Formula is an alternative to breast milk for infants. Babies rely on milk during the first six months of life in order to obtain vital nutrients to help them grow. Although many paediatricians recommend breast milk for infants, some parents choose healthy formula options either for personal or health reasons. Infant formula contains the same nutrients as breast milk to support healthy growth, but it is important to look at all of the options. Not all brands are created equal, and you should do your research and ask a paediatrician for recommendations.
Formula is chosen as an alternative to breast milk, although some nursing mothers use the formula as a supplement when natural sources are low or unavailable. The purpose of infant formula is to mimic the effects of breast milk to provide babies with energy and nutrition. Formula also has the same protective features as breast milk against diseases later in life.
There are a variety of infant formulas on the market, and choosing one can be confusing. It is best to get a recommendation from a doctor. You should choose a formula before giving birth, and stick with it as much as possible once your newborn starts drinking it.
An alternative to infant cow formula is one that is derived from goat’s milk. Such formulas offer the same healthy benefits as conventional cow versions, but they are even more appropriate if your baby has certain health conditions. Lactose intolerance and milk allergy are two of the most common reasons why paediatricians recommend goat’s milk formulas over traditional brands.
It is important that you don’t solely give your infant goat’s milk formula unless your baby exhibits signs of a reaction to formula made from cow’s milk and you have obtained a supporting diagnosis from a doctor. Symptoms of an allergy to cow’s milk can include skin rash, wheezing and sneezing. Signs of lactose intolerance include diarrhoea, excessive gas and bloating.
What sets goat’s milk formulas apart from cow versions are the different proteins and fats. The fat in goat’s milk is easier to digest because it doesn’t cluster together after consumption. However, there is generally a higher fat content in goat’s milk. This kind of formula also contains less alpha-S1 proteins and lactose, which can both cause reactions in traditional formulas.
While goat’s milk has its advantages, most paediatricians recommend cow’s milk formulas. If your baby is diagnosed with a cow’s milk allergy or lactose intolerance through a blood test, then goat’s milk should be substituted. At the same time, your infant will likely require a nutritional supplement to be used in conjunction with the goat’s milk.
Role in Solid Foods
Formula is typically the only nutritional source given to babies during their first six months. Around this time, solid foods are introduced. This doesn’t mean that it is time to stop using the infant formula, whether it is derived from cow or goat milk. The formula is still a baby’s primary drink source until the age of one. Also, the formula is used to mix infant rice and oatmeal cereals to have alongside mashed fruits and vegetables.