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Dairy Allergy Baby Boy - Oestrogens in Soya Formula OK for a boy or should we use a hypoallergenic formula?

(15 Posts)
Paulacarl Wed 01-Sep-10 20:54:44

Our little boy seems to have a dairy allergy and comes out in hives when he has anything with dairy in it. I've been breast feeding up to now but would like to start moving him across to a bottle. I know you can get soya based formula, but one of the Health Visitors said that she would not advise this for baby boys due to some research showing that the oestrogen content in soya could cause infertility problems in baby boys. My friend has been given Aptamil Pepti (which breaks down the milk proteins so that they don't cause an allergic reaction) as an alternative for her little boy who also has a dairy allegy.
Does anyone have any experience of either of these, or any information about the research on oestrogen and baby boys? I'm off to see the GP and could do with being armed with some information beforehand.
Thanks for any help,
Paula x

thisisyesterday Wed 01-Sep-10 20:57:56

i wouldn't use soya no

in fact, i would carry on breastfeeding as I think it's best for any child with allergies to be honest.

if you really, really want formula tho then i would get a hypoallergenic one, beware they taste vile tho

Paulacarl Wed 01-Sep-10 21:00:47

Thanks. Its a really difficult one. I know breast feeding is best, but I really want my periods back so we can start ttc. I know its possible to conceive while breast feeding but our little one is still a pretty frequent feeder at six months - even through the night - and I hit 40 in December so don't feel that time is on my side.

Paula x

MigGril Wed 01-Sep-10 21:35:47

Hum yes BF is the best for a baby with allergies. I wouldn't use Soya formula, becasue of the hormons and there is a possiblity that they can become allergic to soya as well.

If he's six months and your introducing solids he should start to drope some of his feeds. Once's your not feeding exculsively I don't believe your proteced from getting pregnat.

csqm Wed 01-Sep-10 23:51:50

I believe that for a baby with allergies, bf can end up doing more harm than good if extended for too long. My first son was diagnosed with multiple food allergies at 5 1/2 months. I was exclusively bf at the time. After diagnosed, I did take everything he was allergic to out of my diet. But I must say that it was only when I managed to finally move him to the hypoallergenic formula (it was not easy I must confess) that his symptoms totally disappeared (essentially very bad eczema that had revealed when he was 3 months old) . He is now 21 months old and is still on that formula (Neocate). It tastes awful but he takes it with baby rice/cereal (he never drank it on its own). We could have moved him to soya but his dietitian also did not recommend because of the hormones. Soya milk also does not offer as much as Neocate from a nutritional point of view. I have a newborn son and I am again exlusively bf as I do believe it is more valuable than any formula but if he reveals to be allergic as his brother did I will not hesitate to move him to Neocate. Please note that Neocate seems to be the only 100% hipoallergenic formula out there. Good luck!

greenbananas Thu 02-Sep-10 10:37:52

Hi Paulacarl. Sorry to hear about your LO's dairy allergy. As others have said, if you do want to stop bf, go for one of the hypoallergenic formulas. Soya contains phyto-oestrogensa, which mimic the action of oestrogen. Also, the proteins in soya are quite similar to those in cow's milk and some children who are allergic to cow's milk develop allergies to soya as well. If you ask your GP, I'd be very surprised if he/she recommends soya.

cqsm, there is absolutely no evidence that bf can harm an allergic baby - but there is plenty of evidence that bf has benefits for all children for as long as the mother is able to continue. My experience has been totally opposite to yours. My DS has multiple food allergies and is still bf happily at 23 months. His (v. bad) eczema cleared up totally when I eliminated all the allergens from his diet - these included many things he hadn't been tested for at that stage (and it took months of food-diary to identify them all - I know that not everybody feels able to keep that kind of control over their own diet). I feel that statements about bf potentially doing harm are inaccurate and misleading. I've noticed that some mums seem to be hustled onto hypoallergenic formula by well-meaning doctors before they are in full possession of the facts. Every mother has a choice about whether or not to bf and they should have accurate information in order to make an informed choice.

greenbananas Thu 02-Sep-10 10:43:35

cqsm - just realised how preachy that last post sounded... oops. I'm not being critical, really I'm not, just tend to react a bit violently about this subject... also, my typing is rubbish; I meant "eliminated all the allergens from my own diet" - because as you know the proteins go through into breastmilk so it is quite a task to eliminate them all (but perfectly possible given the time to cook everything from scratch and the right family circumstances)

strawberrycake Thu 02-Sep-10 20:31:26

My ds is on soya and I saw the paed today and she said she wants him off it as 'it's not good long term' Didn't ask much about why.

emmylou157 Fri 03-Sep-10 01:51:19

Soya milk is not recommended for babies under 6 months old the following link has some info on it f. The GP will probably want to confirm it is cows milk protein allergy rather than any other kind of allergy. I would ask him to refer you to a dietitian who can go through appropriate weaning foods etc and if it is advise you regarding what milk to give.

csqm Fri 03-Sep-10 22:12:45

What I wrote just speaks for my own experience. Greenbananas, I'm glad you had a more positive experience, but I still guide myself for what I have experienced and witnessed with my own eyes. I did eliminate all the things that I knew my son was allergic to and followed the regime quite seriously. But how do you eliminate unknown triggers, if you do not know what those are? I'm really glad you had a positive experience, but as you say it took you months to sort out your diet and I'm afraid I would never be able to see my son continue to suffer with his eczema for months to come and I am very grateful for the medical advice I was given. Having said that, I still managed to breastfeed my son for 9 months and I believe I gave him a lot of the good stuff too which I hope to have been important to his health in many other ways and I am again bf my second son for that very same reason.

MmeBlueberry Fri 03-Sep-10 22:14:15

If you are breastfeeding, and know that your son has problems with cows' milk, why don't you just keep breastfeeding? Saves all the anguish.

MmeBlueberry Fri 03-Sep-10 22:16:26

csqm, sounds like woo woo science - but amazingly rescued by the formula companies.

csqm Fri 03-Sep-10 22:33:59

MmeBlueberry - I'm afraid I am unable to follow your comments!? Did you experience these problems yourself? Would be quite interested in knowing how you dealt with your son's/daughter's serious allergy issues? What did you do when he/she was bleeding from her cheeks due to the eczema and could not sleep and was not putting on any weight weeks in a row?...

greenbananas Sat 04-Sep-10 23:56:35

cqsm - it's an emotive issue. I didn't mean to come across as critical. I know what you mean about eliminating unknown triggers and it was a long process. I'd like to point out that once I realised DS's eczema was food related, I didn't let him suffer unnecessarily. I spent months basically living on chicken, rice and broccoli, and introducing other foods very, very slowly back into my diet. It worked, and very quickly once I restricted my diet. I'm really glad that Neocate worked for you as it is awful watching your children suffer, but equally I'm very glad that I took the path I did.

MmeBleuberry, it's easy to feel judgemental about giving up bf but I think that if I had really believed that Neocate would cure DS's eczema overnight, I might possibly have gone for it. He's totally eczema free now (and still bf!!) but he was so horribly miserable with it and I used to have to sleep with my hands over his all night to stop him ripping his face to shreds... he cried all the time because of the itching and his face in particular was stomach-churningly horrible to look at. In cqsm's position, I'd probably have done the same.

cece Sun 05-Sep-10 00:14:22

My DS2 has an intolerance and gets bad exzema when exposed to dairy products.

I BF him and still do at 15 months.

From 6 months onwards, as your baby increases theri solids intake, then he will naturally drop BF. I found my periods came back after a while of the baby on solids.

I tried to give my son some hypoallergenic formula as prescribed by the consulatant. I also saw a dietitian. He was given Nutramigen. Be warned it tastes foul. INdeed he refused to drink it and so I only really used it for breakfast cereals and some cooking. The dietitian said it is usual to only successfully introduce it in babies under 6 months old.

Since 12 months I have used soya milk for cooking and breakfast. He also has a cup of it per day to drink. The rest of his milk his BM.

I was told by dietitian not to worry too much about the oestrogen problem. She definiteyl do not use rice milk in under 5s.

Whatever you decide, good luck!

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