How my baby and I battled ‘Lactose Intolerance’ soon after birth

Once upon a time in a land of milk, chocolates and cheese, there was a very bad monster called ‘Lactose Intolerance.’ 

He would creep up onto the little warrior since the day he was born. When he would play with his favourite toy ‘boo-boo’ he would make baby poop. When baby would want to go to the park, he would make him fart and fart and fart!

Breakfast time, lunch time, dinner time: the puke would come anytime.

Sometimes 3, sometimes 4 and sometimes many more times. 

The ‘lactose Intolerance’ Monster also brought in his army of very scary red body hives.

But little warrior Ruhaan tried hard and attempted his best to sail through doctor’s visits, hurtful stomach aches, sleepless nights and loads of vomit.


Endless Agony and The Doctor Didn’t Do Anything

Our story began at his birth. He cried a lot, his body had rash and he vomited so much more than what I believed a normal baby would. 



Breastfeeding made me feel like it was the Olympics.

No matter how much I fed him, his weight dropped.  

Much to my distress, the doctor showed little concern and wouldn’t digress from the clichéd ‘He will be fine.’ He prescribed a few colic medicines and no further investigations were made. He added formula feed to the baby’s diet and rest the case. 



Warrior’s Royal Mommy Guard Takes Charge

While baby cried, my heart tucked. I felt something amiss. The longer it continued undiagnosed, the more my instincts were aroused. So the little warrior’s Royal Mommy Guard made a few calls. Friends who had met the monster and faced him, helped me, the helpless Mommy, with the battle plan.

All I needed was a simple stool test to find if he was hiding in there. We did it. And we found him. 


Mommy’s Greatest Weapon Called ‘Mommy Gut.’ 

So mommies, this thing called mother’s instinct is there for a reason. Had I responded to it sometime earlier, it would have saved my little man and all of us a lot of pain and trouble. 

Know The Monster Called Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is an inability to digest the sugar lactose, present in milk.

The monster doesn’t allow the sugar in milk to break down and makes this lactose travel through the tender terrains of the stomach, undigested. This then allows other evils like cramping, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea to join forces. 

Battling the Big Bad Monster ‘Lactose Intolerance’

Finally, we caught the Big Bad Monster ‘Lactose Intolerance’! Along with catching the monster, we ditched the old paediatrician and found a new one. One who was better at catching such evil monsters. 

He gave us one option: Stop Breastfeeding and switch to soy milk.

This was apparently the only way forward.  


The Land of Happier Times, Some Ice-Cream and Cheese

With the diagnosis having been made, we could close one part of the chapter. 

I stopped feeding him and gradually, he took to powder dried soya infant formula. With this done, he was a whole new baby.  Happy, healthy, content.



Yes, there were sacrifices. Nursing was no longer an option but he was healthier. His diet needed to be dairy free and that made eating options restricted. 

But together we made it!

My Allies in Beating the Big Bad Monster

Patience: The doctor said as Ruhaan would grow older he would outgrow his allergy. Today, he is stronger and is more tolerant to some forms of dairy foods; but in moderation. 

Alternate Healing: As a Reiki practitioner, I believe this has helped battle my baby’s condition. We are a long way further from where we started.

Homeopathy: To escape from allopathic, I ran towards homeopathy. Much to my family’s nonchalance, I continued this treatment and I know it has helped. 

What You will Need to Fight the Monster

If you suspect you might have a lactose intolerant child remember these:

• Know what the symptoms are

Gas, Diarrhea, Bloated stomach, Vomiting, Infant eczema, Irritability, crying, or other colic symptoms. Failure to thrive and gain weight even as a new born.



• Be your doctor’s eyes and ears at home.

Doctors rely heavily on parental observations and input.  Help them do their job.  Keep notes, ask good questions and stay in constant communication.

• Choose a Healthy Baby and Mama Over Milk Type

I wholeheartedly support moms who want to keep breastfeeding their allergy babies. But if for some reason you can’t, don’t beat yourself over it. 

If your doctor tells you that your baby can’t afford to lose out on calories and adds formula to your baby’s diet, go ahead and do it. 

Remember that your identity as a mother, has nothing to do with what you feed your baby. 

All pictures in this article are original and belong to the author. Reproducing them in any form without the permission of the author will not be allowed. 

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Comments (10)

Neeta Nihale

very helpful article... the way it's written you nailed it.. Manveen Dua 👍

Manveen (Motheropedia_Blog)

Varun H could you elaborate please


OMG I can totally relate to this,  we were a happy and active 3 month old minding are own business where suddenly champ had Diarrhea doc were like let's wait and watch apparently it's pretty common at that age.. and this hide and seek game went on for 2 months he looked so weak but was a happy and active baby the doc put him on antibiotics and that too didn't help... I can't tell you how miserable and helpless I felt and family dint make things easier no body offered help rather taunted ,body shamed me.. that I wasn't doing enough ... my mom was sure I dint have enough milk as my breast wasn't big enough!!
one day he stated passing blood in his stool and I decided to check with another doc, he saw his reporters and said he could be lactose intolerant and asked me to switch to a lactose free fm ... that day after a really long time my baby had pooped just 5 times outta the 100 times he used to poop in a day
now with a very heavy heart I had to stop breastfeeding for a month and he Completely recovered
now I want to start BF again but he rejects it and prefers the bottle instead 😢
I dint have anyone to guide me and family just played with my feelings and mind from body shaming to calling me a bad mother i was so close to depression
I am soo glad we have passed this phase and looking forward to a healthy life
all the best to you and lost of love to ruhaan
ps- could you also mention details of the pediatrician,
Homeopathy who helped you out

Sonam zarin

my baby is also lactose intolerant... so i dont give him lactose based formula..... my question is can i take cow milk if I m breastfeeding him....or should i also avoid it

Roop Preet

Sonam dont give cow s milk . try Nutricia Nusobee Casein. its lactose n sucrose free .. or consult with Dr.

Manveen (Motheropedia_Blog)

Sonam cows milk will have lactose too. avoid it

Rhituparna Mitra

@Sonam --you can either opt for soy milk or nut-based milk (grind almond or cashews, whip it up with milk to give it a frothy milk like feel. Add cinnamon powder to taste). This is purely for health though, it has got nothing to do with breast milk production. And don't worry -a survey by a company called X Code says that 80% of Indians are genetically inclined towards lactose intolerance. Just that we don't know and we never doubt milk as it is such a sacrosanct part of our lives...

Aks Cha

very helpful article indeed. there's so much I can relate to as even my baby developed stomach problems, colic and infantile eczema when in he initial month I couldn't feed him properly due to caesarean. Everybody was keen on starting medicines along with continuing top feed but I felt somewhere that my baby would need only my milk and he was happier with my feed. My baby is 7 months now and I'm still breastfeeding him despite of a lot of pressure of giving him top feed now . lots of love to you and your baby . you did a great job:)

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