All you need to know about formula milk
Breast milk is the optimal way to provide all the nutrition that newborns require, but not every mother can or chooses to breastfeed. Additionally, mothers who breastfeed may find that supplementing with infant formula is a practical option if they return to work or when the baby needs to be fed by someone else.
What is formula milk?
Formula milk is a powder-based breast milk substitute. The majority of infant formulae are made with cow’s milk, vitamins, and minerals. Babies are fed formula mixed with cooled boiled water in a bottle or cup.
The nutrients in the formula help a baby’s growth during the first six months of life. They can begin eating solids at 6 months, but they should not drink regular cow’s milk until they are at least 12 months old.
Other than cow’s milk, some formulae contain soybeans or rice. These specialty formulae have been modified to make them easier to digest or to accommodate babies who cannot tolerate cow’s milk protein or lactose.
Is baby formula better than cow’s milk?
Some babies are extremely sensitive or allergic to formula containing cow’s milk. As an alternative, hydrolyzed formula is frequently recommended. In this, Cow’s milk protein is broken down into smaller particles for ease of digestion.
What are the different types of formulae?
• First infant formula – Cow’s milk based formula contains two kinds of proteins: whey and casein. The first type of infant formula is made with whey protein, which is thought to be easier to digest than caesin .
The first infant formula is the only formula your baby requires until six months of age.
•Anti-reflux formula – This type of formula is thickened to prevent reflux in babies (during or after a feed).
• Comfort formula – This formula contains cow’s milk proteins that have already been partially broken down. This is supposed to make the process of digestion easier and help prevent digestive issues like colic and constipation.
• Lactose-free formula – This formula is suitable for lactose-intolerant babies. Lactose intolerant means they cannot digest lactose, a sugar found naturally in milk and dairy products.
Diarrhoea, abdominal pain, wind, and bloating are all the symptoms of lactose intolerance.
• Soya formula – Soya formula is made from soya beans rather than cow’s milk. It is occasionally used as an alternative formula for babies who are allergic to cows’ milk.
• Growing up formula – The growing up formula is a milk-based formula created for children aged one and up. It is used as extra nutrition for infants rather than as a meal replacement because it contains various nutrients and minerals that help improve the infant’s overall health.
What to avoid
•Condensed formula- Condensed milk does not contain the same amount of protein and carbohydrates as breast milk or formula, and it lacks many micronutrients.
•Evaporated formula- Milk that has been reduced to about 60% of its original volume is known as evaporated milk. The evaporated milk is sterilised by heating it above 200°F, which breaks down the protein structures in milk. This type of formula contains inadequate amounts of calories and fat, is deficient in several vitamins and minerals and contains too much salt and protein for an infant.
•Dried formula – It is acceptable to feed your baby powdered formula. However, your baby is at a higher risk of infection if he or she is less than two months old, was born prematurely, had a low birthweight, or has weakened immunity.
It is essential to consult an experienced dietician before picking the right formula for your little one. A dietician will guide you to the right path. Connect with Kanupriya Khanna who has been working in this field since 2003. She is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.