8. August 2011 | 11:43

Does my baby get the nutrition they need?

When feeding a cows' milk allergic child, there are several options available for your child. These specialised infant formulae should comply with legislation on infant formula and therefore contain all the essential nutrients your baby needs to grow and develop.

The difference between regular infant formula and formula suitable for CMA is the composition of proteins. Intact milk proteins and protein fragments, as used in the majority of infant formulae, can cause allergic reactions. There are three kinds of infant formula classes:

Only extensively hydrolysed (eHF) and amino acid formula (AAF) are considered hypoallergenic formulae and are therefore suitable for the dietary management of CMA.

Amino acid-based formulas (AAF) The amino acid-based formulae (AAF) can be prescribed by the Doctor for the dietary management of CMA. Instead of being based on protein, they are based on amino acids, otherwise known as the building blocks of protein. These amino acids are not recognised by the immune system and therefore do not cause any allergic reaction in infants with cows' milk allergy.
Extensively hydrolysed formulas (eHF) Extensively hydrolysed formulas (eHF) can be prescribed by the Doctor for the dietary management of CMA. The cow’s milk protein has been broken down into small fragments. EHFs can sometimes cause allergic symptoms in cows' milk allergic children.
Standard infant formula Standard infant formulae you can buy in the supermarket are not suitable for food allergic babies. This is because they are basically cow’s milk powder which has been modified to fit an infant’s needs and therefore contain cow’s milk proteins. These proteins can cause allergic reactions in babies with CMA.