Getting a Diagnosis:
When my baby was screaming after every breastfeed and coming out in a rash, a CMPA (that’s a cow milk protein allergy.) wasn’t something I had even heard of, never mind considered.
To give you a bit of a back story, I didn’t have a great labour and my little boy didn’t have the best start.
He wasn’t breathing when he was born and spent some time in the INCU. BUT we are very lucky and it could have been a lot worse. To begin with, he was in the unit because of the birth but then he just started throwing up his NG tube feeds. (he was having formula as I was very ill and not able to be with him.)
Long story short, I began breastfeeding and after a while, Max started showing signs of improvement and they let us go home. (THANK GOD.)
What I later realised is that I had no dairy at all during my time in the hospital and when I got home, I started eating normally again. Looking back it seems so obvious as after being home a few days is when my little one started getting all the symptoms of CMPA.
Max came out in the most horrific rash, his skin was dry skin, he would lift his legs up, arch his back and grunt in pain. He would also scream and vomit after feeding. This was all to spite the fact he was a very calm baby the rest of the time. He would fuss endlessly at the boob and I had no idea what to do or what was wrong. I know I speak for a lot of people when I say having a poorly baby and not knowing is the worst feeling in the world.
The doctors diagnosed Max with eczema and told me he had colic. After another week or so there were still no improvements, We actually had a very negative experience with this particular doctor surgery, who proceeded to tell me I was just “a worrying new mum, I was overprotective and that was all that was wrong.”
The flare-ups looked so sore, I was determined for answers.
(This particular doctor also said this a few months later and max actually ended up being sent to the hospital with a recession in his breathing, but that’s a story for another time.)
Back to the story at hand, It was this time when I found out a CMPA existed. One of my partners work colleagues told him about it, as her child had similar symptoms as cow’s milk protein from your food, can be transferred through breast milk.
I cut milk completely out my diet. Low and behold after about 2 weeks max started to significantly improve. I went to my doctors for yet another visit and suggested this and told him about the improvements but they refused to refer me to a dietician and told me to drink milk and that I could make us both poorly, I left feeling terrible.
I started eating and drinking milk again and Max flared up. I knew this had to be a CMPA at this point, and refused to give up.
This is when I spoke to my health visitor who was wonderful, gentle and listened to everything.
We cut out dairy for a second time and when she saw Max’s improvement she referred us straight to the dietician.
Max at 5-month-old was FINALLY diagnosed with a Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy to the relief of me and his dad.
We are now dairy-free and since max has not had a flare-up and is a healthy happy little boy.
I would love to share more about by Dairy-free weaning, my experiences with a CMPA baby and hopefully our experiences with joining the milk ladder in the future.
I wanted to share this experience to tell other mothers not to give up if you feel like something is wrong and to keep trying no matter how silly you feel.
We got this and we know our babies.
Let me know your experiences in the comments, and open up the convosation about CMPA!