03 August

Is formula milk good for babies?

Breast milk is the best for your baby - There is no bigger truth than this. Even if you can only breastfeed for a short while, your baby will still benefit. But the longer you breastfeed, the longer your baby is protected. Breast milk is the best choice nutritionally for the baby.

But If you're having real trouble breastfeeding, you may need to give your baby formula milk. For many women, the decision to formula feed their baby may be based on lifestyle choices, medical conditions or their comfort level. Under these circumstances, formula milk provides babies with nutrients for them to thrive and grow.

Commercially prepared formula milk is an alternative to breast milk and contains all the nutrients similar to breast milk, with added vitamins too. Commercial infant formula is usually prepared under sterile conditions and they try to duplicate the breast milk by combining the right amount of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats for the baby.


Advantages of Formula Feeding

Formula feeding is convenient and both the parents can be involved in the feeding process. Once the bottle is sterile the formula can be prepared and fed by either parent. Easier while traveling as the mother need not find a place to feed the baby, the baby can be fed anywhere. Mother gets the freedom to be away from the baby for a few hours, unlike in breastfeeding where she needs to be around the baby.

 Disadvantages of formula feeding

- Formula milk powders are expensive

- The water used for the preparation of the formula has to be sterile too.

- Infant formula is less digestible than breast milk, and thus the formula-fed babies usually need to eat less often than breastfed babies.

- Milk cannot be made and kept for future use.

- Formula fed babies may not be as well protected as a breastfed infant from infections as they do not have the antibodies of the breast milk.

 Unlike breast milk — which is always available, unlimited, and served at the right temperature, formula feeding your baby requires planning and organization to make sure that you have what you need when you need it. You must buy formula and make sure it's always on hand.

 You need to find what is right for you and the baby. Many mothers start with one form of feeding and shift to another in a few months. It is entirely the mother’s choice. But, if possible, it is always best to breastfeed the baby for a minimum of one year. Breastfeeding is like buying an insurance of good health for the baby.

Last modified on Tuesday, 18 September 2018 10:35
Dr Padma

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


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