FAQ's on Breast Milk Colitis or Allergic Colitis in baby -- Symptoms, Cause and Remedy. What is Breast milk Colitis ?
I have been through this journey personally, my baby got Breast milk colitis when she was just 3 weeks old. The symptoms started with streaks of blood in her poop and kept persisting for almost 4 months. We did everything that we could and now she is a happy and healthy baby, with no problems.
It is always tough on parents, seeing their newborn suffer. I still remember the tense nights and frequent visits to the Doctor, that I shared with my wife and my Little princess.
The main motto of writing this article is to help people who are going through this with their newborns.
The article is mainly to shed light on the most FAQ about the Allergic Colitis in infants.
Hope it helps and feel free to ask me any question or concern, and am all happy and ready to help right away.
1) What is Breast Milk Colitis ?
Breast Milk Colitis or Allergic Colitis occurs mostly occurs in infants between 0-6 months of age. It is a condition in which the baby's immune system overreacts to cow-milk based protein, also called Lactose intolerance. I would say any animal based protein gets intolerable to the baby. It leads to tiny breaks in the infants colon (intestine), which results in streaks of blood passed along with the poop/stool. Sometimes if not careful with the infants intake, you might see more than streaks of blood in the poop.
2) What are the Symptoms ?
The most common symptoms are baby passing blood in stool or poop, throwing up more, showing frequent signs of fussiness and not feeding well.
You should be careful when you see blood in your baby's stool, it might or might not be Breast milk colitis as the blood can also be seen due to a Anal fissure. Best way to decide is to right away consult Paediatrician to make sure of the cause.
3) How common is it ?
Nearly 10 percent of infants get diagnosed with Allergic colitis. Mostly if the family of the baby have any history of food allergies or Asthma, the baby is likely more prone to Allergic colitis.
But there are many cases in which babies have got colitis even if their family were pretty healthy.
4) Do I need to worry about it ?
Yes, you needn't panic but yes you need to take care of your baby intake. Mostly the baby might in some cases loose weight and start throwing up more with time. Also in some rare cases the intestine gets swollen making it tough for the baby to take any oral intake and might end up having Intravenous Therapy (IV therapy). The common symptom is baby losing weight but this can easily be controlled by consulting the paediatrician and following proper guidelines.
5) Can I Breastfeed my baby ?
You certainly can. There is nothing better in the world for the baby other than mothers breastfeed. I strongly suggest you to continue breastfeeding your baby but you need to do some sacrifices with your food intake.
Mom's need to completely avoid these foods during the period they breastfeed their baby: cow milk, any animal protein based milk, diary products (cheese, butter etc), soy milk or soy in any form, tree nuts, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, meat and basically any form of animal protein.
It's very important to avoid the above mentioned foods and be on a strict diet during the period you breast feed your baby. The period varied from case to case, sometimes it takes 3-4 weeks and in some cases it takes 3-4 months. For my wife she avoided these foods for 3 months but it did pay off with our Little princess getting healthier and now free of any allergic symptoms.
6) What alternatives are there for milk based formulas ?
As far as possible keep breastfeeding your baby and don't substitute it with formula. But if required you need to take help of Hypoallergenic Formula and in some extreme cases amino acid based formulas.
Both type of these formulas a costlier and heavy on the pocket, so don't forget to ask ample amount of samples from your Doctor, this way it will lighten the burden financially.
Hypoallergenic Formulas (Useful link: http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/feeding-infants-toddlers/bottle-feeding/hypoallergenic-formula):
- Similac Alimentum
Neocate is the only well known Amino Acid based Formula and is pretty costly but you can have your doctor prescribe it for reimbursement. (http://www.neocate.com/about-neocate/breastfeeding-and-formulas/amino-acid-based-formulas/)
7) How long it takes to get cured ?
It really depends from baby to baby. There have been cases where babies showed improvement within two weeks and blood stopped passing in their stool but in some cases it took 5-6 months to recover back for the baby.
For my baby it took 4 months, the only thing is that the parents need to be patient and work it slowly and steadily with the Paediatrician.
8) Do I need to consult a specialist, such as a gastroenterologist ?
Well in 90 % of the cases, the answer is NO. You will get the same answers from the gastroenterologist that you got from your Paediatrician, only thing different will be the amount of money you pay, which just doubles for a specialist.
In rare cases where your baby has drastically reduced weight and is not at all feeding well, Yes, go and consult a specialist.
Importance of Breastfeeding your Baby
© 2013 mr-veg