Food allergies are becoming increasingly more common among our babies. Here’s a peak into our journey and some tips I learned along the way.
The first year of my daughter’s life was an interesting one. We learned a lot about her in a short amount of time. One of the biggest things we learned was that she has food allergies. Now, I have an almond allergy but it was never a problem until almonds became the new peanut (they are in EVERYTHING now). When my daughter began showing signs of food allergies we did not know what to think except that something was wrong.
Be Your Child’s Advocate
My daughter’s first pediatrician was amazing. He was personable and funny but very serious about his work. When we decided to move, he told us to have her tested for food allergies because of the problems she was experiencing. As soon as we found our new home I setup an appointment with our new pediatrician. We filled out about million pages of paperwork for no one to read and finally met her. I gave her my daughter’s medical history and when I mentioned that she needed to see an allergist, she blew me off as an over concerned mother. As an “over concerned” mother, I went on to find an allergist who tested her. She in fact had a dairy, egg, and peanut allergy. I immediately found a new pediatrician. Pediatricians study hard to become doctors and can be a wealth of knowledge but never shy away from mother’s intuition. You know your child and you spend the most time with them. Doctors can diagnose from symptoms but you are the one who can really tell them if something is far from normal with your child. Speak up!
My Daughter’s Signs
There are many symptoms and signs of a food allergy and every person’s reaction is different. My daughter had not started solid foods yet but still exhibited signs. She had severe reflux. I often wondered if she was keeping anything down because of the amount she would throw back up. One night I woke up to hear her choking in her crib next to me. I. Was. Terrified. We eventually had to buy a “Tucker Sling” to prop her up safely and keep her reflux under control.
I exclusively breastfed my daughter but there were a few days where I had to give her formula and they were awful. As soon as we gave it to her she would projectile vomit copious amounts. You will never believe how much can come out of such a tiny human.
My daughter had pretty bad eczema. It looked like it hurt. She was often very fussy and we could not figure out why. It is very stressful to know that something is wrong with your child and not be able to help. It was such a relief when we finally had her tested.
I was breastfeeding my daughter when I found out she had food allergies. This meant that all of the reactions she was having were due to my diet. I felt horrible but determined to make things better. My options were to cut all dairy, eggs, and peanuts out of my life or experiment with different nondairy formulas. I did not want to try different formulas in hopes of finding one she liked so I decided to cut the foods from my diet and continue to breastfeed. Food really can be a poison or medicine. Shortly after I cut those foods, all of her symptoms improved and she was a happy baby once again! In addition to wanting to breastfeed my daughter, I changed my diet because I knew when she began eating solid foods I needed to be prepared. I needed to know how and what to cook for my dairy, egg, and nut free child. It was the best choice for us. She still has a milk and peanut allergy but her egg allergy has lessened.