Lactose intollerant breast fed baby!

Michelle - posted on 03/29/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )




I have a 3 month old little boy, he's had very loose stools for 4 weeks and the doctor has finally told us that he is lactose intollerant. I want to continue feeding him so need to go lactose free myself. Anyone in similar situation or anyone got any help or advice? many thanks x


Minnie - posted on 03/29/2010




You going lactose-free isn't going to help in this situation. Your milk-human milk- has the highest lactose percentage of any mammal. This is because lactose is a sugar necessary for our large, fast-growing brains.

Unfortunately, many doctors are not aware of this fact. True lactose-intolerance, typically galactosemia, occurs in about 1 in 30000 newborns, is diagnosed within the first week of life (inability to gain weight and dehydration) and typically the babies grow out of it by six months of age.

However, they symptoms of a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance are similar. Have a look at these pages from LLLI:

Breastfed babies are supposed to have very loose stools. If they are green, frothy and mucousy however, that is a sign of a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. It is also a sign of a virus, like rotavirus.

Rarely, it can be a sign of an allergy- in which case this would be the baby sensitive to something in your diet, namely different proteins that you take in. Doctors sometimes get confused regarding the difference between bovine protein allergy (a possibility) and lactose intolerance (which involves the inability to digest lactose, a sugar).


View replies by

Jennifer - posted on 04/03/2010




Definately agree you should investigate a possible problem with oversupply or foremilk/hindmilk imbalance.

-does he often choke/sputter when nursing
-does he spit up a lot
-does he seem to need to be held upright after feeds?
-does he fuss when your milk lets down?
-does he come off during let downs?

the website that lisa suggested has lots of good info.

oversupply is far more common than allergies and can often look the same. Be aware too that if a baby has a true bovine allergy, you can eliminate all bovine products from your diet and continue to BF. Also soy is also very highly allergenic and lots of babies who are allergic to dairy or bovine are also allergic to soy.

Minnie - posted on 04/03/2010





How to know when your infant has diarrhea? You'll definitely know it when it happens! It's green (and not just olivy-brown green, but like lime with forest green in it), has stringy mucous in it, stinks to high heaven like death, and occurs about 18-24 times a day.

Anna - posted on 04/03/2010




It's far more likely it is a bovine milk protein allergy than lactose intolerance. My daughter was diagnosed with the former and had several different symptoms. She had frequent loose, sticky green stools, vomiting, irritability, and eczema. Once I eliminated all dairy from my diet, it was amazing how different she was. In my case, I had to eliminate several other allergens that we discovered as well. She is almost 16 months old now and has outgrown everything except the dairy allergy. It is drastically better than it has ever been, so I think she will outgrow it soon. Make sure you take a calcium supplement, since you are BFing if you decide to continue nursing him (which I would encourage you to do!). You'll have to eliminate all sources of dairy from our diet and avoid anything that has "casein" or "caseinate" in it. A weird example of something I could not eat was oreos- they have casein in them. So sad. If you want more specifics or just want support, feel free to message me any time on facebook.

Dana - posted on 04/03/2010




hi lisa,
so it is normal to loose stool ALL THE time whn u breastfeed, how can i distinguish when the baby has diarrhea?

Michelle - posted on 04/03/2010




Thanks for your advice Lisa, I will talk again to the doctors after the easter break about this. I really want to continue feeding my little boy and really don't want to put him on formula soya milk if he doen't need to. It's all very confusing!

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