Hello, friends! I can’t believe it’s been ten months since I shared how breastfeeding with a baby with MSPI was going. I’m starting to get comments and emails asking how things turned out, so I figured it’s time for an update! Unlike that original post, I will not be sharing any pictures of technicolor poop, so no warnings needed.
Last time we left off, my diet was free from:
Holy cow, that seems like EONS ago, but yet, I still remember how tough it was. Mama, if you are reading this, hoping life gets better, it does! Our doctor recommended seeing an allergist next.
Visiting The Allergist – 8 Months Old
The allergist was GREAT, if for no other reason, then he spoke my language. What I mean by that is that he had the same level of understanding of food reactions I do. There are three words that most people use food allergy, food intolerance, and food sensitivity interchangeably. THESE ARE NOT THE SAME. But, even our pediatrician uses them interchangeably. Unless you work in the nutrition field, you probably don’t know the difference.
A food allergy is what the allergists specialize in, and it’s an immune response including anaphylactic response, hive, swelling, etc.
A food intolerance is the lack of an enzyme to break down specific food components. For instance, those with lactose intolerance do not have the enzyme lactose to break down the sugar lactose found in dairy products.
A food sensitivity is also an immune response but creates a more generalized inflammation instead of immediate life-threatening conditions.
MSPI is not considered an allergy. It stands for milk soy protein intolerance. They are treated very differently, and I was finally able to converse with someone who understood this. (With an identified allergy the goal is to increase tolerance by exposing small levels. However, for an identified sensitivity the goal is to remove the food until the inflammation calms down and the body is better able to tolerate it.) The allergist’s priority was to rule out food allergy because, according to him, blood in the stool can be a sign of ALLERGY or SENSITIVITY.
He recommended a skin prick test. I was going to refuse it because they aren’t very accurate. However, the allergist said he uses them because they are about 80% accurate at ruling out food allergies. So, in other words, if you don’t react, you can be reasonably confident. Here were the results of his skin test:
He reacted to eggs (top left) and cashews (bottom right circle.) He wanted to follow up with blood work, but in the meantime, I’d start introducing foods.
Reintroduction 8-9 Months (almonds, peanuts, wheat)
After some chatting, we agreed I’d move forward introducing almonds, peanuts, and wheat/gluten in my diet and then if tolerated into KJ’s diet. The doctor wanted me to get wheat in my diet and then into the babies ASAP. Baking eggs with wheat tends to make them more tolerable, so this was his plan for the baby.
At this point, K was sleeping through the night and, overall, a happier baby. All introductions went off without much of a hitch, and I started making K vegan baby muffins for snacks/breakfast on the regular. Next, we tested soy, first in my diet, then in his using the first start packages. We don’t eat a ton of soy in our house anyway, so I was mostly concerned with ruling out an allergy, not making soy a regular part of his diet.
Reintroduction 9-12 Months (baked eggs and cashews)
Around this time, our blood work came back with absolutely zero reactions. This time we saw the PA at the allergist’s office. (Note we had an appointment with the allergist, but he got tied up handling a severe reaction.) The PA and I agreed on the following:
- Introduce baked eggs into my diet and then into his, but the eggs had to be baked with a wheat product.
This went fine – I starting making him coconut oil banana muffins, and after that went fine for a couple of weeks, I started using them in other nonwheat containing items like my baby meatloaf muffins. No reaction, no mucus, outbreaks, or fussiness attributable to it.
- Offer scrambled eggs if baked eggs go well.
I then got brave enough to offer him scrambled eggs. Within 48 hours, we had mucus, diarrhea, and a grumpy baby. So no eggs. Not exactly surprising, neither his dad or grandpa tolerate eggs well (they eat them anyway though.)
- Introduce cashews first into my diet, then into his.
Cashews were also not a problem. The reaction was mild on the skin test, so likely a false positive.
- The PA also said that with MSPI children, then typically don’t recommend reintroducing dairy again until 2 or 3 years old.
I asked about goat milk, but he was not on board with the idea.
Reintroduction 12+ Months
At his one year appointment, we had everything back in his diet except unbaked eggs and milk. At this point, he self-weaned, so I was no longer breastfeeding (read about my crazy weaning symptoms here though – no one tells you about those!)
Remember all that breastmilk I marked do not use? At the one year mark, I had to throw it away. Well, I made Mr. Hungry do it because I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
I was supposed to follow up with the allergist but never did first, because the wait time in that office is brutal. Second, because, at this point, they told me that they considered his reactions either a food intolerance or sensitivity, and they said, “that’s your area of expertise, you probably know more about that then we do.” Yep, probably.
The pediatrician encouraged me to try some real yogurt with him. For four days, I gave him an organic baby yogurt, but on day four, he had diarrhea. It was the holidays, so I just stopped messing around with that.
My next step would be to try milk or yogurt baked in baked goods. However, I just haven’t done it yet. As I said, it was the holidays. I figured if he went at least four days without a reaction, he probably could tolerate dairy in small doses in baked goods.
This means I don’t need to freak out if some well-intentioned family members give him a bite of a dairy containing muffin or cookie. Ironically, now that I don’t need to worry as much, that situation hasn’t occurred.
Also, it’s worth noting that because yogurt is low lactose and the response was so delayed, it’s probably not a lactose intolerance. So, lactose-free milk, etc. won’t help. It is more than likely an issue with milk protein, so I’ve been hesitant to give him cheese or anything else. Also, I’m entirely aware that it’s possible diarrhea could not have been related to the yogurt at all, but he had been without it for months before that.
15+ Months – Where We Are At Now
So as of now, he can have eggs that are baked in foods but can not take a bite of just scrambled or hard-cooked eggs. He can probably have dairy cooked in foods as well, but I haven’t verified this.
I will re-trial yogurt at some point, but right now, it just isn’t necessary. There are so many dairy-free products available like non-dairy yogurt and ripple green pea milk, so I’m not worried about it. I’m for sure more sad about the eggs than the dairy.
Would I love for him to be able to enjoy cheese with me? YES. It is what it is, though, can’t do anything about it. I don’t know when I will trial straight eggs and dairy again, probably not for a few months, at least. I’ll be sure to update y’all then!
- What No One Told Me About Breastfeeding Weaning
- Newborn & Expectant Mother Must Haves
- 15 Favorite Baby Care Items & Toys 4-9 Months
- Favorite Baby Care Items & Toys 9-12 Months
- 12 Healthy Freezer Meals For New Moms