should i temporarily switch to formula for baby? - Mothering Forums
Allergies > should i temporarily switch to formula for baby?
nycmom18's Avatar nycmom18 03:42 PM 08-24-2012

my 3 week old seems to have a major intestinal sensitivity going on.  


he has super watery stools with blood in them, we found a fissure and doc now says he has a hemoroid from the straining.  because hes not constipated we believe it to be something in my diet.  ive eliminated dairy and wheat and now almonds. but because that could take a while to get out of my system, the doc is recommending baby switch to a super sensitive formula to give ds2 system a relief.  i see where shes coming from and while im not completely against if it truly is whats best for him,


the problem is that breastfeeding is one of the things in life i am most passionate about for so many reasons!  i nursed ds1 for 3 years and i am planning on doing the same for ds2.  i know i would be heartbroken and devastated if we had to take a break and then worst case if he never latched on again! however, im not so selfish to not think about his little tummy.


the doc said she believes he has a sensitive tummy because of a short (8 hrs) labor and that his trunk is all congested.  


also, our herbalist recommends giving babe slippery elm for the sensitive tummy and healing gut along with probiotics and colostrum.


please please please give me all experiences mamas, i am really trying to figure out the best thing for this little man!

heatherdeg's Avatar heatherdeg 06:17 PM 08-24-2012

Can they conclusively say that the blood in the stool is not from the fissure?  Because if it's from the fissure, then I would be LESS concerned (although clearly, still concerned).  Also, is there mucous in the stool?  That would be an indication of allergy.  Is he actually gaining weight despite this?  My daughter was this way (ON the super allergenic formula, btw)


And REMOVE SOY!!!  There is a REALLY high coincidence rate between dairy and soy allergy--so testing for sensitivity to one means cutting them BOTH out.  They never tell you this, but I found out while one of my foster infants was in the hospital for pretty much what you're describing (it's different with foster children--you don't really have any rights to handle it the way you see fit, kwim?)  And it was the soy formula they switched her to that was really doing her in.


If it were me, I would likely cut all the soy (look carefully--it's even in water-packed tuna, which was poached in soybean broth) and see if it changes within a few days but maybe someone else will pop on with a reason not to do that.

sbgrace's Avatar sbgrace 05:11 PM 08-25-2012
I wouldn't give a child I was suspecting allergies in formula at three weeks unless I absolutely had to do it. I think the chances of reaction to or sensitizing to the formula is as great. You don't even know for sure it's your milk and you're changing diet in case. I would hesitate from the allergy end to say nothing of the nursing relationship and potential supply issues that might be at risk.
CheriK's Avatar CheriK 12:30 PM 09-26-2012

From "Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple," Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, 2010:


re. research on bloody stools in breastfed babies, "They (the researchers) suggested probiotics as an intervention to bring gut flora back to more normal levels. . .They recommended elimination diets (in mom) whenever a baby has bloody stools, since this resolved the symptoms of some babies, but they noted that in the vast majority of cases, this symptom was not an indicator of a serious health problem."


Also, "If the baby's healthcare provider recommends suspending breastfeeding during a trial of hypoallergenic formula, suggest the mother discuss the possibility of continuning  to breastfeed, as no negative outcomes have been associated with this."


references: Sicherer (2003): Clinical aspects of gastrointestinal food allergy in childhood.  Pediatrics, 111(6 Pt 3)

Arvola et. al. (2006): Rectal bleeding in infancy: clinical, allergological, and microbiological examination.  Pediatrics 117 (4)


You may want to contact your local LLL to see if they have this reference available to read you the entire entry, as it discusses viral links to bloody stools/diarrhea as a common (slightly increased percentage of infants than those eventually determined to have a dairy allergy) cause & other symptoms that often go along w/ both viral & dairy issues (most of which you note your baby has).


I don't understand why a short labor would affect your baby's GI function.  Did you have a Cesarean delivery?  This CAN affect GI function, since babies pick up beneficial bacteria from mom when passing through the vaginal canal.  Probiotics are often recommended after Cesarean births for this reason.  If Mom has GI issues, then baby may not become colonized with good bacteria because Mom's Gi tract may lack the appropriate balance - another plus for probiotics.  Probiotics are also recommended after diarrheal illness to help re-normalize the gut flora (watery stools can change the pH of the gut & cause a decrease in good bacteria).  Breast milk helps support the normal GI flora; many of the carbohydrates in breastmilk are protected from the baby's digestive tract & are present to nourish the GI flora.  Check out Dr. E Stephen Buescher's podcasts at the LLLI website for more about antiinflammatory & antiinfective properties of breastmilk (,0,8)


Good luck with your little one.  Food sensitivities can be challenging, especially since mainstream medicine's answer is to wean.

Tags: Allergies