Infant Feeding

Your breast milk is the best food available for your baby. It was designed especially for them and has a whole range of benefits for both you and your baby. There are even more benefits involved in breastfeeding if your baby has gastric reflux. Breast milk is cheap, easily replaced if vomited, smells less when regurgitated and most importantly is more easily digested than formula, which means that the stomach remains full for a shorter period of time thereby decreasing reflux episodes. Studies have shown that breastfeeding may reduce the risk of developing allergies but it can depend on the diet of the mother as well. I breastfed my first two children (not refluxers) until they were 14 months old and my third child who has reflux until she was approximately 11 months. I strongly advocate breastfeeding until at least one year of age, but also acknowledge that this isn’t always the best for both mother and child (usually the mother). A happy baby requires a happy mother!

There are a variety of circumstances that may lead to formula feeding, and my reason is only one of these. My third child had a cow’s milk intolerance, which meant I had to have a cow’s milk free diet. Whenever I consumed cow’s milk in any form she suffered for at least a week. Eventually I found the restrictions on my diet too much and changed to formula very slowly as it took some time to find one she could also tolerate. I do wish in hindsight that I had persevered for another few months, which would have been of benefit to both of us. Please discuss with your child’s doctor/paediatrician or Plunket nurse about which formula would be the best for your baby. Formulas are either whey based or casein based. Whey based formulas tend to be slightly more expensive but better tolerated as they are more like breast milk.

La Leche League , a lactation consultant or your local Plunket family centre may be of help also if you wish to continue breastfeeding and are having problems of any kind.

Special Formulas

Some formulas are available on prescription if your paediatrician applies for a special authority number. These include hypoallergenic formulas such as Neocate, Elecare or Pepti Junior. The hypoallergenic formulas are very expensive to purchase.  Neocate and Elecare are not readily available without a special authority number and prescription. Neocate is ‘elemental’, which means that all the nutrients are in their simplest form (i.e.. amino acids) and are easy to digest. Pepti Junior is a hydrolysed protein formula with proteins broken down to peptides, which may still cause an allergic reaction in some infants. For prices of these formulas on prescription see the PHARMAC Interactive Schedule or contact a dietician at Nutricia (Phone 0800 258 268) for further information, as they may be able to advise you how you can obtain these cheaper or offer some practical help with your infant’s feeding. Your own dietician or doctor should be able to help also.

For the infant that has not shown any sign of a cow’s milk allergy but is at risk of developing allergies due to family history there is a formula by Karicare called SensiKare HA. The proteins are partially hydrolysed i.e. not as broken down as Pepti Junior. It is available from supermarkets and internet mail order at a reasonable cost (less than Goat’s and Soya Formula).

Goat’s milk and Soya Formula are not recommended by some paediatricians and allergy experts due to the risk of an allergy also developing to these. Others experience has indicated that these may be suitable so this is something you need to discuss with your health professional if you are considering either of them. Soy based formulas are not recommended when soy is the only source of nutrition. Therefore, a child who is bottle fed only (with no solids) would be best not to be on a soy formula.

There are also a number of already thickened formulas available, but I have been told that most of these do not remain thickened once they are in the stomach and that Karicare AR is the only one available in New Zealand that does. There is also information on thickening feeds available from GRSNNZ, including thickeners suitable for both breastfeeding and formula feeding. A document on AR formula is also available. Thickening feeds should not be attempted until any pain from gastric reflux has been controlled with the appropriate medication.

There are lactose free formulas for those babies with a lactose intolerance. One of these is Karicare De-Lact, which is available on prescription. Soy formulas and Neocate are also lactose free. Pepti junior is “clinically lactose free”. More information is available on Lactose intolerance vs. Milk protein allergy.

NB: This page was designed for New Zealanders. If you are from another country and require assistance with infant feeding, please contact the appropriate health professionals to obtain help.

This was prepared on December 2002, updated June 2005 and to the best of my knowledge is accurate.

REFERENCES:
Breastfeeding (at Everybody)
Composition of formulas from the Karicare site (no longer available on the website) and Karicare infant formula
Goat formula
Karicare Soy formula, Infasoy formula (Health answers site – website no longer available), Isomil (Ross Paediatric Products)
Neocate
Pepti Junior (Health Answers site – website no longer available)
Karicare AR
Dr Rodney Ford, Paediatrician
Karicare SensiKare HA Infant Formula
Cows Milk Allergy – An Update on Adverse Reactions – http://www.allergyclinic.co.nz/cows_milk_allergy.htm

Written by Roslyn Ballantyne (RN), National Coordinator for © Crying Over Spilt Milk Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust (GRSNNZ) 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.

  • Is infant gaviscon at all effective for 2.5 yesr old? my son reacts to ranitadine and omeprozole but has had a reflux flare up which is now resulting in vomiting after lying down in bed. He's even coughing and gaging on water during the day probably from the irritation in his throat etc. I'm having to wait quite some time after dinner to give him rice milk and again before attempting bed. It's pushing bedtime out too far with him not napping. Any suggestions? Can't pinpoint anything dietry wise that may be causing it.

  • Hi everyone. I'm after a bit of advice, my 20month old has recently commenced on liquid iron supplement (after we were told his iron levels are low from blood tests) but we've found its giving him a really sore tummy. Have tried halving the dose but I still have a tearful distressed little man on my hands. Does anyone have any ideas? Or can recommend something else.

  • Hi there, I'm wondering if someone could please advise me. I have been dairy free for 3 weeks today and introduced some back in today; just butter on one piece of toast and a splash of cows milk in 2 hot drinks. My daughter's been crying and not sleeping most of the day unless held. I've also been block feeding to try to prevent her choking etc on my fast flow, however Plunket advised I may like to rethink that now she's 8 weeks old so my supply doesn't diminish. She's a frequent feeder and I've managed to push her out to 2 1/2 hourly feeds over the last few weeks (on Plunket and Dr advice as they said her always feeding would make the reflux worse). She had been quite a bit better over the last week. Tonight I offered her the other breast at her feed as well, instead of the same one as usual and she had a good feed, so obviously needed it. But my goodness, the reflux has been really bad afterwards with lots of gagging and choking and pained crying etc etc (she's not much of a puker). I don't know if this is from having both breasts at the one feed (surely not) or she's super sensitive to the dairy? I'm wondering how long it will now take to see if there's improvement now that I've quit the dairy again? Please tell me it won't be a whole other 3 weeks again!! As I said, it was only a small amount reintroduced today.

  • Paging Rebecca who left a message on the Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ Support Answer Phone on Monday!
    Sorry, for some reason I can't return your call. Can you either text us again on 022 585 5935 or send us an email through the website (which is now working) - http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/contact/

    Contact Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust Phone/Text 022 585 5935 Phone 0800 380 517 * indicates required field Name:* Email:* Subject:* Message:* CAPTCHA Code:* Request Skype Call/Conversation using the form above. Page last updated…

  • Just trying to access the website about allowances in nz.. nothing will load?

  • In all the reading I've done about reflux babies it seems common that they don't settle to sleep to well
    During the day but will at night? Why is that?

  • I don't know if any of you have noticed, but as the website is having a lot of updates at the moment, I have started adding a blog about it to the website. The posts appear on the home page, under the Facebook Preview. Roslyn, National Coordinator.

    For infant and child gastric reflux support in New Zealand: Phone/Text 022 585 5935 Phone 0800 380 517 Contact GRSNNZ via email form Join Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust for access to our Newsletters and Private Local and National Support Networ…

  • Interesting article on dreamfeeds:

    Will ‘dream feeds’ work for your baby? Dorothy Waide shares her insights on this late night option.

  • does a thickener help for Elecare formula? It seems to be so thin and my little granddaughter is spilling a lot with this formula.Would welcome your feedback thanks

  • Christchurch people - there is a new post from someone needing help finding Karicare Aptamil Food Thickener. If you know where to find it, can you please reply on their post?
    Thank you!

  • Does anyone in CHCH know where to find the formula thickener for Elecare formula?? My wee one has just been put onto Elecare and I am finding it needs to be a bit thicker as she is bringing up a lot just like the breast milk. Not all pharmacies sell it

  • After some advice, I have a 10 week old with possible silent reflux ( just started gaviscon) we are wanting to progress to help him achieve self settling. Does anyone have any methods that worked? Absolutely no comfort in patting and shushing... Or am I asking too much from my little man that finds a lot of comfort in being rocked to sleep?

  • Hi all, Just wondering if someone could confirm for me that going dairy free means you can still have non cows milk products like sheep or goat products? I read the spilt milk site and seems to be a cows milk protein issues, not other types of animal products? I just ate sheeps feta then second guessed if it's OK.

  • My 16 month old just saw an allergist today and he told me it sounded like he had reflux. He had it as an infant but around 9 months he stopped needing meds and was fine, but now this winter he has stayed sick! So I'm really trying hard to wrap my head around this... I feel like my baby has been sick for months (stuffy, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, fever.. the list goes on and on) and it's just reflux! I mean if that's the case I guess I'm relieved because that seems like a simple fix. I just feel like he's really been suffering. His pedi was thinking he had asthma and sinus infections. The allergist did swab his nose to see if anything comes back on it but for now he is just taking nexxium(sp?) and a nasal spray.

  • Ignore my previous message (If you saw it), http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz is back!

    For infant and child gastric reflux support in New Zealand: Phone/Text 022 585 5935 Phone 0800 380 517 Contact GRSNNZ via email form Join Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust for access to our Newsletters and Private Local and National Suppor…

  • I asked for a script for infant gaviscon and was given Acidex. Whats the difference?

  • Hoping for a bit of help/more advice. My now 8 week old baby has what we believe to be silent reflux, no one has actually diagnosed her with it, but have been given meds to help. She definitely regurgitates milk, and sometimes projectile vomits (she has only started doing this recently). I am getting so lost of what to do next, we have another appointment with the GP on Thursday, but in the mean time would love any advice on what I can do to help her.

    We started out on Infant Gaviscon, which didn't help much at all. Then onto Ranitidine, which didn't help either. We got prescribed Losec by my GP to use with gaviscon. Which seemed to help for two weeks, but now she is back to being so unsettled and unhappy. From birth she could only ever drink a small amount before she got really uncomfortable and started screaming, I started expressing to get an idea of what she is really drinking, which turned out to be bugger all, this was why i was feeding her 20 odd ml every 1/2 hr to an hour. I'm doing everything I can to help her, have got the bassinet head raised, burp after what seems to be every mouthful! I wear her in my wrap a fair bit during the day for some of her naps.

    I took her to the osteopath last week, and her said she was very sore and had a very tight diaphragm. Two nights later she slept 6 hours! But the next night she was back to a couple of hours at a time. I have another appointment on Thursday.

    As I have a 20 1/2 month old toddler and, expressing got too much as I could never find the time to do it, so now have her on Karicare Formula, which i'm not 100% sure if this is upsetting her stomach aswell. She was induced at 38 weeks as they were concerned about her growth, she was 6lb 3 oz at birth.

    What would be the best formula to have her on? She is still currently on losec and gaviscon. AND how can I ease the screaming after every feed? I'm really starting to stress alot about it and find myself getting pretty emotional.

    Thanks and sorry for the long story!
    Emma

  • Hi everyone, my daughter had severe gerd up until about 9 months and was treated with losec and gaviscon and eurthymician (sp). Four about 3 months she was really good, not needing any meds at all so we weened her off them. She has been med free for about 6 months, but the past two months we are back to screaming and crying every hour each night ( was previously a good night sleeper!) very unsettled etc, but no vomit . My question is can reflux suddenly come back ?

  • Just popping in to clarify our website/forum guidelines.
    Please see this page: http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/guidelines/
    In particular:

    "As the moderators, GRSNNZ reserves the right to remove or edit any posts:

    that recommend another medication as being better or to treat conditions that it is not indicated for

    where dosages of medications are being compared (especially in an unsafe manner) as each child is an individual with differing needs
    where personal advice is given on choosing a formula (sharing experiences is fine)

    where volumes of fluid drunken are counted and compared
    with personal attacks against other users including GRSNNZ staff

    Medications and prescription foods and formula may not be offered for sale/give away on these forums."

    And:

    "Please seek assistance from your Doctor, Midwife, Health Professional or Dietician about feeding your baby. "

    We are getting a lot of requests for advice regarding choosing formulas over the phone, by email and on the forum. Members can tell you their experiences, but they are only their experiences and do not apply to your baby. Please contact your health professional for advice in the first instance or Nutricia also have qualified dieticians.

    GRSNNZ supports the Baby Friendly Initiative and promotes Breastfeeding. GRSNNZ will not give personal advice on formula.

    Kind regards
    GRSNNZ Committee

    Site Guidelines Most of the information on Crying Over Spilt Milk is copyrighted and may not be reproduced on another site/publication without permission, but some may be printed for the personal use of families (and these pages will be clearly marked at the bottom with instructions.) Some material…

  • Please help i am desperate! My wee 9 week old is under a paediatrician forbreflux and a maybe dairy allergy. My milk supply is starring to drop and she has been given Elecare but she refuses to drink it. Have tried vanilla essence and mixing it with my breast milk but still no luck. Any help/advice will be greatly appreciated 😊

  • Hi. I am having real trouble settling my 9 week old baby, especially at night. I would like to wean her off me and have tried both pepti Jr and neocate but no luck. Also on ranitidine for refulx. Am i just best to breast feed or is there other options?

  • Sharing for your information. Please read the whole article - there are safe options.

    A survey of portable cots for sale in New Zealand has uncovered potentially fatal safety defects - including folding mechanisms that could trap a child's neck. - New Zealand Herald

  • I don't know if this is the right site but my mum is being treated for reflux which has brought on burning mouth syndrome.
    All her food tasted awful and was wondering if anyone has any tips if dealing or getting rid of this?
    Thank you x

  • May your heart be warmed by the sweet magic that Christmas brings, and may all your dreams be fulfilled.
    Christmas Greetings from the Trustees of the Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust.

  • The GRSNNZ 0800 number and mobile will not be answered or messages cleared between these dates: 25th to 28th December and then again from 1st January to 11th January. You are welcome to leave a message or text and we will respond as soon as we are able.