When you’re a new mom, it can be alarming when your baby isn’t feeling well. But before you begin to stress, know that feeding issues in babies are common, and there are often solutions. Here at Enfamil A+®, we’re here to help by offering formulas designed for babies with common feeding issues, including lactose-free formula. If lactose is at the root of your baby’s feeding issue, consider talking with your baby’s doctor about supplementing with lactose-free formula. Read on to learn more about lactose sensitivity and solutions.

What Is Lactose?

Lactose is a sugar present in breast milk, cow’s milk and milk-based formula. Lactose is made up of two smaller sugar molecules: glucose and galactose. An important carbohydrate, lactose can provide many dietary benefits to babies, children and adults alike.

Why Is My Baby Having Difficulty Digesting Lactose?

Sometimes, when a baby’s digestive system is developing, it doesn’t make enough of the enzyme lactase, which is needed to break down lactose. Without enough lactase, some lactose may not get broken down in the small intestine, so it passes into the large intestine, where bacteria then may ferment it, producing gas and other uncomfortable symptoms.

Does This Mean My Baby Is Lactose Intolerant?

Lactose intolerance, or digestive issues that occur after ingesting milk or milk products, is actually quite rare in infants. Most infants actually have normal lactase levels at birth (although these amounts can decrease with age).

Some moms perceive tummy issues as lactose sensitivity or intolerance. In reality, it’s probably not lactose intolerance.  Switching to a reduced-lactose* formula such as Enfamil A+ Gentlease® can help. Enfamil A+ Gentlease baby formula is tummy friendly and easy to digest†. It contains a protein blend patterned after breast milk that has been partially broken down**.

What Are the Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance?

Symptoms of lactose intolerance in babies include cramps, gas, diarrhea and abdominal pain anywhere between 30 minutes and two hours after consuming lactose. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and vary from baby to baby.

What Can I Do If My Baby Is Lactose Intolerant?

If you’re breastfeeding, ask your doctor if you can eliminate lactose-heavy foods from your own diet, particularly milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products. On the other hand, if you’re formula-feeding, consider switching to a lactose-free formula such as Enfamil A+® Lactose Free or Enfamil A+® Soy, which can help relieve symptoms caused by lactose intolerance.

As always, be sure to consult your pediatrician with any major concerns or before you make any changes to your diet or your baby’s diet.

*~1/5 of the lactose of a full-lactose, routine, milk-based formula.† Based on whey:casein ratio of typical, mature breast milk (15 days - 6 months after birth) prior to partial hydrolysis.
† Similar to all infant formulas.
** Based on whey:casein ratio of typical, mature breast milk (15 days - 6 months after birth) prior to partial hydrolysis.

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