If your baby is suffering from constipation, spit up, colic, eczema or excess gas, chances are, he can’t tolerate the milk formula you’re giving him. Follow this second of four monthly video series for expert advice and stand a chance to win $4,000 worth of prizes!
Breast milk is best for babies. While all parents want the best for their child, sometimes a mum may find it difficult to breastfeed. A milk formula would then need to be provided to nourish her baby.
It can be distressing for parents when their child is showing signs of discomfort as a result of not being able to tolerate the milk formula given. This is referred to as Formula Feeding Intolerance, and it is not uncommon as a baby’s digestive system is still maturing.
In the second of four education videos from Abbott, Dr Chu Hui Ping, a paediatric gastroenterologist at the Raffles Children’s Centre, shares that 2 out of 3 babies experience Formula Feeding Intolerance. Watch the video below to find out more about the important features or components of milk formula that help support easy digestion and absorption of key nutrients for improved tolerance without compromising on nutrition:
Five things parents should know about Formula Feeding Intolerance
1. What is Formula Feeding Intolerance?
Formula Feeding Intolerance refers to issues with digestion of the milk formula, which results in gastrointestinal symptoms. It is the main reason why mums and doctors switch formulas for the baby.
2. What are the symptoms of Formula Feeding Intolerance?
According to Dr Chu, symptoms of Formula Feeding Intolerance include constipation, regurgitation/spit-up, gas, colic, and rash/eczema.
Marketing research suggests that two out of three children experience Formula Feeding Intolerance which can be addressed by choosing milk formulas that have certain features or components.
3. What type of the milk formula is suitable if a baby has Formula Feeding Intolerance?
This depends on the symptoms that the child has. For example, if a baby suffers from constipation, then parents may be advised to switch their baby's milk formula to one that contains partially hydrolysed (broken down) protein, with added prebiotics and without palm olein.
If a baby has lactose sensitivity and suffers from bouts of fussiness, diarrhoea, gassiness and colic, then parents may be advised to switch their baby's milk to a lactose-free formula.
For babies with a family history of allergies, a hypoallergenic formula which comprises hydrolysed proteins may be recommended to help reduce the risk of cow milk protein allergy.
4. If a baby is placed on a particular milk formula to address certain symptoms, should mums continue with the milk formula when symptoms have resolved, or switch back to their baby's previous milk formula?
It's advisable to not switch back to your baby's previous milk formula without consulting your doctor. For example, babies who were placed on a lactose-free formula should be able to continue consuming the product.
According to Dr Chu, "In a lactose-free formula, the lactose content has been replaced with other carbohydrate sources, such as maltodextrin. The nutritional profile of lactose-free formulas is similar to regular lactose-containing products. Studies have shown that babies fed lactose-free formulas grew normally and had similar developmental status to those who consume lactose-containing formulas."
5. How can mums help their baby with Formula Feeding Intolerance?
If you think your child is suffering from Formula Feeding Intolerance with his current milk formula, consult your paediatrician to see if a change of milk formula is necessary.
It could be a change that will allow your precious ones to grow and develop optimally - free from the stress of digestive distress.
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