Worried that your child is allergic to formula milk? Many times, as a parent you tend to worry that is my baby allergic to formula milk? However, in reality, only 3% babies are allergic to the protein used commonly in formulas.
It is important that you gather as much information possible to make an informed decision. While breast milk is best for your baby, in case you choose to feed your baby formula milk, you need to look for the symptoms of allergies.
Causes Behind Baby Formula Milk Allergy:
Several research studies are still being conducted to find the reasons behind some babies developing milk allergies. Here are some of the probable causes behind milk allergies:
- Allergies are a result of the overreaction of your baby’s immune system to a foreign body. Whenever your baby is formula fed, the immune system will attack the proteins to destroy elements causing allergy.
- It will not be possible for your baby to process the proteins. In the process, your baby might be deprived of the vital nutrients as well.
- The severity of allergic reactions depends on how allergic your baby is.
- Heredity plays an important role in causing allergies in these cases. If you or your partner were allergic to formula milk, the chances of your baby developing the same increases by 50% to 80%.
If your baby is breastfed, the risks of developing allergies reduce to a considerable extent.
Symptoms Of Milk Allergies:
To know if your baby is allergic to formula milk or not, you need to look for the following baby formula milk allergy symptoms:
- Diarrhea is very common among babies. If it persists for long and you find blood in his stool, it is probably a symptom of formula allergy. This generally results from irritated digestive track.
- Babies have a tendency of vomiting bits of food, but if it stays for long and if you see your baby throwing up every time, you may consider it to be an allergy symptom. This results from irritation in intestines and esophageal tract.
- Skin rashes such as hives or eczema can be symptoms of milk allergy.
- If you find your baby crying more than usual, it probably is colic. If you find him extremely fussy, it could be due to pain in the stomach, which can be due to the proteins in formula.
- Babies develop cold easily. If you find him struggling to breathe, wheezing and developing too much of phlegm, probably it’s the way the body is reacting to the protein in milk.
- Constipation or gas can be a major cause of discomfort for babies being fed on formula. Irregular bowel movements can make a child fussy. See a doctor for proper diagnosis.
How To Tell If Baby Is Allergic To Formula Milk?
In case you find any one or more of the above mentioned symptoms and you are worried that your child is allergic to milk proteins, it’s best to call a pediatrician.
- Let the doctor know about the family history of milk allergies.
- Show him your baby’s stool and blood samples if possible.
- Your doctor may ask you to take your baby for a skin test to confirm diagnosis.
- He may ask you to replace the formula milk and reintroduce it again after a few weeks.
- You may also be asked to remove formula milk from his diet altogether.
Treatment For Formula Allergies:
There is no need to panic, as there are a couple of things you can do to treat formula allergy in your baby.
- Hydrolyzed formulas contain proteins found in cow’s milk. These are broken into small particles that make them less allergic. In most of the cases, babies with milk allergy can digest this milk easily. However, chances of allergic reactions cannot be ruled out completely even in this case.
- Formula milk based on amino acid is known to be the simplest form of protein. This is suggested when condition of your baby does not seem to improve even after being fed hydrolyzed formula.
It is definitely stressful and sad for you as a parent to see your baby suffering allergies, and in the process, getting uncomfortable and cranky. Consider this a part of growing up and know that this is normal. Keep an eye on your baby and talk to your doctor about your baby’s discomfort. Make sure you take your baby to the doctor immediately in case the discomfort starts to grow.