Breastfeeding is undoubtedly the ideal food for a newborn. You will never forget the feeling of your baby looking into your eyes with such interest and love and squeezing your finger so gently with his tiny hand while he is suckling.
But there are times when you can’t do without baby formula, for example:
- the baby doesn’t have a mum
- you have lost or failed to get milk (which is only possible if you have a serious illness or if breastfeeding has gone wrong and you have considered feeding your baby with donor milk)
- the mother’s serious illness is incompatible with breastfeeding
Usually, a smart mother will decide to switch to the formula by assessing all the information she knows about breastfeeding and alternative feeding. She will certainly talk to experts in pediatrics and breastfeeding. She will never smugly say after watching a formula commercial or a celebrity story that she knows all about the convenience of artificial feeding and the challenges of breastfeeding. She will take all these steps for her baby.
Infant formula does not completely replace breast milk
Infant formula first emerged precisely to help with these types of situations listed above. And then the experience of artificial feeding was adopted by working mothers: It was easier to dilute formula than to squeeze it or run home from work to feed. But these working mothers probably did not know that formula is only close in composition to mother’s milk.
Manufacturers of formula cannot yet fully replicate the composition of mother’s milk. Mother’s milk is not simply a liquid with a collection of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and micronutrients.
It is also essential amino acids, antibodies, hormones, immunoglobulins, live leukocytes, enzymes, and many other substances in the proportions that your baby needs. The composition of a mother’s milk varies depending on the time of year and time of day, the health of your baby at the moment, and his/her age. And milk formula can only be made a little more nutritious or thicker.
How to choose safe baby food
In two words – the formula has to be expensive. After all, our time for quality is a high price. The price of a formula consists not only of the manufacturer’s profits but also of the cost of the ingredients and the technological adaptation of the protein.
All of the novelty components of the formula (what the manufacturers advertise as a great achievement – taurine, polyunsaturated fatty acids, these units of hundreds of substances free of charge in the mother’s breast milk) cost a pretty penny, being only a few dozen ingredients in the formula. And let them be worthwhile. And it’s great that they’re there. Every ingredient that scientists have managed to add to a formula brings it a fraction of a percent closer in quality to breast milk. And when it comes to your baby’s health, every fraction of a percent is worth its weight in gold.
The formula must be adapted. The word “adapted” means that the formula contains protein that has been technologically broken down into atoms and reduced to the protein of breast milk. As a result, the label should state that the protein is partially hydrolyzed and that the formula is hypoallergenic.
The non-adapted formula should not be used. And kefir, goat, and cow’s milk should not be used. The unadapted protein of these products affects the baby’s hormones, puts an enormous strain on the kidneys, and irreversibly alters the intestinal microflora. All this creates a systemic metabolic disorder that will accompany the person throughout life, making that life shorter and more painful.
The ingredients in these formulas have the appropriate quality certificates, which means that such food is safer for the baby. The german baby formula, for instance, is made in Germany from high-quality ingredients and contains no undesirable additives such as sucrose, corn syrup, or starch.
Some advice for new parents
It is generally agreed that goat’s milk is better than cow’s milk. Goat’s milk is less allergenic and ‘closer’ to mother’s milk than cow’s milk. But goat’s milk-based formulas are considerably more expensive than those based on cow’s milk. You can also pick up soya-based or even almond-based blends. The dairy-free formula is usually used if your baby is found to have an intolerance to milk protein.
Do not be afraid to change the formula if your baby has an allergic reaction (such as a rash). Monitor your baby’s rashes, digestion, and mood for 3 days.
Do not be afraid to “unnecessarily” bother the pediatrician. Talk to your doctor or nurse about how your baby’s condition could be affected by the selected formula.
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