Does My Baby Have Milk Allergies?
In general, it is best to breastfeed your baby because this is the best way to prevent him or her from developing allergies. However, sometimes babies do develop milk allergies, even when breastfed. Here is what you need to know about feeding a baby and possible allergies, and what you can do if you think your baby may have them.
The Importance of Breast Milk
Most women know that breast milk is the best thing you can give to a baby. Breast milk contains essential fatty acids, which are critical to a baby's cognitive growth and development, even after birth, and has many properties that are valuable to strengthening of the baby's immune system. By breastfeeding, a mother is providing her baby immunoglobins that will protect him or her from many of the same infections to which the mother may be exposed. According to healthduringpregnancy.net http://www.healthduringpregnancy.net/?p=285, breast milk is much healthier for your baby than any formula could be.
What Causes Milk Allergies
Allergies are caused by an overactive immune system. When you have an allergy, your immune system regards harmless substances as harmful and causes the body to react whenever they come into contact with them. When it comes to milk allergies, the body is reacting adversely to the proteins contained in the milk. Since the baby's genetic make-up is not identical to the mother's, he or she may not process foods in the same way as the mother. Cow's milk can be irritating to the baby's stomach and is a very common allergen, even among adults, and if the mother is ingesting too much of it, it will pass through her breast milk and make her baby sick.
Though you may not be allergic to milk, it may be possible that someone in your family or your partner's family is. Allergies are often the result of genetics, but in the case of milk or food allergies, they can easily be controlled if the offending food is avoided.
Signs and Symptoms of Allergies in a Baby
If you are nursing and you find your baby has symptoms that resemble the common cold, check to see if it may be due to allergies instead. Your baby may develop colic, rashes, itchy skin, and a stuffed up or runny nose. Their eyes may also become red and irritated.
What to Do About Feeding a Baby and Possible Allergy Exposure
According to suite101 http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/breastfeeding_retired/14957, if you are still breastfeeding your baby, eliminate dairy products from your diet for a while and see if this action results in an improvement. You may need to try elimination of several foods to find the culprit. It is important not to assume your child has an allergy to breast milk. It is very, very unlikely that your child cannot handle breast milk. It may be that changing what you are eating may be all that you need to do. If you find that your baby has an allergy, you should visit your pediatrician or an allergist to find out about more steps you can take, or if you are having trouble identifying the food you should be avoiding so as not to make your baby ill.