding my son, but that's another story.
I want to become a certified lactation consultant after I graduate this year, but I am not going to go around judging others, bottle or breast. simply offer what information and support I can for a mother to do her best and make the best decisions for her situation/child!
Good luck to you girl and you have already done a wonderful thing for your child. "Every ounce of mother's milk counts" or so the latest commercials I've been hearing/seeing say!

Nikki - posted on 03/17/2011

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And as I have stated before milk is in pretty much everything! I posted in this forum hoping to get some tips on lactose intolerance, apparently no one is understanding that I myself, like most of my family history, am not producing enough milk for my son. I hate it with a passion, but thats the way it is. And I do plan on talking to more people about brands of formula. However, that is a different story.

Jessie - posted on 03/17/2011

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It is very possible to cut all dairy from your diet. We do it in our house. Reading labels on everything the goes into my sons mouth is a large part of my day (and an even bigger part when I was nursing him).
You as a mother need to do what you feel is best for your child and if that means soy, than that's what it is. Of course we all would like you to be able to breastfeed, that's why we are on this board, but I think the real idea is to be supportive of each other, right?! That's how I feel anyway. Also, as a side note, if you have any reservations about the soy, getting a second doctor's opinion couldn't hurt. And another side note, the soy milk my son drinks (Silk with DHA and Omega 3) has I think 30% more calcium than regular milk if you would happen to be looking for an alternative for yourself. I prefer it on my breakfast cereal rather than straight in a glass, but to each their own.

Nikki - posted on 03/17/2011

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Just for everyones knowledge, I have done everything to keep breastfeeding, and just like my mother and my sister, I do not produce enough milk for my son. I am not welcoming the fact that no matter how many times I say so, no one seems to see that I can not breastfeed my son, there are plenty of women out there that simply can not breastfeed. And if you are implying that i will not do anything for my baby's health, you are simply mistaken, as you do not know me what so ever, and you are wrong. Never did I say that I stopped breastfeeding him because I think he is lactose intolerant. I stopped because I am not producing enough to satisfy him.
I also have tried everything possible to get calcium any way I can, as I have had this issue for quite some time now, and nothing seems to be "the right way" for me for certain reasons.
I posted this in the "breastfeeding" forum because I thought that I could get some advice on lactose intolerance. I would love to be able to breastfeed my son, believe me. I miss it. But his stomach is just not able to handle it, and I do not produce enough milk for him.
And I never once said I believe he is lactose intolerant. I asked about it. And I made up my mind AFTER I spoke to a medical professional.
I had to slow down my breastfeeding with him when he was 1 1/2 months. Not that recently. Not because of lactose intolerance or dairy intolerance or what have you. Simply because I do not produce enough. And if this thread was such a waste of your time, why did you bother posting in it?

Jessie - posted on 03/17/2011

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very possible. we didn't figure out our son was until he was one and we started giving him cows milk in a sippy cup. it never seemed to be a problem when I was nursing (but I don't eat a lot of dairy, so...) but when we gave it to him straight he changed. mostly he gets diarrhea, gas, bloating (very little spit/vomit) and he wasn't eating well. Had him tested and he is mildly intolerant. Most people around me (mom, boyfriend, etc) did not believe me because 'he isn't throwing up'. Hardy anyone understands that there is a difference between an allergy and an intolerance. Our son is also severely wheat intolerant and mildly wheat allergic. There is a difference and there are different LEVELS of intolernace. Hale now sees an allegist and is doing tons better 20 months old drinks soy and almond milk. After I found out at around 13 months I gave up dairy and wheat for several months until we weaned. Hard, but worth it. good luck

Chelsea - posted on 03/17/2011

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have you tried taking out dairy in your diet, you could drink lactose free milk or soy milk, and if your worried about the calcium or other nutrients then you could take supplements.

Nikki - posted on 03/17/2011

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I decided to use the soy formula because 1 my sister suggested it and 2 the pharmacist told me that it should work. He has been on Soy formula for about 3 days now and it is working much better. The pediatrician said that it is not likely that it will harm him.
Jennifer, my original post does mention him puking.. it just states "bringing everything up" instead of puking. However, It was just yesterday that I posted that, Today the pediatrician told me that the pediatrician is fine. Hense my comment about "Soy milk is what he gets"

Havefaith09michaia11 - posted on 03/17/2011

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Nikki I'm glad you takled to his Dr. thats great and I'm glad your able to get things sorted out. I know the cutting dariy out would not be easy. Trust me it make me so sick for a while that I had to do that my self. Its not easy thats why I sugested you talk to a Dr. before doing any thing your self. Good luck and hope he starts to feel better

Nikki - posted on 03/17/2011

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How is one to completely cut milk/dairy out of their diet? Milk is in pretty much EVERYTHING, and milk is the best way to get calcium
And no He is not having a latch issue, I just become quite empty very quickly and he will not be satisfied on the breast for another 24-48 hours.

Nikki - posted on 03/17/2011

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First of all to all of those that are confusing my issues with simple set backs, it's not that easy. I am not producing enough milk for him, regardless of what I try to do! I spoke to his pediatrician today and she has told me that there is not a big risk with the soy formula. I am only able to satisfy him at night and even then he pukes it all back up again, I can not breast feed him. The soy is what's working for him so the soy is what he gets. To be completely honest, I am tired of explaining everything over and over again and would really appreciate it if before you made a comment to carefully read and understand what my issue is.

Havefaith09michaia11 - posted on 03/17/2011

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Not sure if its Lactose intorance. I my self am but I would always get an option form a Dr before doing any fomula swching or assuming its that. Some times it seems like every thing comes up and its just our perseptions. I hope this helps. Also you can try elmanting dariy from your diet and add things with calsiom also take a vitamen too. Most non dary milks, and other things have added casliom so that you don't loose any of it. But I would check with the doc before you do any thing too drastic.

Colleen - posted on 03/17/2011

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For you and calcium, supplements and other food sources (green leafy veggies, fortified apple juice and orange juice) will work better than milk making your kid sick. The others are right it is most likely a milk protein problem.

When you breastfeed do you have a good latch? Does he have a nice good pause with his mouth open (suck, mouth open, pause-pause-pause, swallow, close mouth, drink from a straw and see for yourself how it should look). The pause is him getting milk. Won't happen well if he is not latched properly. Also try breast compressions while feeding, it will help him get more. There are things you can do and take to increase your supply. How often is he breastfeeding? If he is only feeding for 5 minutes it is more likely a latch problem (not a true supply problem). As for reflux, the longer he is feeding, the more fat in the milk, the easier it will be to digest as more milk into the belly keeps the acid down. What do his poops look like? Green and frothy means he is not getting the higher fat milk from your breast, he is not lactose intolerant, just not digesting it all.

An interesting point would be: if he is only breastfeeding for 5 minutes, how is he getting enough milk protein to have a problem with it? Formula should be a last resort if you wish to BF. I agree soy is not necessarily the answer.

Check out the following website:
http://www.drjacknewman.com/

He will respond to emails.

Michelle - posted on 03/16/2011

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Talk to your pediatrician about it. I wouldn't quit breastfeeding him. The experience is still good for him if you can keep going with it. Talk to your pediatrician before you go on with the soy formula though. I only say that because soy is not as nutritious and over exposure to soy can put a baby at risk for allergies (which is obviously a worthwhile risk in the case of lactose intolerance). My first reaction is that it's possibly reflux or a dairy protein allergy(like the others have said). It seems like no matter what it is talking to your baby's pediatrician is the best way to get to the bottom of this.

Nikki - posted on 03/16/2011

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My friend has 2 babies that are lactose intolerant... And I know for a fact I am not producing enough for him to feed, because he will take 1 breast for 5 minutes and not get any more out of it. And I spoke to my fair share of professionals about this including doctors and pharmacy techs and health nurses and lactation specialists. Also, I cannot eliminate dairy from my diet completely as I need it for the calcium. I am a step below of Osteoporosis. There fore I need it in my system.

Aleks - posted on 03/16/2011

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Nikki, could you mistakenly think you are not producing enough....? What are the signs that you think are lack of supply?
My girl was dairy protein intollerant (and also later we found soy intollerant too) and she too had reflux. What I have found out though that she used to want to breastfeed A LOT, constantly wanting to nurse. This I found out later was due to the reflux and also silent reflux. Basically what she was wanting to do is feed through this discomfort. Babies comfort themselves through sucking. Also, the swallowing milk would have helped her keep the burning sensation down. So if you are interepreting constant need for nursing as a sign of lack of supply you are incorrect.
A fussy baby after a feed is also a sign of reflux.
So what I would do is eliminate dairy from your diet (completely - have to read all lables for processed foods and avoid any with dairy in them) and I am sure you will see an improvement.

Also, soy formulas are not ideal for boys as soy imitates estrogen in the body, and boys don't take well to having extra estrogen and soy formula has A LOT of it. So I would re-think your choice. If you are keen to formula feed I would visit a doctor and get a medical opinion on what formula would be best suited to your baby rather than picking things up of a supermarket shelf. This can seriously affect the health of your baby in ways you may not be aware of.
And like Sara D said, true lactose intollerance is extremely rare - in infants it can be fatal. So it is most likely dairy protein intollerance. Also, something like 50% of infants/children intollerant to dairy have or develop intollerance to soy also. Another reason to speak with a doctor.

Good luck. Hope you find what works for you and your baby :-)

Nikki - posted on 03/16/2011

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its not my choice to not breastfeed i just dont produce enough for him. and i have him on soy formula

Dora - posted on 03/16/2011

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Do you eat dairy? If you do stop that might help him with the breast feeding. My son actually became lactose intolerance when he turned 2yrs old and I switched him to soy milk. It was weird because I nursed him just fine until he was 13 or 14 months old. He then started with whole milk and was fine. As soon as he turned 2yrs old he no longer could drink milk. He does great with soy milk and loves it. The other weird thing is that he can consume dairy products such as cheeses but if you try to give him straight milk he gets diarrhea. If the soy milk works for your little one and you are ok with not breast feeding then continue with what you are doing.

Nikki - posted on 03/16/2011

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That is my biggest problem, I can't breastfeed him! I am not producing enough to satisfy his hunger. He is a little piggy LOL. And I have to disagree with it being extremely rare. I know a few people with kids that are lactose intolerant.

Verity - posted on 03/15/2011

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One of my girls was the same, it turns out she had reflux it took the doctors ages to discover but when they did we went on medication and Karicare delact formula no problems after that, she still vomited sometime but no where near as much or as often mabye suggest this to you doctor see what he/she thinks.

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