Growing up with CMA

Outgrowing CMA

The majority of children who are allergic to cow's milk will grow out of their allergy by the age of 3 - 5 years. Your child's doctor or dietitian will help you manage their allergy as your child gets older*.

When should I see symptom resolution?

If your child has been correctly diagnosed with CMA and is successfully eliminating cows’ milk protein from their diet then you are already half-way there!

After adjusting your child to a suitable infant formula, it may take a little while for their body to get back to normal – rather like waiting for a cut to heal. Of course, if you stop feeding the cows' milk free formula when the symptoms have disappeared or consume cows’ milk protein as part of your own diet while breastfeeding – symptoms could come back. Your child‘s Dietitian will be able to advise you on how long to avoid cows’ milk.

If your infant is prescribed an extensively hydrolysed formula (eHF) and symptoms do not improve after two to six weeks, your Doctor or Dietitian may switch your child onto an amino-acid-based formula (AAF). If symptoms do not disappear on an AAF, and you're certain you are eliminating any other sources of cow's milk in your child's diet and in your diet (if you are still breastfeeding), speak with your Doctor or Dietitian again. A different diagnosis may be the answer.

Some children with CMA may still exhibit symptoms whilst taking an eHF formula, in these infants an AAF would be suitable.

Cows’ milk-based formula treated with enzymes in order to break down most of the proteins that cause symptoms in children who have an allergy to cow's milk.

Infant formula based on synthetic amino-acids. These are the most hypoallergenic infant formulas available. An AAF is suitable for the dietary management of children allergic to cows’ milk or with multiple food protein intolerance.

When should my child’s condition be reviewed?

All children with CMA should be regularly checked by Doctors for their general health, improvement in symptoms and, eventually, to find out if they have grown out of their allergy.
Your child’s Doctor or Dietitian will be looking out for:
• Growth; height and weight
• Ongoing signs and symptoms
• Other conditions or medications your child may be taking
Check-ups should occur periodically so that the condition and the clearing of symptoms can be monitored appropriately.

Will my child grow out of their cow’s milk allergy?

Many, but not all, children outgrow their food allergies. This depends on the individual child and can vary by type of food and how sensitive your child is to that food.
Your Dietitian will re-assess your child to check for signs and symptoms and may advise you on how to appropriately introduce foods. This process may include several tests, such as skin prick testing, blood tests, and/or oral food challenges such as the Milk Ladder depending on the type of the allergic reaction.
Don’t worry if your child still shows ‘positive’ reactions in skin or blood tests. It may be that a food challenge is still attempted, speak with your Doctor or Dietitian before attempting to re-introduce any foods that have been excluded.

The Milk Ladder
The Milk Ladder is a step by step tool on how to introduce milk into your child’s diet at home. The aim is to start at the bottom and work your way up, with each step the amount of cow’s milk increases or the allergenicity (how likely a food is to cause an allergic reaction) increases. This may be because the product is cooked at a lower temperature or for less time, leaving more of the cow’s milk proteins intact. Always follow your Doctor or Dietitians advice and do not attempt to reintroduce foods unless your healthcare professional has advised you to do so.

*Skripak et al., 2007, J. Allergy Clin. Immunol., 120 (2007), pp. 1172-1177

BREAST MILK IS BEST FOR BABIES. Any decision to introduce a formula feed should be made following discussions with your Healthcare Professional, after consideration of all feeding options, including breastfeeding.