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Milk Protein Challenge

Milk Protein
This afternoon, Jumpy (1 year 11 months) is having a milk protein challenge in hospital. This one is a biggie. It means butter, cheese, yoghurts milk and cream rather than non-dairy spread, soya yoghurts, hydrolysed whey formula, coconut milk and oat cream. Dairy products take a lot of space in my fridge and I would like my little one to be allowed to enjoy them as much as I do.

When I started weaning Jumpy and introduced a bit of formula, Jumpy did not drink any of it. It seemed obvious to me she did not like the bottle I was using as she was refusing expressed breast milk as well. Over the course of three months, I tried all the bottles I could find in shops and online. I also offered her three brands of formula. All attempts but one were unsuccessful.

Eight weeks before the end of my maternity leave, as I was once again desperately trying to get her to drink some milk, she had 30ml of yet another brand of formula. I nearly cried with joy. A few hours later, she started vomiting violently and she had diarrhoea for four days after that. Her eczema got worse as well. Yoghurts, even though she was eating them happily, had the same effect and the force of the expulsion was impressive to say the least.

After an allergic reaction and a visit to A&E, Jumpy had blood tests and a milk protein allergy (amongst others) was diagnosed and she was prescribed hydrolysed formula. The dietician gave us three types to try, and after rejecting the first two, she really liked the third. She was drinking it from a beaker and never went near a bottle. I guess she associated bottles with the dreadful feeling of being sick she was getting every time she was ingesting regular formula.

So far, Jumpy has had two food challenges in hospital. The soya challenge was a real success, the baked egg one a horrid failure. For the soya challenge, she was happy all day, drinking soya milk like it was the nicest thing in the world, asking for more and entertaining the nurses and other little patients on the ward.

For the baked egg challenge, I had made vanilla cake that contained six eggs. She was spitting everything out, even the first crumbs at the start of the process. When it came to eating larger quantities, it was an awful struggle. She refused it hidden behind blueberries, her favourite fruit. She also spat out the crumbs hidden in her favourite chocolate soya yoghurt. When I gave it to her disguised in her cereal bar, she tasted it straight away and spat once again. I ended up having to force-feed her a piece and it was awful.

She was not fooled. At the end of her observation period, the nurses noticed rashes on her face, arms and legs and she was given antihistamines before going home.

The journey towards today’s milk challenge started in April, with Jumpy’s first prick tests. There was no reaction on her skin whatsoever for the milk protein. I felt all giddy inside and started picturing my baby eating cheese and wondering which would be her favourite.

In July, she had prick tests again, and for the second time, the milk protein did not cause her skin to swell. She also had blood tests on that day, and when he called me in September, her paediatrician told me it was promising.

Most children grow out of their milk protein allergy before their third birthday. I am sure Jumpy will be one of them. Surely you cannot be allowed to keep your French nationality if cheese is banned from your diet!

We are raising money for Allergy UK by supporting Give It Some Welly, their annual fundraiser. Next week Friday, we will be wearing our wellies all day, trying to raise awareness about allergy and collecting funds for the charity. If you would like to support Allergy UK, you can donate here.

The Reading Residence


  1. Eva
    17/10/2014 / 12:52 pm

    Ma fille est allergique au poils des animaux et aux acariens et c’est déjà contraignant mais rien à voir avec des allergies alimentaires !Il faut beaucoup de courage et je te trouve très courageuse, heureusement qu’existent des centres comme celui la, j’espère que vous aurez beaucoup d’argent pour continuer les recherches!
    Bon weekend à toute la famille 😉

    • Mel
      17/10/2014 / 11:09 pm

      Elle n’a eu aucune reaction et a bu le lait de bon coeur. Elle va manger son premier morceau de fromage dimanche!

    • Mel
      19/10/2014 / 8:04 pm

      It went really well, Kirsty. No reaction whatsoever!

  2. 17/10/2014 / 6:02 pm

    Oh, I do hope it went well, Mel? My best mate’s son grew out of his milk allergy at a similar age to Jumpy, so I’m keeping it all crossed for you. And yes, surely she has to eat cheese! Thanks for sharing with #WotW x

    • Mel
      18/10/2014 / 12:50 am

      It went really well. She did not react at all and kept asking for more milk! I am allowed to give her a small piece of cheese in a couple of days (yay!) but we have to wait for our next appointment with her consultant to start giving her milk. A really positive day!

      • Alexandra Mercer (Life of mummy)
        19/10/2014 / 9:58 am

        I’m glad it is all going so well. I’d like to think Henry would grow out of his milk allergy before he’s 3 but I just don’t see that happening. He’s 2 years and 2 months and still has a strong reaction 🙁 xx

        • Mel
          19/10/2014 / 10:04 am

          Poor little man. I really hope he does. I always found the milk protein allergy a really annoying one as so much derives from milk and it restricts a whole host of staple foods for her. This afternoon, I will try giving her a small piece of cheese, and when we see her consultant in November, we will find out whether I can start introducing cow’s milk and yoghurts in her diet as well.

  3. Kim Carberry
    17/10/2014 / 7:04 pm

    I hope all has gone well!!

    • Mel
      19/10/2014 / 8:00 pm

      It went well, Kim! We are now allowed to try and give her a bit of cheese, but she refused the tiny piece of Brie I gave her earlier.

  4. Cate @meaddthree
    17/10/2014 / 10:52 pm

    Oh I hope Jumpy does grow out of it. Fingers crossed!

    • Mel
      22/10/2014 / 11:26 am

      It looks like it. I could never have imagined I would every get this happy seeing one of my babies with a milk moustache! I will treasure the photos I took at the hospital forever.

  5. Stephanie Robinson
    18/10/2014 / 12:15 am

    Hope today went well and that jumpy grows into eating cheese! A life without cheese is no life at all !!

    • Mel
      22/10/2014 / 11:27 am

      I agree, Stephanie! It went well and she had a little bit of cheese each day in the past few days. No reaction at all… and breathe!

  6. 19/10/2014 / 9:36 pm

    Glad the test went well; has anyone suggested A2 milk?, it has a different protein to all the others. I thought I was lactose intolerant but can drink that one no problem. Good luck for future tests 🙂

    • Mel
      22/10/2014 / 11:31 am

      No, I have never heard of A2 milk. She is still on prescribed formula, but I will ask her paediatrician about it next month. Thanks for the tip, Lisa.

  7. 20/10/2014 / 8:30 pm

    What fantastic news! It sounds as if you have a wonderful consultant. When Roo was challenged they did the skin prick, it came back negative, gave her some dairy to eat and she seemed ok…then sent us home telling us she was fine and had to eat it. She wasn’t and I fought for 2 years for them to recognise that she still didn’t tolerate milk protein. It was only when I removed it from her diet that she improved. It sounds like you won’t have those problems…I hope not. So hopefully, it is just egg now??

    • Mel
      20/10/2014 / 9:40 pm

      The reason she was diagnosed really early was because she had an allergic reaction to wheat at 6 months. The blood tests revealed multiple allergies. Milk protein seems fine now, what an exciting time! Just eggs, wheat and all nuts now.

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