Tell us about your allergy story.
Lilliana started exhibiting signs of reflux at 2 weeks old. Around 6 weeks old she started doing something that looked concerning and I was afraid she had Infantile Spasms. After many visits to the ER and being followed by a pediatric neurologist, it was decided that she likely had Sandifer Syndrome, which is an extreme form of reflux. We had tried medicine to control the reflux but it didn't even touch it. When she was about 4 months old I decided to try eliminating dairy from my diet to see if it would help her out. Cutting dairy helped us take her off of meds and virtually took away her reflux entirely!
What piece of advice would you give to parents who just discovered their child has allergies?
When you discover that your baby has allergies it can be scary and when you decide to remove the allergens from your diet to help your baby, it can be overwhelming. Once you get past the overwhelming feeling, it isn't as difficult as you initially felt it would be. You can still eat a lot of the foods you love and crave, with modifications! You don't have to make separate meals for your family either. While my husband and son don't necessarily avoid dairy, they don't notice it missing in the meals we share as a family. Don't let the intimidation of it all freak you out.
What keeps you motivated in this journey?
My daughter is my motivation. Seeing the change in her after removing dairy has been incredible. Looking back, I wish I had removed dairy when my son was an infant because he had similar issues (just not as severe, which is why I never actually removed dairy). During the process I actually have noticed I am feeling a lot better as well!
What do you wish others understood about food allergies?
Allergies can exhibit themselves in SO many ways. For us, it was the extreme reflux in my baby. No one really thinks that dairy would cause reflux! This wasn't her only symptom, but it was her main symptom. I also wish that others would be more understanding about a dairy allergy too. When I would accidentally have dairy (I was "dairy'd" as I call it), it's like a pit in my stomach the moment I realize it. I feel like all of my hard work for x amount of months has been wasted. I dread the sleepless nights we're going to have to endure because she's in pain. I avoid dairy for a reason, and I feel like a lot of people don't get it, especially when it's for my breastfed baby and not necessarily for myself.