Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is best for babies to help support healthy growth and development, and is recommended for as long as possible during infancy.1

For the first six months of life, your baby will only be given milk – ideally breastmilk which is naturally rich with all the nutrients they need. At around six months of age, complementary foods can be introduced whilst you continue to breastfeed.1

This period can prove challenging for some parents, especially if their baby has special nutritional needs. For guidance and support, find out more here.

Reference

  1. World Health Organization, 2013: http://www.who.int/features/qa/57/en/ Accessed 14th August 2013.

Supporting breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the best form of nutrition for babies and exclusive breastfeeding is recommended by the Department of Health and World Health Organization for the first six months of life.1, 2 Breastfeeding plays an important role in public health on a broader scale as it promotes health and helps prevent diseases for infants and mothers.

Click on links below for further information on breastfeeding:

Can I breastfeed if my baby has cow's milk allergy?

Breastfeeding is the best form of nutrition for babies and exclusive breastfeeding is recommended by the Department of Health and World Health Organization for the first six months of life.1,2 In some breastfed babies with cow’s milk allergy, allergic reactions can occur. This can be because there is still cow’s milk protein in the mother’s diet.

If your baby is experiencing allergic symptoms whilst being breastfed, it is recommended that you avoid foods which may contain cow’s milk protein and continue to breastfeed. If you have any concerns regarding your baby or require practical advice on how to avoid cow’s milk, it is recommended that you seek the help of your healthcare professional.

For tips on breastfeeding, please visit the How to feed your baby section.

If you have any concerns, please discuss these with your
healthcare professional.

References

  1. DOH, 2011:
    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publichealth/Nutrition/Nutritionpregnancyearlyyears/DH_127625 Accessed14th August 2013.
  2. World Health Organization, 2013: http://www.who.int/features/qa/57/en/ Accessed 14th August 2013.

Alternatives to breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is best for babies, and is recommended for as long as possible during infancy. If you are experiencing difficulties breastfeeding, you should consult your healthcare professional before trying any alternatives.

*Note that infant formulas for special medical purposes should be used only on the advice of a healthcare professional.

Whey dominant milks (first infant formula) for babies from birth

Whey dominant milks are commonly referred to as ‘first’ infant formulas as they should be the first formula to be given to your baby, if they are not being breastfed.1 These formulas can be used up until your baby is 12 months old, and there after your baby can then start to drink whole (full-fat) cow’s milk.1

Breastfeeding is best for babies, and is recommended for as long as possible during infancy.

If you have any concerns, please discuss these with your healthcare professional.

Reference

  1. NHS - Start4life, 2012: http://www.nhs.uk/start4life/documents/pdfs/start4life_guide_to_bottle_feeding.pdf Accessed 14th August 2013.

Casein dominant milks (second infant formula) for babies from birth

Casein dominant milks are commonly referred to as ‘second infant formulas’ or ‘hungry baby milks’.1

There is usually little need for your baby to switch to this infant formula milk if they are on a ‘first’ infant formula, however your healthcare professional can give you additional guidance.1

If you have any concerns, please discuss these with your healthcare professional.

Reference

  1. NHS - Start4life, 2012: http://www.nhs.uk/start4life/documents/pdfs/start4life_guide_to_bottle_feeding.pdf Accessed 14th August 2013.

Follow-on milks (for babies over 6 months old)

Follow-on milks can be given to babies aged six months and above.1 They contain an increased amount of iron as well as other vitamins and minerals to help support babies as they grow.

Breastfeeding is best for babies and is recommended for as long as possible during infancy. If you wish to switch to a follow-on milk, your healthcare professional can advise and give you additional guidance.

If you have any concerns, please discuss these with your healthcare professional.

Reference

  1. NHS - Start4life, 2012: http://www.nhs.uk/start4life/documents/pdfs/start4life_guide_to_bottle_feeding.pdf Accessed 14th August 2013

Soya formula (for babies over 6 months)1

Infant formulas which are soya-based are used only occasionally upon the advice of a healthcare professional. For example, if you are not breastfeeding and you would like your baby to have a vegan diet.1

In the UK, the Chief Medical Officer advises against the use of soya-based infant formulas in babies under the age of six months on account of the phytoestrogen content, a naturally occurring compound found in plants, and the possibility of children with cow’s milk allergy also being allergic to soya protein.2-3

If you have any concerns, please discuss these with your healthcare professional.

Partially hydrolysed formulas

Partially hydrolysed formulas are otherwise known as ‘comfort formulas’. They can be given to babies from birth to 12 months of age who have minor feeding difficulties.

The proteins in partially hydrolysed formulas are broken down (hydrolysed) into smaller pieces than are found in standard infant formula.

Partially hydrolysed formulas are not suitable for the dietary management of cow’s milk allergy as the protein pieces are still fairly large and may still trigger an allergic reaction.1

If you have any concerns, please discuss these with your healthcare professional.

Reference

  1. Høst A et al. Arch Dis Child 1999;81:80-84.

Extensively hydrolysed formulas for cow's milk allergy

If your baby is not being breastfed and has cow’s milk allergy, a hypoallergenic formula should be used under the guidance of your healthcare professional.

The proteins in extensively hydrolysed formulas are broken down (hydrolysed) into small pieces (peptides and amino acids), as this reduces the likelihood of the immune system recognising the protein in cow’s milk and in turn reducing the likelihood of an allergic reaction.

Infant formulas can also be partially hydrolysed, however, unlike extensively hydrolysed formulas they are not hypoallergenic and are not recommended for use in the dietary management of cow’s milk allergy.1

If you have any concerns, please discuss these with your healthcare professional.

Reference

  1. Høst A et al. Arch Dis Child 1999;81:80-84.

Amino acid formulas for cow's milk allergy

If your child is not being breastfed and has an allergy to cow’s milk, a hypoallergenic formula should be used under the guidance of your healthcare professional.

Amino acid formulas differ from extensively hydrolysed formulas in that the protein they contain is only in the form of amino acids. Both amino acid and extensively hydrolysed formulas are hypoallergenic and can be used for the management of cow’s milk allergy.

If you have any concerns, please discuss these with your healthcare professional.

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RXANI140098 Date of preparation: March 2014