South Essex Slings
Chest or Breastfeeding with allergies.
Updated: Oct 15, 2022
I just wish for one day that my children and I could all eat what we like, not have to read the ingredients list on everything. That would be amazing.
That day will never come, but I can still dream.
I have breastfed both my children. Annabelle was only allergic to milk, that boobing journey was super easy in comparison!!
But here we are, 4 years in, 9 foods out with Imogen.
Chest or breastfeeding a child with allergies is not always easy - especially if you yourself have never had any experience of allergies. But it’s completely do-able.
So many parents are told they need to stop breast/chestfeeding because their baby has allergies. IT IS NOT TRUE!
You just need to identify the allergen (easier said than done admittedly) and eliminate it from your diet or environment.
Yes it’s probably easier for a doctor to deal with by putting baby on some factory made synthetic milk and sending you away. But is that what you want?
And what happens when baby starts solid food at 6 months? That allergy is likely still there and you’ll have to deal with it then anyway, with potentially worse reactions because the food is being given directly and not through your milk.
In our case moving her to formula would have made zero difference in the long run in terms of her reactions, eczema and searching for answers. But she would never have got all the goodness from my milk. No immune factors, no healthy gut bacteria, no tailor made nutrients. So actually it could’ve made later reactions even worse.
There’s lots of great info sources out there, Facebook groups and people to follow that can support you on your feeding journey. I’ll link them here:
Fb group - CMPA support for breastfeeding
CMPA support website and allergy symptom list
Free to Feed - fantastic source of info
My journey with Imogen has been a lot harder than with Annabelle. Her eczema has been worse for longer. There have been multiple allergies that we’ve found at various points on the way.
Her skin is still not good, we’re still under specialists while we try to figure it out.
We’ve spent obscene amounts on private care and we’re still battling.
Allergies suck. I hate them. They’re a battle for everyone.
The battle of finding out what she’s reacting to.
When did I eat it?
What was it?
Had she had it before?
I’ve done so many food diaries, they all seem to contradict themselves and give us no definitive answers.
There’s random reactions and eczema flare ups when she’s had foods that have been fine before.
Is it environmental?
What has she touched?
Where had she been?
Every single day we are doubting things.
Every single day we are wondering.
Every single day we are fighting.
It’s exhausting. But we can’t stop, there’s no choice to stop. She’s my baby and we have to keep fighting until we make her comfortable.
Imogen has never known what it’s like to not be itchy.
Not one day in 4 years. Not once.
That absolutely breaks my heart and regularly I cry about it because it just feels so helpless.
She’s never slept well. It’s probably because she’s itchy and it wakes her up during the lighter part of her sleep cycle. It’s utterly exhausting.
Me and Tim take turns sleeping with her each night because we get more sleep than keep getting up and down.
You may be wondering why I continue to breastfeed her and continue restricting my own diet when I don’t really ‘need’ to anymore. Well ultimately it’s her comfort, and while she’s being comforted she’s also getting the wonderful goodness from my milk. Immunity, vitamins, minerals, pre and probiotics. It’s still so good for her. Neither of us need to stop now, I’m not going to cut her off just so I can eat Brie - and I really want to eat Brie!!
So please know you’re not alone. There are people that understand and get it.
Find the right support, the one that supports you and your decisions.