My baby is allergic to cow's milk protein: what should I know?

You have just learned from your pediatrician that your baby is allergic to cow's milk protein, also known by the acronym APLV. Many questions have been bothering you ever since! Rest assured, there is a solution to everything! And we enlighten you on this delicate subject.

What is behind the term APLV?

Cow's milk protein allergy affects about 3% of babies in their first year of life .

It is caused by a runaway of the baby's immune system against the proteins contained in cow's milk . It is to be distinguished from lactose intolerance which generally manifests itself after the age of 3 and which corresponds to a reduction in the capacity of the digestive system to properly digest this milk sugar,Sometimes the diagnosis of CMPA can take time because the forms and symptoms are complex.

How to recognize the APLV? What are the signs?

The clinical signs of CMPA are multiple and non-specific for CMPA.  A distinction is made between so-called “immediate” manifestations and so-called “delayed” manifestations:

The immediate manifestations of the allergy occur within 2 hours of ingesting milk made from cow's milk protein . These are most often cutaneous signs such as urticaria or angioedema, but also digestive signs (diarrhoea, vomiting), and/or respiratory signs (respiratory discomfort). In extreme cases, this can manifest as a severe, generalized allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock. In these situations, IgE antibodies against cow's milk proteins are most often positive, but not always. It is also possible to have skin tests that can be done in the doctor's office and called PLV Prick test, positive.

Delayed manifestations are most often insufficient weight gain with sometimes refusal of the bottle, chronic vomiting, or blood in the stool. . Typically, specific IgE antibodies against PLV are negative in these situations, and the signs are not specific for an allergy, making diagnosis difficult. This diagnosis is then confirmed by an eviction test (generally 2-3 weeks) then reintroduction of cow's milk proteins. If the signs disappear after eviction then reappear during reintroduction, this is in favor of CMPA.

In addition to these immediate and delayed manifestations, other "hybrid" forms exist. In all cases, a rigorous examination of the child by a pediatrician is necessary and the latter can guide you on what to do.

So, what do I do to relieve my baby?

If you are exclusively breastfeeding your baby , there is no reason to stop!

 If you give infant milk bottles , the first essential step is to talk to your doctor. He will be able to set up a diet without cow's milk protein.

He can then prescribe an infant formula based on advanced protein hydrolysates . Having the same qualities as "classic" infant milks, these formulas contain proteins which have undergone fragmentation (known as "hydrolysis" in scientific language) which causes them to lose their allergenic power. Your doctor may also recommend a high rice protein hydrolyzate.

Any recipe ideas for my CMPA baby?

The formula based on an advanced protein hydrolyzate prescribed by your doctor will remain the basis of baby's diet. From food diversification, you can make gourmet recipes incorporating this specific formula: in vegetable purées, fruity dairy desserts or a preparation of semolina or fine pasta. To you the appetizing recipes specially designed for your little one!

CMPA can be accompanied by symptoms that are not always suggestive. This can lead to delays in diagnosis and therefore sometimes chaotic journeys for baby… and for you. Once the diagnosis is made, you will see, it will be a question of taking the rhythm. On the advice of your doctor and with a specifically adapted diet, your baby will develop like any other little one, even with CMPA: that's the main thing!

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