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Which Soya baby formula?

(21 Posts)
MrsWhirling Fri 06-Sep-13 10:29:01

Just wondering which Soya formula you use? And where did you get it from?

greenbananas Fri 06-Sep-13 11:35:49

Soya formula is not really recommended for babies, for a number of reasons. For example, there is some concern about the levels of phyto-oestrogens in soya milk. Also, a large percentage of children who have problems with cow's milk also have problems with soya (the proteins are quite similar).

If you suspect your baby has an allergy or intolerance to cow's milk formula, speak to your HV or doctor, and they may be able to prescribe hypoallergenic formula instead.

I know soya formula is freely available in the shops, but that is partly to give formula-feeding vegan parents the choice to use a formula which is not based on animal milk. I also know that GPs sometimes recommend soya formula when they suspect CMP allergy or intolerance, but that is perhaps because soya formula is marketed to them quite aggressively (in the UK, it's illegal to advertise formula directly to parents with babies under 6 months old, but okay to promote formula to health professionals).

Many GPs do not have up-to-date training about allergies and intolerances, so if a GP recommends soya formula to you, please see a different doctor.

MrsWhirling Fri 06-Sep-13 12:30:44

Hi Greenbananas, thank you for your reply.

My DS 9mths has been seen& tested by one if the best paed allergies specialists. He confirmed allergy to cows milk & eggs. The Dr & subsequent dietitian both reccomended Soya formula and then Soya follow on milk. I was also told that the synthetic formula's tasted vile and were unlikely to be accepted my a 9mth old. Why do you say Soya based baby formula isn't reccomended?

NothingsLeft Fri 06-Sep-13 19:15:34

I agree, soya formula is not recommended especially for cmpi babies. 40% of babies allergic to cows milk proteins are also allergic to soy. If they don't show problems initially, a fair few go on to develop them once exposed.

We also saw a top allergist (Dr. Fox) & a dietician who both gave rubbish advice on infant feeding. Very disappointing but there you go. Have you tried neonate?

trixymalixy Fri 06-Sep-13 21:00:51

I wouldn't use soya formula either, it has been linked to fertility problems in boys particularly, very bad for teeth and also common for CMPA allergic children to be allergic to soya too as the proteins are similar.

I have heard that pepti junior is more palatable than neonate or nutramigen.

greenbananas Fri 06-Sep-13 21:26:41

Glad your baby has already been seen by a specialist smile

Soya formula is nutritionally adequate - or they wouldn't be allowed to sell it! However, it may have long term consequences for normal hormonal development (concerns about phytoestrogens). As nothingsleft says, lots of babies who have problems with cmp also have problems with soya, and as trixy says, soya formula can be very bad for teeth (because of high levels of glucose).

In the same way that GPs are not always experts in allergy, paediatric allergists are not always experts in baby feeding. (Also, some do research / give lecture tours funded by the baby food industry.... they wouldn't be human if they weren't influenced by that a bit sad )

Hypoallergenic formula does taste vile, and some health professionals are unwilling to prescribe it because it is so expensive. Still, it might be a safer option. I've never had to use it, but have seen lots of threads on this board about how best to encourage babies to take it, so there will be help here if you need it.

How has your baby been fed until now? If you are breastfeeding, were you given information about exclusion diets? (the NICE guidelines say you should have been). If you are concerned about having to go back to work soon, there are ways of making sure your baby gets enough milk.

If you want to read some of the evidence about soya formula for yourself, you could try looking on the kellymom website. I can't link on my kindle, but type "soya formula" into the search field and you should be directed to a list of academic articles from various sources.

Obviously, it's your choice, you must do what feels right for you, and lots of babies do thrive on soya formula, but your dietitian should not have recommended it without taking you through some of the risks.

greenbananas Fri 06-Sep-13 21:27:11

(Sorry that was such an essay!)

MrsWhirling Sat 07-Sep-13 06:58:55

Not an essay at all, very helpful. Thank you!

Baby has/is exc BF and love his food. I return to work 2wks before his first birthday. I have never been able to express more than 2oz. Also with 5yr old.and an hours commute expressing is not an option.

I am concerned about Soya but really confused at the moment sad

MrsWhirling Sat 07-Sep-13 07:00:06

BTW his skin prick test was negative for Soya. So now trying the old Soy yoghurt to see if it's ok.

MrsWhirling Sat 07-Sep-13 07:01:42

Not tried Neonate. Is that what you use? Do you continue post 1yrs old?

trixymalixy Sat 07-Sep-13 08:56:59

You don't necessarily need formula. I went back to work when DS was 1, I bf him morning and after picking him up and before bed.

He had oat milk during the day.

I bf him until he was 2.

And I'm afraid a negative SPT doesn't mean that he won't become allergic as I and others on here have found.

greenbananas Sat 07-Sep-13 09:40:18

Ah, if you are still breastfeeding, you have more options to choose from smile

I understand that expressing may not be an option for you, what with the commute and your children needing you when you are home (I also have a 5 year old and a 9 month old baby so know where you are coming from on that one!)

Lots of women do struggle to express very much, even with the very latest thing in pumps. Babies are much more efficient at getting milk than any pump can be, and pumps don't give you that lovely rush of oxytocin that gets the milk flowing. It takes a lot longer to feed the pump than it does to feed the baby!

I think you have a good case for getting hypoallergenic formula prescribed. If you see the right doctor and explain that you are returning to work, they should be helpful.

However, as your baby will be nearly 12 months old, you might not need to use any formula at all if you are happy to continue breastfeeding outside of work hours, especially as your baby is a good eater. Many mums find that their babies go for long periods in the day without milk when they are in childcare, then make up for it by feeding lots and lots in the evenings. It really depends on how you feel about carrying on with breastfeeding once you are back at work.

What kind of childcare are you thinking about? I'm wondering if a sympathetic childminder or nanny might be more flexible than a busy nursery (and also more able to ensure that your baby is kept away from milk and eggs at snack time).

I'm a registered childminder, and started looking after a breastfed little boy the same age as yours (2 weeks before his first birthday). He was one that never needed formula (he has no allergies, his mum just didn't want to use it). She gave him a big feed at 5.30am before she left for work, and she arrived to collect him from me at 3.30pm. As soon as she walked in the door, I made her a cup of tea and she fed him while we chatted for half an hour or so. He kept on breastfeeding happily until he was 2. It worked really well for them, and he thrived on the balanced but highly restricted diet I feed to my own son (who has multiple allergies). I didn't mind the half hour breastfeeding in my home every day, especially as this mum is a friend as well as a client, but you would need to find a child carer who could see things from your point of view.

If you want to talk through your going back to work options, you could call the National Breastfeeding Helpline (0300 100 0212) - they are very used to this scenario! Obviously, your sons allergies are an extra worry for you, and if you want to talk through that side of things, there are loads of us on this board who have been through similar.

greenbananas Sat 07-Sep-13 09:41:02

(Oops - another essay!)

greenbananas Sat 07-Sep-13 09:42:45

And cross-posted with trixymalixy grin

MrsWhirling Sat 07-Sep-13 10:46:36

Thank you I really appreciate your advice!

I am more than happy breast feeding him morning and evenings as long as I can. However I will be leaving him by 8am each morning and not getting back til 6pm so I guess as long as I still have milk that could work.

I'm lucky that my mum will be having him so she will feed him well and knows his allergies.

So if I BF morning and evening what could he have and how much during the day? He'll be 2wks shy of his 1st birthday? Xxx

greenbananas Sat 07-Sep-13 12:31:43

Great that your mum will be having him - makes things so much easier.

8am until 6 pm seems like a long time, but it is definitely doable, and is the same sort of gap that my mindee coped with (though she worked an early shift and finished earlier). If you want your baby to have substitute milk during the day, he could drink calcium enriched oat milk (Oatly) or coconut milk (used to be called Kara but think it has changed name). My little mindee wasn't interested in either of the above, so he just drank water and occasional juice plus lots of breast milk morning and evening. Rice milk is not suitable for babies to drink because of low levels of arsenic.

If you want to try expressing while you are at work, your employer is legally obliged to provide you with time to do this, a fridge to store your milk, and a private place to express.

You will have milk for as long as you carry on feeding the baby - think about wet nurses in "olden times" who fed a succession of babies for years and years. Breast milk is made on a supply and demand basis, so your body will soon get used to the times that you need to produce lots of milk.

Good luck with all this - no doubt it feels a bit overwhelming at the moment.

NothingsLeft Sat 07-Sep-13 12:40:16

I've found it's completely doable to carry on BFing now I'm back at work. I went back when DS was a year and we're still going strong six months in. I feed him at 6-6.30am before I leave, then he has bedtime boobs around 6.30pm. I'll give him the odd extra boob here and there when I'm around but mostly it's been two feeds a days. I was surprised how quickly it changed tbh.

The dietician we saw said they need 300-500 mls of milk or yogurts equivalents to meet their calcium needs at this age and two Bfeds a day will do it. I found his appetite for solids really picked up once I went back to work and he's been fine without milk at nursery.

Lots of my friends found there non allergic DC's refused cows milk in the stay and just stuck with the boobs around work hours.

MrsWhirling Sat 07-Sep-13 15:55:14

Thanks Nothingsleft,

So useful to know!

Do you give him any milk substitute or yoghurts in between the BF's??

trixymalixy Sat 07-Sep-13 16:34:52

That's the same length of time I left DS 8-6 and he was fine, and my milk production seemed to cope.

DS had Oatly. He now has Koko. Rice milk not suitable for under 4s due to the arsenic content.

Stropzilla Sat 07-Sep-13 16:43:08

I was given soya by dr and dds nutritionist went nuts. tried nutramagen but dd hated it. I ended up on pepti junior which was great. After a year or so found dd didn't need it any more smile

NothingsLeft Sat 07-Sep-13 21:25:02

No he just ate more food!

I was a bit anxious about it as he had a few weight gain issues, hence the dietician consultation.

She advised not to give the oatly, kara type milks as a milk substitute because they are not calorific enough but quite filling. As his calcium needs are being met with the BFing, she said to replace milk feeds with high calorie foods, humous snacks, peanut butter sandwiches etc which we did. He's took to it really well which surprised me.

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