Soy in baby formula
Lately there's been a lot in the news about whether soy baby formulas are safe. Well besides the American Academy of Pediatrics and the FDA, let me add my name to the list of people who have looked at the evidence and concluded that it is a safe alternative to breast milk.
As a nurse and nurse practitioner, I've seen many babies with a milk allergy, who didn't just have a little upset tummy, or eczema, but had bloody diarrhea. I know it's not pleasant to think about or even read about, but it happens. If a mom is breastfeeding, we have her stop all cow's milk and take calcium supplements. If she's using baby formula, we have her switch to a soy based formula. Guess what? 9 times out of 10 it works to clear up the baby's symptoms and provide them with the healthy nutrition they need to grow and develop.
This is what also happened to me. I was breastfeeding exclusively and pumping my milk when I was at work. I love milk and yet my son developed eczema and rashes until I started an elimination diet. As it turned out, he reacted to multiple foods in my diet, not just milk. His cute little face would erupt in a angry red rash and he'd have scaly, itching, irritated areas behind his knees and in the crook of his elbow whenever I had milk, yogurt, strawberries, tomatoes, chocolate and peaches. Interestingly, I could eat cheese, which was good. I'm of Italian descent, so that meant no spaghetti sauce. When he was 9 months old, he decided to wean himself from breastfeeding, and my milk production was dropping off, despite being married to the pump 4 times/day.
We tried regular cow's milk based formula, because he was 9 months old and thought, maybe he'd tolerate it. We started with just a few tablespoons in the cereal and he seemed to be ok, but when it came to a bottle, the rash came back. So, we used soy baby formula. He grew and thrived and didn't have eczema.
I think it's always important to look at the evidence when people make claims about potential dangers in foods. The body of evidence that is out there is overwhelmingly reassuring to me.