Nothing like having a newborn and getting used to everything that comes with being a new parent. I didn’t even think of the fact that our precious newborn could come out with some kind of allergy. What in the heck is MSPI? Well, here’s on journey on how we found out!
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Our MSPI Diagnosis Journey
One of my friends was pregnant and had her daughter about 4 months before I had Caroline. She had a heck of a time in the beginning. Eventually, they found out that her daughter was allergic to the cows milk protein and had to be put on special formula. The more I discussed this with her, the more I was intrigued and wanted to learn about it. It didn’t even cross my mind that my daughter would have the same thing.
Fast forward to when Caroline was born. She was a natural at breastfeeding, latched on and ate like a champion for the first two weeks. Once she hit two weeks, it was like she hit a switch. She became fussy and unhappy all the time. I wondered if it was colic. She became gassy and just not like what she had been the first two weeks.
Her diapers went from beautiful, textbook normal breastfed diapers to almost neon green, mucous diapers and it was like she had constant diarrhea. Once she finished eating, it would go right through her and come out so watery. She also started spitting up a lot. Not just like normal baby spit up. She would projectile vomit. Anytime you laid her in a horizontal position something was bound to come out of her mouth, whether she just finished eating or if she ate over an hour ago.
Ugh, gross! MSPI is not nice.
This made me nervous and I wanted to make sure she was getting proper nutrition and gaining weight like she was supposed to. With the diarrhea and constant spit up, I was afraid she may get dehydrated too. So I took her in to see her pediatrician who we LOVE!
Anyway, they said it sounds like she has reflux but were hesitant to put her on medication being so young. After discussing everything we ended up trying the medication which helped for a while. My husband called it the magic medicine because whenever she was having a reflux flare up and we gave it to her, she was like a new baby in such a short amount of time. But, this medicine didn’t help everything.
We still had the bad diapers and crying. After discussing all the symptoms, they suggested that we see a gastroenterologist pediatrician as they suspected we had a cows milk protein allergy issue. In the mean time, I wanted to continue breastfeeding so the doctor recommended I eliminate dairy from my diet. After a few weeks of eliminating dairy from my diet, I saw a slight improvement in her, but we started seeing blood in her diapers. This sent my mommy alarm off at high priority. They had tested the diapers in office weeks ago but they were negative for blood. But now, I could see visible blood in her stools.
MOM ALERT, MOM ALERT! It’s visible NOW!
We ended up going to see the pediatric GI doctor. She said it definitely sounded like Caroline was allergic to milk but it also sounded like she might be allergic to soy as well. There is this temporary condition called milk and soy protein intolerance.. Also known as MSPI.
Apparently when a baby is intolerant to cows milk, it is often found that they are intolerant to soy as well. The milk and soy protein structures are very similar and it is quite common that babies are being more and more intolerant to them. So the GI doctor, suggested that I eliminate soy as well from my diet and see if she got any better. She suggested I give it two weeks and if no improvement she would suggest switching to a special formula. I had already started eliminating soy a couple days prior and it made me realize that soooo many things have either soy and or dairy in them. It is ridiculous! The doctor checked her diaper in office and it immediately tested positive for blood in the stool again.
Eliminate Dairy and Soy
So, off I went, dairy and soy free. I had been trying this diet for a couple days, but Caroline was not only not improving, she seemed to be getting worse. She was more fussy and not content. Her diapers were getting worse. I knew I could try it out for two weeks and just switch but my mommy alarm went off and I could not do it to her anymore.
Enough is enough. Mommy can’t do it anymore.
Her poor insides were just so uncomfortable. I was seeing increased amounts of blood in her stool and; I could only imagine what her insides were feeling like. It was the hardest emotional challenge that I had faced so far as a mom. I wanted to breastfeed, as I knew that was what was best for her, but in reality switching to formula was what was best for her. Within days of switching, she was almost a new baby. Her diapers cleared up and she was content again. She was sleeping and eating better and the spit up reduced even more.
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The initial fix for her MSPI?
We originally tried the Similac Alimentum Infant Formula Powder , which she did fine with in the beginning. But once we switched her to the Similac Alimentum Ready to Feed Formula she improved even more. So, that’s what we used until she outgrew her allergy. I learned to find coupons because that stuff is expensive. I joined swap and sell Facebook pages to get it for a slight discount too! That stuff is like liquid GOLD! We’d also found that Dr. Brown bottles were the best kind of bottles for her. They do a really good job at eliminating a lot of the air she would take in while trying to drink her bottle.
The good news is, our daughter outgrew this allergy. By one year old we were able to wean her off of formula onto whole cow’s milk. We started “dairy trialing” with food as she started eating more and more things before turning one. She passed, loves milk, cheese, yogurt, etc. Some doctors say that have an MSPI child can be from having weak gut health.
If you have a baby with MSPI, feel free to share your story, your experience and your tips.