Monday, 30 January 2012

In the beginning...

The problems

It began all in the midst of that big muddle when you have your first baby and you're trying to adjust and get to grips with it all - everything is new and a bit worrying. Crying, sleepless nights and lots of poo was to be expected wasn't it? Certainly the midwives thought so, and just advised me to keep changing the nappies and give her plenty of 'air time' to keep the 'nappy rash' at bay. I was struggling with feeding her and we'd just been through the whole drama of being readmitted to hospital with a very jaundiced baby. Constantly feeding her, to overcome the jaundice, became painful and eventually we concluded that her tongue-tie could perhaps be the cause. The local doctor agreed to refer us to a private pediatrician, which is where it all got interesting!

The diagnosis

The paediatrician discounted the tongue-tie, but obviously wanting to make the most of the session, asked us if anything else was worrying me. When I mentioned the way she screwed herself up in pain before a nappy, expelled small amounts in explosive spurts and had a very sore botty, he became excited. He examined her, upon which she performed just as I had described. The paediatrician quickly reached his conclusion and dropped the bombshell that my little baby, only a month old, had an intolerance to cow's milk protein*. Cow's milk protein was apparently passing through my milk into my baby's intestines. Her intestines, unable to digest the protein properly, became uncomfortable and caused her to pass acidic poo. It was this poo which was burning the skin on her botty. The solution was simple - to go dairy free.  

The solution

I was skeptical and reluctant to believe the diagnosis - I love milk and had been ill. I certainly didn't want to drop it, just like that! However the evidence that followed, as I excluded milk from my diet, spoke for itself - within about three days the cramps in her tummy had subsided. What's more I was getting more sleep and what seemed most miraculous to me, her botty which had been raw (and which no amount of clean nappies and air time would solve) was now clear! She was a different baby! 

*I have recently discovered that the pediatrician was using a term that is currently not recognised - she would now be described as having an non-Ige allergy to cow's milk. See here to see the difference between  an Ige and a non-Ige cow's milk allergy.

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