What is a cow’s milk protein allergy?

The incidence of food allergy is very low in breastfed infants compared with formula‑fed infants. Once cow’s milk proteins are introduced to a baby, in case of partial breastfeeding or exclusive formula feeding, the risk of a reaction to cow’s milk proteins increases.

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

What does extensively hydrolysed formula mean?

These formulas are defined as cow’s milk-based formulas 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 healthcare professionals as a preventative measure for allergy-prone infants or those with a family history of allergies.

“All amino acid-based formulas are lactose-free so as not to aggravate a baby’s delicate digestive symptoms, as well as to limit the risk of bringing tiny specks of proteins to the formula that may cause a reaction in sensitive babies.”

Extensively hydrolysed formulas are indicated for the treatment of a cow’s milk protein allergy. Remember, 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. 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. There are only three amino acid-based formulas on the South African market that we are aware of: Neocate (Nutricia), Neomino (Cipla) and Novalac Aminova (Pharmaco).

Novalac Aminova is the “new kid on the block” and comes with very attractive packaging. See our Facebook post on innovative packaging here.

Since it’s a rather new product on the market, we thought it would be useful to look into the composition of the formula to determine if there is anything unique to it, apart from its packaging. The amino-acid profile of Novalac Aminova mimics the amino acid profile of breast milk, allowing adequate protein intakes. It is adapted to the nutritional needs of infants and young children and supports safe and normal growth. All amino acid-based formulas are lactose-free so as not to aggravate a baby’s delicate digestive symptoms, as well as to limit the risk of bringing tiny specks of proteins to the formula that may cause a reaction in sensitive babies. This particular formula is also free of any other common allergens such as soy and fish oil.

What makes this product different to the other products on the market is the fact that it contains a unique thickener. This thickening agent has been clinically proven to improve a baby’s digestive comfort by having an effective action on the thickening of gastric bolus (which manages reflux) and the consistency of baby poo. 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.

Disclaimer: BabyYumYum reserves the right to its opinions and fully supports the notion of promotion that breast is best in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) infant feeding guidelines http://www.who.int/topics/infant_nutrition/en/. 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 the advice of a healthcare professional. Preparation and storage of any infant formula should be performed as directed on the tin in order not to pose any health hazards.