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Digestive problems in babies

6 min

1. Minor temporary digestive problems.

Due to the immaturity of their digestive tract and its development, infants can experience some common digestive problems, which resolve as they grow older. This is the case with colic, for example, which is quite common in babies. Colic is generally due to variable degrees of intolerance to lactose, triggered by a lactase deficiency (the enzyme that digests lactose). Poorly digested lactose can cause pain, gas and bloating. If your baby becomes agitated, cries and screams for a long time, he or she may be prone to colic. Another problem that is not serious is minor regurgitation, when baby spits up small amounts of milk. This is a temporary phase, related to baby’s immature digestive system. Your baby may also be prone to more severe regurgitation problems. This is caused by immaturity of the gastric cardia (stomach valve). The problem will resolve as the digestive system matures and baby’s diet is adapted (thickened formula).

2. Major digestive problems

Digestive problems that can occur in babies include gastroesophageal reflux (GOR) in which there is “pathological” regurgitation. If it is not treated properly, GOR can cause other problems, such as oesophagitis, or a burning feeling in the oesophagus. In addition, babies can be allergic to cow’s milk proteins to varying degrees. This often problematic condition has various symptoms, which may affect the skin, digestion or ENT system. Fortunately, most children grow out of the problem before the age of 5 years. In all cases, talk to your paediatrician or doctor, as he or she will be able to make the right diagnosis.

3. Formula as a nutritional solution to digestive problems

Your baby has specific nutritional needs that need to be taken into account and may be prone to any of these digestive problems. That’s why different formulas exist to address various problems:
     • reflux and regurgitation will be alleviated by a formula thickened with starch and/or locust bean gum
     • for cow’s milk protein allergy, treatment involves eliminating cow’s milk protein from the diet, offering hydrolysed rice protein-based formulas instead, for example.
Don’t hesitate to talk to your paediatrician. And for more information, the Modilac Consumer Service will be happy to answer your questions. The Modilac brand knows that every baby is different and has therefore developed a variety of 2nd-stage formulas
     • Modilac Oéba 2, a thickened formula (may require the use of an adapted teat) with a reduced lactose content
     • Modilac Expert AR 2, combining two thickeners (locust bean gum and maize starch), for babies with regurgitation
     • Modilac Expert Rice 2, containing hydrolysed rice proteins, in the event of cow’s milk protein allergy
     • Modilac Expert AR 2 and Rice 2 are dietary foods for special medical purposes. They should be used under medical supervision.