30 April

Infant formula - should you or not?

Choosing to breastfeed or formula feed for your baby can be the biggest decision you may have to take. Some mothers may not be fortunate to have this choice and may be forced to formula feed their baby if they are not able to produce breast milk.

While some mothers may have other social obligations or medical conditions which because of which they may not be able to breastfeed the baby. Many organizations from WHO to IAP ( Indian Academy of Pediatrics) recommend breastfeeding as the best for the baby as it offers protection to the baby from infections, develops its immunity and is easily digested by the baby. Babies may be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months. Beyond that, breastfeeding is encouraged until at least 12 months, and longer if both the mother and baby are willing.

In the event that you choose not to breastfeed, infant formula is the best alternative.  

  • Infant formula is manufactured in facilities and is usually fortified with iron and some vitamins. It also contains all nutrients for the baby to thrive and grow. It is not easily digested by the babies like the breast milk, so some babies tend to get constipated.
  • Infant formula gives the opportunity for others in the family to share the process of feeding the child the bottle.
  • Some mothers are anxious that they may not be able to bond with their baby if they don’t breastfeed the baby. That is not true - You can definitely bond while feeding them with the bottle too. Make sure you spend the time with your little one.
  • Because the formula is less digestible than breast milk, formula-fed babies usually need to eat less often than breastfed babies.
  • Some challenges with infant formula is that unlike breast milk which is always available at the right time, and at the right temperature and you don’t have to worry about sterilising the bottle or making the milk, feeding the baby infant formula needs more planning - Sterilising the bottles, make sure you have the stock of the infant formula all the time, sterilized water to make the formula.
  • The formula is more expensive


I have written blog on breastfeeding - The convenience, the benefits, and the challenges. Please go to that blog too and make an informed decision.

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We have put together weekly developments during pregnancy. These articles are only for information. Every pregnancy is different and every woman's experience may be different. We also have articles relating to women's health, infertility and plan to add information about newborn care. Through the blogs, videos and our online consultation services, we are trying to empower mothers (as well as soon-to-be-moms) with health information which is easily understandable. Our mission is to help mothers have a happy pregnancy and a very happy postpartum experience. 

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Last modified on Monday, 06 August 2018 13:03
Dr Padma

Dr Padma is a Family care physician and is the Founder and CEO of MedHealthTV.


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