Thursday, January 14, 2010

Does formula cause food allergies?

Wow, so here's another reason to breastfeed and to be a breastfeeding advocate for those around you; studies show that giving formula to newborns makes a huge impact on their gut flora and can actually cause colic, reflux, and other tummy troubles. Formula can also cause your child to have a dairy sensitivity, and even giving one formula supplement per 24 hour period (!!! Can't believe one makes that big of difference!) changes the gut flora from a breastfed pattern to that of a formula fed baby. Amazing! Really shows what is natural and healthy for your baby; mommy's milk. Here is the link to the whole article and all the nitty gritty, very interesting stuff :) . Thank you so much to KristiAnn for sharing that information!

Makes me really want to reiterate how important it is to press on with breastfeeding and not give in to the pressure to 'just give them formula' when times get tough. If you have tried nursing your child every hour (yes, every hour!) for as long as they want, waking them at night to nurse, have tried Fenugreek, pumping, etc.....and are still not seeing results in milk production, talk to your dr. There are prescriptions available to help. From what I've seen and my many times at La Leche, it is quite often because the mother is not nursing the child often enough. The 'feed every three hours' rule only applies to formula fed babies because formula is rougher on their tummies and takes longer to digest.

Recently I've been talking to two mom friends with infants. Both of these mothers were told by the hospital to feed their baby every 3 hours. Both mothers were having trouble with their baby not gaining weight and those type of issues. I have no idea why the hospital staff is so clueless about breastfeeding....but you heard it here first folks :)....breastfeeding only every 3 hours (rather than on demand and usually much more often) is not enough for a newborn. Trust me. I feel so sad for all the 1st time moms being told this misinformation and wonder how many of them felt inadequate because of their low supply when all they were doing was following orders. Bad orders! Unless you feed more often, you will not be able to keep up with your growing baby and will end up going to formula. You can avoid that but you must be willing to put the extra effort in to feed very often. One of my friends started feeding everytime her child was fussy or crying (and it wasn't a diaper or something else) and waking her in the night to feed and she is doing so much better now :)

 I wonder if the fact that there is a correlation between food sensitivies and formula has anything to do with the increase in food allergies in America over the last few decades and that breastfeeding was faux paus for a while. My mother-in-law shared with me once that when my husband was a baby and they lived in a quaint town in Kansas that you only breastfed your baby if you were poor. It was considered to be almost a status thing to give your child formula. She didn't realize she even had the option to nurse or what all the benefits were. Isn't that amazing (and that was only 30 years ago)?

 Each and every one of us breastfeeding mothers need to do our part to educate and change the culture. Whatever you struggle with will help another mom at some point, I guarantee it :)


  1. Agree, agree, agree!!! Alli is still nursing at 13, almost 14 months and I am proud of it! : )

  2. That is SO awesome Amber! You go girl, proud of you!

  3. I only wish it were so easy. I feel like I've never wanted something so much but it doesn't seem to be working at all despite me trying everything in me... pumping hourly for 5 days, getting his latch and suck checked at a LLL meeting and by a lactation consultant, trying a nipple shield, taking fennugreek and goat's rue... in the end I'm only pumping about half of what he eats most feedings. And if I put him on the boob he gets barely anything (~1/4 oz) and just starts suckling... still praying about it but it breaks my heart to be "giving in" but even more to watch my baby cry because he's hungry and know I can't give him the food he needs.

  4. To add insult to injury the lactation consultant even said I should only put him on the boob a few times a day and that it should be "comfort time" e.g. just let him suckle because even if you can increase your supply he still won't get it... makes me want to cry :-(

  5. I couldn't agree more with those post Diana! I never breastfed Christine (at 16 I just wasn't knowledgeable enough) and with the twins I gave up at 6 weeks (one of my biggest regrets). With Matilda I was determined to make it work! And even with 14 month old twins at home I breastfed Matilda around the clock as a newborn. One of my issues with the twins was this obsession with how much they were getting and having other people make me feel as if I wasn't producing enough. Pumping produced minimal results for me and I thought that was how much I was producing overall. Wrong! To this day I can hardly pump anything but my big chunky healthy 16 months old is proof that I had everything she needed! I honestly think that the first 6 weeks are the HARDEST and a lot of moms give up during that time. I wish more moms would stick with it because it gets to be SO easy! Now I'm facing the dreaded question from everyone "when are you going to wean?" Seems most people think 12 months is THE age to wean. Ok sorry for rambling, I'm just glad you posted this!