Think you have a baby with MSPI? Taking on an MSPI diet for breastfeeding might seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are my best tips for managing a milk soy protein intolerance diet.
When my oldest son was born, we knew something was bothering him. He would go on screaming jaunts for hours, spit up in a way that was clearly painful.
About 2 weeks in, I opened a dirty diaper to see the tell tale bloody, mucus-y diaper. A round of Googling and a call into his pediatrician, we decided to try removing milk and soy.
Within 2 weeks he was a totally different baby. Turns out, he was MSPI.
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What is MSPI?
According to the Department of Health Services, “MSPI is a temporary intolerance to the proteins in milk and soy.” It’s present in both breastfed and formula fed babies and can cause discomfort in babies.
It’s different than a lactose intolerance in that baby is allergic to the protein structure in cow’s milk and soy.
What are symptoms of MSPI?
The most common symptom is a baby who is inconsolably upset and in pain. Spitting up is also very common, as is a mucus-y diaper. Here are the symptoms as told by the Nebraska Department of Health Services:
- Fussiness or excess crying
- Infrequent stools
- Watery stools
- Mucusy and/or bloody stools
- Reflux and spitting up
- skin rash, eczema, and/or hives
- Weight loss or lack of weight gain
How is MSPI diagnosed?
While you may be able to “guess” that your baby has a milk soy protein intolerance, the best way is to head to the pediatrician.
Your pediatrician will be best able to diagnose the intolerance. They may ask you to bring in a dirty diaper. Your doctor will then be able to test the diaper for trace amounts of blood that you are unable to see.
How is MSPI treated?
The only true treatment of a milk soy protein intolerance is avoiding all forms of soy and dairy in the diet of the baby.
If you’re currently formula feeding, this means finding a formula that is made without soy or dairy.
MSPI Friendly Formulas:
Here are some formulas that were recommended to me. I breastfed so I can’t give a first hand experience, but read reviews and talk to your pediatrician.
If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll need to exclude all forms of soy and dairy from your diet for the duration of your BF journey.
How long does MSPI last?
Some will get over the intolerance within the first 6 months, but our ped told us it’s usually closer to 12 months.
According to him, if we wait out the whole year, avoiding contact with soy and dairy, the chances that he has a long-lasting allergy are greatly reduced.
What is an MSPI Diet?
The MSPI diet is what breastfeeding moms take on in order to continue nursing without causing discomfort to the baby. All forms of cow’s milk and soy must be avoided.
It can take 2 weeks to 1 month for you to see results in the form of a happier, healthier baby.
Each time you introduce soy or dairy into your diet you may need to do the 2 week detox once again. In my experience though, it only takes a few days if you’re totally “clear” in the first place.
What can you eat on an MSPI diet?
It can be hard to figure out what you “can” or “cannot” eat on an MSPI diet. You’ll need to learn to read food labels and what hidden names are for diary and soy.
A few big ones for milk are casein and whey. More sneaky names for dairy can be found here.
Common sneaky names for soy include tofu, miso, and tempeh. Find more here.
Eating out on MSPI
Even from 6 years ago, eating out on an MSPI diet is so much easier. You can find my quick list of MSPI Friendly Restaurants here.
As un-fun as it may be, stick to chains. They have standards across locations and usually post nutrition facts on their website so you can figure out what you cna an cannot eat before going.
If you eat out some where without a nutrition guide, be VERY clear about what you can and cannot eat. I found that telling my waiter that my BABY would get very sick was helpful in getting the correct options.
I have a bunch of Milk Soy Protein Intolerance friendly recipes on the site and I highly recommend you learn how to make your own favorite foods!
Not only can you then be sure you’re avoiding soy and dairy, but your budget will thank you as well.