There is an interesting recent article in the New England Journal of
Medicine on constipation in children being a symptom of intolerance of
cow's milk. The children in the study were aged 11 to 72 months, and
breastfeeding history was not discussed. But we know that cow's milk
protein can come through breast milk and affect the sensitive infant. (See
Maryelle Vonlanthen's article, "Lactose Intolerance, Diarrhea, and Allergy"
in Breastfeeding Abstracts, 18(2):11-12, November 1998 for a discussion of
Iacono G et al. Intolerance of Cow's Milk and Chronic Constipation in
Children." The New England Journal of Medicine. 1998;339(16):1100-1104,
October 15, 1998.
Also see the editorial by Vera Loening-Baucke, "Constipation in Children"
on pp 1155-1156.
Another article mentioning constipation as a symptom of allergy, and cow's
milk as a trigger, is by Karen Zeretzke, "Allergies and the Breastfeeding
Family," Leaven 33(4):75-77, Aug/Sep 1997.
In my own experience, the breastfeeding babies with constipation I have
seen had all started other foods. Bananas and apple juce seemed to be a
cause of constipation for some babies who were still breastfeeding.
Anne Altshuler, RN, MS, IBCLC and LLL leader in Madison, Wisconsin
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