We encourage breast feeding.
However, many babies with food allergy and/or bowel problems need a special infant formula.
We are experts in this area. We can work out what is the very best formula to go on.
A special subsidy number is available for some of these special formula “milks”.
Commonly use special baby milk formula:
- Pepti Junior
- HA milk
- Goat milk
- Soy milk
- Lactose free
What is next-best to breast milk?
The “next-best” alternative to breast milk is “artificial” or “formula” feeding. Formula feeding is not equivalent to breast feeding. A formula is a combination of food components that are manufactured to be as close as possible to the food value of breast milk. At this stage these formulas do not have some of the biological advantages of breast milk and will never capture the depth of breast feeding.
What are the formula choices?
There are a number of different formulas for feeding milk-allergic babies depending upon the severity, the degree of sensitivity and the availability of these “special milks”. They can be made of: complete proteins, peptides (hydrolysed milk, that is broken down cow’s milk) or amino acids (elemental, that is no animal or plant protein).
- Goat milk formula: made from modified goat’s milk and contains complete goat proteins of casein and whey. Although this suits some children, those who are severely allergic to cow’s milk usually react to goat’s milk as well. Studies show that up to 90% of children who react to cow’s milk will also react to goat’s milk proteins.
- Soy milk formula: made from complete soy proteins, and all the other nutrients added to make it as similar to breast milk ingredients as practicable. This also suits some children. But again, those who are severely allergic to cow’s milk usually react to soy milk as well. Studies show that about 50% of children who react to cow’s milk will also react to soy milk. Also, because of the concerns about “phyto-estrogen” in soy, this protein is not recommended for full formula feeding in small babies.
- Lactose Free: Made for cow’s milk. This is not for allergy babies. Only for babies who cannot digest lactose (the sugar in milk). Not a treatment for cow’s milk allergy.
- HA formula: Hypo-Allergenic. These are called partially hydrolysed formula. Used for the “prevention” of allergy if there is a family history of allergy. Not for babies who already have allergy. Medical evidence shows that soy formula feeding is not preventive of allergies. Dr Ford does not recommend soy formula for babies. Examples of cow’s milk hydrolysate formula are Karicare HA and HA Nan)
- Cow’s milk hydrolysates: made from breaking down cow’s milk casein or whey into much smaller protein chains, called “peptides”. This process greatly reduces the allergic properties of the milk. However, still about 20-30% of children will react adversely to these hydrolysate formulas. Examples of cow’s milk hydrolysate formula are Pepti-Junior (from whey proteins) and Pregestimil (from casein proteins).
- Amino acid formula: created from appropriate mixtures of all 20 amino acids. The other necessary nutrients have been added to make it as similar to the nutrient value of breast milk. There are no peptides or intact proteins in these formulas, therefore they are not allergenic. They are called “elemental” formulas. Examples of amino acid formula are Neocate and Elecare.