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.
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 688 742) 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.
Breastfeeding (at Everybody)
Composition of formulas from the Karicare site (no longer available on the website) and Karicare infant formula
Karicare Soy formula, Infasoy formula (Health answers site – website no longer available), Isomil (Ross Paediatric Products)
Pepti Junior (Health Answers site – website no longer available)
Dr Rodney Ford, Paediatrician
Karicare SensiKare HA Infant Formula
Cows Milk Allergy – An Update on Adverse Reactions – http://www.allergyclinic.co.nz/guides/43.html
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.
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Hi Ladies, my 12 week old has silent reflux, was put on neocate with suspected milk intolerance but symptoms never went away untill we suspected reflux was put on gaviscon, helped alot, still wouldnt sleep in the day would wake crying so was put on losec, been on this for three weeks and stil no improvement. And he has started to spill now with every feed. Im wondering if the neocate isn't right for him and considering normal formula. Or would that make things worse?? Any ideas :) Thanks
Did you know that gastro-esophageal reflux disease can present as a behaviour disturbance?
Hi, im after some advice/help. I have a 7 week old son that has been diagnosed with servere reflux and colic.( he also has a upper lip tie and doesnt feed well anyway) We were prescribed infant gavison to help with the reflux but it has blocked him up horrendously. we were told to stop it and have been given a laxative to help clear him out. yesterday the doctor was talking about prescribing him an entensively hydrolysed formula (pepti Junior) and trialing before we can look at the Neocate as she thinks he may have a cows milk allergy. Today she has rung and said there is a new formula out from Karicare. Its called Karicare Plus comfort which is partially hydrolysed. And that i need to pick one and trial it. Im so confused and googling all this info has confused me even more. HELP PLEASE
Hi ladies, is it ok to give a reflux baby infacol wind drops?? Or will it make his reflux worse??? Thanks
The most efficient way to speak to one of the Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ staff is to text a message to 022 585 5935. Include your name, phone numbers or email and a brief explanation of why you are contacting us. We will contact you as soon as possible. Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust (GRSNNZ) appreciates your donations so that we can continue to support families coping with gastric reflux. http://www.givealittle.co.nz/org/GRSNNZ
Can you get samples of Neocate or similar from anywhere?
Does anyone know if there is any kind of parents support page for kids with allergies? Sorry not entirely reflux related but since they often go hand in hand thought id ask here. Thanks :)
The most efficient way to speak to one of the Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ staff is to text a message to 022 585 5935. Include your name, phone numbers or email and a brief explanation of why you are contacting us. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Hi there, I have just today searched for & found your page as I am desperate to find some relief for my 7.5 week old who is in pain & discomfort. My 7 week old was born 4weeks early via c-section & we are seeing a cranio-osteopath for a number of the interventions she needed during & post birth. After the last 2 treatments she has what seems like reflux symptoms, last time (3 weeks ago) was for 6 days, this time we are on day four. She screams for hours after feeds in pain, no holding position really works better than others, we just fluke a good position which may only offer a few minutes relief or she goes into an exhausted pained sleep. She can't sleep on her back in bed during the day (have tried propping it) so I either put her on her tummy (works sometimes) or hold her upright tummy to tummy at varying degrees on me in the ring sling, we need to sleep like that at night sometimes too. She used to wind well & was spilly at times but it didn't seem like an issue. Now she often doesn't burp or spill at all, gets tense & upset instead. Also her saliva gets so thick & it sounds like she's choking & struggling to breathe past it in her throat. I have tried shorter feeds more often but it doesn't really help - and how does this work if she is screaming for 2-3+ hours (more feeding makes it worse) then going to sleep? How will she get enough if every feed is smaller? I don't want to wake her as it all starts again & we both need to recharge too. Any advice much appreciated, I don't know what to do for her & it's so distressing!
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/812388?nlid=35583_2047&src=wnl_edit_medn_peds&uac=76049AV&spon=9 :-) - Conclusion is also that it is likely to do no harm either.
Studies vary too widely in products and dosages used to permit definitive conclusions, investigators say.
HAMILTON people - how many of you are out there and reading this post??? I'm just replying to a message regarding our COGS Funding Application for the Hamilton area. As our Trust has just moved from the Hamilton area to the Canterbury area, they want to know how many people we are supporting in Hamilton on a weekly basis. I know how many members we have in Hamilton, but of course we support more via our website and this Facebook page. Please LIKE this post if you are in Hamilton and reading this BUT only if you are in Hamilton. :-) Many thanks for your help. Roslyn National Coordinator Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust
Constipation with infant gaviscon...just wondering if baby's system "gets used to it"?
Sorry but need to vent...my daughter who is now 18months had a pre-op check today for her grommet procedure on Monday, met with another new doctor today who obviously only briefly read her file and noted reflux she then proceeded to check her arms and state how chubby she was and that would make inserting a drip harder and because she is reflux there is a chance the mask could make her sick - she then stated 'obviously she hasn't got bad reflux because she is still quite chubby!' um, well obviously you haven't been her doctor for the last 18months and have no idea of the ordeal the reflux actually has been fir her or our family...this made me wild! Anyone else encountered this attitude??
To my Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ email address "I am interested in buying some of your products for our clients in Manila Philippines.While surfing for some purchases online,I came across that your company stocks some of our required goods and could help provide this items..." LOL what do they want to purchase??? Screaming sounds, vomit, curdled milk, preloved stained carpets... ;-)