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#1 Old 12-02-2015, 01:37 AM
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Soy formula for infants

My nearly three-month-old son has been drinking dairy formula since a few days after birth. The thought of feeding him cow's milk does not sit well with me, as you can imagine, but until today I've been too afraid to try soy formula because of all the hoopla over phytoestrogen. I don't normally consider myself the kind of person who worries about that sort of thing, but I've got that new mama paranoia. Well, my sister-in-law gave us a can of SMA Wysoy this weekend, so today I gave my son a bottle and he seems completely fine. If anything, his tummy seems more settled than usual. He normally spits up immediately after eating, but today he didn't. Whether that's coincidental or not, I don't know. I would really like to switch him to soy formula for good, but I need someone to interpret the research on soy formula and help me make sense of the conflicting claims. Is soy formula as safe as dairy? Will I be endangering my son in any way? What decision have other vegan parents made?
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#2 Old 12-02-2015, 01:57 AM
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Not a parent or vegan but I do know people who switched to soy formula due to a diary intolerance. This was the recommended view from their GP here in the UK (this was just over a yr ago). The little girl is now almost 2 yrs old and seems happy and bubbly and just as impossible as every other 2 yr old I've met :-).

I do however firmly believe that if Mama is happy and relaxed about she's feeding her baby then the baby will be happier and more relaxed.

Fingers crossed someone here knows a bit more about it than me and can offer more than anecdotal evidence.
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#3 Old 12-02-2015, 02:20 AM
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Thanks, @Shallot . It's distressing that a Google search brings up alarming articles with titles like "Toxic Love"!
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#4 Old 12-02-2015, 02:21 AM
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I'm not a parent, but I like to research medical stuff lol. I found these two studies from Google Scholar that seems positive:

http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...21/5/1062.full

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article....ticleid=194106

From the studies I have seen so far, the only ones where soy adversely affects infants seems to be for those infants who are born with congenital thyroid disorders. Certain soy isolates can reduce effectiveness of thyroid meds in adults as well (as I have experienced first hand when consuming soy for prolonged periods daily whether as an omnivore or vegan and my TSH eventually goes way up; in moderation there is little if any effect).
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#5 Old 12-02-2015, 04:41 AM
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Thank you, @Naturebound . That's exactly what I was looking for.
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#6 Old 12-02-2015, 04:51 PM
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Two of my three children were given soy based formula (Isomil) for their first six months of life and thrived on it. That was 35+ years ago and they are healthy adults today. That's not a scientific declaration, just my personal observation.


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#7 Old 12-02-2015, 08:05 PM
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My two grandkids were lactose intolerant and were given soy formula on their doctor's orders. (Nothing unusualaboutthat here in the U.S., as far as I can tell - it was readily available.) They're teens now.
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#8 Old 12-02-2015, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
My nearly three-month-old son has been drinking dairy formula since a few days after birth. The thought of feeding him cow's milk does not sit well with me, as you can imagine, but until today I've been too afraid to try soy formula because of all the hoopla over phytoestrogen. I don't normally consider myself the kind of person who worries about that sort of thing, but I've got that new mama paranoia. Well, my sister-in-law gave us a can of SMA Wysoy this weekend, so today I gave my son a bottle and he seems completely fine. If anything, his tummy seems more settled than usual. He normally spits up immediately after eating, but today he didn't. Whether that's coincidental or not, I don't know. I would really like to switch him to soy formula for good, but I need someone to interpret the research on soy formula and help me make sense of the conflicting claims. Is soy formula as safe as dairy? Will I be endangering my son in any way? What decision have other vegan parents made?
Here in the US, the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics, the one all the pedis go by) ssys:

"​The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) finds that isolated soy protein-based formulas are a safe and nutritionally equivalent alternative to cow milk-based formula for term infants whose nutritional needs are not met from breast milk."

"The AAP specifically recommends the use of soy formulas for the following:

Term infants with galactosemia or hereditary lactase deficiency.
Term infants with documented transient lactose deficiency.
Infants with documented immunoglobulin E-associated allergy to cow milk who are not also allergic to soy protein.
Patients seeking a vegetarian-based diet for a term infant."

https://www.healthychildren.org/Engl...-Formulas.aspx

So, ok per them! Hugs to baby!
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#9 Old 12-02-2015, 09:29 PM
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My nearly three-month-old son has been drinking dairy formula since a few days after birth. The thought of feeding him cow's milk does not sit well with me, as you can imagine, but until today I've been too afraid to try soy formula because of all the hoopla over phytoestrogen. I don't normally consider myself the kind of person who worries about that sort of thing, but I've got that new mama paranoia. Well, my sister-in-law gave us a can of SMA Wysoy this weekend, so today I gave my son a bottle and he seems completely fine. If anything, his tummy seems more settled than usual. He normally spits up immediately after eating, but today he didn't. Whether that's coincidental or not, I don't know. I would really like to switch him to soy formula for good, but I need someone to interpret the research on soy formula and help me make sense of the conflicting claims. Is soy formula as safe as dairy? Will I be endangering my son in any way? What decision have other vegan parents made?
May I ask, why had you not breast fed? I thought that was the best method to give your child natural immunity's at birth? (sorry for spelling immunities didn't seem to fit).

I am in no way judging, sometimes supplementing with different kinds of milk whether its from an animal or from mother nature, can help as well.

I'm a 27 year old male without a child so I'm not as in-tuned to the scene of babies and their needs for milk right at this current moment.
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#10 Old 12-02-2015, 10:20 PM
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May I ask, why had you not breast fed? I thought that was the best method to give your child natural immunity's at birth? (sorry for spelling immunities didn't seem to fit).

I am in no way judging, sometimes supplementing with different kinds of milk whether its from an animal or from mother nature, can help as well.

I'm a 27 year old male without a child so I'm not as in-tuned to the scene of babies and their needs for milk right at this current moment.
Some women cannot breast feed. It's really not cool to even ask this question.
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#11 Old 12-03-2015, 01:34 AM
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Some women cannot breast feed. It's really not cool to even ask this question.
Seconded - very not cool. Also it's none of anyone's business - unless you are the child's father or pediatrician this is not a question you ever ask any woman. And even then you tread carefully.
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#12 Old 12-03-2015, 03:16 AM
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I don't think highlyoriginal meant any harm...he admittedly stated his inexperience on the subject. It could have been an innocent question, benefit of the doubt and all that.

That said, at least he now knows not to ask that question again, ha!


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#13 Old 12-03-2015, 05:16 AM
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I don't think highlyoriginal meant any harm...he admittedly stated his inexperience on the subject. It could have been an innocent question, benefit of the doubt and all that.

That said, at least he now knows not to ask that question again, ha!


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Yeah honestly I didn't know that was like asking a woman her weight type of deal, excuse my ignorance to those I may have offended.

What I meant by what I asked is if there are reason you're aware of, you'd find answers easier from others as to what types of formula would be suitable. If you for example needed more nutritional supplement there is no harm is using soy milk or some type of formula that is procured from the store or mother nature (including another animals milk if you believe in such).
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#14 Old 12-03-2015, 10:45 AM
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Yeah honestly I didn't know that was like asking a woman her weight type of deal, excuse my ignorance to those I may have offended.
It's actually a great deal more emotionally fraught than that. For example, many women who can't breastfeed experience all kinds of (unwarranted) feelings of failure, etc. It's like asking someone why they don't have children: you have no idea of the extent of heartbreak that might lie behind that.

IOW, no matter how well meant, it's not a question that should be asked.
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#15 Old 12-03-2015, 11:39 AM
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Thank you so much, everyone! It was especially reassuring to read that soy formula is recommended by pediatricians in the US. Breastfeeding is pushed almost exclusively here in the UK, so finding unbiased information on any formula is difficult enough, let alone soya.

It's true that it's best not to ask why a woman isn't breastfeeding, but in this instance I don't mind answering. I planned to breastfeed and I tried for the first few days of my son's life, but when we were both readmitted to the hospital (me for an infection, him for jaundice) I discovered that, unbeknownst to me, I hadn't actually been producing any milk. That’s not uncommon in first time mothers, especially after a traumatic birth, and especially considering that I was quite sick, and it's also not an insurmountable problem-- I could have kept at it, pumped several times a day-- but I was in so much pain and my son had lost so much weight that I decided to try formula. The change in him was immediate. Of course, he was starving! He's been on formula ever since.

I felt very guilty at first. You hear so much about breastfeeding being best for all children, and there's certainly truth to that-- but now that I've done some research, the health benefits of breastfeeding versus formula feeding seem exaggerated in popular media. I've seen compelling sibling studies which suggest that most of the differences between breast- and bottle-fed children are due to other correlated factors like race, income, and environment. At the very least, formula isn't the toxic substance it's sometimes made out to be! That said, breastfeeding is a beautiful thing and I wish it had been easier for me. The entire birthing experience has been pretty crappy. I'm STILL fighting infection nearly three months later.

Anyway, today was Dylan's second on soy formula and he's doing just fine. I think we'll be sticking with it.
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#16 Old 12-03-2015, 01:36 PM
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Glad he's doing well on his new formula I hope you are able to recover soon too!

I hope to breastfeed when we have kids, but it's interesting to read these kind of threads and know there are safe and healthy vegan alternatives if that's not possible. Breastmilk is the only 'animal product' I would want my kids ingesting until they are old enough to understand where animal foods come from and decide for themselves.
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#17 Old 12-03-2015, 03:15 PM
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I'm glad Dylan is enjoying his soy formula! I didn't know about its ready availability here in the U.S. until my grandkids were born.
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#18 Old 12-03-2015, 03:41 PM
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@no whey jose I had problem breastfeeding and my second son was horribly colicky. He was put on a soy formula which helped a good bit. Certainly hadn't harmed him at all, nor 'feminized' him, which is something you hear on anti-soy formula sites, which seem as biased as all the others


And what is that you're holding in your new avatar? I wish we could see enlarged avatars, some have taken a long time before I figure them out!

BTW, the womans forum may have been a better bet?
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#19 Old 12-06-2015, 11:30 AM
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Happy to hear all is well
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#20 Old 12-07-2015, 04:17 AM
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@no whey jose I had problem breastfeeding and my second son was horribly colicky. He was put on a soy formula which helped a good bit. Certainly hadn't harmed him at all, nor 'feminized' him, which is something you hear on anti-soy formula sites, which seem as biased as all the others


And what is that you're holding in your new avatar? I wish we could see enlarged avatars, some have taken a long time before I figure them out!

BTW, the womans forum may have been a better bet?
That's a bearded dragon I cared for when I volunteered at a nature centre in Athens, GA.

Update: Dylan's still on the soy formula but he's been constipated. I'm hoping it will sort itself out within the week.
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#21 Old 12-07-2015, 02:16 PM
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That's a bearded dragon I cared for when I volunteered at a nature centre in Athens, GA.

Update: Dylan's still on the soy formula but he's been constipated. I'm hoping it will sort itself out within the week.
Thanks for clearing that up. I didn't think you were coddling a carrot

I've always associated constipation with iron
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#22 Old 12-07-2015, 07:27 PM
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Sounds like you already have it sorted but wanted to add my two pence.

My daughter was breast fed (I was lucky enough for this to go smoothly) exclusively until she was 5 months old but once on solids was underweight so GP told us to replace her drinks with formula to increase her calorie intake. She had to be on soy formula as she is intolerant to dairy products. She's now 8 and just perfect (even if I do say so myself!)

My daughters father is the 'anti-vegan' and since we separated years ago has done a bit of googling and is trying to convince our daughter that I am causing some kind of hormonal imbalance in her as she has soy milk when at my house. He gives her cows milk and clearly thinks its better for her to be covered in eczema and have a bad tummy that have some of that evil soy!
Anyway I digress....sorry for the rant

Confusion about soy arises from the term “phytoestrogens.” Some soy nutrients—the isoflavones—have chemical structures that look a bit like the estrogen found in a woman’s body. This is where the term phytoestrogen originated. However, phytoestrogens are not the same thing as female estrogens. Soy foods do not contain estrogen.
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#23 Old 12-07-2015, 07:51 PM
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My daughters father is the 'anti-vegan' and since we separated years ago has done a bit of googling and is trying to convince our daughter that I am causing some kind of hormonal imbalance in her as she has soy milk when at my house. He gives her cows milk and clearly thinks its better for her to be covered in eczema and have a bad tummy that have some of that evil soy!
.
In these situations, it's good to have the support of a Registered Dietitian. There's a tonne of nutrition misinformation on the internet, and it can be hell to convince someone that they are being misled. A Registered Dietitian's entire university education and professional career are specialized in human nutrition, and they can separate out the crap. If you're having a problem with an anti-soymilk spouse, a Registered Dietitian can back you up.

Lactose intolerance is common worldwide, so I'm sure not how your ex-spouse has concluded that dairy foods are good for everyone. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactose_intolerance

In the UK, you can find a Registered Dietitian through this website: http://www.freelancedietitians.org/d...vanced-search/
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#24 Old 12-08-2015, 06:49 AM
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Another update: Dylan's constipation got much worse and he was clearly struggling to go, so we bought a tin of his old dairy formula. I'm not pleased, but what can I do? I'm going to try again in a few months when it's time to wean him onto solid foods. Maybe by then his digestive system will be able to handle something new.
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#25 Old 12-08-2015, 05:26 PM
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I thought dairy was more constipating? I think that was another reason my son went on soy
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#26 Old 12-09-2015, 02:14 AM
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I thought dairy was more constipating? I think that was another reason my son went on soy
All I know is he's had hard pebbly poops for the past few days. Yesterday we put him back on his regular formula and he's been throwing up, so I don't understand what's happening. It's possible that he's sick and it's unrelated to the formula, or maybe all this switching isn't sitting well with him. He's got a doctor's appointment this afternoon.
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#27 Old 12-09-2015, 02:46 PM
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I'm sorry I threw that out there. I remember how frustrating it is to have people suggest things without a clue of the real circumstances.
My son was really colicky, and every day was a battle to try and find a remedy. I do remember when he was a iron formula he got constipated and really hard poops when he did.

Good luck at the docs!
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#28 Old 12-10-2015, 07:24 AM
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The doctor suggested a stool softener and that seems to have done the trick. He's back to normal now. Maybe we'll try soy again when he's older. I'm bummed. :/
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#29 Old 12-10-2015, 02:00 PM
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I'm sorry you can't use the soy formula right now but glad to hear he's feeling better. (I have no children, so am completely unqualified to comment on this thread but have been watching it with interest.)
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