This is a product with many different names depending on the location, infant formula, baby milk, infant milk or first milk, all names that imply it is a product for young children or infants. This is a manufactured food that is designed and specifically made to target the nutritional needs of children and or infants under the age of 12 months. This is a simulation of human milk since the composition is almost similar to that of a mother 1-3 months after delivery and is a good substitute for the same.
Types of formula Milk for infants
Normally, infant formula milk is designed for bottle feeding or in a drinking cup after it is prepared. They come in many varieties such as powdered, liquid concentrate and some manufacturers make ready to feed baby formula. For powdered and liquid concentrate forms, you would have to add some amount of water before giving it to the baby since the direct form could be harmful. The manufactures often give dilution instructions and it is important to follow the instructions to the latter since wrong use could lead to malnutrition or other serious problems.
There are many categories to select from depending on your preferences or your child’s health status;
- The most common type of baby formula milk is cow’s milk formula. This formula is cow’s milk that has been altered to have the same composition as a human mother’s milk. It is a rather natural way of providing nutrients that is why it is so common. It contains lactose, so that might be a problem if your child is allergic but not to worry.
- The other type is Soy protein based baby formula. This formula milk is mostly for lactose intolerant babies who can’t use the normal cow’s milk. It is also a good way to provide protein that is not from animals as is some people’s preference.
- The third type of formula is protein hydrolysate formulas which contain broken down proteins. These are meant for children that cannot use the cow’s milk and soy formulas.
- The fourth type is a specialized kind of formula that is designed for premature babies. It is much easier to digest and absorb so it will be gentle on the child’s stomach.
Baby formulas are rich in nutrients and minerals since they are meant for use by developing children. The source of these nutrients differ from one manufacturer to another.
- Some formulas contain purified cow’s milk (whey) and casein as the source of protein. Others use soy beans which is another good source of plant protein.
- When it comes to fats and oils, most manufactures use a blend of vegetable oils which are all healthy and safe for a child’s consumption.
- Lactose is the main source of carbohydrate but other manufacturers make products for babies that are lactose intolerant.
- A wide range of all the necessary vitamins and minerals are well mixed and put in the formula to nourish the child. Other ingredients vary depending on the manufacturer and price of the product.
Formula Milk and situations for use
A Problem associated with formula milk is the use. There are many situations that warrant the use of milk formula. Some situation may force the use of milk formula but in most cases it could be dependent on the parent’s preference. The use could be needed for health reasons or other medical issues.
- For instance when the mother has an infectious disease such as chickenpox, HIV or active tuberculosis, they should avoid breastfeeding since it puts the child at a risk of contracting the disease themselves.
- In case the mother has an infection like HTLV-1 or HTLV 2, then they should definitely use formula milk since breast feeding could cause the child to develop T-Cell Leukemia.
- A mother should also use milk formula if they have just had a breast surgery. Breastfeeding would be unhealthy for both the mother and child.
- If a mother is under some serious medication that may be harmful to the child, then breast feeding is not advised. Most of the medication is well described and it will warn against use but as a general precaution don’t use cancer medication and breastfeed, it will harm the child.
- If a baby is malnourished or is under the risk of getting malnourished, milk formula would be a good way to give it a boost and potentially save a life. Formula is a good way to supplement breast milk and it can be used in case there is no other source of breast milk if the mother’s is unavailable.
Milk formula is generally a very good product to use on your infant. It is not quite as effective as a healthy mother’s milk but it is a good option B. Most mothers and professionals advice that formula is used as a supplement for breast milk or that it be used after the 6th month before which the child should use breast milk. In case you feel the need, use milk formula because it works well for children.