How to choose a formula milk for the baby.. maintain safety standards for the health of infants

production and distribution of infant formulas:

To maintain safety standards for the health of infants, legislation in the United States and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) govern and supervise the production and distribution of infant formulas. When shopping for infant formula, you'll find several basic types.

Cow's milk-based formulas:

Cow's milk-based formulas make up about 80% of the formula sold. Even though cow's milk is the base for these formulas, milk has drastically changed to be safer for babies. It is treated using heat and other methods that make the protein more digestible. More milk sugar (lactose) is added to make the concentration equal to that found in breast milk, and milk fat is removed and replaced with vegetable oils and other fats that babies can digest more easily and which are better for the growing baby.

Cow's milk-based formulas have extra iron added:

These iron-fortified formulas have dramatically reduced the rate of childhood iron deficiency anemia in recent decades. Some babies do not have enough natural stores of iron, a mineral necessary for normal human development and growth. For this reason, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that iron-fortified formula be used for all infants who are not breastfed or who are only partially breastfed, from birth through the first year of life. age.

Several foods (including baby foods) contain extra iron, especially iron-fortified meats, egg yolks, and cereals. Some mothers worry that the iron in infant formula will cause constipation, but the amount of iron provided in infant formula does not contribute to constipation. Most formulas also contain added docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA), fatty acids, which are considered important for a baby's brain and eye development.

Some formulas are also fortified with probiotics, which are "friendly" types of bacteria. Others are now fortified with prebiotics, in the form of oligosaccharides manufactured to mimic the oligosaccharides in natural human milk, which are substances to stimulate the intestinal lining.

Extensively hydrolyzed formulas:

Another type of formula is extensively hydrolyzed formula, which is often called "predigested" since the protein has already been broken down into smaller proteins that are more easily digested. Ask your pediatrician to recommend a brand of hypoallergenic formula in the case of allergies or any other problems. However, keep in mind that this type of formula tends to be more expensive than the basic formula.

Soy-based formulas:

Soy-based formulas contain a different protein (soy) and carbohydrate (either glucose or sucrose) than milk-based formulas. They are sometimes recommended for babies who cannot digest lactose, the main carbohydrate in cow's milk formula, although a plain, non-dairy cow's milk formula is also available. lactose. Many babies have brief periods when they cannot digest lactose, particularly after bouts of diarrhea, which can damage digestive enzymes in the lining of the intestine. But usually this is only a temporary problem and does not require a change in your baby's diet. It is extremely rare for babies to have a significant problem digesting and absorbing lactose (although it tends to occur in older children and adults). Although lactose-free formulas are a good source of nutrition, check with your pediatrician before you start giving your baby lactose-free formula, as any problems are likely to be caused by something else.

With a true milk allergy causing colic, failure to thrive and even bloody diarrhea, the allergy is caused by the protein in cow's milk formula. In this case, soy-based formula seems to be a good alternative. However, up to half of babies with a milk allergy are also sensitive to soy protein, and therefore should be given specialized formula (such as elemental or amino-based) or breast milk.

Some strictly vegetarian and vegan parents may choose to use soy formula because it does not contain animal products. Remember that breastfeeding is the best option for vegetarian families. And while some parents believe that a soy-based formula can prevent or soothe symptoms of colic or fussiness, there's no evidence to support that.

The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that soy-based formula should be chosen over cow's-milk formula in very few circumstances. However, one of these situations is when babies suffer from a rare disorder called galactosemia. Children with this condition do not tolerate galactose, one of the two sugars in lactose. These babies are intolerant to breast milk and should be fed a lactose-free formula. In all states, a test for galactosemia is done in routine newborn screening.

Specialized formulas:

There are specialized formulas that are made for babies with specific disorders or diseases, including premature babies. If your pediatrician recommends a specialized formula for your baby, follow his advice on feeding requirements (amounts, timing, special preparations), as these may be very different from basic/normal formulas.