Difference Between Breast Milk & Formula & How to Choose Powder Milk for Your Baby

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If you go to the supermarket, you will find a wide variety of powdered milk. So choosing a formula can take hours. How should I choose milk powder? Check out some useful tips!

Newborns, especially, need to drink breast milk or formula every few hours.

Official recommendation

Breastfeeding is recommended exclusively for the first six months of life after the baby is born.

A study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association analyzed changes in public attitudes about newborn feeding between 1999 and 2003. According to data obtained by experts, 25% of respondents considered formula milk to be as good as breast milk. This result is an increase of over 14% of the same study enrolled in 1999.

Meanwhile, according to data from the Spanish National Statistics Institute, breastfeeding in this country prevailed over mixed and artificial feedings during the first three months of life.

This trend changes at six months when only 24.72% of women continue to breastfeed. At that time, powdered milk was so popular that the response rate reached 61%, and mixed feeding took up 14%. This change is probably because new mothers had to take their work environment into account.

Official data on breast milk and formula

Characteristics of breast milk

Breast milk is a living liquid that changes and adapts to your baby’s needs.

Breast milk contains everything a newborn baby needs to grow.

Mothers should increase their caloric intake (except alcohol) while breastfeeding. She also said that a mom should consider that her calorie needs are constantly increasing and she shouldn’t limit her calories.

Meanwhile, one of the biggest fears of lactating mothers who have to take medications is whether the medications affect the quality of their milk. At this point, we can check the web page to see if the medication we are taking is compatible with breastfeeding.

Characteristics of powder milk

The formula contains everything a newborn baby needs to grow and develop. All milk powder is safely regulated by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 21 USC 321 et seq., and the FDA’s regulations that enforce the Act.

Because it is less bioavailable than breast milk.

One of the downsides of breastfeeding, on the other hand, is that sometimes the baby consumes more than is necessary. The reason is that when a baby sucks on the mother’s breast, no greater effort is required than sucking the nipple from the bottle. Nevertheless, it is worth remembering that each baby grows at its own pace.

Considerations When Choosing Milk Powder

Breast milk and formula differ, among other things, in the amount and type of protein they contain and the way they provide carbohydrates, as shown in the table below.

What to consider when choosing formula or breast milk.

Read Also: How to Maintain a Healthy Diet During Breastfeeding

There are three things to keep in mind when choosing a formula:

  • The relationship between the contained proteins and the two main proteins in milk, casein and serum proteins.
  • How Carbohydrates Are Provided: Lactose is predominant in breast milk, so it must be present in formula. Also, the formula must not contain syrup or maltodextrin.
  • Fat Source:  Palm oil is present in breast milk. Of course, this is an unsustainable option, but it is nutritionally safe.

Regardless of the feeding method chosen, the following basic aspects should be respected:

  • If the baby asks for it, you should give it milk.
  • The baby has to set the rhythm.
  • It is not surprising that babies sometimes drink less or more milk, and above all, you should not force them to drink milk.
  • Each baby has its own growth rate.

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