Sunday, June 26, 2011

My kid's lactose intolerant? Now what?

At about 1 yr old I started introducing cow's milk to Becca because, let's face it, formula is expensive. So I'd give her Carnation with cow's milk and at first we had no problems, she liked the Carnation, and all was well with the world.  Until she started getting these horrible diaper rashes.  I mean HORRIBLE.  And it seemed like they were caused by this runny poop she had going on all the time.  I felt like an awful parent.  What was I doing wrong? I started to question the washing of my cloth diapers? Were they getting residue build up? They didn't smell of ammonia.  They weren't leaking.  I just couldn't figure it out.  I even tried some Oxy Boost but nothing seemed to work. Then my mom, who lives with us and takes care of Becca in the days, started to think it might be the milk.  That her sitting in the runny poop for even the shortest time was causing the rash, and that the runny poop was being caused by the milk.  At that time she was drinking most of her meals so it could have been milk overload, I don't know.  So, we stopped giving her Carnation and started her on Pediasure, or the Cottontails equivalent and the frequent runny poop stopped.

After a month or so on the Pediasure/Cottontails, which is lactose-free, she started having the same problem again.  While I was pregnant my husband had heard about and read up on goat's milk.  Apparently, though it isn't lactose-free, it tends to be more easily digested and some people who suffer from lactose intolerance and milk allergies can still drink goat milk without any problems.  It is also a very healthy alternative to cow's milk.  He even went out and found some for us to try.  I know that might sound rather strange to a lot of people, but hey, goat cheese is delicious so the milk couldn't be all that bad.  Plus my mom said she drank goat's milk all the time as a child so I felt pretty comfortable about it. 

So I headed out to my local MOMs and bought me a pint of goat's milk.  The goat's milk seemed to work.  Poop was no longer runny.  No rashes.  We're loving this goat's milk.  Admittedly it's a lot more expensive than cow's milk, and it meant I had to make a special trip to MOMs.  I have since also tried Smart Balance lactose free milk which she had no problems with, and I just picked up some Lactaid Whole milk today at the supermarket for her. Now I know as you're reading this you're thinking, why didn't you try soy milk? Well, there have been all sorts of talk about soy milk and estrogen that really got my husband freaked out... which is why he started researching the goat's milk in the first place.  I asked my pediatrician's opinion, and she said there was no link to this being an issue in children, and it's not something I should be worried about. But, you know, when in doubt... And since there are so many options out there, we thought why take the risk. 

We will try to re-introduce cow's milk in the future. We stopped with the yogurt too, but, I give her a slice of cheese on occasion and she's fine with that. It might be something that will work itself out as she grows. It would suck if she couldn't indulge in a slice of pizza :)  It's just really good to know there are options out there, so, if you're looking for a healthy alternative to cow's milk why not give goat's milk a try?

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