Rebecca - posted on 01/13/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )
I know that many moms in this group have chosen to use formula (and some have to do so for medical reasons), so I wanted to share some useful information from the American Academy of Family Physicians. This is a summary of the different types of formula and their uses, based on clinical research and NOT the advertising schemes of formula companies. Your doctor has access to this information, but may not provide it to you, even though it could make a big difference to you and your family if you are experiencing issues with reflux or colic. I have heard so many stories of moms trying 10 different formulas, ready to pull her hair out, when really...all infant formulas are pretty much the same, and changing formulas is usually not the answer (and may cause more problems than it solves for your baby). Here are some key excerpts:
"Gastroesophageal reflux is common in infants partly because of a decreased resting tone of the lower esophageal sphincter. Reflux may be considered physiologic and does not require treatment unless it is accompanied by poor weight gain or significant infant discomfort.
Parents often change formulas in response to infant colic. Soy and lactose-free formulas are heavily marketed for colic without a formal diagnosis of lactose intolerance. Most colic improves spontaneously between four and six months of age; new formulas tried during this time may be credited with the improvement, perpetuating the popular belief that colic is exacerbated by certain formulas.
Because evidence for soy formula in the treatment of colic is limited and based on poor-quality trials, the AAP concluded that there is no proven role for soy in the management or prevention of colic. There is no evidence to support lactose-free formula either, but a short trial may be reasonable in infants with colic who also have gastrointestinal symptoms. Two systematic reviews have found some benefit with hypoallergenic formula; this potential benefit must be weighed against substantially greater cost. Physicians may recommend a one- to two-week trial of hypoallergenic formula for refractory cases. Counseling parents about infant crying appears to reduce symptoms of colic more than any change in formula."
The article also mentions DHA and ARA, and says that there is NO good evidence for its inclusion in formula. These synthetic ingredients are NOT absorbed by the baby's body in the same way as the DHA and ARA found in breastmilk, and doctors are beginning to report that some babies have negative reactions to those ingredients (which disappear when the baby is changed to the same brand/type of formula, without those additives). Yet the formula companies market them as being better for your baby, and charge more for products that contain them.
Here's the link: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2009/0401/p565.h...