CMA is the most common allergy that develops in babies[ii]. One of the most common symptoms of CMA in babies revealed by parents is eczema, alongside colicky abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea[vi].
Actress and mum of two, Jennifer Ellison, has firsthand experience of CMA as her first child, Bobby, has the allergy.
“When I stopped breastfeeding Bobby he had a spotted, eczema like rash around his mouth, reflux and diarrhoea. He was also really uncomfortable and agitated. If it hadn’t of been for my mother-in-law who experienced CMA with my husband, I probably would have put it down to reflux but armed with the knowledge, I could go to the GP and tell him the signs. I also told him that I suspected it could be CMA. He referred Bobby to a specialist and he had a prick test to confirm the allergy, so it was diagnosed quickly.
I feel CMA needs to be spoken about and mums need to be aware of the allergy because the side effects are quite bad and people might just put them down to colic and don’t necessarily think or even know about CMA.”
With National Eczema Week from 14-22 September, a new campaign called Is It Cow’s Milk Allergy? is designed to help parents discuss symptoms with their GP and receive a quicker diagnosis.
To help parents prepare for a GP appointment, they can download the full questionnaire from www.isitcowsmilkallergy.co.uk – which has been designed to be taken along to the appointment to help mums explain the symptoms their child has been experiencing – so they can help provide as much information as possible, rule out any conditions it can be confused with and arrive at the correct diagnosis as soon as possible.
[ii] Skripak JM, Matsui EC, Mudd K, Wood RA. The natural history of IgE-mediated cow’s milk allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2007;120:1172-7.
[vi] Question 10 Baby Expert Survey