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Breast Milk or Formula For Your New Baby - Here Are Some Facts

Aug 22, 2008
One critical decision that every new mother must make is whether or not she will feed her baby formula, or opt to breast-feed. This probably seems like an easy decision, for most. But there are a great many women who ultimately struggle with the choice. The media and family members may be putting pressure on the new mom to make the "right" choice, or she may be struggling with the decision to go back to work which always makes breastfeeding difficult.

Studies continue to show that breast milk is better for infants. But there are many reasons parents, specifically mothers, choose to go the formula route. It can be for health reasons or simply a matter of convenience.

It can also be because of feelings of inadequacy, especially for first-time mothers. (These mothers try to breast-feed in the beginning, but soon switch to formula because they feel their baby is not getting enough nourishment.)

It is recommended that mothers who have contracted HIV or hepatitis B, opt only to feed their babies formula. Mothers who are undergoing cancer treatments fall into this category as well. In these situations, it is best to consult a physician before making any final decisions.

Typically, formulas can be grouped into three categories: cow-milk based, soy based and special needs based. (Special need-based formulas are not meant for general use and are usually only doctor recommended.)

Formula made from cow milk, is most common. It accounts for over 75% of all formula sold, in the United States. It has been altered in such a way that makes it much easier to digest. More sugar is added to replace a portion of the fat content.

Quite obviously, soy based formulas are made from soy protein. Generally they are used when an infant has proven to be allergic to cow's milk.

Formulas can be purchased in three forms. These include: powdered, concentrated and ready to feed (or RTF).

Powdered formula is the least expensive, of the three. It also takes the most time to prepare, but many mothers still find it convenient. This is due to the fact that the powder can be pre-measured into a bottle and stored this way. At feeding time, all that is necessary is the addition of the proper amount of sterilized water. (Usually, one scoop of formula for every 2 ounces of water.)

Concentrated formula is more expensive than powdered, but less costly than ready to feed. This type of formula is usually with sterilized water... 50% formula and 50% water.
It can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Ready to feed formula is ready right out of the can. It is also available in several sizes of disposable bottles... which a very convenient to use when traveling.

Since baby formula is manufactured with certain FDA standards in mind, there's little difference between one formula and another. Because of this, many mothers deside to purchase store brand formula instead of popular name brands. This can save a considerable amount of money, over time.
About the Author
This author lives in Flemington, NJ with her husband and 5 month old daughter and is an expert contributing author for a luxury baby gifts boutique offering variety of baby shower favors, baby gift baskets, handprint footprint kits and more.
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