FEEDING YOUR BABY AND MANAGING COW'S MILK PROTEIN ALLERGY
Symptoms of cows' milk allergy (CMPA) in your baby can be distressing. The good news is that cows' milk allergy can be easily managed by adjusting your baby’s diet to remove cow’s milk protein. Once managed correctly, you are likely to quickly notice improvements to symptoms in 2 to 4 weeks.
It is important that you do not experiment with a cow’s milk-free diet for your baby without recommendation and guidance from your doctor or healthcare professional.
Breastfeeding is the best feeding option for you and your baby. Even if your baby has been diagnosed with cows' milk allergy, you should continue breastfeeding. Based on the severity of your baby’s symptoms, and whether your baby might also be allergic to any other foods, your doctor will help you to choose the most appropriate feeding option to manage your baby’s cows' milk allergy.
CONTINUE TO BREASTFEED YOUR BABY WITH COWS' MILK ALLERGY
Diagnosis of cows' milk allergy should not affect your breastfeeding routine. In fact, breastfeeding is the best feeding option for you and your baby.
Breast milk contains all of the nutrients your baby needs in the first 6 months and continues to be beneficial for much longer. In addition to nutrients, your breast milk also passes the protection of your immune system to your baby. In rare cases, when your baby’s immune system reacts to cows’ milk proteins in breast milk, your doctor might recommend you to start an elimination diet totally free from cows’ milk protein.
Breastfeeding is the best feeding option for you and your baby. Even if your baby has been diagnosed with CMPA, you should continue breastfeeding. Based on the severity of your baby’s symptoms, and whether your baby might also be allergic to any other foods, your doctor will help you to choose the most appropriate feeding option to manage your baby’s cows' milk allergy.
The Earlier The Better
- Breastfeeding within the first hour of birth ensures the baby receives the first milk, called colostrum
- For the first 6 months, exclusive breastfeeding is recommended
Protective Role For You And Your Baby
- Breast milk is rich in protective factors that are good for infant health, growth and development, and decrease the risk of your baby developing diseases later in life
- Mothers who breastfeed have a reduced risk of developing diabetes as well as of developing breast and ovarian cancer
- You and your baby develop and maintain a strong emotional bond.
WHEN AND HOW TO START WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF SOLID FOODS
By the time your baby is 6 months old, breastfeeding (or infant formulas) is no longer sufficient to fully support growth and development, and complementary foods should be introduced. The exact timing will depend on the individual infant and family.
Weaning before 17 weeks is not recommended. If you start complementary feeding too early, you can increase the risk of your baby becoming ill—the reflex that supports moving of solid foods around the mouth and swallowing them usually develops between ages of 4 and 7 months.
Similarly, if you start too late, your baby may not be getting all the nutritional support they need, which increases the risk of your baby developing deficiencies in key vitamins and minerals and delayed growth.