Question of the week: I have put my baby on formula and now my paed says that my baby has a cow’s milk protein allergy. HUH???


There I was just thinking that a baby is born with an allergy towards cow’s milk. The incidence of food allergy is very low in breastfed infants compared with formula‑fed infants.  Once cow’s milk proteins are introduced to baby, in case of partial breast-feeding or exclusive formula feeding, the risk of a reaction to cow’s milk proteins increases.

Paediatric guidelines indicate that extensive hydrolysed formulas (Novalac Allernova Smooth, Pepticate, Similac Allimentum, Alfaré) should be the first dietary treatment option for babies reacting to cow’s milk protein.

What does extensively hydrolysed formula mean again???

These formulas are defined as cow’s milk-based formula treated with enzymes in order to break down most of the proteins that cause symptoms in allergic infants.  What this also means is that the protein content is broken down into smaller proteins, making it easier for baby to digest. Partially hydrolysed formulas are often recommended by health care professionals for infants who are allergy prone/have a family history of allergies, in order to prevent these allergies from occurring in the infant.  Extensively hydrolysed formulas are indicated for the treatment of a cow’s milk protein allergy.  However, if you ever do want to feed these formulas to your little one, it is best to do so on your healthcare professional’s advice.

However, the reality is that some infants and young children can still react to these formulas. For these babies and babies with severe cow’s milk allergy, amino acid based formulas should be used. On the South African market there are only 3 amino acid based formulas that we are aware of: Neocate (Nutricia), Neomino (Cipla) and Novalac Aminova (Pharmaco).

neocate neomino novalac aminova

The latter is the “new kid on the block” and its packaging was what caught my attention last week! My paed said that my husband will need to work just to pay for these type of formulas. Haha!

See post on innovative packaging here.

So since it is a new product on the market, we thought it would be useful to look into the composition of the formula and whether there is anything unique to it, apart from its packaging. The amino-acid profile of Novalac Aminova mimics breast-milk’s amino acid profile, allowing adequate proteins intakes, adapted to nutritional needs of infants and young children and supporting safe and normal growth. All amino acid based formulas should be and are,  lactose free in order not to aggravate digestive symptoms as well as to limit the risk of bringing tiny specks of proteins to the formula (which these sensitive babies can react to).  This particular formula is also free of any other common allergens such as soy and fish oil.  But what makes this product different to the other products on the market, is that it contains a unique thickener. This thickening agent has been clinically proven to improve babies digestive comfort by having an effective action on the thickening of something, with a really strange name, called gastric bolus (which manages reflux) and babies poo consistency. So not only are you managing the cause of the problem (allergy to cow’s milk protein), but also the common symptoms associated with a cow’s milk protein allergy!

I just love science!!!!!

Disclaimer: This post has not been sponsored or paid for and is based on personal brand preference and personal research. Breast milk is the best food for infants. Good maternal nutrition is essential to prepare and maintain breastfeeding. If breastfeeding is not applied, an infant formula may be used according to health professionals’ advice. Preparation and storage of any infant formula should be performed as directed on the tin in order not to pose any health hazards.