Infant formula is a kind of factory-made food designed and marketed to feed the newborn. Allergic babies are unable to digest either the milk protein (sometimes, even the cow milk) or the soybean protein present in their diet. In an analysis it has been noted that the probabilities of getting this allergic reaction is about 3% in infants.
Mothers should take care of their infants and try to identify if their child suffers from allergy due to milk protein. Most children outgrow this allergy and are soon able to ingest milk protein without allergic reactions.
Signs of Allergy to Formula
The most common signs of milk protein allergy are rash, hives, and dry patches of skin (eczema), especially in the areas of forehead. Babies can also manifest allergy to milk protein in the form of pain in the abdomen, vomiting, crying a lot after feeding, difficulty in breathing, swelling in the throat, and tongue. An acute allergic reaction with swelling of the whole body called Anaphylaxis may also develop; though rare, its presentation is extreme.
You should have information about the subtle clues of allergic reaction to formula. Look out for signs of an allergic reaction shortly after you have began or finished feeding. These signs can be continuous crying or fussiness of the baby, discomfort, colic, or excessive gas formation. A red ring may develop around the rectum of the baby that won’t get cleared up by a zinc oxide preparation. Your baby may also develop excessive hard or loose and watery stools that smell foul. Frequency of spitting up may also be increased in your baby.
More signs and symptoms that suggest that a baby is suffering from baby formula allergy are:
- Constant looseness of the bowels (an average of two to four times daily for over a week) and if there's blood in the nappy, it might signal a baby formula allergic reaction.
- Babies typically spit up bits of food, however if the baby is vomiting beyond the typical throw up they should be tested by a physician.
- Colic in babies may sometimes be due to stomach ache from an allergic reaction to the proteins found in formula.
- All babies have gas; however, when it happens along with rest of the symptoms, this can also suggest an allergic reaction to milk proteins.
- Colds are common in babies; however, wheezing, struggling to breathe and developing excess phlegm in the nose and throat is not. For some children, there can be a reaction to the protein that is present in the milk.
How to Deal with Allergy to Formula
If your baby suffers from allergic reaction to infant formula, don’t be worried. Many infants outgrow this allergy before they are a year old and almost all of them outgrow it by the time they are three years old.
There is a general rise in allergic reactions, especially in babies. You can breastfeed your baby exclusively for a time period of at least 6 months to decrease the number and severity of the allergies of your baby. If there is a family history of allergies, dig out information on how you and your partner received feeds during infancy and if there were any adverse reactions to milk protein. Discuss with your baby’s pediatrician about the different ways in which you can avoid the exposure of potential allergens in your baby.
If your child shows symptoms of a potential allergy to formula milk you are using, consult with your child’s physician before changing the formula and using a new one.
Watch a video to learn more about formula allergy symptoms and treatments:
Experiences of Other Moms
You can also learn something by reading how other moms dealt with a baby allergic to formula:
“My son of 2 months had been suffering from colic as well as “baby acne” since birth. Though the pediatrician told it was normal, I felt something was wrong with my baby. He started passing watery stools every day and suffered from colic all the time and could not eat properly. Once I replaced her baby formula with a hypoallergenic one, the baby’s condition improved instantly. The same thing happened at the time of my daughter too, who is now 3 years old. She also suffered with similar symptoms for at least 4 months because I used the same formula with her. I warn other mothers to watch out for these symptoms and follow their instincts on what is good for their kids.”
“My 4 month old son who used to have constant rash, woke up erratically in the nights and used to vomit after eating meals. The first General Physician diagnosed the disease wrongly as Tinea. The Second General Physician correctly diagnosed the disease to be due to allergy to cow’s milk and suggested me to keep my child away from milk and feed her soy milk instead. The rash has vanished and the child is able to sleep peacefully at nights. The kid is much happier now. I recommend other moms to be persistent and open minded about their kid’s health and well-being instead of thinking about budget and paying heed to other people’s thoughts.”