As a mother you probably already know that nothing comes even close in comparison to the numerous benefits that breast milk has to your child. The World Health Organization (WHO) and Health Promotion Board (HPB) recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Unnecessary introduction of bottle feeding or other food and drinks is strongly discouraged.
Unfortunately, some women are unable to breastfeed due to medical concerns. Infant formula milk can be an alternative or supplementary source of nutrition when breastfeeding is insufficient or not possible partially or entirely.
It is advisable to consult with your doctor if you have difficulty breastfeeding or if you are considering formula milk.
When you finally decide to use formula milk, there are different options you can consider.
Infant Formula Milk Options for Your Baby
There are three basic types of infant formula milk: cow’s (or goat’s) milk-based, soy-based and specialized formulas.
Cow’s milk-based formula
The standard base of infant formula is cow’s milk, which has been modified to act like the composition of breast milk in terms of carbohydrate and fat, plus vitamins and minerals. Most babies without special medical conditions adapt well to standard cow’s milk-based formulas.
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Soy-based milk does not contain lactose and animal proteins, and could be an option for babies who are lactose intolerant. We recommend that you consult your doctor or pediatrician before starting your baby on soy-based formula.
Soy based formula has been found to cause allergies in some children. If your child is allergic to this formula you can opt for:
Hypoallergenic formulas (protein hydrolysate formulas)
- This type of formula may be helpful for infants who have allergies to milk protein and for those with skin rashes or wheezing caused by allergies.
- Hypoallergenic formulas are generally much more expensive than regular formulas.
- These formulas are also used for galactosemia and for children who can't digest lactose.
- A child who has an illness with diarrhea usually will not need lactose-free formula.
These are baby formulas that are made for babies with specific medical conditions and are generally more expensive than standard infant formulas. As a mother, try seeking out medical advice before you give specialized formula to your baby.
Different types of baby formula, such as goat’s milk, hypoallergenic and soya formulas, may have a different mix of ingredients. Always check and double check and above all before deciding on which formula is best for your baby, visit a physician and get a baby specific expert recommendation.
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