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Breast milk is best for babies. Professional advice should be followed before using an infant formula. Introducing partial bottle feeding could negatively affect breast feeding. Good maternal nutrition is important for breast feeding and reversing a decision not to breast feed may be difficult. Infant formula should always be used as directed. Proper use of an infant formula is important to the health of the infant. Social and financial implications should be considered when selecting a method of feeding.

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Lactose Intolerance

Read the Frequently Asked Questions

Lactose is the primary carbohydrate of breast milk and thus healthy term infants are born with the ability to tolerate lactose. Infants become intolerant of lactose when there is a deficiency of the enzyme lactase which is required to break down lactose. This enzyme deficiency most often occurs in infants following damage to the gut and is temporary in nature.

In addition, approximately 70% of the world’s population has primary lactase deficiency.1 The percentage varies according to ethnicity and is related to the use of dairy products in the diet, resulting in genetic selection of individuals with the ability to digest lactose.1

Different diagnostic techniques and management approaches may be utilised by the Healthcare Professional during periods of lactose intolerance and breast feeding remains possible for the vast majority of lactose intolerant infants.

Reference

  1. Melvin B. Heyman, Lactose Intolerance in Infants, Children, and Adolescents. Pediatrics, 2006. 118(3): p. 1279-1286.

Below you will find some frequently asked questions related to Lactose Intolerance. To view the answers please download the PDF. Download PDF

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is lactose and why is it important for infants and young children?
  • What is lactose intolerance?
  • What causes lactose intolerance?
  • What are the signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance?
  • How is lactose intolerance diagnosed in infants and young children?
  • Is lactose intolerance an allergic condition?
  • How is lactose intolerance in infants and young children managed?
  • Which foods contain lactose?
  • What is the lactose content of various dairy foods?

Breast milk is best for babies. Professional advice should be followed before using an infant formula. Introducing partial bottle feeding could negatively affect breast feeding. Good maternal nutrition is important for breast feeding and reversing a decision not to breast feed may be difficult. Infant formula should always be used as directed. Proper use of an infant formula is important to the health of the infant. Social and financial implications should be considered when selecting a method of feeding.

 

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Last Updated: 03/04/2014

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