Hi, I’m Jamie Kaufmann, Founder of Milk Allergy Mom.
For the past 17 years, it’s been my passion to help food allergy families.
I’m so glad you stopped in to learn more!
In a nutshell, it’s my calling to teach and encourage others.
I’ve done this in schools, in government, in churches, in home schooling…
And now I solely focus all my working hours helping families at Milk Allergy Mom.
It’s an absolute pleasure to walk alongside food allergy families every single day, helping make allergy life easier.
Together, we can do this!
I graduated Summa Cum Laude with my bachelor’s degree in history and political science, with certification to teach in secondary education. Plus, I finished 30 hours of my master’s degree in counseling.
For six years, I worked as a caseworker in the United States Senate.
For three years, I directed a national homeschool program in our community.
And for sixteen years, I’ve operated our website, Milk Allergy Mom.
I’m also currently working in communications at a local high school.
HISTORY OF MILK ALLERGY MOM
Milk Allergy Mom was created in 2008 as a convenient way to journal our unique life journey and safe foods for our boy.
Blogging was just becoming popular, and my hubby suggested it as a way to keep his mom in the loop.
Soon, we realized others were reading this little blog,
and supporting fellow allergy families over the past fifteen years has been an honor and a privilege for us.
It’s the kind comments and sweet online relationships that have kept me at this blogging thing for so long.
Truth be told, our readers help me more than I help them.
I love hearing tips, knowledge, and inspiration from our community.
Food allergy moms are my heroes!
OUR FOOD ALLERGY SYMPTOMS & DIAGNOSIS
Our anaphylactic son’s infancy was marked with
excessive crying, chronic ear infections, and many mystery hives.
At age 8 months, in 2006, the mystery was solved.
While eating a creamy baby food,
he immediately broke out in ripe hives around his mouth and on his hands.
Quickly, I gave him Benedryl (talk to your doctor, this can’t stop anaphylaxis), and I stopped feeding him.
But breathing and swallowing problems soon followed so we rushed to the ER.
During the drive, his face was so red and swollen that he looked like a burn victim.
Now we make sure to always have epinephrine with us as that’s the only treatment for anaphylaxis.
I so wish we had it for that first reaction.
After a month of testing, we were told our adorable boy was..
allergic to soy (moderately), eggs (highly), peanuts (highly), and milk (very highly).
OUR CURRENT ALLERGIES
Our oldest is now 17-years-old and has outgrown all his initial allergies except milk.
But he is now highly allergic to cashew as well.
His first and only exposure to cashew in 2012 caused swollen throat and stomach cramps which ended up needing steroids.
We then avoided all nuts except almond milk, approved by our allergist because he was already drinking it daily.
Our second son also tested high for food allergies to egg and peanut at 6 months of age.
In addition, oats caused him problems like diarrhea and a raw bottom,
but he outgrew all his allergies by age four.
However, he has eczema and exercise-induced asthma.
Our first son still tests highly allergic to milk, and his numbers have even risen at times.
At one point he consumed a small amount of baked-in milk each day under doctor’s orders,
but his numbers went up so we fell away from that.
This was during a time when oral immunotherapy was not as strategic as it today,
and we now know the numbers going up before they come down is normal during desensitizing.
OUR DESENSITIZING FOOD ALLERGY TREATMENT
At age 11, our amazing son willingly began desensitizing his environmental allergies, especially pollen, by doing months of allergy shots.
He stuck with the intense protocol, starting with three shots a day twice a week!
He is now on maintenance with two hots every month.
We are so proud of his bravery and are seeing a difference in his environmental allergies as a result.
As the next step, we started oralimmunotherapy again for milk.
This means proactively attempting to desensitize his life-threatening milk allergy by giving it to him orally in a very strategic and methodical system under the supervision of our doctor.
Do not do this at home without professional consultation and help.
We share the progress of our desensitizing adventure inside our membership as we pray it works and inspires others.
OUR ORAL FOOD CHALLENGES
In addition to early food challenges for both our boys as toddlers (peanut, egg, and more)…
our son with milk allergy has recently passed several tree nut challenges, much to our surprise.
He was about 14 when we started these challenges, after getting to our daily maintenance dose for milk.
So far he is cleared for almond, walnut, and hazelnut…which was once one of his off-the-chart allergies on paper.
This has opened up even more foods for him before going off to college, and he’s super excited.
OUR ALLERGY LIFE STYLE
Here are a few tidbits about our everyday life as a food allergy family over the years.
- We chose to live in the city, by the hospital.
- We home schooled until high school.
- We didn’t eat out much before food allergy treatment at age 11.
- We only traveled 1-5 hours away from home, with all our own food.
- Disney World, 12 hours away, eventually rocked our world for eating out safely.
- Now with milk OIT and some successful nut challenges, my kiddo eats out dairy and nut free at many places.
- Our son with allergies is beginning his college search!
However, each allergy family must make their own life choices based on their own comfort levels, circumstances, and goals.
What we’ve done for 17 years may not work for others.
And truthfully, we’ve made a lot of pivots through the years.
It’s always been our firm belief that there’s no one right way to run a food allergy household.
At Milk Allergy Mom, we don’t judge others’ choices about how to lovingly keep their allergic children safe and happy.
And that’s the overarching tone that we insist on around here.
We are truly a judgement-free zone for all food allergy families working hard to do their best.
FROM FEAR TO FREEDOM
I’m so thankful that we have successfully moved from food allergy fear to food allergy freedom over these nearly two decades.
If you find yourself often living in fear with food allergies, I hope this encourages you.
By the word freedom, I don’t mean my kiddo can eat anything he wants now.
He still has many food restrictions and must be diligent everyday to stay safe.
In addition, he still must carry two epinephrine auto-injectors with him at all times.
By the word freedom, I mean we are free from the constant worry, stress, and anxiety over food allergies.
Yes, there’s still concern and each day requires some intentional planning and strategy.
However, our family has learned to lean into the joy, happiness, and fun in life with food allergies.
Here’s how I think we got to this better place.
1. ORAL CHALLENGES & ALLERGY TREATMENTS
Allergy science has changed so much since our diagnosis.
We made sure we had a cutting-edge allergist, learned the latest data, and decided to get pro-active.
With this, we’ve lessened the severity of our son’s environmental, milk, and nut allergies.
And as a result, he does have some new food freedoms like eating out more.
But not all food allergy freedom means eating new foods.
2. KNOWLEDGE WITH TIME & EXPERIENCE
We certainly have to attribute some of our freedom to good old time and experience.
As a new food allergy mom recovering from the trauma of my baby’s anaphylaxis, I was lived in a lot of fear.
Some of you may know the long recovery process after something like that.
Eventually, life gets back to normal, and you’re ready for adventures again.
I guess after 17 years, we’ve learned the cycles.
We know accidents happen. We know with help we recover. We know it gets better. And we learn from our mistakes.
Additionally, we’ve been able to teach allergy management and stress coping skills to our kids as they grow and mature.
With these skills, we travel more. We try more new things together. We stretch our comfort zones, because we’ve put in the work to get us to this point.
You will get there, too. It just takes time and willingness to learn.
3. CONSTANT SUPPORT
Here’s the best news.
You may not be able to combat food allergies head on with treatment and oral challenges at the moment.
And you may not have years of learning and experience under your belt just yet.
But finding support from allergy parents in your shoes and by your side is something you can do right out the gate or choose anytime you want.
Our goal at Milk Allergy Mom is to be the fast track to more food allergy freedom, no matter where you are in the journey.
It’s how we’ve tried new restaurants and let our kids go to camp.
It’s how we’ve learned quick tips and tricks that have spurred us on to more freedom than we imagined possible.
We are forever grateful for all the support that has gotten us so far!
4. OUR FAITH
I would be remiss not to mention the most important factor in our move from fear to freedom in our food allergy path.
And that’s our faith in Jesus.
We can do all things through Him who strengthens us, and we are grateful He’s entrusted us with heading up this outreach.
WE ARE HERE FOR YOU
Of course, we pray for less fear and more freedom for all our food allergy friends!
And we are here to help.
Here are several ways to learn and get support at Milk Allergy Mom:
- Facebook community of over 18,000
- free recipes in email
- shopping help on our website
- an online support group of over 200 invested families
Less fear. More freedom. Together, we can do this.
Click here to JOIN OUR COMMUNITY!
We are so glad you’re here.