Why formula instead of Cow's milk?
|   Jun 16, 2017
Why formula instead of Cow's milk?

A new mother should try her best to nurse the newborn. While breast feeding is said to the best option for your baby but if you can't because of some reasons then resort to the best possible alternative. So, what comes to your mind? Formula milk as advised by the pediatrician or animal milk as suggested by the old wives, the choices vary depending on various factors on an individual basis. But isn't it a good idea to compare and deeply analyse the available choices?

Cow milk though healthy but its usage among infants is controversial among experts. Realistically, it is a very rich source of nutrition in a small package with high amounts of protein, a healthy carbohydrate called lactose, B-vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin D and zinc. The elderly insists to give that to babies stating that its very light for babies. But The American Academy of Pediatrics says a big NO for cow’s milk until after the first birthday. Wondering why you can’t just feed the baby regular cow’s milk. 

Cow's milk does not provide enough:

  1. Vitamin E
  2. Vitamin C
  3. Iron
  4. Essential fatty acids

which are essential for babies in the first year of their lives. Cow’s milk does not contain the healthiest types of fat for growing babies.

At the same time, your baby's system cannot handle the high levels of these nutrients in cow's milk:

  1. Protein
  2. Sodium
  3. Potassium

Young infants cannot digest cow's milk as completely or easily as they digest formula. It is hard for your baby to digest the protein, minerals and fat in cow's milk as it can stress a newborn's immature kidneys. 

While lactose intolerance is rare in infants, some toddlers and older children can develop diarrhea, bloating and abdominal pain, because of their inability to digest the lactose sugar in milk.

Also, the allergic proteins may seep through the irritated intestinal lining into the bloodstream and cause an allergic reaction, such as a runny nose, wheezing or a red, raised, sandpaper-like rash, especially on the cheeks. If baby is allergic to the cow's milk protein, the irritated intestines may consistently lose a tiny bit of blood into baby's stools.

Some babies who are allergic to cow's milk can even get frequent ear infections.


So, concluding with the two reasons why the use of cow's milk under one year of age is discouraged:

  • allergies
  • iron- deficiency anemia

To provide the best diet and nutrition for your infant, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you should give only breast milk or iron-fortified formula during the first 12 months of your baby.

Formula milk is made very close to breast milk. Easy to digest and a balanced diet. Though breast-milk has anti infective properties to boost up immune system and has enough essential fatty acids and lipase to digest which formula or animal milk doesn't contain.

So, I believe it's best to feed your little munchkin with a good quality formula milk.


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