Wednesday 10 December 2014

Cows Milk Protein Allergy Support

As you probably already know Isabelle has cows milk protein allergy. Recently I've found an amazing website and facebook page and I just had to share it on here. I haven't been asked to share this, I have just decided that more people need to know that there is this support out there and it is fantastic, the facebook page has taught me so much in the matter of a few weeks with other parents sharing their tips and experiences it's great. CMPA support

The website is called CMPA Support (Cows Milk Protein Allergy).

The facebook page can be found here - Cows Milk Protein Allergy Support (@CMPAsupport) and theres also one for breastfeeding mums too which you can find here - CMPA support for Breast Feeding

Cows Milk Protein Allergy is an immune system response to one or both of the proteins, casein and whey. It is different to Lactose Intolerance - which I'll be honest, I didnt actually know until Isabelle was 11 weeks old. Now people still question me when I tell them it's different.

Affecting between 3% and 7% of infants worldwide Cows Milk Protein Allergy is actually the most common of all possible food allergies yet what amazes me is how little doctors/health visitors actually know so little about it and it's symptoms, I know this is true in Isabelle's case and although she had alot of signs we didn't find out until she was 11 weeks old - which I know is very early compared to alot of people.

Actually less likely to occur apparently when the mother is breastfeeding, our dietitican actually questioned several times whether Isabelle had had some forumla milk because usually when there is no contact its apparently less likely to happy but she genuinely hadn't had any so it can happen if you're breastfeeding. This is proven by the CMPA support for breast feeding page where you will find over 1,000 members!

Each baby is different and reacts differently but I thought I'd tell you what it was like for my little girl.

Isabelle symptoms were:
  • Slow weight gain,
  • Baby 'acne' all over her face,
  • Eczema,
  • Colic like symptoms, lots of tears,
  • Terrible poos,
  • Terrible wind both ends,
  • Sicking up a little bit,
  • Dark green poos,
  • Blood in poos.
I took Isabelle to get weighed weekly when she was new, she was very slow at gaining weight, a few doctors saw her skin and everyone said baby ance, then apparently she had colic too. What gets me the most is I took her to the doctors at 8 weeks old as she had blood in her nappy, I genuinely think at that point the doctors were fed up of me coming for 'no reason' but actually a really good reason and they didn't even examine her, ask me more questions - nothing, blood in a 2 month old babies nappy and nothing? So off I went, feeling like a prat until Isabelle was 11 weeks old...

At 11 weeks old she had a terrible night, both myself and Michael were up most of the night with her screaming and pooing lots (her, not us!) although we obviously felt like screaming/crying too. It wasn't until 7am when I changed her nappy in the light, during the night we try to keep it darker with just a gro light so not to 'wake her up more', that I noticed blood in her nappy again, as I opened the nappy it smelt awful but I noticed it was dark green (imagine the colour of grass) and there was blood in it, not just a little bit either. This obviously terrified me. So I called Michael as he had literally just left for work, he told me to call the doctors and get an appointment as soon as they open which I did.

Then really worried I checked all of the nappies from the night before to find that they all had a lot of blood in.... I knew the doctor would just shrug it off so I took the nappies with me to the doctor for them to see for themselves! This time, they listened. I was told it was cows milk protein allergy and I had to stop breastfeeding - to which I said "over my dead body", I requested to be sent to the hospital with her. How can they not look into blood in her nappy, what if it was something else? and why can't I continue to feed my baby myself? So they did and off we went... at the hospital they were really nice, told me that I could continue to breastfeed as long as I was completely dairy free which I thought I'd struggle with much more than I have. They gave me a booklet from their dietitian and arranged for an appointment with her, I've been so lucky to have continuous support from health care professionals since and I have heard stories of people not being so lucky. 
There was alot of crying.

So if you suspect Cows Milk Protein Allergy in your baby then go to the doctor and if that doctor doesn't listen then get a second opinion, the only way you'll really know is to go dairy free and then you'll see.

There's a few dairy free formula milks available which you can get on prescription - they are costly! Some are £40+ per tin, half size tin to your normal formula too.

Remember, always take things such as nappies with blood in with you to the doctors and then they can really see for themselves! Unfortunately I wasn't believed first time but when I took the nappies with me, they listened.

I'll be posting again soon, letting you know about my dairy free foods I've found for myself while breastfeeding and also for Isabelle now shes being weaned.

You're not alone with Cows Milk Protein Allergy - make sure you check out for help!



  1. I couldn't imagine this at all! Sorry it took the doctors so long to listen! Food can sometimes be a struggle with Amelia minus the allergy! Your doing a fab job! Things will get easier I'm sure as you get more and more used to it x

    1. Aww thank you for your comment :) I am really proud I've managed to breastfeed but without chocolate too was something I'd never even considered. You'll do anything for your children though won't you :).. Oh and yeah my 5 year old Oliver is a nightmare with food, still! although no allergies he just 'doesn't like things' xx


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