Ashley’s Journey to Breastfeeding Success Even with Allergies

May 25, 2022 Women

Ashley’s Journey to Breastfeeding Success:

Even with Allergies!

Human milk is best for babies. The thing is, sometimes we face challenges that can make offering human milk hard or even impossible. We would like to share the story of Ashley, a first-time mom, and her journey with breastfeeding.

Ashley had a great pregnancy with no problems.

She had read a lot about breastfeeding and planned on feeding her baby human milk. Her biggest concern was her baby might have a hard time latching on. However, right after birth, with a little help from the lactation consultant, her daughter Isabella latched right on!

When Isabella was a month old she became fussy and would scream and cry as if she was in a lot of pain. Nothing seemed to comfort her. At six weeks of age, Isabella developed a rash on her face. Ashley heard from a friend that a dairy-free diet seemed to help her child. Ashley asked about this idea with her lactation consultant, who instead suggested she try other ideas like switching nursing positions, but nothing seemed to help.

Ashley had a great pregnancy with no problems.

So, Ashley decided to go dairy-free.

This was a big change in her diet. Not only did it mean no milk, yogurt, ice cream and cheese, but it also meant reading food labels to avoid all whey, casein and other traces of milk. However, this change paid off. Soon after Ashley went dairy-free, Isabella seemed to do much better. She was not waking up screaming in pain anymore and her skin rash also cleared up.


A few weeks later, Ashley noticed Isabella was having blood in her stools. She immediately called her pediatrician who said Isabella might be allergic to dairy and soy! So, Ashley removed soy from her diet too, which is in almost everything! Isabella continued to have bloody stools. At this point, the pediatrician suggested Ashley stop breastfeeding and give Isabella a special formula. Ashley really wanted to stick with human milk, but she was willing to try formula if it helped her baby. Isabella didn’t tolerate the formula and kept spitting up, so Ashley stopped the formula after just half a day. Now, Ashley focused even more on changing her lifestyle and diet to avoid foods that made Isabella uncomfortable. She read all food labels carefully, made all her food at home, stopped eating out and gave up some of the foods she loved.

The journey hasn’t been easy.

While the journey has not been easy, Ashley is very proud of the fact that she continues to nurse Isabella, who is now 10 months old. She pumps during the day while at work and nurses while at home. She wishes she’d known sooner that food allergies and intolerances could possibly cause breastfeeding problems. Ashley’s advice for anyone facing challenges with breastfeeding is stick with it. Ashley feels that after all the difficulties, her bond with Isabella is even more special and strong.
The journey hasn’t been easy.

“Yes, it is hard and there are times when you want to give up. But,

the positive benefits of breastfeeding your child are amazing.”

Could your baby have a food allergy or intolerance?

Babies can have problems digesting some proteins found in both human milk and formula. Babies may be more likely to have an allergy if either parent has allergies. Offering human milk exclusively for 6 months reduces the risk and severity of allergy, and so does waiting to start solid foods until at least 4-6 months.

Although rare, babies can be sensitive to foods a mom eats. The most common foods that cause allergies in infants and children are:

There is no cure for allergies, but children often outgrow milk, egg and soy allergies. Look for these signs of allergy and call your healthcare provider if your baby shows:

For more information, visit
Side Lying Hold

Side-Lying Hold

  1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
  2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
  3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
  4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Cross Cradle Hold

Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
  2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
  3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Football Hold

Clutch or “Football” Hold

  1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
  2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
  3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Breastfeeding Holds

Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
  2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
  3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Breastfeeding Holds

Laid-Back Hold

  1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
  2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
  3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

This hold is useful when: