Yes, my baby is lactose intolerant and we didn’t know it! She was suffering a frequent stomach infection and we assumed that it was caused by keeping things in her mouth. It was a recurring event every fortnight.
So, what is lactose intolerance? Lactose is the protein present in cow’s milk which is not digestable by some babies. It leads to stomach upset, loose motion, mucus in the stool and stomach ache. They also lose their appetite. Bloating and gas is another problem. Redness in the anal part is another symptom. My baby is a preterm baby, so her digestive system was not completely developed. Lactase is an enzyme produced in the small intestine which is responsible for digesting lactose (sugar) present in the milk. In preterm babies, due to reduced lactase production, it led to lactose intolerance.
When I was breastfeeding her, she used to pass loose green stool and was very cranky. I tried everything but nothing really consoled her. When we visited the doctor, after the stool test it was recognized as lactose intolerance. So, the doctor suggested me not to drink cow’s milk and to drink buffalo’s milk. It solved the problem. The doctor also said that this situation is temporary and there is no need to worry.
When she was 6-month-old, I introduced her to solid food. I never gave her pasteurized dairy milk until she completed one year. My milk supply was very low, so I had to feed her formula. As we had relocated to another city because of my husband’s work, we had to change the doctor. I asked the new doctor for prescribing a good formula. I told him about her history of lactose intolerance but he said it is temporary. The new formula was not lactose-free.
My baby started liking the formula and was happy to drink that. But again, the stomach problem resurfaced. The doctor prescribed antibiotics. My baby used to cry a lot in the night, she was not having her proper meals and she was unable to sleep. The new doctor said that it is gastroenteritis. After forcefully feeding her medicine for 5 days, she used to recover but after 15 days, the same problem. I reminded the doctor about her history of lactose intolerance but he used to say my baby is having an upset stomach because of keeping things in her mouth.
When my baby reached one year of age, I gave her dairy milk which contains cow’s milk. She used to not show symptoms the same day. After 2 days the same thing started to repeat. As a mother, I was unable to see my baby suffering. I didn’t know what to do. I used to ask the doctor to do a stool test to check why she is getting a recurrent stomach infection but he said it is because of keeping things in her mouth.
I was very upset I decided to change the doctor. It helped me and my baby. The new doctor said to change the normal formula to lactose-free formula and told me to avoid dairy products containing cow’s milk. My baby is now 18 months old and I am giving her lactose-free formula once or twice a day since she was 13 months old and she is doing good now.
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