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Cows Milk Proteins in Human Milk

Many women out there still think that gas from broccoli and cauliflower in the mom's diet can cause gassiness in the infant. This is FALSE. No gasses or spices from the mom's diet can transfer from the mom's gut to the liver, and into the blood stream. Human milk is made from blood, not the gut.


Of course, vitamins and nutrients will be absorbed into the mom's blood stream from her diet, yes. What else can transfer into human blood contents? Proteins.


So, most of the time proteins from other mammals' milk does not cause issues in humans or human milk. There is also nut proteins that can cause allergies or sensitivities in humans.


What does it look like when there is a sensitivity to proteins from other mammals' milk or nut proteins? A sensitivity is not severe and not emergent. This may include feeling nauseous, having frequent spit up, a small rash that may come and go, loose stools, hard stools, watery stools, mucous stools.


What happens if the sensitivity turns into an allergy, or your baby is just plain allergic to the proteins you are consuming?

You will notice more severe symptoms. Bloody stools, frequent loose stools, refusing to eat, mucous stools, baby grimacing after feeds and acting like they are in pain. High pitch crying. Rash that does not get better on its own.


How do I know if this is going to happen to my baby? You may not know ahead of time. Genetics may have a relation for protein sensitivities and allergies, so if you and all of your other children have protein intolerance then there is a good chance this next baby will have it too. But every baby is different, and they may not suffer from food allergies at all.


I always want moms to feel free to eat whatever they want and encourage generally to eat what makes the mom happy. If you notice some of these symptoms, start a food diary. See if your large consumption of ice cream, cottage cheese, and yogurt for the day continues to cause a rash on your baby after the next feed or even more severe allergy type of symptoms such as bloody diapers.


Studies have recently shown that it should take 6-8 hours for those proteins to leave your blood and be flushed out of your body. No longer waiting the 2-4 weeks for it to pass through your body is a great accomplishment!! When I heard this, I almost jumped up and down.


Breastfeeding can be hard for some women, and we don't want to discourage them from all of this hard work if they have to jump through more hoops for weeks or months of finding out the root cause. So, basically each day you can try a new protein, and see if it is causing issues in your breastfeeding child. Please also contact your child's provider and inform them of all of your concerns. If your child's provider is not assisting you, you can ask for a referral to a pediatric allergist. There are some holistic providers as well that do nutrition response testing, I know there are a couple here in the Des Moines area.


Also, please know that most formula is made from cow's milk. There are alternatives if you need to feed formula.


Another wonderful new option is an at home test from FreetoFeed.com

Allergen Free Breastfeeding | Free to Feed

Allergen Detection Kit- Baby Food Allergies | Free to Feed

They also have a milk bank for Food Allergy Families


References:

  1. Franke, Werner W., et al. "Involvement of vesicle coat material in casein secretion and surface regeneration." The Journal of cell biology 69.1 (1976): 173-195.

  2. Ollivier-Bousquet, Michele. "Transferrin and prolactin transcytosis in the lactating mammary epithelial cell." Journal of mammary gland biology and neoplasia 3.3 (1998): 303-313.

  3. Vadas, Peter, et al. "Detection of peanut allergens in breast milk of lactating women." Jama 285.13 (2001): 1746-1748.

  4. Palmer, D. J., M. S. Gold, and M. Makrides. "Effect of maternal egg consumption on breast milk ovalbumin concentration." Clinical & Experimental Allergy 38.7 (2008): 1186-1191.

  5. Walker‐Smith, J. A. "Diagnostic criteria for gastrointestinal food allergy in childhood." Clinical & Experimental Allergy 25 (1995): 20-22.

  6. Host, Arne, and Susanne Halken. "Cow’s milk allergy: where have we come from and where are we going?." Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders-Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets-Immune, Endocrine & Metabolic Disorders) 14.1 (2014): 2-8.

  7. Kilshaw, Peter J., and Andrew J. Cant. "The passage of maternal dietary proteins into human breast milk." International Archives of Allergy and Immunology 75.1 (1984): 8-15.

  8. Zhu, Jing, et al. "Discovery and quantification of nonhuman proteins in human milk." Journal of proteome research 18.1 (2018): 225-238.

  9. Picariello, Gianluca, et al. "Excretion of dietary cow’s milk derived peptides into breast milk." Frontiers in Nutrition 6 (2019): 25.

  10. Troncone, R., et al. "Passage of Gliadin Into Human Breast Milk." Pediatric Research 20.7 (1986): 696.

  11. Chirdo, F. G., et al. "Presence of high levels of non-degraded gliadin in breast milk from healthy mothers." Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology 33.11 (1998): 1186-1192.

  12. Matangkasombut, Ponpan, et al. "Detection of β-lactoglobulin in human breast-milk 7 days after cow milk ingestion." Paediatrics and international child health 37.3 (2017): 199-203.

  13. Allen, Katrina J., et al. "Allergen reference doses for precautionary labeling (VITAL 2.0): clinical implications." Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 133.1 (2014): 156-164.

  14. Jaime, Beatriz Espín, et al. "Non-IgE-mediated cow's milk allergy: consensus document of the spanish society of paediatric gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition (SEGHNP), the spanish association of paediatric primary care (AEPAP), the spanish society of extra-hospital paediatrics and primary health care (SEPEAP), and the spanish society of paediatric clinical immunology, allergy, and asthma (SEICAP)." Anales de Pediatría (English Edition) 90.3 (2019): 193-e1.

  15. Koletzko, S., et al. "Diagnostic approach and management of cow's-milk protein allergy in infants and children: ESPGHAN GI Committee practical guidelines." Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition 55.2 (2012): 221-229.


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