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How to manage CMA symptoms dietetically

CMA symptoms can be managed dietetically by eliminating cow's milk protein from your child's diet. There are many options for elimination possible, ranging from avoiding eating cow’s milk while you are breastfeeding to using a substitute.These substitutes contain no cow's milk protein at all, so-called amino acid-based formulas.

As your child needs proteins for its growth and development, you can’t just remove proteins completely from your child’s menu. Instead, you must make sure that milk proteins are replaced by nutritionally equivalent alternatives.

Validated amino acid-based formulas and extensively hydrolysed formulas can be considered a good option to manage the required replacement of cow’s milk proteins. These products are regarded hypoallergenic and provide a well-balanced diet for children with CMA and other allergy induced disorders. They ensure that your child gets all the nutrients it needs for healthy growth and development when consuming the recommended amount of formula. Extensively hydrolysed formulas still contain very small protein fragments, while amino acid-based ones are 100% free of milk proteins.

CMA and breastfeeding

If your baby shows signs of CMA while being breast-fed, you are not dealing with an allergic reaction against the breast milk itself. In fact breast-feeding can protect your child against the development of certain diseases. Yet some sensitive babies can get allergic reactions to the small amounts of dietary cow’s milk proteins that pass from mother to baby by breast milk.


As a first step, try to eliminate cow’s milk and dairy products from your diet while carrying on with breast -feeding. If you avoid cow’s milk completely, the symptoms should soon fade away. Since cow’s milk is part of many foods, you will have to take a closer look at the ingredients of your daily diet. Please consult a dietitian before you start the elimination diet.


If the baby’s symptoms don’t disappear or the diet proves too difficult for you to continue with, the dietitian might suggest a hypoallergenic diet with replacement formulas for your infant. Amino acid-based formulas for example provide your infant with a complete source of nutrition and will avoid any reaction from your baby’s immune system.


Please let your child’s doctor or dietitian know which formula you think is best for your child.