My baby boy Leo was born in June 2015. He had a lip and tongue tie which caused problems with breastfeeding, so we changed to formula early on, at 2 weeks of age. One week later, Leo started having hiccups and coughing after each feed. This progressed to back arching and to screaming both during and after each feed. He had slight eczema on his cheeks and some loose stools. I was tired and worried. I took him to the local GP and also the Child Health Nurse, both said these were common symptoms for young babies. A week later, feeling quite desperate after his symptoms continued and worsened, I took him to a different GP and Child Health Nurse. I had done some of my own online research and was convinced he had silent reflux, but was again told his symptoms were quite common and normal.
As Leo’s growth was starting to slow down (he had dropped from 50th to 25th percentile for weight) I requested a referral to a paediatrician. I was so relieved when I was lucky to get an appointment within a week – I was counting down the days to the appointment. The paediatrician did a thorough assessment and told me my baby was crying because he was hungry! I had taken a photo of his stools, which contained mucous, and because of that and the fact his growth had slowed, she referred me on to a Paediatric Gastroenterologist. Once again, I was lucky to only have to wait 3 weeks for an appointment, although 3 weeks felt like 3 months. One day, after 7 straight hours of screaming, I took Leo into the local Children’s Hospital…I was told he was fine and to look up “purple crying” and have a read about baby’s developmental stages. By this stage I was sleep deprived, anxious and starting to doubt my judgement. One week later we saw the Paediatric Gastroenterologist who diagnosed Leo straight away with severe silent reflux highly likely due to Cows’ Milk Protein Intolerance. He prescribed amino acid formula in combination with medication. After one week, Leo had improved and his symptoms had lessened, however it took 1 month for complete symptom resolution due to the severity of his reflux and damage that had been caused. Amino acid formula treated the cause of his symptoms and changed him into a happy, healthy baby who regained weight and was not in pain. In my eyes it became a formula I relied on, it gave me great comfort in knowing it was safe and made my baby happy.
There have been some challenges over the past months, particularly as Leo has grown up and started to eat. It takes time and careful planning to ensure he has minimal cows’ milk protein and is challenged appropriately. The hardest part is trying to decide if he is unsettled from teething, something he has caught from daycare or from a food challenge! His recent first birthday party was a success and he enjoyed his milk-free cake. When we venture out, we just need to be well prepared and plan ahead. I freeze portions of food so I always have options for him for last minute outings. Being well educated and a good label-reader also helps! Although Leo is still on amino acid formula at age 1, I am hopeful he will grow out of his allergy in the near future. For now, I am happy I have amino acid formula to make sure he grows properly and meets all his nutritional needs. It has been my saviour!
After one week, Leo had improved and his symptoms had lessened, however it took 1 month for complete symptom resolution due to the severity of his reflux and damage that had been caused.
If you have concerns about your baby’s symptoms or you suspect your child may have an allergy, you should always seek medical advice from your doctor.
*The image used in this story is for illustration purposes only and is not the child in this story