Substituting breast milk for supplements is only adviseable when the mother is unable to produce milk or is too busy to breastfeed. Working mothers or mothers who are uncomfortable with breastfeeding in public can go for feeding baby formula milk. Babies need breastmilk as it is healthier, boosts immunity, and promotes proper growth. Are you wondering what to expect when you formula feed your baby?

What is formula feeding?

Any manufactured product that contains essential nutrients added to a baby’s diet is known as formula feeding. The baby formula products come in powdered or liquid form and are fed using a feeding bottle. Most formula is made with a soy, goat, or cow milk base. It is done to aid a child’s feeding but it isn’t advisable to formula feed a baby unless he is at least a month old. Babies prone to malnutrition need extra nutrients gotten from formula feeding. Breast milk is the best option for a newborn baby but when the mother is low on milk production or has illnesses that prohibit her from breastfeeding, then formula feeding becomes a better option.

Does formula feeding affect your baby?

Babies do not digest formula as fast as they digest milk. Breast milk consists of mostly lactose, protein, and fat which is very easy to break down.  Babies might get more excited over the formula than milk, this is because the formula comes out faster than milk directly from the breast. The formula makes your baby’s stool darker and more solid. You will also notice that the stool won't come as frequently as they do with breast milk.

Formula feeding is safe as long as you are using a pediatrician recommended product. Breastfed babies have little or no infections to fight. It is advisable to start with breast milk before adding supplements to your baby’s diet. Formula feeding increases the chances of your baby being obese, having diabetes, or skin infections like eczema or even ear infections. Studies suggest that children who are breastfed have a higher IQ than formula-fed children. The antibodies that naturally come with breast milk cannot be found in manufactured infant baby formula. The feeding formula cannot provide your baby with full protection and immunity. It cannot match the complexity of breast milk.

Breastfeeding or formula feeding?

Breast milk is free, always available, and cost-efficient. Formula feeding requires planning, organization, and support. If you can, go ahead with breastfeeding your baby and formula feeding would only be a plus. The decision on how your baby feeds is yours.

Formula feeding does not make you a bad mom. Ensure your child is getting the best nutrients so they can grow the right way.