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Lactose Intolerance
Continue breastfeeding or formula


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8 replies to this topic

#1 chrissy02

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:08 PM

Hi Mums,
I have a 3 month old who is exclusively breastfed, and who since birth has been very colicky (difficult to settle, crying, pulling legs up in pain) - which was always very easily dismissed by Paeds and GPs. In the last 2 weeks he has got significantly worse, he is now screaming crying a lot and inconsolable and appears to be in a lot of pain. We had enough so took him to emergency one afternoon and after once again being dismissed as colic and sent home. However they did take a stool sample and called me a couple of days later with the results and high levels of reducing factors were present in the stool (this may indicate a problem digesting certain sugars such as lactose).
This makes sense to me - I had already cut dairy out when he was 8 weeks old as I have experience digestive pain when I consume too much dairy, and added it back in for 2 days which resulted in the first screaming session so I cut it straight back out. I have been of dairy ever since.
I believe I have had a foremilk/hindmilk inbalance since he was born, although I have felt in the last 2 weeks that it got better (since block feeding for several weeks). I do find it very difficult to get him to completely empty one side, I offer him the one side several times, and have a break and try again - but he still wont take that same side once he has dropped off. However, if i offer him the second side, he takes it!
After having so much lactose for so long, I feel his digestive system is damaged (like when we go on antibiotics), hence his symptoms are getting worse, and needs some time to heal.


Anyways sorry for blabbing on, I am just wondering if anyone else has experienced similar, and did they continue breastfeeding or switch to formula, and did things improve (straight away or at what age?). I am having a lot of difficulties due to having a very unsettled baby and would love for things to improve and to not see my bub in pain any longer.
I am seeing a paed in a week but I have heard they are very quick to suggest stop breastfeeding and whilst I am happy to do so if it will mean my bub is no longer in pain, I would love to hear other mums experiences.
TIA

#2 cat5245

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:35 PM

Just a quick reply to say have you thought about giving your little one a probiotic? There are some especially designed for babies that might help.

#3 lucky 2

Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:28 PM

I think it depends on the paed re if they are quick to give bfing the flick or not.
There are some around who would try very hard to keep a baby on breast milk alone and consider that the alternative to mothers milk is rarely the preferred option. Though occasionally it is.
I'm sorry to hear your baby is feeling so miserable.
I hope the paed can help, have they considered reflux?
Is your baby thriving ok?
Have you seen a LC, I was wondering because you mentioned ? lactose overload, a LC will be able to do a bfing assessment and discuss these issues with you.
Seeing a LC could be a good complement to the Paed, some Paed clinics have a LC on the team that assess babies who are excessively unsettled.
All the best.

#4 Tesseract

Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:12 AM

Oh Chrissy that sounds awful, your poor little one!

Look my initial response is that breastmilk is almost always better for a baby's gut, particularly in the long term. However the current situation does need addressing. Your assessment of the lactose overload issue could very well be spot on, or it could be something else, or a combination - I would definitely be getting checked out by a pead.

Peads vary in their attitude to breastfeeding. Most are generally supportive. I've had one say to me "we always say, and believe, that breast is best...except when things get complicated, then formula is easier." I'm not sure how I feel about that statement...

Anyway, I would be looking specifically for a pead who is a lactation consultant (yes they do exist!) or has a lactation consultant on staff as lucky2 said. Alternatively a knowledgeable lactation consultant in your area should be able to point you in the direction of one who supports breastfeeding and is willing to work with her and you to figure out what is going on.

Hope you can get some traction on this issue soon!

All the best, Tess xx

#5 Mamabug

Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:23 AM

Okay, no medical quals here whatsoever!! But...I have had four children diagnosed as lactose intollerant when babies.

Mine also had reflux, and their screaming etc settled with medication (in our case, Losec). Our paed said the lactose issue would probably resolve with time, and that breast feeding would not need to sto. That said, I don't know what our 'levels' were, compared to what your child's 'levels' are from the stool sample.

Also, my understanding is that lactose in the mother does not pass through to the breast milk, however, cows milk protein does, and if the baby has cmp issues, the mother should be dairy-free.

If you suspect there may also be reflux in the mix, the Reflux Infants Support Association has some tips to help, which you could easily try before you see the paed.

I hope your get some answers soon to help your little one.

#6 nakedrhubarb

Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:40 AM

My baby has lactose intolerance (discovered at 5 months) and I didn't have to stop breastfeeding. The paediatrician did want me to give her one bottle of lactose free formula a day and that was enough to help so we didn't need to increase it.

We did have to go to a dietician to work out my diet and the diet plan to feed my baby when she started solids.

Good luck. I hope your paediatrician helps work out what is going on.

#7 Shelly-B

Posted 17 December 2012 - 11:50 AM

My baby is the same and now at 4 months I have decided i've had enough of hearing her scream in pain and she is currently on lactose free formula during the day and breast at night (currently weaning her off breast completely) and let me tell you it has made a huge difference!

It's like I have a precious baby girl now and no longer a moany, crying, screaming, unsettled one! If i'd known the move to formula would make this kind of a difference i'd have done it much earlier! I was off dairy from when she was 2 weeks old.

#8 Pearson

Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:14 PM

Have you tried a supplement ? We became aware of a product called lacteeze. It adds the lactase into the stomach so that baby/person can process products containing lactose.

This could be the answer until u finish bfing.

A friend used to crush the tablet and mix with a little water, give it to bub then feed. This was from a very young age.

#9 KT'smummy

Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:33 PM

I kinda had the same problem and every doctor i went to would give me everything possible for wind problems, constipation you name it they gave it me for my mini man.

nothing worked!!

So i took him off the breast and put him on lactose free formula and magical new baby... so relieved to see him not in pain any more. He is now 2 and on lactose free full cream milk..i tried to introduce normal milk but that seems to still upset his belly. Ive been to so so so many doctors to try and get an intolerance test or allergy test but none will help me out here. They all say if what im doing is working then i must be right... grr...So I think go with your gut feeling and I know they say breast is best but in this instance it just caused my baby pain.

Good Luck and stay strong ... in the end your the mum and you will do what is right for your baby.

xx




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