Medically reviewed by Dr. Riaz Ali Shah.
Breastfeeding or giving your baby formula milk is a choice that is sometimes made for you. So, the real question is if the formula would make your baby healthy or not?
Breast is definitely the best. This is something all new mothers hear throughout their pregnancy and also after they give birth. But, if after a few weeks of breastfeeding you’re unable to produce enough milk and your child is hungry, then giving formula milk is completely okay.
In a recent study, researchers took note of babies who had lost a lot of weight after birth. They categorized the babies into two groups. The initial group of babies got a small amount of formula after each breastfeeding session, and the other group did not. It was found out that the babies that got formula milk were less likely to be readmitted to the hospital.
There are many ‘formula’ questions that are yet to be answered. But here, we are giving it a go!
Asking the real questions- How is formula milk made?
If you are worried about the ingredients used to make formula milk then stop. This milk is made to resemble breast milk and therefore, it is formulated using cow’s milk. So, this helps to give it the right balance of nutrients that makes digestion easy.
Mostly, babies are fine and healthy on cow’s milk. However, if your baby is allergic to it then you can try out alternatives like Soy-based formulas.
Checking out the expiry date- How long can it be kept for?
You want to keep your baby healthy; therefore, you need to know that formula milk once prepared should be consumed immediately. However, if you are storing it for later then put it in the fridge and use it within 24 hours.
So, sterilize your baby’s bottle with hot water. Prepare it and feed it to your baby immediately.
The real health battle: Formula vs. Breast Milk
Breast milk is important for babies because it has a lot of advantages. It provides natural antibodies that help your babies resist illnesses. If you are talking about digestion- then breast milk indeed beats them all because it can be easily digested and breastfed babies are less likely to be constipated.
What is natural, is obviously the best for your baby. In some cases, it just so happens that mother’s are unable to produce enough breastmilk. And to satisfy the baby’s needs, it is safe to give formula milk and switch back when you can.
My baby is losing weight- What do I do?
It might be worrying to you if your baby loses more weight than normal. Therefore, you can try to incorporate formula milk in their diet for the time being.
However, if you are using it to increase the weight of your baby then stop using it after the first few days. This is because ongoing use of formula can lead to a dry-up of your breast milk.
The conclusion to your formula
If you’re asking yourself which you should choose, the answer is simple: breastmilk. It is the best choice you can make and is recommended by all medical doctors. Extensive researches have been conducted to determine and later prove the immense benefits of breastfeeding.
Don’t worry if you’re not able to breastfeed all the time, you can use formula milk as a supplement. Formula milk is not unhealthy for your baby, so don’t stress out if you ever need to use it.
Guest Credits: Asma Qadri