Melissa Wolny is a mother who adores her daughter so much. She lives in the Chicago are close to her family. Lets us get to know her better and be inspired by her story.

Tell us a little about yourself and family.

My husband and I live in the Chicago area and are lucky to be close to family on both sides. We have been together for 7 years, married for 1.5, and welcomed beautiful baby Sasha last year. She was a Halloween baby, and has the best temperament! She is always happy and smiling and loves active play, getting out of the house for shopping or walks, and snuggling.

What food sensitivities did your kid(s) have as infants?

Dairy protein and soy.

What symptoms or reactions made you suspect a food sensitivity?

Foul-smelling bowel movements with mucous, baby acne, eczema rash, crying from gas pain with no ability to console her for several hours each day.

How did you change your diet or the family’s diet?

I was breastfeeding so I did the elimination. We started with raw dairy, when symptoms improved but did not disappear (after a month) we added cooked dairy and soy to the list.

Did you notice any health changes within yourself on the new diet?

Yes! I have lost weight, and am much better able to handle the lack of sleep that comes with a new baby than I was when I was pregnant.

What was (or is) the hardest thing about having food sensitivities in your family and how are you managing that challenge?

Having to be strong with my family. Everyone wants to help and is concerned about me eating enough, but not everyone knows how to read a food label or is as tuned-in to hidden allergens as we have learned to be. Turning down offers of food at family events or homes has been difficult and a bit awkward, but after a few incidents where a well-meaning family member accidentally fed me dairy or soy and I saw my baby suffer I have learned to just politely say no and stick to that. It helps if I bring something that I can snack on so that they can see that I’m not starving, just being careful about ingredients.

Food sensitivities or allergies can be stressful or even scary for a family. How have you chosen to move forward in faith, not fear?

My husband has made this possible for me. Without hesitation, he got on board and adjusted his diet with me. This was huge at the beginning because not only was I not alone in finding what to eat but there were no temptations in the house. We have been fully dairy and soy free for 3 months now and he will occasionally snack on things that I cannot but meals are always prepared with me in mind. Finding a support group on Facebook has also been very helpful, searching the internet made me feel very overwhelmed. Real moms who have been through it are the most supportive.

What’s the most helpful thing people could do to help you during that season of breastfeeding a food sensitive baby?

Only supportive comments! Hearing “don’t you miss ____” or “I couldn’t give up ___” was so depressing, it made me it feel more difficult than it had to be. My mom and husband were so great about focusing on how healthy I was eating and how much it impacted my little girl and that was so helpful.

What advice would you give a mom who’s struggling now with a food sensitive baby?

Take a systematic approach from the start. I got panicked and also eliminated eggs, peanuts, wheat, corn because I didn’t know how to determine a food allergy and just cut them all out at once. Work with your pediatrician or an allergist to determine a plan and timelines to figure out what the problem food is without starving yourself.

What’s one of your favorite food sensitive recipes?

Chocolate crazy cake with easy “buttercream” frosting.


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