Walking down the formula aisle can be overwhelming for new parents. Of course, each formula label claims to be the best for your baby. Among the numerous formulas is Nutramigen, a product of Mead Johnson, the makers of Enfamil brand formulas. Nutramigen was developed to help reduce colic related to cow's milk allergy. Babies can differ in their tolerance of formulas, including Nutramigen, so they may experience side effects that warrant switching to a different formula.
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Nutramigen is a hydrolyzed formula, meaning the protein found in the formula is pre-digested, or already partially broken down, to aid with digestion. Nutramigen with Enflora LGG -- which comes in formulations for both infants and toddlers -- contains Enflora Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG (LGG), which is a probiotic designed to support digestive health. Nutramigen may not agree with every infant or toddler, however. While Nutramigen was developed to help decrease issues with diarrhea related to cow's milk allergy, some babies have had issues with increased diarrhea. It is important to realize that teething can result in diarrhea as well. If your infant is older and you notice frequent chewing and drooling along with diarrhea, the culprit may be teething rather than the formula.
Introducing new formulas, such as Nutramigen, can lead to a diaper rash related to digestive issues, according to pediatrician Alan Greene. Your baby's bottom is very sensitive area. As chemicals and moisture cover the baby's bottom and the diaper moves back and forth, diaper rashes commonly appear. If this occurs in your infant due to switching to Nutramigen, it should clear up within two weeks. If the rash is still present after two weeks, consult with the doctor; your infant may have a yeast infection instead. To prevent a diaper rash, especially one associated with switching formulas, change your baby's diapers frequently -- and immediately after bowel movements.
Refusal of Formula
Each formula tastes slightly different, and babies might prefer one over the other. If you are switching to Nutramigen from a different formula, your infant may refuse Nutramigen at first due to the difference in taste. Continue to offer Nutramigen to your infant by following her normal feeding schedule. Eventually, your baby should acquire a taste for the new formula. If your infant continues to refuse Nutramigen, this can result in weight loss due to lack of calories being ingested. If this occurs, talk to your infant's doctor about formula options.
Other Possible Side Effects
Any type of rash, hive, fever or skin changes should be immediately discussed with your infant’s doctor. If you notice any of these changes with your infant that may be associated with starting your infant on Nutramigen, call your infant's doctor immediately. He will be able to provide recommendations for other formulas that might be better tolerated by your infant.