Although very rare, eczema, colic, vomiting and weight loss can all be caused by milk allergies. It can be really upsetting for you as a mum, so here’s some helpful information as a starting point. However, please ask your Healthcare Professional for advice if you think your baby may have a milk allergy.
Some babies may be allergic to the protein in infant formula milk. If your healthcare professional thinks this may be the case, they may try your baby on a specialised feed to see if the allergy symptoms disappear.
Hydrolysed infant formula
The milk protein in these formulas has been broken down into much smaller pieces, to avoid an allergic response. These milks have an unusual taste - young babies accept them quite readily, but older babies might not be too keen.
Amino acid infant formula
If there is no obvious improvement in symptoms after trying the hydrolysed infant formula, amino acid infant formula could be another option.
Soya is a milk-free formula, but it’s not recommended for babies under six months. This is because soya milk has a higher amount of phyto-oestrogens and may cause hormonal problems, particularly in young babies.
To ensure your baby’s milk continues to provide all the necessary nutrients for optimum growth and development, you should ask advice from a registered dietician.
It’s extremely rare for a baby to be allergic to breast milk. However, if you do think a breast milk allergy is the cause of your baby’s problems, you can try excluding certain foods from your diet. If you’re going to try cutting out foods such as fish, meat, certain vegetables or fruits, these can generally be replaced by foods from the same food group. But if you exclude milk and milk products from your diet you’ll need to take a calcium supplement (1250–1350mg daily).
Again, you should discuss this with a registered dietician so that you can be sure your diet remains nutritious enough for both you and your baby.