Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Problems of formula feeding allergies - baby crying and colic, gastric reflux and constipation in infants

Crying and colic: If your baby has repeated episodes of excessive and inconsolable crying but they otherwise appear to be thriving and healthy, they may have colic.
Although it may appear that your baby is in distress, colic is not harmful. Your baby will continue to feed and gain weight normally. There is no evidence that colic has any long-term effects.
Colic can be very upsetting for parents. You may feel like you are letting your baby down or that you are doing something wrong. Although colic can be distressing at the time, it is a common phase that should last only a few weeks at the most. It may help to remind yourself that you are not causing the crying and it is not under your control. If you are concerned, talk to your health visitor or GP.
Sickness and vomiting in babies   
Some babies bring up more milk than others during or just after a feed. This is called ‘possetting’, ‘regurgitation’ or ‘gastric reflux’.
It is not unusual for babies to bring up quite a lot, but it can be upsetting when it happens and you may be worried that something is wrong.
As long as your baby is gaining weight, there is usually nothing to worry about. But if your baby is violently sick or appears to be in pain, or you are worried for any other reason, talk to your health visitor or GP.
Cover your baby’s front when feeding and have a cloth or paper towels handy to mop up any mess. Check too that the hole in your baby’s teat is not too big, as giving milk too quickly can cause sickness. Sitting your baby upright in a baby chair after a feed can also help.
The problem usually stops after six months when your baby is starting on solid foods and drinking less milk.
If your baby brings up a lot of milk, remember that they are likely to be hungry again quite quickly.
Don’t force your baby to take on more milk than they want during a feed. Remember, every baby is different. Some prefer to feed little and often.
Constipation in infants  
Always stick to the recommended amount of infant formula milk powder. Using too much can make your baby constipated or thirsty. Breastfed babies don’t usually get constipated. If your baby is under eight weeks old and has not passed a stool for a few days, talk to your health visitor or GP.
Water for formula fed babies   
In very hot weather, babies fed on infant formula milk can get thirsty. If this happens, you can give them cool boiled tap water if they seem unsettled between feeds. Talk to your health visitor or GP if you have any concerns.
Breastfed babies do not need any water. Instead, you may notice that they have shorter, more frequent feeds if the weather is hotter.
Allergies to formula in infants  
If you think your baby might be allergic to formula milk, talk to your GP. They can prescribe formula feeds called extensively hydrolysed protein feeds.
Some formulas are labeled as hypoallergenic, but they are not suitable for babies with a diagnosed cows’ milk allergy. Talk to your GP before using this milk. Always get their advice before using soya-based infant formulas, too. Babies who are allergic to cows’ milk may also be allergic to soya.
Babies sometimes grow out of allergies, and you may find that you can introduce cows’ milk into your baby’s diet as they get older. Always ask your GP or health visitor for advice before making any changes to your baby’s diet.

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