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A member asked:

Can lessening my baby's dairy intake lessen her congestion?

8 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Colton Bradshaw
Specializes in Pediatrics
No: The quick answer "no" probably holds for most situations. But, in a subset of children, cow milk allergy is aggravated by the ingestion of dairy products prompting increased congestion. Parents perhaps notice the intake of milk can often trigger a "phlegm effect" in the back of their throat--probably driving the notion that dairy produces increased mucous. Yet a sip of water can easily clear this.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 34 years experience
No: Some people have the idea that drinking milk makes a baby more congested. In my years of clinical experience, I have not noticed that a baby's congestion gets better or worse after drinking milk.
Dr. Mark Diamond
Pediatrics 47 years experience
No: Generally dairy products do not cause runny noses. I have seen, however, babies whose nasal congestion disappear when dairy is stopped. I am not aware of any tests for this problem other than withdrawal of dairy products and rechallenge.
Dr. Kevin Windisch
Pediatrics 26 years experience
No: There has never been shown to be a connection between mucus and dairy intake.
Dr. Richard Lippmann
Pediatrics 24 years experience
No: Many people feel they have more mucus after eatting or drinking diary but there is no correlation with increased congestion from diary intake.
Dr. Sarah Kohl
Travel Medicine 36 years experience
No: In days past we used to recommend decreasing dairy to lessen nasal congestion. Now we know that this will not improve nasal congestion. Nasal saline sprays and suctioning can help relieve your baby's nasal congestion. Dairy sensitivity in infants typically presents with intestinal symptoms or rashes.
Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky
Pediatrics 36 years experience
The rare exception is with reflux (heartburn) which can cause cough, and get worse with milk.
Sep 28, 2011
Dr. Irwin Berkowitz
Specializes in Pediatrics
Yes: There have been some studies regarding proteins in certain milk increasing mucous production. This is not universal. I recommend extra fluids such as water and broth during periods of nasal congestion although milk can also be given.
Dr. Mark Diamond
Pediatrics 47 years experience
No: Although the vast majority of infants with nasal congestion demonstrate no improvement when dairy products are eliminated, I have had experience with a small number of babies who have responded favorably when dairy is stopped. I am not aware of any valid research on the subject.
Last updated Dec 29, 2014
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