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Lets talk formula feeding options

Lets talk formula feeding options

The reality is that not every mom has the ability or the want to breastfeed, due to various reasons. We strongly believe that informed moms, make informed decisions, so before feeding your baby formula, make sure that you have seen a midwife or Pediatrician about the types of formula and which ones are most likely to be suitable for your baby.

The first thing to do when preparing powdered milk which is easy to mix, is to boil the kettle and cool the water to mix with the formula powder. Make sure that you wipe the top of the formula tin with a clean cloth before opening.

Start with cow's milk based formula because most babies tolerate it very well. It is usually the least expensive and the different variations help fussy babies or those with digestive problems.  If baby doesn't seem to be responding well to the standard cow’s milk formula, whether they seem to have gas/ some rash all over their bodies or puking, please see a Midwife or a Pediatrician. What will probably happen is that they will suggest that you switch baby to soy or goats milk. Although there has been some controversy as far as the soy protein is concerned, babies who seem to be on it seem to do quite well.

According to Prof at Dept of Pediatrics at Loyola University, Chicago, it is rare that infants are lactose intolerant and there is actually no data which shows that soy formula improves fussiness or colic. So we just need to again mention, make sure you speak to your babies Pediatrician to ensure you care correctly for your baby.

Formula feeding:

The 5 top-selling brands in South Africa are the following: 

Types of formula milk in South Africa:

  1. Regular formula:

-Made from cow’s milk.

-Resembles breastmilk 

-The proteins are changed to be easily digestible

-Vegetable oil is replaced for butterfat.

  1. Starter formula:

-From birth to 6 months 

-Based on the Whey protein of cow’s milk which is lighter therefore easy to digest( which is known to be more easily digested. 

  1. Follow on formula:

-From 6 to 12 months of age, 

-Based on the Casein of cow’s milk, which is “heavier” protein type to digest. 

-The reason for changing the protein profile is for easier weaning, to prepare baby’s gut for the digestion of solids.

  1. Growing up formula:

-From 12 to 36 months of age. 

-Provides toddler with nutrients that they might be lacking.

  1. Hydrolysed formula:

-Cow’s milk-based formulas treated with enzymes in order to break down most of the proteins that cause symptoms in allergic infants. 

-Protein content is broken down into smaller proteins, for easy digestion.

-Partially hydrolysed formulas for infants that are allergy prone/have a family history of allergies in order to prevent these allergies from occurring in the infant. 

  1. Soy-based formula: 

-Made from soybeans and supplemented with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

-Not generally recommended as a first-choice

  1. Special formula:

-For premature babies, babies that suffer from severe cow’s milk protein allergies or maybe metabolic disorders

-Recommended by paediatricians

Preparing a bottle for baby

The most important of all before making a bottle is to make sure everything is washed thoroughly, rinsed and then sterilized accordingly in order to avoid infection. 

According to UNICEF, It is best to use drinking water from the tap that has been freshly boiled (and cooled slightly to 70 ̊C or above) to make up a feed. Do not use water that has been previously boiled or artificially softened water.

Bottled water is not recommended to make up a feed as it is not sterile and may contain too much salt (sodium) or sulphate.

Make sure that you do not store boiled water in advance or store in sterilized bottles in the fridge. Using hot water and mixing directly with formula will kill any possible bacteria. Pour hot water into the bottle first and then add the powdered formula milk. Use the scoop provided with each tin of formula and follow instructions as to how many scoops, etc. Too much formula to water may also encourage constipation. 

*** Remember that the milk has to be cool before giving to baby. You can cool the bottle under cold running water or in a sink with cold water. Use your inner skin on wrist to test the temperature of the milk before giving baby. 

How much milk is enough for baby:

5-6 nappy changes a day are a sign that baby is getting enough.

Small babies need nothing other than mothers’ or formula milk which both have enough water to quench thirst and nutrients to satisfy hunger, even in very hot weather.

Extra water/tea is not recommended before 6 months.

Helping baby bottle feed

Always hold your baby close to you and look into their eyes when feeding.

Hold your baby fairly upright, with their head supported.

Hold the bottle horizontal to the ground, tilting it just enough to ensure your baby is taking milk, not air, through the teat. 

Babies feed in bursts of sucking with short pauses to rest. In this position, when your baby pauses for a rest the milk will stop flowing, which allows baby to have a short rest before starting to suck again.

Brush the teat against their lips and when they open their mouth wide with their tongue down, to help them draw in the teat.

When bubbles form in the bottle as your baby feeds, break the suction between their tongue and the teat from time to time by moving the teat slightly to the side of their mouth. You should then see bubbles rushing back up into the remaining milk.

Interrupting the feed from time to time also gives baby a chance to register how ‘full’ (satisfied) they are and control their intake.

Which bottles are best:

Bottle brands such as Avent, Pigeon, Tommee Tippee, Playtex Baby and Nuk are well known and seen to really meet the needs for baby and mom. 

They are BPA free, have anti colic & ventaire system therefore reducing air entry while baby feeds.

Silicone baby bottle teats are recommended. 

**Remember to always follow baby’s cues. If baby slows down feeding pace and resting more, then let them finish at their own pace. Allow your baby to stop eating when full and taking breaks along the way is also good. There should always be a small amount of milk left in the bottle at the end of the feed.

We really hope this month’s information has been valuable to you, please let us know in the comments below if you want to know anything else we have not written on.

See you in the next blog!

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