CMPA For Beginners
As I wrote about in my article Bah Bah, Black Sheep , my son has Cows Milk Protein Allergy. We found out when he was 3 months old after many trials and tribulations while doctors insisted he was just colicky.
It was a lot of product of elimination to determine the issue, especially because my son was exclusively breast. After eliminating a majority of allergens from my diet, I soon grew weary that I was going to find the culprit. I started researching different types of formulas. Then I had an idea, try one of every specific formula equating for special dietary needs and look for improvement that way. I would pump for 3 days while supplementing different formulas. There was zero change in my sons reaction when I tried regular formula, sensitive tummy formula/ broken down protein formula. So then I tried lactose free. Again, no change. Next was hypoallergenic formula – terrible ! He couldn’t even keep it down for a few minutes after having a bottle ! My last option on the market was SOY. At this point I was hopeless and weary there was going to be a difference; But that was it. It was like night and day – instantly a different, happier baby. The only thing every single formula had in common was milk protein. Some broken down more than others but still existent none the less.
I took my studies and evidence to the doctor, who finally then referred me to an allergist. He agreed with my findings, and called it Cows Milk Protein Allergy. Unfortunately soy and CMPA often go hand in hand, and it was only a matter of time before he’d likely develop the allergy to soy.
But that didn’t matter to me, I knew what I had to do to keep breastfeeding. From there, along with more research, I saw a dietitian.
Who knew milk, or milk protein came in more forms than the obvious ?
I figured food items like cream, milk butter, cheese, and ice cream had to be eliminated; but after more research and a visit to the dietitian, I learned of more forms of dairy and milk protein that had to be avoided. After all, my son was so sensitive to this that he couldn’t even tolerate over the counter hypoallergenic.
Other ingredients I had to avoid in my diet were:
• Hydrolysates (casein, milk protein, protein, whey, whey protein)
• Lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate
The list was intimidating. And eliminated the majority of my go-to post-partum foods. Making easy, nutritious dishes were now a whole thought process. And the ingredients lists man, I had to read every item, and every ingredient on that list.
It was learning curve for sure, but I was determined. The bond nursing created and maintained between my son and I was irrevocable. And although I know many moms maintain this bond without nursing – which there’s nothing wrong with – it was not something I was prepared to face.
The other issue that goes hand in hand with CMPA is maintaining adequate calcium intake. It become much harder when you have to cut out a majority of foods that are your calcium resources. Calcium supplements often don’t absorb into the body the way we’d like, even with addition vitamin D. So it was back to the dietician to look at foods I had to add to my diet – and my sons once he started solids.
Luckily, and easy rule of thumb was that green foods contained a substantial amount of calcium.
Other examples were:
• soya beans.
• soya drinks with added calcium.
• bread and anything made with fortified flour.
• fish where you eat the bones – such as sardines (yuck)
Green vegetables containing calcium are:
• Turnip greens
• Green beans
• Brussel sprouts
So given this list of items to add and remove from diet, I had to recreate my go-to meals. It wasn’t easy. So I want to share them here with others, I hope you find these ideas useful and tasty.
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