How I Diagnosed my baby with a Cows Milk Intolerance (CMI)

It seems like a lifetime ago where we were struggling with Amelia and her tummy problems, it’s like talking about a different baby, and I guess, in a weird way she was before she was on her new cows milk-free milk, Similac Alimentum (Sounds like a Harry Potter Spell haha).

We had our suspicions that Amelia had a lactose problem when she was around 1-3 months, but it wasn’t before thinking it was several other things as the signs were all so similar and trying those out first, that we then realised what was causing her to be so upset, So let’s start from the beginning of her feeding journey..

When Amelia was born we breastfed for about a month in total, The first night she was born she was crying every hour and we were unsure she was getting enough milk as I’d gone through such a long and stressful labour. (You can read my labour story here!), thankfully I had harvested some colostrum which we gave her as it turned out her levels were way too low and she was starving. Once that had gone, I had thankfully packed some ready made Aptamil bottles so we had given her some of those as well as breastfeeding, as we still weren’t sure how much she was getting from me.

Once we came out of hospital 8 days later, I was breastfeeding as much as possible and where needed we would also give her a bottle. It was then, where the crying and a very upset Amelia took its toll, she seemed more upset and in pain after feeding from me than the bottle, so I stopped and carried on with the Aptamil. After maybe 4 weeks we ended up changing to Cow and Gate Comfort in the hopes it would be a little better for her tummy as she was in so much pain.. I’m talking jab cries everyday!

Whilst being on Cow and Gate Comfort helped with her going to the loo more, ( her poo now looked like pebbles from the beach) she was still having an upset tummy about an hour or so after the bottle. We were going through a bottle of Infacol a week and whilst that also helped, it didn’t solve the problem either and after waiting another 4 weeks for her to settle on that milk we were no closer to a happier baby and she became constipated again, it would cause her so much pain and what came out would resemble something you’d see in a close up in some David Attenborough program of something a dung beetle would be pushing across the screen and knowing it had to come out of her, it was no wonder she was screaming like that. It was truly heartbreaking.

 

We were doing tummy massages, bicycle legs, you name it, we were trying it. It got to the stage we were burping Amelia after every ounce of milk or she would projectile vomit it up everywhere after. She’d take milk drunk to a whole knew level and we couldn’t help but feel for her. It was then we started thinking about a lactose intolerance as James is lactose intolerant and after some symptom googling it became clear we needed off this milk.

Possible Cows Milk Intolerance symptoms :

  • Eczema
  • Diarrhoea
  • Colic
  • Constipation
  • Wheezing
  • Vomiting/Reflux

I then went out and got SMA Wysoy milk and after 3 weeks this seemed to settle her tummy pains, we had done it. We had a happier baby! Our Health Visitor had got us an appointment at a dietitian who confirmed Amelia’s intolerance. We were informed though that we could get her milk on prescription but we would need to change milk to Similac Alimentum as there was risk for children under six months having soya products that was linked to their reproductive organs.

We switched to Similac Allimentium which I wasn’t looking forward too as that meant another 3 weeks of getting used to another milk but the first day she was different, she was this different baby. We’ve been on it for about 2 and a half months now and I mean it smells absolutely disgusting but she guzzles it like a champ and we have no more problems, we poop daily  and now we’re weaning about 3 times a day and thankfully, we save those heart wrenching jab cries just for jabs now!

I think anyone reading this that might have found it from google or if you have your suspensions that your child may have an intolerance, all I can say is go with your gut, speak to your Health Visitor and get them to make you an appointment with a dietitian like we did, as it’s getting more and more common. Now this doesn’t mean you child is allergic and has an allergy, it could just be an intolerance and therefore eventually will be fine. I’m so glad I pushed and pushed as Amelia really is this new happy baby on this milk and if I hadn’t done some reading and googling and just left it, she’d probably still be in so much pain, not pooping regularly and still needing winding after every ounce.

 

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  • Amy

    Oh poor Amelia. So glad you spotted the signs. My partners nephew constantly screamed out in pain as a baby! They thought it was just constipation but then he came up in a rash. He was allergic to the milk protein and he is such a content baby now that he is on the right milk ox

  • Mummyandliss

    My daughter is a cmpa baby, she is allergic to the proteins in cows milk. This was interesting to read, Alyssia had the same symptoms and finally got diagnosed at 3 months old. You can read our story here:http://mummyandlissblog.com/my-experience-of-a-cows-milk-protein-allergy-cmpa-baby/

  • Claire Dunn

    Oh my goodness I’m so so sorry you went through such struggles. Bear had colic which was awful but this sounds so heartbreaking and horrible. It’s such a shame it takes such a long time to diagnose them with things like this. I’m so so glad she’s on a milk that’s better for her though and is more comfortable these days. It’s awful seeing them in pain and not knowing what else you can do for them isn’t it 🙁

    Claire xx

  • I know how you feel due to Rory’s lactose intolerance which was diagnosed as Colic for aaaages! He was a much happier baby when I started buying the right milk for him. Now at six months he has grown out of it – thank god – and is flourishing on normal formula and even having cows milk with cereals etc. Didn’t think I would see the day!

  • stephanie

    I found this such a intresting read. I’m so sorry that you struggled so much, must of been awful. Although it isn’t the same, Emily had reflux, and watching her constantly scream knowing i couldn’t do anything was hell, xx