by Dr Neil Davies
When a baby arrives there is so much joy, but with all the joy and excitement comes an incredible responsibility to care for the helpless little child who has just started life.
Nature has prepared well for the new arrival, and the new baby, usually within minutes of being born, begins to suckle mum’s breast. Mum’s breast milk is the perfect food for the newborn.
In some babies, however, there is intolerance to the proteins that are contained in cow’s milk and sometimes there is even an allergic reaction. If you drink cow’s milk or eat dairy products while breastfeeding, the milk proteins are passed on to your baby through your milk.
Proteins from cow’s milk are also the ingredients in most artificial baby formulas making these products inappropriate for babies with intolerance or allergy problems.
Babies that suffer from these conditions experience distressing symptoms and in turn are very unsettled and irritable, making the whole parenting experience stressful and tiring. Allergy and intolerance is not the same thing but are often confused.
Cow’s milk protein allergy is a true allergy that can be detected by a blood test and/or by a simple procedure called a skin prick test. Normally, milk protein poses no problems to a baby’s health or digestive system, but in allergic children the typical symptoms may include any combination of the following;
Irritability Fussy feeding pattern including nipple attachment problems Hives Vomiting Disturbed sleep pattern Swelling of the face, tongue, mouth, or throat Abdominal pain Difficulty breathing, wheezing, or asthma Diarrhoea Spotty red skin rash
True allergy is a serious condition, the management of which is based around the necessity to keep the baby free from all exposure to the offending proteins. Cow’s milk protein intolerance (or sensitivity as it is sometimes termed) is not a true allergy and will not give a positive result in a blood test or skin prick test.
The symptoms the baby experiences generally include a combination of the following;
Irritability Fussy feeding pattern including nipple attachment problems Vomiting Disturbed sleep pattern Difficulty breathing, wheezing, or asthma Diarrhoea Abdominal pain Spotty red skin rash
While fussy irritable babies generally respond very well to gentle, safe chiropractic care, those babies who have intolerance or allergic problems require special attention from your chiropractor who is well aware of these problems.
When you first visit your chiropractor with your baby, a very careful clinical history will be taken from you and the detail you give at this time will pretty much tell your chiropractor there is an intolerance or allergic problem. A physical examination will usually confirm this.
Once it has been determined that your child is not reacting well to cow’s milk proteins, your chiropractor will, in addition to giving chiropractic treatment, advise you on how best to feed your baby to avoid contact with the proteins that are causing the problems. This advice may require you to change your diet if you are breastfeeding, or change baby’s formula if you are bottle-feeding.
There are a number of other alternative formulas and your chiropractor will be able to advise you as to which of these may be best in your particular case. There may be occasions when your baby needs to see a medical practitioner to have some appropriate tests done.
Your chiropractor is trained to recognize the conditions under which a referral to a medical practitioner is required and will not hesitate to do so. The best care for your baby will always be uppermost in ‘your chiropractors mind.
Is your baby fussy and irritable? Are you having difficulty getting your baby to feed and sleep well? Why not see your chiropractor today and give your baby the benefits of gentle safe and effective health care the chiropractic way – naturally!
Trivia: 1 in 50 infants are affected by cow’s milk allergy, making it one
of the most common food allergies in children. Most children outgrow the allergy by the age of 4 years. Most people with cow’s milk allergy will also react to sheep, goat and horse milk.
Did You Know?
Excess mucus, a runny nose and coughing are not symptoms of cow’s milk allergy or intolerance. In fact, these common reactions to dairy products have recently been shown to be a perception only. The thick texture of milk produces a short lived feeling of extra mucus production, but does not actually cause extra mucus production.
Dr Neil Davies D.C, is the author of Chiropractic Pediatrics A Clinical Handbook (Churchill Livingstone 2000) and developer of the NeuroImpulse Protocol and Adjusting the Child seminar programmes for chiropractors. His passion for improving the clinical skills of chiropractors is well known in international circles and he will be commencing new courses in USA in 2008. See http://neuroimpulseprotocol.com
Dr Neil Davies graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1977, completed a Certificate in Clinical Pediatrics at Phillip Institute of Technology, School of Chiropractic & Osteopathy in 1988 and is the author of Chiropractic Pediatrics A Clinical Handbook (Churchill Livingstone 2000). Today he is a course leader in chiropractic pediatrics for McTimoney College of Chiropractic, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK. See http://neuroimpulse.com
Searching for a Chiropractor? West London Chiropractors combines traditional chiropractic philosophy with a complete approach to health.
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