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Newborn and Infant Care

Which high energy formula is best?



my son who is 4 months has been diagnosed with atrial ventricular septum defect and will undergo open heart surgery in september 2009. he is gaining only 1-3 ounces per week and has now been put on SMA high energy formula but is still only gaining 1-3 ounces. my GP is complaining it is expensive is this the best product for him or is there an alternative high energy milk that may be more suitable. My GP is unsure about milk formulas.


Children with heart problems, especially ones like atrial septal defect, require more energy intake (calories) to survive, let alone grow. Formulas which are higher in calories per ounce, like SMA, are essential to your child's health. There is no substitute; all of these brands cost more than standard formula. Resist the urge to add cereal to your child's formula. His digestive system is too immature to handle solid food effectively.

As you have a child with a special need, perhaps a consult with a pediatric healthcare professional would be helpful.

Is your son set up to receive Synagist injections this fall?

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Response by:

Sarah Sauntry, RN, MS, CPNP-PC
Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati