High Allergy Baby- Is Neocate Formula Ok?

Updated on August 15, 2009
N.W. asks from Huntington Beach, CA
19 answers

has anyone had any bad reactions to Neocate formula? i have a baby allergic to soy, dairy, wheat, nuts, corn, eggs, garlic, beats, pork... you get the point. i'm still breastfeeding her, but doctors are pushing for me to switch to formula- Neocate is the only formula that treats her allergies, however i heard that it can be hard on the kidney and my baby was born with one smaller kidney and the other has a little bit of back flow. however, lactation consultanst have said to keep breastfeeding. i have narrowed my diet to only chicken, rice, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, apples, bananas and spinach and so far my baby has been great. torn on what to do, please let me know if anyone has had any problems with Neocate and how long they used it for.

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So What Happened?

thanks for all your advice- my girl is 6 1/2 months. the doctors are pushing for formula since they are concerned that i'm not getting enough nutrition in my diet for her thru my breastmilk. she is in the 70th percentile in lenght, but her wieght started to slow down, she dropped from 60 to 30%, she is 15lbs and has not doubled her birht weight yet (8lbs.2oz). we have not given her any solids yet, since we have to wait till her Colitis (pooping blood due to allergic reaction) is under control, it seems to be under control now and we are going to start her on home made rice cereal this week. the only reason i would switch to formula is if my milk supply went down. i would much rather keep her on breastmilk since its the best for her. i actually dont mind my diet and i think its pretty healthy.
yes, she has a protein allergy and she is really sensitive. thanks for telling me about the vaccinations, it was great advice, so far we have been vaccinating her, but spreading the vaccines. she is allergic to eggs so her pediatritian wants her to get certain vaccines at the allergist office if incase she has a reaction, but i will be doing some major research on vaccines from now one before she gets them.
as for her kidneys, her urolagist said the back flow will fix it self eventualy, but we have to monitor very closely. her GI doctor did have a case were a child with a low functioning kideny had a problem with Neocate since its a high sodium Formula.
all in all, i will fight the fight and keep breastfeeding! thanks for all the great advice, resources, and support!

More Answers

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J.R.

answers from Las Vegas on

I have not used Neocate, however, I too had to use a non dairy milk sub for my son. We use Dari Free which is potato based powder that mixes with water and is VERY much like milk. It is gluten, casein, soy, rice, MSG, and cholesterol free. I purchase thru www.vancesfoods.com or New Beginnings Nutritionals. I believe it is cheaper than Neocate. I also use So Delicious Coconut Milk that can be purchased from whole Foods in their milk refrig. section. It's good to have options, you may want to check into these two very good options. Good luck. J.

2 moms found this helpful
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S.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would continue breastfeeding for sure!!!! It is always the best!!!! You are doing the right thing. Doctors dont' know everything. I hope you are not vaccinating this highly allergic baby. NO vaccines, in my opinion, or postpone them until your baby is much older, like over 5. Sounds like your child is extremely immune compromised and that is way too scary combined with vaccines. Yes, neocate is the best as far as allergies. We used Nutramigen when I was done breastfeeding and that was very good too. Can you take the baby to an osteopath on your medical plan?

1 mom found this helpful
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J.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Wow, I feel your pain! I have been thru this whole process. I did not switch to formula so I can't answer that question about Neocate. I will say that I continued breastfeeding until my highly allergic son was 18 months old and the entire time I was on the elimination diet. I ate nothing but Turkey/chicken rice/potatoes pears zucchini avocado....sound familiar? It was very hard but I felt it was the right thing to do for my baby. It definitely got easier as time went on! I have tons of tips I could give you about living on this diet but I don't want to ramble on here if you are not interested so PLEASE contact me if you want more info I am most happy to help another mom in this situation!! If nothing else, to lend support. Believe me, everyone will tell you "You're crazy just give her a bottle" but you CAN do it!!! If it's what you really want to do! Send me a message if you want more info/have questions/just want to talk!! Janet

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J.A.

answers from San Diego on

Hi N.,

How old is your baby? I think that is key to what type of milk you give her. If she is younger than a year, or even 10 or 11 months, I would just keep breastfeeding, or at least decrease the breastmilk and try the Dairy free drink someone else mentioned in another response. However, I wouldn't use that if your baby is younger than 6 months, especially if not eating solids yet. Personally, I would stick with something that is specific for infant growth and development, and I don't think that dairy free drink is...

I can sympathise with you. I went through the same problems with my two sons, who are 15 months apart, so it has been at least 3 years since I have had the pleasure of eating (esp. cheese), dairy, soy, now chocolate. I breastfed them both for as long as I could, but with the second one, had to greatly decrease the number of times I breastfed him due to extremely painful thrush that would not go away no matter what we tried. He was still only 8 months old when I finally decided I needed to try something else, and being very holistic minded, it was a difficult decision for me to put him on formula. We chose the Neocate, and he has done great on it. He loves it, seems to feel much better with it, and has even gained more weight with it (he was only in the 4th percentile, I think because I was still eating something that didn't agree with him, and I couldn't figure out what it was) I have looked into goat's milk, which has its problems, as well as home-made formulas, which used goat's milk as its main ingredient.

Anyways, my point is that you should find something you are comfortable with but is also specific to a newborn/infants needs, and stick with it. I know how hard it is to find formulas/replacements that are dairy and soy free, and I know how controversial all formulas are, but keep in mind that formula is a great second best. Children grow up just fine on formula. If you can tough it out a bit longer and keep breastfeeding, then you go, girl! And good luck to you!!!

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J.P.

answers from Las Vegas on

My niece and my nephew were both on Neocate for high allergies as babies. They thrived and had no side effects. A little after they turned one, they were very slowly transitioned to milk and both are happy and healthy to this day!

K.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

My 16 month old daughter has been on Neocate since she was 2 weeks old, because she has a milk protein allergy. It does not treat the allergy (or any allergies for that matter). It is hypoallergenic, meaning there are no trace amounts of any milk prodcuts. The "hypoallergenic" formulas you can buy at any store (Ailmentum,etc) have milk products in it, but not much...I think it's less than 2%. I have never heard that Neocate can cause kidney damage, EVER! It has been a wonderful, nutritional, healthy formula for my daughter. She is consistently off the growth charts (at 15 months she was 33 inches and weighed 29 pounds), so don't worry about it not being healthy/balanced enough. It has everything in it that regular formula has, just NO hidden milk products.

I don't know how old your baby is, but when my daughter was still a tiny infant, the formula made her poop really stinky and can cause constipation in some babies. I gave her prune juice early on (diluted half/half) and it helped the constipation.

I know SEVERAL Moms that have to use it and everyone is pleased w/no issues. Where did you hear about it being hard on the kidneys? Trusted source?

Hands down, great formula and expensize too!

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J.P.

answers from San Diego on

Please be strong and don't give up on breastfeeding. God made the perfect food for your baby not scientist. If you are looking for something nutritional for you or your baby, let me know. I know of something that has helped many babies and adults that were over sensitive.

God Bless!
J.

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S.Z.

answers from Los Angeles on

If your baby is doing great on your breastmilk why would you switch to formula? Sounds like your doing a great job and taking good care of your baby! Forget the Neocate :)

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E.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

sorry I don't have experience with neocate but am bothereed by your comment about the doctors. why are they pressuring you to switch to formula? are they simply old-school or are is there some medical reason? It sounds like she is doing good and breast milk it the best for her. Avoid the switch.

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K.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

I'm sure that having a very limited diet is a pain for you, but it sounds like you're wanting to just continue breastfeeding. I would stick with it, if you're baby is doing fine, don't mess with what works.

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J.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Lots of great advice here and I agree. Keep breastfeeding and if you need to use a formula use the Neocate (sounds just like a doctor who will also tell you that vaccines do not cause any damage) or the one from vancesfoods. For more diet information, go to www.tacanow.org and check out everything there under GF-CF Diet. It is all in one place for families written by families.

Please make sure YOU have done the research on vaccinations for YOUR child. He is already immune system compromised, probably from vaccines. The AAP recommended schedule of shots for children is too many, too soon. Here are sites and books that I always recommend for people to start their research:

www.909shot.com
www.tacanow.org

Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders, by Dr. Kenneth Bock

The Vaccine Book, by Dr. Robert Sears

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Childhood Vaccinations, by Dr. Stephanie Cave

Evidence of Harm, by David Kirby

Keep up the great work N. and keep asking those questions. They are good ones and important :o)

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M.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

I don't know anything about Neocate, and it's good that you're asking about it so that you've got some research.
But, if you're doing fine with breastfeeding, then I'd say to continue that for as long as you can.
All the best to you and your baby.

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L.T.

answers from Reno on

Hi N.,
I have to agree 100% with your lactation consultants. Keep nursing that baby as long as you can, maybe over time you can slowly introduce more foods to your diet! Breast milk is the best thing for your baby!! Especially if he/she is alergic to so many things. I have read that the longer you breast feed the less alergies your child will have, that is one of the few currently known positives for breastfeeding a baby past one year. My pediatrician wanted me to stop breastfeeding after 1 year. I did not listen to him or any other negative soul. I nursed both of my children beyond 2 years, but under 3 and they are both extremely healthy. Good luck to you I know you asked about the formula, but I never used a drop. Nothing is better that what God intended!!
Love and Blessings,
L.

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M.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would not switch to formula. Your breastmilk is the perfect food for her, and introducing a processed formula would add more potential allergens. Also, with the kidney issues, the breastmilk will be very easy on her system and in addition, the breastmilk has live white blood cells in it so she is benefitting from your immune system.

Here's some really general info on allergies in the breastfed baby: http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/food-sensitivity.html
If you scroll down to the bottom of this article, you will see LOTS of links to articles about this topic.

You didn't mention it, but just in case, here's a link to an article that talks about the idea of a baby being "allergic to breastmilk." http://parenting.ivillage.com/newborn/nbreastfeed/0,,70jn...
"It is not really possible for your baby to be allergic to your breastmilk. Sometime, however, babies can be sensitive to proteins in the mother's milk from foods she has ingested."

Here's information from a medical journal about allergy prevention: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15305938?dopt=Abstract

"The results of the analysis indicate that breastfeeding is highly recommended for all infants irrespective of atopic heredity. A dietary regimen is unequivocally effective in the prevention of allergic diseases in high-risk children. In these patients breastfeeding combined with avoidance of solid food and cow's milk for at least 4-6 months is the most effective preventive regimen. In the absence of breast milk, formulas with documented reduced allergenicity for at least 4-6 months should be used."

So according to this study, breastmilk should be the first choice in feeding an allergenic child. Only if no breastmilk is available should you try a formula like neocate.

Here's an article that discusses allergies and breastfeeding a little more: http://www.llli.org/NB/NBJulAug98p100.html

"One long-term study of children who were breastfed showed that breastfeeding reduces food allergies at least through adolescence (Grasky 1982). Protection from allergies is one of the most important benefits of breastfeeding. The incidence of cow's milk allergies is up to seven times greater in babies who are fed artificial baby milk instead of human milk (Lawrence 1994)."

I strongly reccomend reading these articles and doing some research. You might also want to seek a second opinion from a doctor who is supportive of breastfeeding as it sounds like your doctors currently are not up to date on the latest reasearch.

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V.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

the formula can not "treat" allergy. it can leave you powerless and desperate. yes you'll be able to eat all you want. Woo-hoo! Seriously, keep the diet that works for your baby, you always can catch up on missed gastronomical opportunities later when you have a happy and healthy child : ) look for alternative way to combat the allergies - alternative meds are great - homeopathy is the one i'm leaning to because it has done so much for my family.
Good Luck
V.

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S.O.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi there – I know it can be tough dealing with children that have extensive food allergies! I am actually a nutrition specialist at Nutricia, the company that makes Neocate. Coincidentally, after my daughter was born last year, she developed severe allergic reflux and her ped put her on Neocate. So far she is doing great on it, and I have seen firsthand that there are no side effects.

I’m not sure where you heard that Neocate is difficult on kidneys - we have no reports of this. The composition of Neocate should not cause any type of kidney issues . Neocate is an amino-acid based formula that has been broken down into the simplest form of protein so it is actually easier for babies to digest. It is also hypoallergenic and nutritionally complete. I know it is a tough decision to make, but if you have any other questions about Neocate, feel free to email me at [email protected]____.com.

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L.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

My son has multiple allergies as well (soy, dairy, gluten, nuts, oats, rye, etc. The allergist reccomended to stop breast feeding because then we could calm his rash down. I was hesitant, but his skin rash was not getting any better either. He actually weaned himself at 7 mon. He refused to breastfeed one day. So I took that as a sign. I also limited my diet, but if I cheated at all it was shown on his face immediately.

IF you can continue to breastfeed on a limited diet, I say go for it. You know exactly what you are feeding your baby and that is good.

I might add, we also realized that he was allergic to oats and we didn't realize that we were slathering him with oatmeal lotion and oatmeal soap. So don't forget to check the lables of all the things around your baby. It took us months to figure this out.

We used the Similac version of similac alimentum, I ended up buying this by the case online because it was cheaper. We used this formula until he was about 1 years old and then switched to Rice Milk.
I wish you good luck. In a sense, this experience has been a weird blessing because I am very aware of my son's diet. He is now 18 mon and he is VERY HEALTHY!! He has never had a french fry, and he loves eating spinach, brocolie, Kale, Fish (cod), I make Quinuoa pancakes with fresh fruits and he gobbles that up. Pears and oranges for fiber.

What I am saying is your diet, will eventually be what he can eat as well. So you can getting used to cooking these foods for yourself and eventually you will be cooking these foods for your child.
(sorry for the long message, its just nice to finally share this info with another)

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A.B.

answers from San Diego on

I suggest you Google for World Health Organization Breastfeeding Task Force Guidelines and read the several pages of scientific references on the protection offered by breast milk. If you read that, you will immediately know why you should continue breastfeeding. By age 3-4 your baby will likely shed off some of those allergies. Good luck! Alicia

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F.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Neocate worked great for us. Our son was allergic to everything and it was the only one that stopped his itching. It was just expensive. He grew out of most of his allergies, but is still anaphylactic to peanuts.

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