Choosing between breast milk and formula is one of the first big decision you will need to make with your new baby. Doctors will usually recommend breast feeding because there is nutrients and the resistance to infection that your baby will only get through mothers milk.
However, deciding to use formula whatever your reason is you want to make sure that your baby is getting the best kind. There are quite a few different brands on the market today and trying to find the best one can sometimes be confusing. Here are some tips and recommendations on what could be better for your baby.
Similac, Nestle Good Start, Emfamil and Parents Choice (Wal Mart brand) are some of the top choices available today. Usually when you are in the hospital babies are fed Emfamil and will send you home with a few bottles of it as well. Even though this is the choice that most hospital’s, it doesn’t mean that it will be the best kind for your baby.
There are 3 main types of formula: cow’s milk, soy based and protein hydrolysate. Cow’s milk formula’s are the most popular type of formula. Giving your baby the proper nutrients, fats and carbohydrates. Soy based formula’s are used if an infant is allergic to cow’s milk or cow’s milk is not wanted in their diet’s. Usually if an infant is allergic to cow’s milk they are allergic to soy milk as well. Protein hydrolysate is a formula that is given there is a history of allergies in the family of soy and cow’s milk. It is easier for the infant to digest and is less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
Experts recommend that iron-fortified be in your formula as well as DHA (docosahexaenoic), ARA (arachidonic acid) which are omega 3 fatty acids which contribute to the brain and eye sight development
Emfamil has been rated the best formula used. Emfamil Lipil formula is advertised as helping to improve mental skills and improving eyesight which is pretty well along the lines as any formula that has omega 3’s.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says soy based formula’s are safe but should only be used when medically necessary. There have been some concerns about soy which include: decreased ability of infant’s to absorb calcium from the soy and the effects of phytoestrogens or isoflavores (which is an estrogen-like hormone found in plants).
If your infant is in need of soy milk formula only use organic products. Not only does conventional soy involve heavy use of pesticides, but 87% of soy grown and used in the U.S. food is genetically modified (GM).
Being a new mother can be overwhelming but learning about your baby’s needs and wants are something you find out along the way. If one formula isn’t working out for you then you can always try a different one. If you have any questions or concerns contact your family doctor!