Disorders affecting metabolism

Metabolic disorders affect food digestion. Although very rare, some infants born with one of these disorders are not able to breast-feed. Most babies are screened at birth for these problems, which may include:

  • Galactosemia , a condition that prevents an infant from digesting galactose, a sugar found in milk.
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU) , which prevents the digestion of phenylalanine, a component common to many proteins. Breast-feeding sometimes is possible, since breast milk has low levels of phenylalanine. However, the baby will need extra feedings with low-phenylalanine formula and frequent monitoring. If you want to breast-feed your baby who has PKU, talk with your doctor.

Last Updated: May 4, 2009

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