Infant formula is a commercially manufactured alternative to breast milk and used for feeding babies under the age of 12 months and is usually prepared by mixing with water. According to health experts breast milk is the perfect food for babies as it is specially formulated for them in the mother’s body and is designed to fight of infections and provide them with the nutrients that they need. However, there are many reasons why a mother may be unable to breastfeed her child such as herself being affected with diseases such as HIV or tuberculosis where the infection will pass onto the baby through her milk. Certain medications such as those for cancer therapy as well as illicit drugs also pose a risk of being passed through breast milk. The baby itself may also not be able to breastfeed due to some birth defect or errors in their metabolism such as galactosemia. There are also certain circumstances that arise where the child may be at risk of malnutrition due to iron deficiency and formula milk such as bellamys infant formula or nan comfort formula have to be introduced to them to avoid the baby getting weaker. There are also situations in which the mother is simple not producing enough milk to satisfy her newborn no matter how frequently she feeds him/her. Moreover, it may come down to the personal preference of the mother where she may dislike to breastfeed. Mothers who may have been subject to sexual abuse or are a victim of postpartum depression may also find it difficult to breastfeed their babies.
Infant formula is produced in sterile conditions and is an attempt at replication mothers milk using the same combination of proteins, sugars, fats and other vitamins and minerals that can’t be created at home. When it is mixed, it usually contains the same number of calories as breast milk. Formula milk comes in different forms: powder, concentrate and ready to feed bottles or packets and it is always important to read the instructions before you prepare them to avoid getting your child ill. A prepared bottle of formula milk can only be kept an hour at room temperature and should not be directly rewarmed as it actually increases the risk of harmful bacteria growth. There are many types of formula milk to help deal with all kinds of needs of the baby:
- Most formula is made from cows’ milk that has been altered in some way to mimic breast milk. It gives the right balance of nutrients and is easy for the bay to digest. Some formula milk brands such as bellamy infant formula are made from organic cows’ milk to prevent any unforeseen risks.
- Soy-based formulas are for those babies that may be allergic to cow’s milk formulas or may have problems with lactose. They are also given temporarily to infants suffering from diarrhea.
- Protein hydrolysate formulas are those where the protein is broken down either partially or extensively into smaller particles than those in cow milk and any formula. They are used for babies with protein allergies and those that don’t tolerate cow based and soy-based formulas. If your baby has a milk protein allergy, then its amino acid formula is best for them as their protein has been broken down into the simplest form.
Formula milk offers the mother the convenience of having her partner pitch in the feeding duties as well. The bottle can be prepared by either parent and gives the father a chance to bond with their baby as well. It becomes easier for the mother to leave her baby with her partner or another caregiver so that she can go to work or perform other activities without having to schedule all of her day according to the feedings of the baby. There are also a wide variety of options available in formula milk from organic bellamys infant formula to amino acid formula for babies with milk allergies. As it is less easy to digest that breastmilk, babies have to be fed less often as their tummies will stay full for longer. Although infant formula cannot match the complexity and nutritional benefits of breast milk, it is a very useful option for mothers who may not be able to or don’t want to breast feed their children.