How Long Does Soy Stay in Breast milk?

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I wrote this for moms who use soy protein while breastfeeding.

Do you want to know how long soy stays in breast milk?

Soy can stay up to 3 days in breast milk before it finally clears. Avoid food garnished and fried in soy bean oil. When you go dairy/soy-free for a while, you’ll notice an improvement in about 2 days.

As a mom, you may not only use soy to enhance your baby’s regular intake of protein but also to enrich her with all of the benefits that soy provides.

Some mothers are not much concerned when adding soy in their baby’s food, but it is worth noting that some babies could possibly suffer from soy allergic reactions.

This is because soy protein will be passed through mothers breast milk — which as a result, could cause allergic reactions to the baby.

This condition is not very common for those women who use soy protein in their diet.

After assessing experiences of many breastfeeding mothers, I can say that, if a woman eliminates soy from diet today, it can take up to two to three days to clear soy in breast milk.

This is much different from that of dairy milk, which can take up to 3 weeks to clear up in breast milk after elimination.

The clearance of soy protein can also vary depending on how sensitive you are to protein.

Why is protein needed during breastfeeding?

According to a research done by Ohio University, breastfeeding moms requires at least 71 grams of proteins on a daily basis.

The figure does not only include the protein needed for normal body function but also has extra protein required to enhance lactation process. 

The protein in breast milk is also very crucial as it enhances development in baby’s growth.

Getting protein may not be challenging as readily found, but to some women who are on diet restriction like vegetarians or vegans and mothers who have not taste for foods rich in high proteins, it can be a bit challenging.

What is Soy Protein?

Soy protein is under the category of plant protein. Most people add it to their diet as a substitute to meat for various medical benefits. 

Soy protein can be in the form of powdered soy protein, which can be put in drinks like beverages, soybeans and soy products like tofu.

A review on soy protein was conducted in 2003 and published under journal of Perinatal Education and established that, soy protein contain all eight essential plant amino acids.

Amino acids are very important as it forms the building blocks of protein, which are not naturally present in our body system.

Soy proteins also comes with nutritional component of calcium, which is very beneficial to breastfeeding mothers as it enhances the development of strong bones and teeth.

Can a baby be allergic to soy?

  • Soy proteins comes with many benefits, but it may not always be an option for nursing moms. Some babies are sensitive to soy protein. 
  • Soy is considered as the common cause of infant allergies just like proteins from cow’s milk. For those mothers who consume soy on a regular basis should not worry, as there is no course of alarm. Babies are not always allergic to everything that is found in breast milk including soy protein.
  • In case your baby is allergic to soy, he/she will be able to show the symptoms immediately after breastfeeding. These symptoms include being fussy, rashes, vomiting, and diarrhea. As a breastfeeding mom, you may need to consider getting alternative protein if your baby is allergic to soy protein. You may opt to use other proteins until your baby starts to wean.

How to handle Soy allergy?

  • Most breastfeeding moms reap many benefits from soy protein. They should not develop safety concern. A study conducted by the Michigan University, protein supplements is not always an option because soy protein has little effect if you are able to burn the excess protein you consume. 
  • You can as well incorporate soy protein in your diet without necessarily switching to supplements. You can try some damage to act as a snack for afternoon or replace cow milk with a cup of soy various products. 
  • Though not proven, soy protein not only act as protein intake booster but also can do a lot when it comes to cancer prevention.

What is Soy Intolerance?

Soy protein intolerance is when the digestive system cannot digest protein found in soy products. Soy protein intolerance can be very much different from the allergies.

I mentioned earlier on soy protein. The condition can show similar symptoms as that of eosinophilia, esophagitis and allergic colitis.

Who can develop Soy Intolerance?

Some babies can have intolerance to soy protein from various soy products that are found in mothers’ diet.

It can also be present in formulated baby feed. Studies shows that 2 – 7% of babies who are below one in age have intolerance to soy proteins. This condition can be related to genetic composition of families or previous family medical history.

What are the symptoms of Soy Intolerance?

  1. Babies and children who have soy intolerance may continuously cry for more than 15 hours every day. 
  2. They will start showing signs of weight loss, frequent vomiting, congestion, reflux, and some skin rashes.
  3. They may also develop change in appetite, which is characterized by refusal to eat food or even desire to eat more all time, fussiness, bloody stool covered with mucus.

What is the difference between colic and Soy Intolerance?

Most babies who have soy intolerance will show colic like behavior. Colic is something that is not easily understandable to many.

Colic mostly develops 2 to 3 weeks after the baby is born. If your baby has colic, there’s a chance that he/she will start developing crying pattern — normally in the evening. 

If you notice this colic, behavior seek medical attention immediately to ascertain that, your baby is not having other problems like soy intolerance. As for colic, it does affect the change in weight unlike soy intolerance, which does.

What is the difference between Soy Intolerance and Lactose Intolerance?

  • Soy intolerance is not similar to lactose intolerance. Soy intolerance is resistance to actual soy protein. On the other hand, Lactose intolerance is where there’s less levels of enzyme Lactase, which is responsible for breaking down large block of sugar (lactose) in breast milk. Lactose is both found in cow and human milk.
  • The symptoms of these conditions can be very confusing as they are very similar. Lactose can have less harm to infants but children over five years or adults can develop the symptoms at some point in their life. 
  • You are not supposed to feed your baby with free lactose formula, if he/ she has soy protein intolerance, as it will not solve the problem. This is because formula that is lactose-free can still contain cow’s milk and will induce the symptoms to your baby.

How to diagnose soy Intolerance?

Sometimes, diagnosing soy intolerance can be very challenging. This is because there are not specific tests for the condition. But here are some effective ways:

i). Blood in Stools: Blood in stools can be as a result of soy protein but can also be caused by other conditions. This will make your doctor a little bit confused. 

ii). Elimination test: The best test your doctor can recommend is elimination test. This will require you to not consume any products that contain soy protein.

Note: With the help of your healthcare provider, you can choose from various products that are clearly labeled to be soy protein free. 

If the symptoms are associated with soy protein, your baby will recover after some time of soy free diet. 

You need to wait for at least one or two weeks to see the results and ascertain that your baby was suffering from.

Can soy intolerance be treated? 

No, there is no known treatment of soy intolerance. The only remedy is for a breast-feeding mom to avoid diet that has soy protein.

For those babies who are under formula feeds, it is recommended that you opt for any hypoallergenic formula for example, Nutramigen, Alimentum, Elecare and Neocate.

Babies who have soy intolerance can perform very well, they are not offered solid foods until after the 6th month of birth.

After the 6th month, you can slowly introduce solid food in different intervals from that of older babies.

Will my baby recover from soy intolerance?

The long-term results for those babies having soy intolerance could be very good.

Most of the babies will get rid of soy intolerance after a period of one year and will be in a position to consume soy again with no much worries.

You need to discuss with your baby’s doctor to know the timelines on when to reintroduce soy in your diet 

Can elimination diet in pregnancy help my next baby?

According (Fleischer et al 9 ) together with American of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (2013), it’s not advisable to practice elimination of soy protein or other allergens from diet when you are pregnant or breastfeeding to prevent future allergies.

According to Maureen Minchin author of allergy, she concurred with the recommendation of not avoiding soy free diet during pregnancy unless the mother herself has soy protein allergy.

If the mother is allergic to soy and other allergens, she may consider reducing the amount until that time she will be free from the allergic reaction (that’s immediately before birth)