There are significant decisions that must be made in regards to your baby, and one of those is how you intend to feed him or her. Breastfeeding is the best nutritional source to provide your baby, but sometimes that is not what your baby needs. Premature or low birth weight infants may need higher calorie and concentrated formula, and discussing the options available with your doctor is very important. Some babies cannot thrive with breast milk or generic formula alone. They may need specially made formula in order to gain weight and your doctor will be able to guide you in the right direction. There are many formulas available to provide nourishment to premature or low birth weight babies, but my experience has been with Enfamil Enfacare Lipil.
The formula is specifically for premature and low birth weight infants. It is milk-based and 22 calories per fluid ounce. The formula comes in a powder form and ready-to-eat liquid. Enfacare contains DHA and ARA comparable to levels found in breast milk. The formula provides nutrients that allow premature or low birth weight infants to grow and develop normally.
Enfacare is no more expensive than generic Enfamil or other brands available. You can generally find Enfacare at local stores that carry name brand baby food. You can also purchase directly from Enfamil via their Web site or call center. I found the cheapest places to be grocery stores and Target.
The formula smells horrid, possibly worse than any other formula on the market. I do not suggest letting it sit in a bottle for too long, because cleaning it will be awful.
The ready-to-eat liquid is easier on baby’s stomachs than the powder form. Reflux babies may benefit from the pre-made liquid because there is less foam and air bubbles. The liquid is also more convenient. You can easily pour it into bottles, stick them in the fridge, and heat them up as needed. No pouring water, measuring powder, and shaking.
The formula can go bad suddenly and very quickly, so make sure to smell it every time. Be prepared to throw out pre-made formula quite often if your baby does not eat very much at first. This is probably the most disappointing and waste of money out of everything.
Some doctors want parents to fortify breast milk with Enfacare and the powder is the best for this action. Your doctor or nutritionist should provide you with detailed instructions on fortifying breast milk and you need to make sure to follow them. Adding too many calories to your baby’s diet can be detrimental to his or her health.