Alternative to breast milk
Breast milk is the most optimal and vital product for a newborn baby that contains all the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates it needs. All expectant mothers know how important it is to have a complete breastfeeding process. Because only mommy’s milk provides the baby with all the necessary elements for normal growth and development.
All world pediatricians and nutritionists have long been talking about the undeniable benefits of breast milk for babies. What exactly the process of milk production together with the unique composition of breast milk affects the development of all cognitive functions of the child in the first years of life.
Scientists from the University of California decided to conduct an experiment that confirmed this theory once again. The guys invited 50 mothers to breastfeed their children. The purpose of the experiment was to find out what element of breast milk has such an impact on the development of the child. For some time, they noticed one element called “oligosaccharide “. The babies of those women whose milk had a high content of this element showed good results during the control tests for the development of the child.
In addition, scientists found out that breastfeeding in the first months of life was of critical importance.
Now, the level of oligosaccharides in the mother’s milk is being actively studied. All in order to use it for the development of an alternative to breast milk. As a result, mothers who cannot breastfeed (for various reasons) will be able to make up for the missing useful substances for the full development of the child.
As you have already understood, today we will talk about breast milk alternative and why women have to resort to alternating breastmilk and formula.
Why do some mothers have to use breast milk substitute?
There are reasons that are related to the woman’s body (its features) or to the body of the child. But there are also situations that are not dependent on the mother and the child.
Peculiarities of the mother’s organism
- the woman’s body stopped to produce milk at all or not to the full extent;
- mastitis (this happens when a woman doesn’t pump milk after feeding the child). As a result, the mother cannot continue lactation because her breasts swell, become painful and there may be cracks on the nipples;
- some women’s breasts may swell and may feel painful, so you have to stop feeding;
- a woman chooses a substitute for breast milk because, firstly: she is afraid of breast deformation after breastfeeding, and secondly, there is a risk of gaining extra pounds because she needs to eat for two.
But this is only a myth. For a breastfeeding mother, it is enough to eat 300-400 kcal more than usual, and then you will spend these calories while feeding the baby.
So it’s just another intimidation, all in your hands.
Breast milk alternative and mixed feeding type
If the mother is unable to feed the child for one reason or another, the pediatrician will prescribe breastmilk or alternating formula or breastmilk.
The doctor prescribes the second type of feeding (mixed) most often for certain deviations in a baby
- birth of a child at a very early stage (the child is premature);
- the child has suffered a complex brain injury and its sucking reflex is impaired;
- abnormalities associated with rhesus conflict between mother and child.
Alternating formula and breastmilk – what is the difference and what are the breast milk replacements?
Due to the fact that not every woman has the opportunity/chance to breastfeed her baby, people have invented a product that has a similar composition to breast milk.
Milk mixtures can be made of cow’s/goat’s milk. They have an almost identical composition that meets the needs of babies.
Types of breast milk substitutes (infant formula)
Mixtures can be basic ones that are suitable for children without special needs and for those who need specific nutrition. Therefore, they can be divided into the following types:
Basic (or they are also called adapted)
They are produced for those children who were born on time and have no health problems. “Adapted” – because they are made as close to breast milk as possible. They have an identical set of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals that the baby needs from birth.
Hypoallergenic (preventive) mixtures
They are made for women who have a predisposition to allergic reactions to milk protein. If one of the parents has a similar reaction to the allergen, there is a probability (30%) that the child will have the same feature. And if both parents are allergic, the risk to inherit the allergy increases 2 times.
Given the fact that the child’s body is unable to fully absorb cow’s/goat’s milk protein, manufacturers use hydrolyzed protein (split into half a protein molecule). Thus, the hypoallergenic mixture is more adapted and not toxic for children with allergies.
Mixtures for allergic children
This type of alternative nutrition is considered therapeutic. Its composition is a complete split protein (it is replaced by an amino acid composition instead of complete proteins). Such mixtures have no pronounced flavoring qualities (they are not as tasty for children), so the baby may resist for a long time and get used to such a substitute for the mother’s breast.
Mixtures for children with digestive problems (colic, diarrhea, constipation in infants)
Such mixtures contain probiotics and prebiotics that promote the growth of a useful microbiome in the child’s intestines. These are various bifidobacteria, lactobacilli, oligosaccharides, and inulin.
How to choose the best substitute for breastmilk?
You should understand that it is better to contact your pediatrician who will study the peculiarities of the baby’s body and advise the best alternative to breast milk (a type of mixture and proven manufacturer).