We get a lot of questions about cow's milk allergy. In this block we will try to answer most of your questions.*
We You've been living for this moment for nine months and then the time has finally come. Your baby is here!
In the months before the birth, many parents prepare thoroughly for parenthood. The cradle is ready, the rompers are folded in the wardrobe and the finances are settled. But the fact that babies cry a lot and sleep badly is something you're not really prepared for.
Crying is simply part of it. However, there can also be physical reasons why a child cries. Therefore, it is good to observe your child closely. If you have the feeling that your child cries a lot, especially after eating, it is advisable to contact your pediatrician. In very few cases, it may be an allergy to cow's milk. This does not happen often, but it is always good to check.
What exactly is a cow's milk allergy, and can a child drink follow-on milk based on goat's milk in this case?
What is a cow's milk allergy?
A cow's milk allergy is an immune reaction to components in cow's milk: If your baby has a cow's milk allergy, your baby's immune system reacts violently to the proteins in cow's milk. The number of babies who develop an allergy to cow's milk in the first year of life is estimated at 2 to 3%. This makes an allergy to cow's milk proteins the most common food allergy in babies up to the age of one. Children with a cow's milk allergy can only tolerate very small amounts of cow's milk protein.
But not all proteins in cow's milk are found only in cows. Your child may also react to the same proteins in sheep's milk, goat's milk, or buffalo milk.
If you are breastfeeding, it is best to avoid all dairy products.
How does your child get this allergy?
Heredity plays a big role. Fortunately, children are unlikely to suffer from the allergy for a long time, as an allergy to cow's milk protein often disappears at a young age.
The allergy can disappear.
When you think of an allergy, it is easy to think of a discomfort that you carry around with you for life, such as an allergy to peanuts. However, these are food allergies that come later in life - and often stay with you for the rest of your life.
A cow's milk allergy is usually diagnosed before your baby's first birthday. Food allergies that appear in early childhood - like cow's milk or egg allergies - usually go away on their own within one to four years. More than three quarters of children with cow's milk allergy can tolerate cow's milk protein again after the second year of life!
Cow's milk allergy test
Do you suspect that your child has a cow's milk allergy? Then it is advisable to consult your family doctor. During this consultation, the doctor will ask about the medical history of your baby and your family. The doctor will also ask about the symptoms and about your child's diet and eating habits. It is a good idea to be prepared for these questions.
If a cow's milk allergy is suspected, the family doctor, pediatrician or hospital will usually prescribe what is called an elimination and provocation test. This test first examines whether the symptoms disappear after a cow's milk-free diet (elimination) and then whether they reappear after cow's milk (or cow's milk food) is given again (provocation). Regardless of whether this test is carried out or another method is used, it is important that this is determined by the doctor. Then other (physical) causes can also be ruled out. Since a cow's milk allergy is often inherited, it is advisable, in consultation with your child's doctor, to try out from time to time whether your child can tolerate cow's milk food again.
Symptoms of cow's milk allergy
If your baby has a cow's milk allergy, the symptoms are likely to appear in the first two months after birth. Symptoms of a cow's milk allergy may include:
- Skin complaints (such as eczema or itching)
- Breathing problems (wheezing, sneezing, watery eyes)
- Crying a lot and getting less sleep as a result
These symptoms often occur within two hours of ingesting breast milk (if you drank cow's milk yourself) or cow's milk. However, these symptoms can also have a different origin.
Your baby is restless, cries day and night and sleeps little. You go on the internet and Dr. Google quickly diagnoses "cow's milk allergy". Please be careful with this conclusion! Please always consult a doctor or other professional on this subject. The symptoms can also have other causes, as mentioned above.
Your baby has a cow's milk allergy and now what?
If your baby has been diagnosed with a cow's milk allergy, you should avoid cow's milk protein completely. Especially if you are breastfeeding. Your baby will absorb the protein through breastfeeding. It is also best not to eat any dairy products made from goat's, sheep’s, or buffalo's milk (i.e., no mozzarella). The proteins in goat's milk (or sheep's or buffalo's milk) are slightly different from those in cow's milk, but they are still similar enough to trigger an immune system reaction. However, it is not advisable to stop breastfeeding! Breastfeeding is the best nutrition when it comes to the health of mother and child. However, to get the right nutrients such as vitamin B2 and calcium, it is advisable to see a nutritionist. He or she can help you with information, advice and possibly a feeding plan.
If your baby is bottle-fed, normal baby food is not suitable: You will need to use a special food (please consult your pediatrician). As a rule, this is so-called "intensively hydrolyzed food". If your child has been diagnosed with a milk protein allergy, goat's milk-based bottle feeds are not a suitable alternative. In any case, seek advice from your pediatrician or other specialists.
Composition of cow's milk
An allergic reaction to cow's milk protein is unpleasant for your baby. Fortunately, a cow's milk allergy often passes. That is why it is a good idea to regularly try out (under the supervision of a doctor) whether your baby can tolerate bottle feeds with cow's milk again. If you are breastfeeding, you can gradually increase your milk intake as agreed with your nutritionist and doctor.
Difference between cow's milk allergy, cow's milk intolerance and lactose intolerance
Cow's milk allergy, cow's milk intolerance, lactose intolerance.The terms are sometimes used interchangeably, which sometimes leads to confusion. In fact, they are different diseases. As mentioned earlier, cow's milk allergy is an adverse reaction to cow's milk protein in which the immune system plays a role.
But what is cow's milk intolerance? And then what is lactose intolerance?
Cow's milk intolerance
Cow's milk intolerance is a collective term for symptoms in which certain components of cow's milk are considered poorly digestible. In contrast to a cow's milk allergy, this intolerance is not easily detectable medically: there is therefore no such thing as a cow's milk intolerance in the narrow sense.
The symptoms associated with a cow's milk intolerance are usually milder than those of a cow's milk allergy, but sometimes resemble them. For example, mild eczema, abdominal pain and cramps or thin stools may occur without any evidence of a cow's milk allergy. In the case of such complaints - if a cow's milk allergy has been ruled out by a test - it may be worth trying follow-on goat's milk-based milks.
Be careful: Please always go to the doctor first to make sure that no cow's milk allergy or other causes are leading to the complaints.
Lactose is a milk sugar that is naturally present in breast milk and all dairy products. Lactose intolerance in babies is very rare and is caused by a genetic disorder. The chances of your baby having lactose intolerance are extremely small. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include bloating, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and these symptoms appear quite soon after birth. There is no allergic reaction, but the lactose cannot be broken down properly. This leads to intestinal problems. Adults can also develop such symptoms after consuming dairy products, although this is relatively rare in (adult) Europeans - with high milk consumption. Because of the connection with the consumption of dairy products, it is often confused with a cow's milk allergy
Goat's milk is cool!
Did you know that more people drink goat's milk than cow's milk worldwide? In the Netherlands, where cow's milk has a long tradition, that's hard to imagine, isn't it? But the demand for goat's milk is growing all over Europe. Not only for goat's milk, by the way, but also for goat's cheese, goat's yoghurt, and goat's ice cream! Why is goat's milk so popular? It fits right into the era of foodies, healthy eating, and a time when more and more people want to eat more consciously and organically.
But we were talking about follow-on milk, and yes, the demand for follow-on milk based on goat's milk is also growing! That's why we still choose organic goat's milk (just like our other organic ingredients) because we also want to think about animal welfare.
Does your baby not have a cow's milk allergy and are you wondering if goat's milk is an option for you? Just give it a try!
Cow's milk allergy: Is goat milk allowed?
Goat's milk is becoming increasingly popular, and because of the differences in protein structure and digestibility, many people assume that goat's milk is suitable as an alternative for a cow's milk allergy. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In the case of a proven cow's milk allergy, goat's milk is not a suitable alternative. Although the protein structure of goat's milk is somewhat different, it still resembles cow's milk here and there. And unfortunately, this is what your baby's body reacts so violently to.
Follow-on milk based on goat milk.
Even if your baby does not have a cow's milk allergy, it may still not be able to tolerate follow-on milk based on cow's milk. Always discuss a suitable solution with your pediatrician or other specialist. Perhaps Pure Goat Company's goat's milk formula is worth a try.
In addition, our organic follow-on goat's milk has other advantages. For example, our crops are grown without chemical pesticides, as is the feed the goats get. In addition, the dairy goats have more space in the barn and can spend time outside. You can find out more about our ingredients on our website.
Tips for cow's milk allergy*
Does your child have a cow's milk allergy? The following tips can help you:
- Adjust your own diet if you are breastfeeding. Seek advice from a nutritionist about a dairy-free diet.
- There are many cookbooks with delicious dairy-free recipes.
- Is your child being fed formula? If so, please consult a doctor. Your child will need intensively hydrolyzed formula milk.
- Do you already feed your child snacks? Make sure that they are milk-free!
- Does your child go to kindergarten, childcare, grandmothers, babysitters, or friends? If so, make a list of the foods your child is not allowed to eat and make sure that all necessary authorities receive this list from you.
- Also share your pediatrician’s phone number with this group - just to be safe.
- Be patient