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Is Your Baby Allergic to Formula?

Is Your Baby Allergic to Formula?

Every parent goes through this agonizing question of whether the formula is safe for their baby. If your baby is having allergic reactions to formula the rational decision is to consult your baby's pediatrician and follow his advice. But how do you know if your loved one is having allergies.
Reshu Mehrotra
You have been eagerly awaiting your baby's arrival by counting days and preparing your house for the most lovable guest. You are overwhelmed with emotions and when it's time for you to go to the hospital you are already feeling anxious like you felt when your results were out. Well, the baby has arrived and the next question is whether you should give the baby breast milk or formula.
Once you have decided on your choice it's extremely important that you thoroughly research on the options available in baby formula. The pediatrician is going to prescribe the baby formula after examining the baby and asking you questions about heredity allergies. In most cases cow based, iron fortified milk formulas are recommended by the doctors for the newborn.
Common Signs To Lookout For
According to American Pediatric Association, around 3% of babies suffer from allergic reaction to baby formula though this allergies wear out once they are 3 years old. Also due to heredity related skin allergies, a baby may have 60-70% chance of inheriting these allergies. The causes of milk allergy are still a mystery to the doctor.
According to pediatricians, the baby can have immediate reaction after drinking the formula or have a delayed reaction. The signs in immediate reactions can be flushed face after drinking milk, stuffy nose and watery eyes. The baby might develop rash or have diarrhea. Although it's rare that the baby might develop anaphylaxis (condition in which the baby suffers from swelling on face, dizziness, extreme sweating and vomiting). It is better to immediately rush to the nearest emergency hospital. The delayed reactions do have some common signs to lookout for if your baby is suffering through allergies relating to baby formula.
Constipation or Diarrhea
The baby may pass stools which are hard and while passing he/she may cry a lot. Monitor this condition for 5 days and consult a pediatrician. Also if you have switched from breast milk to formula, the baby's stool color and smell might change. Before switching do consult your pediatrician for his expert advice. If the baby's stool are loose and he/she has been passing it several times in a day, call the doctor. If you notice any blood in the stool, take the baby to the doctor's office immediately.
Hives or Skin Rash
Though the reason as to why the skin flare ups occur is still unclear, one of the reasons may be the allergy to milk formula. Consulting your doctor and discussing these allergies and heredity problems, if any, may be an ideal choice. The doctor might suggest a hydrolyzed protein formula.
Breathing Problems
Though babies are more susceptible to cold infections, if the baby has no cold problems and due to the formula, the baby develops shortness of breath, cold like signs, mucus in throat and nose and trouble while breathing and wheezing sounds then it's better to consult a doctor.
Fussy and Lack of Energy
In this case, the baby has developed colic like symptoms and cries for one to four hours continuously. The baby can also experience pain in tummy which is the result of gastrointestinal pain due to allergy caused by protein in the milk. Usually during or after feeding, the baby might be prone to develop pain in the stomach due to excessive gas and may grow restless.
Weight Gain Problems
While at the hospital, the pediatrician would have given you a growth chart which states that the child is expected to put on at least twice their birth weight by six months and thrice their birth weight till 12 months. If the baby is not able to digest the milk and his/her weight has been declining due to vomiting and loose motions, it's better to consult your pediatrician and talk about this problem.
Throwing up after Feeding
I am sure every parent must have smiled at the phrase 'Spit Happens' but in reality it gives tension to new parents. Though babies might throw up a bit of milk if it is not digested as a result of reflux but it should not frequently occur. It's important for the parent to monitor that when is the vomiting episode occurring. If it is during feed time then consulting your pediatrician is the best choice.
Usually these symptoms can occur in a 72 hour time frame or after 3 days too. That is why it is difficult for a doctor to pinpoint the exact cause of the allergy. Blood and motion test is undertaken to confirm the allergy. If the doctor suspects allergic reaction because of formula milk he might prescribe a hypoallergenic formula. With proper care and diagnosis, this problem can be solved and the allergies also subside within 4 weeks. Though there are many formulas available in the market it is always wise to choose a formula as prescribed by the pediatrician and follow the instructions. With reasonable care and precaution, your little genius will most probably grow out of the milk allergy.