Nutramigen may be the best choice for your infant. It really depends on what your baby needs in a formula.
Feeding your child should be easy, but some babies have health issues that make it a challenge. Nutramigen is a special formula that could help if your newborn suffers from colic or lactose issues.
However, before deciding, you should educate yourself about what this formula is, what makes it different, and how it works. That can help you to determine if it may be the right option and if you should buy it for your baby.
When a baby has a sensitivity or issue with lactose in cow’s milk, it can make it difficult for them to drink regular formula and breastmilk. The American Academy of Pediatrics says if your infant has such an intolerance, he or she may have severe symptoms, including colic, cloddy diarrhea, stomach pain, skin rashes, and vomiting, that occur soon after he or she eats.
Your child’s doctor will most likely recommend that you find an alternative form of sustenance for your baby. One option is Nutramigen from Enfamil. This product is a hypoallergenic infant formula. It contains no lactose or artificial growth hormones.
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, the indication for the use of this product is for children with food allergies. That includes those allergies to cow’s milk.
The base ingredient in Nutramigen is hydrolyzed casein protein. It does contain milk and soy. However, the special processing of the milk removes the issues so that your child’s body can easily digest it without the resulting allergic reaction.
The formula does contain ARA and DHA that support brain and eye development. These are also naturally occurring in breastmilk.
It also contains Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG or LLG, which is a probiotic that aids in digestion and keeping the digestive system healthy. You can get the product without LLG, though.
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Nutramigen is a specialty formula. It is not one your pediatrician will likely recommend starting your baby with. You would only switch your child to this product if he or she displays allergy issues.
According to Mead Johnson Nutrition, the formula can help stop the immune system from responding to allergens and helps form a strong intestinal barrier through the contained probiotics in a child with an allergy to cow’s milk.
The company further states that this is not only for infants. You can use it for older children with the same allergies. It says the formula will help reduce colic within 48 hours and can allow a child to return to cow’s milk with no allergic issues in as little as 6 months.
It can also help reduce bloody stools in about four weeks, which may help prevent future allergies.
The company does state you should only use this product under the care of a doctor, especially if you are using it for an extended time.
Studies and research
There have been multiple studies and research done on Nutramigen. The National Library of Medicine notes one study to test the effectiveness of this formula in infants with colic determined that it does reduce crying and apparent pain.
However, the study also showed that over time, the effectiveness of the product reduces. After multiple changes in formula, it appears to not have as much of an impact as it did during the first and early uses.
Future Medicine notes a study showing the formula can help to slow allergic reactions to cow’s milk. Specifically, the LGG in the product seems to make a huge difference in ending milk allergies.
Pros and cons
As a parent with a child obviously suffering due to an allergy or sensitivity, you want to ensure that you find a formula that will work. Nutramigen may be that product, but you should look at all the positives and negatives about the product before deciding.
- Fast to resolve colic and intestinal issues in babies
- Good for reflux
- Available in liquid for easy traveling
- Can includes scoop
- Instructions on label
- Reduces crying due to colic and pain
- Doctor recommended
- Expensive – about double regular formula
- Some babies won’t like the taste
- Includes corn syrup as the first ingredient
- Doesn’t smell pleasant
- Will clump easily if you do not mix it well
- Creates very soft or liquid stools
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Nutramigen is not the only formula of its kind on the market. The biggest rival to Enfamil is Similac, which has its own version of hypoallergenic infant formula.
According to Abbott Nutrition, Alimentum is the name of Similac’s formula. The indications for this formula are similar to Nutramigen. It is for infants with colic due to milk allergies. However, it extends this to include maldigestion and malabsorption issues with protein and fat.
Another difference is this formula has iron and does not include the probiotic blend. It does include easy-to-digest oils as fat and ARA and DHA. Plus, it has free amino acids added.
Alimentum formula is gluten-free and doesn’t contain artificial growth hormones. It doesn’t have corn syrup as an ingredient in the powder formula, but it does have sugar as the third ingredient.
- Assists well with digestion issues
- Great for acid reflux
- Helps within 24 hours to reduce pain and stomach discomfort
- Bad smelling
- Direct comparison to Nutramigen
While both formulas use the same idea of specialized protein, Nutramigen contains probiotics, which help increase its effectiveness in some children. In addition, it does have indications that it can help prevent future food allergies.
Alimentum, on the other hand, doesn’t contain corn syrup, helps reduce colic symptoms much faster, and includes free amino acids.
Both products are costly and smell bad. They both help with digestion and can help your child who is having allergic reaction symptoms quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you know more about Nutramigen, you may have additional things you want to know. This is a huge decision to make. Whatever you decide will impact your child, so you have to be sure you understand everything about buying and using the product.
With that in mind, we want to cover some frequently asked questions that other parents have about this formula option.
What is Nutramigen?
Nutramigen is a special formula made by Enfamil. It contains hydrolyzed proteins, which are milk proteins processed in a way that makes it easy for your baby to digest. The specific use for this product is for children and infants who have milk allergies and who have symptoms of colic.
The formula can help reduce symptoms. It can also enable the child’s body to adjust so that they can eventually return to milk-based formula or a diet including milk without any further allergy issues.
How long does it take for Nutramigen to work?
The claims about how fast Nutramigen works comes straight from the company. They say it will reduce colic symptoms within 48 hours. They also say it can turn around allergies within 6 months so that your child can start consuming milk products again.
Reviews from consumers back up these claims. They say the reaction to the formula is fast, with less crying, better sleeping, and clear indications of pain relief happening quickly after switching their infants to this product.
Where to buy Nutramigen?
You should be able to buy Nutramigen anywhere you buy baby formula. It does not require a prescription. You can buy it directly off the shelf. It is readily available at various popular retailers, including grocery and department stores.
How to get Nutramigen covered by insurance?
The cost of Nutramigen is about two to three times as much as your standard baby formula. For many people, this makes it difficult to afford. Before you write it off, though, you should consider the options for making it more affordable.
Your health insurance policy may not cover the cost of Nutramigen even if you have a doctor’s recommendation for the product. You should contact your insurer directly to ask about possible coverage.
In most cases, if your insurer does cover special formulas, you will need to have a form from your doctor stating it is medically necessary. You may also have to provide additional documentation that shows your child must have this formula and for how long the doctor wants your child to use it.
Are there programs to help with the cost?
If you don’t have health insurance or your insurance will not cover the product, you may be able to use other programs to help with the cost. You can use many government programs if you qualify for assistance.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP is the government food stamp program. If you receive these benefits, you can use them to buy any type of baby formula. You will not need a note from your doctor or any special documentation to use your SNAP benefits to buy the formula.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children or WIC is another benefit program. You must qualify based on financial need. If you qualify, many states include Nutramigen on the list of approved formulas.
You may have to have a doctor’s note for WIC to process and approve you to buy this formula. That is mainly due to the cost, which will require more resources from the program than if you were to get a different type of formula. The program wants to ensure your child really needs it.
The last government program option is Medicaid. This is a government-based health insurance program. You qualify for the program on a financial need basis. You must meet income guidelines to get benefits.
The Medicaid program rules, requirements, and other details depend on which state you are in as each state runs its own program. Some states will cover Nutramigen under this program, and others will not. You will need to contact your caseworker to see if your state provides coverage.
Programs from Enfamil
Nutramigen with Enflora LGG Powder Infant Formula – Powder / Can / 27.8 oz Can, Super Saver Pack
from: Mead Johnson Nutrition
Enfamil also provides a few programs that help reduce the expense of buying Nutramigen. The company offers specific help to you if you have multiples through its Enfamil Multiple Birth Program.
This program provides free cases of formula as long as you have a recommendation from your children’s pediatrician. You need to enroll, which you will do through the doctor. If you qualify for the program because you had a multiple birth, make sure to ask your doctor about it. You can save a lot of money through this option.
Another program is Nutramigen Savings and Support. You can enroll in the program and receive up to $130 in coupons and other savings to reduce your cost to get the formula.
Finally, there is the myPuramino program. This program will not help you save money directly. It is a support program that assists with getting insurance reimbursements.
You can use the program to get assistance from Enfamil experts who understand insurance systems and can walk you through making an insurance claim. This is best if you have insurance and your provider agrees to consider the formula for reimbursement or coverage.
When your baby is not feeling well because he or she has issues digesting milk proteins, you have no choice but to find a solution. You should always speak with your child’s doctor first about your options and what is best for your infant.
Many times, a doctor will recommend trying Nutramigen. If this occurs in your situation, you should understand this special formula is especially for babies with milk allergies, and it has proven results to help reduce the stomach and digestive issues to allow your little one to get the nutrition he or she needs without the discomfort and pain.
There are pros and cons with any product, but the biggest thing to stand out about Nutramigen is that it does work. It can help your child, and it could be the one thing that allows your baby to be comfortable and avoid future food allergy issues.
The biggest downside is it is expensive, but there are plenty of ways you can reduce or eliminate your costs through your insurer, government programs, or programs directly from Enfamil. If this formula is what your baby needs, you can find a way to afford it.