Knowing that breastfeeding is the best for baby, you would never deny him or her of it. But what if your conditions or some circumstances prevent you from doing it? Ofcourse, giving infant formula for your baby’s daily food will be your immediate alternative option.However, as mother you need to know the essential facts about Infant Formula. Are all infant formulas best for your baby?
Studies shows that infant formula which is prepared in coherence with applicable Codex Alimentarius standard is nutritious substitute for breastfeeding. Indeed, it is safe and adequate complementary food for babies. Nonetheless, WHO recommended that babies should be nourished through breastfeeding at least 6 months before introducing infant formula as sole source of nutrition. Moreover, parents should be anxious in choosing the types of formula for their babies.
The choice of suitable formula for your babies must be taken into consideration. There are 5 varieties of formulas but the most common infant formula are cow’s milk-based and soy-based formulas. For your reference, below is the list of formulas you must check with for your babies.
1. Milk-Based Formulas
In most cases, milk-based formulas provide infants with 20 calories per ounce. Cow’s milk formulas come in both low-iron or iron-fortified varieties. To prevent nutrient deficiency, only iron-fortified formulas should be fed to infants.
2. Soy-Based Formulas
Soy-based formulas are made from soybeans and have vitamins, minerals and nutrients added. It also contains 20 calories per ounce. This formula is best for babies who are allergic to cow’s milk protein.
3. Lactose-Free Formula
This formula is used for infants who cannot tolerate cow’s milk formulas because of milk sugar (lactose). Lactose-free formulas have been modified with added vitamins, minerals and nutrients and contain 60 percent whey and 40 percent casein proteins. This provides 20 calories per ounce.
4. Hydrolyzed Formula
Babies allergic to protein in milk must be fed with Hydrolyzed formulas. This also contains 20 calories per ounce and more digestible. However, bitter taste is left even after sweeteners are added. This type of formula is more expensive than regular formulas. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), hydrolyzed proteins are less likely to stimulate antibody production.
5. Preterm Formula
Preterm formulas have 24 calories per ounce and are for infants who are less than 34 weeks gestation and weigh less than 3 pounds, 15 ounces, according to the AAFP. Preterm infants have higher caloric and protein requirements, and preterm formulas are specially formulated to facilitate growth.
While the choice of types of formula is a must, the amount and frequency of feeding your babies is equally essential too. Although Infant formula is acceptable alternative food for babies, fact remains that this may carry risks in later stage of their lives such as obesity and other health problems which includes liver abnormalities along with elevated blood sugars and high cholesterol.
Nicolas Stettler, a pediatrician ofChildren’s Hospital in Philadelphiaapproves that Infant formula is “safe and effective.” Weight and health will be kept if infants like them and eat them. However, he added that babies who have increased weight gain in their first four months or year of life are five times more likely to become obese by age 20. This was proven by studies in US and Europe including the study at his hospital.
Therefore, it is important that you coordinate with pediatrician to determine proper ways in feeding formula to your babies.