Sunday, July 30, 2006

My New Website Project

According to the Nemours Foundation, approximately 2%-3% of infants have a milk allergy, even though most will outgrow it. (citation) And according to Dr. Alan Greene, at least 30% of infants with cow's-milk allergy are also allergic to soy. (citation) When you consider that 4 million babies were born in 2003 in the United States alone (citation), this equals approximately 24,000 new babies in the U.S., each year, with both milk and soy allergies or sensitivities.

When I was breastfeeding my new daughter, my husband and I discovered she had food sensitivity issues with milk and soy proteins. I had to either cut milk and soy products from my diet, or stop breastfeeding my baby and switch completely to hypo-allergenic formula.

Completely switching to formula was not an option for me, so I began eliminating milk and soy products from my diet - including butter, cream, cheese, and all soybean oils! I became exasperated, wondering "What can I eat?" and nearly bursting into tears in the middle of the grocery store trying to find a single loaf of bread that did not contain milk, casein, whey or soy, including soybean oil.

I was overwhelmed. I had to completely re-think eating and grocery shopping. I lost so much weight in two weeks, my milk production decreased. I was not getting enough calories.

Slowly, I learned which brands made products without soy or milk products. Slowly, I made a list of what I could eat as quick snacks. Slowly, I developed my own way of cooking that enabled me & my husband to get enough calories without causing allergic reactions in our baby.

I began to find online message boards with other nursing mom stories like mine. Lack of food options, frustrated grocery store trips.

I have now created NURSING MOM RECIPES -- a web site for nursing moms whose babies have sensitivities to or allergies to milk and soy products. The site provides easy and quick recipe ideas for new families struggling to figure out what mom can eat that won't cause an allergic reaction in the baby.

I'm very excited about this site. I wish there had been something like it when I was struggling to figure out what I could eat. I hope that this site will help other moms before they get to the point of frustration I was at.

Over the next few weeks I will be adding recipes to build up the list before the official "launch". If you know a new mother with this problem, please let her know she is not alone and let her know about this web site. NOTE: The web site only addresses milk and soy allergies.


Sandra said...

This is a great project, Bernie. As you know I have a similar range of allergies, and I know my mother had a tough time raising me. One thing that would be helpful on your site is to have a page that lists common chemical names/derivatives that are associated with milk, but don't have the telltale word in the name (i.e. "casein," "sodium lactylate"), so that new mothers can be more savvy when reading ingredient lists. I found this site helpful:

Bernadette Geyer said...

Sandra-- Thanks for posting that link. I just checked it out and it is fantastic. I will definitely add that information to the site. It is scary to read about all the new derivatives and products that are associated with milk. Esp. the new low-fat sweetener that may end up in a whole range of products -- like toothpaste!

I have my own sensitivities to a variety of fruits, including apples, pears, plums, peaches, cherries, nectarines and strawberries. I discovered one year when my family was camping that even inhaling the smoke from burning a fruit wood in the fire caused an allergic reaction in my throat!