AR Formula

AR Thickened Artificial Milk For Infants with Gastric Reflux

Please be aware that Breastfeeding is best for all infants especially those with Gastric Reflux. Artificial milk/formula, AR (thickened) or standard will not cure reflux. If you are considering Artificial Feeding please contact your Midwife, Plunket nurse, Doctor, or Specialist before introduction.

Caution!
Infant Gaviscon Powder also acts as a thickener and cannot be used in conjunction with any AR formula or other thickening product.

What is AR formula

AR stands for AntiRegurgitation

What do the manufacturers use as thickeners?

Some manufacturers use:

Pre – Cooked corn starch

Carob Bean
Carob bean flour is not broken down by the enzymes in the mouth or the gastric acid and so retains its thickening properties. It is a soluble dietary fiber and adds volume to the bowel motions.

Rice flour
Rice flour is not as common in NZ/Australian manufactured AR formulas.

What are casein and whey?

Whey and casein are the two main types of protein found in milk. Breast milk is whey predominant and cow’s milk is casein predominant. AR formulas (including Karicare AR and S26 AR) are casein predominant as the casein protein helps to increase the viscosity of the feed in the stomach.
Whey is watery and bluish in colour. Whey is digested more quickly than casein.

Breast milk
Breast milk is whey dominant and has the perfect blend of fats that are easily digested. Although breast-feeding a baby with Gastric Reflux can be stressful and time consuming it is nature’s complete, perfect food. GRSNNZ has a story on breastfeeding if you need to know that your concerns are understood and shared.

How does AR formula work?

AR formula has a thickener: cornstarch, carob bean, or rice flour. The thickening agents differ in their action; some thicken in the infant’s stomach, others are already thick and maintain the consistency of the feed all the way to the stomach. The theory behind all is that the thicker stomach contents are harder to regurgitate and there is a reduction in the symptoms of reflux.
Some thickened formulas such as Karicare AR lower the fat content of the formula to enhance gastric emptying and reduce the likelihood of regurgitation – digestion and absorption of nutrients is not compromised.
Although breast milk is a thinner consistency it is very easily digested and the absorption process commences immediately.

Can AR formula contribute to constipation?

Generally if formula is made correctly according to manufacturer’s instructions constipation is not likely. The infant may take some time to adjust to a new feeding type and stools will differ in consistency to a fully breastfed baby. Some infants suffering from gastric reflux have a problem with gut motility and this can lead to constipation as well as reflux symptoms. If your baby has problems with constipation this needs to be addressed by your GP, specialist or midwife.

Do I need different feeding equipment when using AR formula?

Yes
Ordinary plastic, glass, feeding bottles of any brand are fine.
AR formula is thicker in consistency and baby may find it hard work to get the feed fast enough and may object to the slow flow or fall asleep trying. To solve this problem parents have recommended a variable flow teat, which has a slow, medium, and fast setting. Avent have a variable flow teat if you have chosen to use a wider neck style of bottle. If you have chosen to use a narrow neck bottle, NUK Anti–colic Cereal teats would be very helpful. NUK have a medic Pro range of teats – some come with the Anti – colic valve which keeps the air flow consistent between the inside and outside of the bottle and prevents large amounts of air being gulped down and encourages uninterrupted feeding. In turn this constant flow prevents the teat being sucked flat during feeding. NUK also have teats for Cleft lip, jaw and palate.
Karicare recommend the use of a medium or fast flow teat for Karicare AR.

How do I mix AR formula?

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • It is not recommended to make any formula in advance for food safety reasons.

  • Water should first be boiled and allowed to cool. Refrigerate if desired. To save time you can have a supply of bottles filled with the correct amount of cooled boiled water. The bottle for a feed can then be heated to feeding temperature and the formula powder added just before feeding.

  • Wyeth who makes S26 AR offers a water temp indicator strip, (on a magnetic card that attaches to the fridge when you’re not using it) which is wrapped around the outside of the bottle of water and indicates when the water is the right temperature. Water thermometers can also be purchased – try your local pharmacy or baby shop.

  • Do not add powder if the water is not the correct temperature or it will not disperse properly and could become lumpy and set before the feed can commence.

  • Add the exact amount of powder to water.

  • Apply cap and shake well.

  • If warming formula before feeding, take care not to over heat, or premature thickening will occur. Discard any remaining formula after the feed.

  • AR formula will start to thicken straight away.

DISCLAIMER: This information on AR artificial feeding is provided for general information only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. GRSNNZ are not responsible or liable for any diagnosis or action made by a user based on the content of this Fact sheet. GRSNNZ does not endorse any commercial product or manufacturer mentioned in this fact sheet. Always consult your own doctor if you are in any way concerned about your child’s health.

Reference and appreciation to:
Karen, GRSNNZ member, Nurse and mother of twins,
http://www.clinicalevidence.com
Wyeth Nutrition – Health professional information
Tara Chaplow, NZ Registered Dietician, Nutricia Advisory Service
Composition of formulas from the Karicare site – Page no longer available on website.
Bottle Babies – A NZ guide to guilt – free bottle feeding by Adelia Ferguson
Nutrition food services Royal Children’s Hospital. Formula Composition Table
Shalimar School of Natural Therapies Physiology and Anatomy course content
Breastfeeding the Baby with Reflux – (L015 – $6) from La Leche League. Contact at admin@lalecheleague.org.nz or LLLNZ, PO box is 50780, Porirua 5240, Ph/Fax: 04 471 0690

Written by Jennifer Howard, National Coordinat 2001 – 2013, GRSNNZ for © Crying Over Spilt Milk Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust July 2004. Revised by Roslyn Ballantyne (RN), National Coordinator and Jennifer Howard, National Coordinator 2001 – 2013, GRSNNZ June and August 2005.

This page may be printed for the personal use of families, as long as the copyright and source (i.e. Crying Over Spilt Milk’s URL) is also printed. It may not be copied to other websites or publications without permission.

  • A question on giving up dairy for relux please... Do you need to go 100% dairy free or does cutting back help? I drink ALOT of milk (ill go through nearly 4 litres a week, bit excessive). Can I still have milk in tea/a small amount of cheese etc, or do i need to go 100 % cold turkey? My daughter is 2.5 weeks old and is doing alot of regurgitating, back arching/night crying, has acid smelling breath, gets frequent hiccups, coughs and gags alot and cries every time I lay her down. Shall I book a GP visit ASAP? What is usually the first treatment they try? Many thanks :)

  • http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/new-baby-on-the-way-taking-probiotics/ - New story from one of our Kiwi Health, Pregnancy and Parenting Forum users. Nice to have positive stories.

    Well I thought I would update you all on our baby. She was born on 24th August, the day before her due date and on my birthday. I was taking 3 x 2 caps of Probiotics per day in the last month of pregnancy which can seem excessive, but as I can’t overdose on them and I only get one chance...

  • Are there any breastfeeding Mums out there? My little girl is about to turn 7mths and has finally been diagnosed with silent reflux (alot of people dismissed me when I suggested it months ago). We have started on Gaviscon sachets nearly 48hrs ago and she is much better especially at settling in the evening. She is usually OK at night so haven't given her the powder when she wakes at night yet. Any tips on how to use at night? I have been mixing it up and syringing it into her mouth. Packet says not to make up in advance but I wondered if I could for nighttime so I don't have to make it up when she wakes. Thanks

  • Anyone else dealing with older children with reflux would love to hear from you my Miss 11 year old seems to be having a relapse . So after nearly 4 years losec free in this household we have it back.

  • There have been some new posts - sorry I haven't had a chance to pop on over and answer. Can anyone share their experiences? Remember, no medical advice. :-)

  • As per my post yesterday, our membership form and newsletter archive for members is now available again. Please consider joining Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust for access to our Newsletters and Private Local and National Support Networks: http://www.reflux.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/grsnnz-membership-confidentiality-agreement-form/ Membership is free, and this gives you opportunities to discuss gastric reflux related issues with others in a safe and confidential setting. Thanks to one of our amazing webhosts http://www.webmad.co.nz/ for the smooth change-over.

    Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants & Children Charitable Trust Membership & Confidentiality Agreement Form / Newsletter Admin Page First Name Last name Email Street Address City/Town Area Postcode Do you live in NZ? Country and Area if not NZ Home Phone (include area code) Part…

  • The website our membership form is on and where are newsletters are archived is down for maintenance until late tomorrow evening - Monday at the latest. If you were wanting to complete a membership form, please do check back as we would love to meet you. I'll post an update when it is available again. www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz is available as usual although it the server it is on is changing tomorrow evening also - hopefully there will be no disruption.

    For infant and child gastric reflux support in New Zealand: Phone/Text 022 585 5935 Phone 0800 380 517 Contact GRSNNZ via email form GRSNNZ has brochures available which explain what Gastric Reflux is, a few simple tricks, the support GRSNNZ offers and our contact details. If you are Health...

  • A question please -my daughter has twin girls aged 3 weeks.They were premature born at 35 weeks 3 days.One of them is fine breastfed and sleep.However the other one grunts and groans,pulls her legs up and sometimes cries after each feed.She does not settle well at all.Could this be reflux or what.I know it's early days but my daughter is exhausted!!Any suggestions would be great.Thanks

  • I have a question for mothers who have tried feed thickner. Can constipation occur when using this? I have checked the karicare website but does not state any side effects.

  • I have removed the recent video to our page on how to give Losec mups that was shared by someone. These are not available in NZ.

  • Hi there, I just want to say how helpful your website is, it is jam packed full of useful info! Thank you for being here!!!!!

  • Wahoo, Ben Ataya

  • 2500 lol

  • My 10 week old son is in starship due to heart condition. His omeprizol has just been doubled to try and ease his discomfort with reflux. He is now on twice daily but a nurse said she had heard it was more effective given as a single dose? What are the advantages and disadvantages of a single dose? Sometimes the doctors listen to me and sometimes they dont so id need to have my facts straight if wanting them to change it. He has his omeproxol via ng and gaviscon mixed with pepti junior

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    Almost at 2,500 likes to the Page. Please comment if you are the 2,500th so we can congratulate you. :-)

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  • Keep looking at the new posts to the page by others...on the left hand side...

  • My baby is 10weeks (5weeks corrected) and can not sleep on her back at all since this has her coughing and spluttering when not just straight up projectile vomiting. It seems to be worse now she is on thickened formula (alongside omaprozole) esp at night it's like she can't actually spit up the feed anymore (or multiple hours later) as its thicker and therefore she stays choking on it. Does anyone have any nighttime tips it scares me

  • Thank you New Zealand Post.