September 18, 2018
ARTICLE:

Breast or Formula… What is best?

By Danielle Savic

Father bottle feeding baby

 

Breast or Formula?

Choosing whether to breast or formula feed your bub is one of hardest decisions to make as a new or expecting parent. For some mums, the choice isn’t theirs – breastfeeding simply isn’t possible. For other mums, the choice is theirs but things like medical conditions, lifestyle or comfort reasons can influence their decision to formula feed, and this is okay!

If you have been trying your very best to breast feed and it just isn’t working for you, don’t despair. Having a fed baby is so much more important than anything else. Rest assured, your baby will still get all the nutrients it needs from formula, allowing it to grow and thrive.

 

Why breast feed?

Breast milk is the perfect food and drink for your baby up until six months of age. Your body creates the perfect meal for your baby at any time based on what the baby requires. For example, the first let down of milk is colostrum which is very high in protein and minerals. The colostrum is a very rich source of antibodies, which is important for your baby’s immune system development.

Two to five days after giving birth the colostrum will change into breast milk. The supply of milk actually changes during the feed too; during the early stages of the feed the milk is thin and watery while later in the feed the milk is richer in fat.

Breast milk contains easily digested protein and fat in the right proportions for growth, carbohydrate for energy, a very absorbable form of iron, fluid for hydration, calcium for strong bones and teeth, a multitude of vitamins and minerals, and protection from some stomach infections and some allergies.

 

What’s in formula?

Most infant formula is based on cow’s milk but it has been modified to bring it closer to the composition of breast milk. Vitamins, minerals, vegetable oils and whey proteins are added so there is no need to give your baby additional vitamin and mineral supplements (unless advised by your GP or pediatrician).

All infant formula must comply with strict nutritional and hygiene standards. There are many varieties of formula, including gold formulas, soy, goat and lactose-free formulas, thickened formulas and hypoallergenic formulas. Ask your paediatrician or dietitian to help you decide which formula is right for your baby.

 

Can I just use cow’s milk?

Cow’s milk, which you may drink, is not suitable for babies. It does not have sufficient iron, has too much protein, calcium and phosphorus, lacks vitamins A, C and E and also lacks essential fatty acids.  Some babies have suffered blood loss through the gut from drinking cow’s milk before 12 months of age.

 

What’s right for me and my baby?

You will only know what’s right for you and your baby when your baby comes. Well-meaning family and friends may have advice to offer, but remember the choice is yours. Seek the advice of professionals, including your GP or paediatrician, dietician and lactation consultant, and discuss all the advantages and disadvantages of breast versus formula with them.

Remember, an informed decision is always a good decision.

 

For  individualised support call 07 3177 2000 or use the booking form.


This post was written by our Dietitian Danielle Savic. Danielle is passionate about helping children maintain healthy lifestyles and grow up healthy and happy!

Read more about Danielle

Have you used our service? We are always looking for ways to improve so please take the time to complete our survey.

 

Breast or Formula… What is ...
Choosing whether to breast or formula feed your bub is one of hardest decisions to make as a new or expecting parent.
How to make a healthy lunchbox
Whether you’re making your own lunchbox, or you’re making one for the youngest members of your household, it should be a snapshot of a normal day of healthy eating.
Working with children with ...
Where do you start when, as a parent, you’re worried about your child?
What can I do with my child’s ...
What is hay fever? Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is caused by allergy to environmental inhalants like pollens (grasses or trees), dust mite, animal ...
How is ADHD diagnosed?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common reasons for referral to a paediatrician. Sometimes parents are worried, ...
Is your child ready to start ...
Is your child is halfway through their kinder year and you're not sure if things are okay with their development or behaviour? Have you been ...
How is ASD diagnosed?
Autism and Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are now on everyone's radar thanks to increasing awareness and understanding that early intervention ...
What does a developmental ...
Have you ever wondered why your child does things that just don’t seem right or exhibits behaviour that you haven’t observed in other ...
What's the difference between a ...
General paediatricians can treat (or are involved in the care of) most medical and developmental problems in children; it's a skillset in itself ...
Cellulitis
Helloooooo again everyone! Today, I’m blogging about a very common but potentially very serious problem that affects SKIN. Those of you who ...
Cradle Cap
Both my kids had mild cradle cap.  I knew it was completely harmless and would go away on its own, but was one of “those parents” who could not ...
Tics
Ticks are disgusting little parasites that I have pulled out of the scalp or from behind the ear of many a child that has come through kids emergency ...
Febrile Convulsions
So today we are going to discuss a phenomenon that we see in kids’ emergency departments ALL THE TIME.  Given that in the last 2-3 days the weather ...
Breath Holding Spells
As a follow on to last Monday’s blog on toddler tantrums, I thought that this week we might have a chat about “breath holding spells” that can ...
Toddler Tantrums
Okay, I admit it.  This week’s post was borne completely out of selfishness.  Our 2-and-a-half year old son has been a complete horror-head of ...
Strategies to Help Attention and ...
Non-medication based strategies to help school kids with attention and concentration As I have probably alluded to in previous blog posts, one of ...
Gifted Children and Behavioural ...
Why gifted children develop behavioural problems I have had a little run of seeing kids in clinic of late who have been particularly gifted.  It ...
Headaches and Migraines in ...
Headaches are really common in children and we see this problem frequently as general paediatricians. Of the children who get referred to us, over 90% ...
Intellectual Disability (Or ...
So having blogged for the last few weeks on creepy-crawly, icky, infectious things you can catch, today for a change I thought I’d do a ...
Cold Sores and Herpes Simplex ...
A good friend of mine has had a little one who recently had a terrible experience with her first infection with the cold sore virus, so I ...