Breast Feeding, Bottle Feeding, Formula Feeding: Which is the Right Choice for Me?

Photo Credit Disqus

I want to start off letting all the parents out there know that this article focuses on what is best for baby, and not what is necessarily the best choice overall. I am not bias one way or another. How you decide to feed your baby is a personal decision. It is the decision you make based upon what is right for you and your baby. Feeding your baby is more important than who is doing it the “right way” per other people’s perspectives. I hear so many moms shaming other moms because they don’t/didn’t breast feed. Did you know some moms can not breast feed? Some moms try to breast feed. They do everything they can to get their milk supply up. They don’t give up, but it just does not end up working out for them. Sometimes it doesn’t end up working out for baby either. There are so many factors in this.

My mother, with both her children, was able to breast feed. She would tell me she basically was a cow in the fact that she leaked milk constantly. She also has always been able to be at home doing something. She clearly is a great candidate for breast feeding her children. My sister and I did not have any issues latching on. We were fed a la breast.

Breast Feeding: Is This the Right Choice for Me?

Some of you may be reading this thinking “Of course this is the right choice. It’s the only choice.” Did you know this is not the only choice of feeding your baby? Breast feeding exclusively takes a lot of time and patience. It also takes dedication and willingness to offer your baby your breasts at every moment of the day. Every day. Working moms have a harder time with this. At-home-moms may have a hard time with this as well depending on their family’s needs, other children, etc.

mom-breastfeeding-baby

Just remember breast feeding is a personal decision. Do not let others sway you one way or the other. This decision is between you and your baby. Breast feeding has so many benefits for you and your baby.

 

 

Photo Credit Thayer Allyson Gowdy

*Breast Feeding: Benefits for Baby*

My personal reason for wanting to breast feed is that baby receives your antibodies from your breast milk. That is how baby stays healthy. If baby catches a virus that you already have had your body will have the antibodies for it and make it easier for baby to fight off the virus. Another great reason to breast feed is breast milk has the perfect amount of nutrients via what you put in your body. There’s fats, proteins, vitamins, etc. “Babies who are breast fed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea. They also have fewer hospitalizations and trips to the doctor.” (WebMD, 2005-2018).

mriPhoto Credit Telegraph Media Group Limited

The more interesting thing I have found though is that children who are breast fed seem to be smarter overall. They are more successful as adults and in their academics and careers. Some other great benefits I would like to highlight include the physical aspect of it for baby AND for mommy. The skin to skin/one on on for baby helps brain development. The touching stimulates the brain and helps it to grow. They have found babies who are interacted with have bigger brains and are smarter than babies who just lay in their cribs all day being ignored. Also, babies who are breast fed have a lower risk for SIDS.

*Breast Feeding: Benefits for Mommy*

breasfeeding-benefits

Photo Credit greatbabytips.com

Now let’s talk about how breast feeding can help you as a mother. I am pretty excited about this section. There are so many wonderful benefits. My personal favorites include helping your body heal after deliver, keeping weight off (and who doesn’t love that benefit), and being able to consume more calories. Some other great benefits are it helps you save money because you’re not buying formula, bottles, nipples, etc. It also help reduce your risk for ovarian cancer. You also have a less likelihood of developing osteoporosis. How fantastic are those benefits as well?

breastfeeding-benefits-and-awareness-4-638Photo Credit Anu Minivannan

Okay, now let me go more in depth with this. After you have your baby your uterus is still going to be stretched out and swollen. “It releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps your uterus return to its pre pregnancy size and may reduce uterine bleeding after birth.” (WebMD, 2005-2018). When you are breast feeding you are also burning calories like crazy. That is why you are allowed to consume more calories, an extra 500 calories to be exact (Baby Center Medical Advisory Board, 2015). I don’t know about you, but when I’m not pregnant I count calories to stay in shape or lose weight, so if you are already in the calorie counting game this should be easy for you.

Bottle Feeding: Is This the Right Choice for Me?

Photo Credit Bundoo

bottle feeding baby

 

Bottle feeding can imply both formula and breast fed babies. If you choose to pump but use a bottle that is perfectly fine too. Just remember feeding your baby is more important than how you feed your baby.

bottle

Photo Credit Dr. Brian Palmer, DDS

Okay, let’s jump in to this. Make sure you do your research about nipples and bottles. I prefer the NUK brand. No, I am not getting any kind of benefits for saying that. I feel the nipples are more shaped like my nipple when it’s inside my baby’s mouth. They seem to be easier for babies to latch on to as well. Please be aware of nipple confusion though. You can learn more about it here. Nipple confusion is simply your baby has so many things to learn and latching on to a nipple should not be one of them. If you use more than one brand of nipples your baby will have a harder time latching and feeding. This can cause all sorts of problems as you can imagine.

nuk

 

 

Photo Credit NUK

* Bottle Feeding: Benefits*

Benefits to bottle feeding include the fact that dad or brother/sister can feed the baby. Anyone can feed the baby. This is more ideal when baby starts going to daycare, or if you’re lucky enough to be able to get a nanny. I recommend if you are going to bottle feed that you also need to do skin to skin like you would with your breast. Still take your shirt off and have skin to skin time with baby, but use your bottle instead of your breast if you are not able to breast feed. You don’t have to worry about what you put in your body if you are using formula in the bottle. You also don’t have to worry about having to offer your breast at every moment of every day whenever baby is hungry. Bottle feeding is also easier for baby to learn.

*Bottle Feeding: Disadvantages*

There are plenty of disadvantages to bottle feeding. When you are trying to monitor nutrient intake it is hard to make sure your baby is getting everything they need. Of course this applies to formula feeding. When you know what you consume and you offer breast milk in a bottle then you know exactly what nutrients they are receiving. It costs money to keep bottles and nipples for baby. Nipples have different flow rates. When baby gets older they will want a higher flow rate because they will be able to take in more at a time. If you use formula that costs money as well. I remember how expensive that was when my daughter was a baby. I felt like we were buying formula weekly at $25/container. Ouch! Warming up a bottle takes time to do. My nephew does not like to wait for his bottle. He gets very impatient, and your baby might too. When you go out in public you have to make sure you have bottles on you. If you formula feed as well you have to make sure you have formula with you on top of that.

There are so many factors with bottle feeding to consider. Again, this is a personal choice and you as the mother should be the only one making this choice for you and your baby.

Formula Feeding: Is This the Right Choice for Me?

Formula feeding has some great advantages and some great disadvantages; just like the bottle feeding option. It also is a great alternative when you are not able to breast feed, or you are having an emotional time with breast feeding. When it’s time to move on and give up breast feeding you will know. Being stressed out over it is not worth it. Trust me, I’ve been there. Your emotional/mental state of mind is more important than being depressed while trying to take care of a baby.

*Formula Feeding: Advantages for Mom and Baby*

When you formula feed it is so much easier to monitor ounces that baby took in. When your baby is not getting enough breast milk then formula feeding is great for supplemental. It is more important for baby to be fed, than how they are fed. I know so many lactation nurses who push for breast feeding. That is great. The only issue is that they tend to forget that feeding baby is more important than making you feel like crap because you are not able to feed your baby via breast.

My sister recently had a baby and had a lactation nurse tell her that she should not even be offering her son formula (even though he was losing weight from not being able to get enough breast milk) because that was a bad choice. She felt like a horrible mother for even considering supplementing with formula. When she took her son to the pediatrician he reassured her that feeding is the only option. There are no “better choices” when it comes to your baby’s health. She is now formula feeding only. My nephew started gaining weight, and is now a healthy, solid cutie pie.

I also want to let everyone know to compare formulas when buying formula. Not all brands and categories are the same when it comes to formula. My daughter did better with Enfamil than with Similac. This time around with baby #2 we are going to give Similac another shot. Look at all the nutritional facts on the back of the containers. How do they compare? Does your baby have special dietary needs? Mine does. Do you need something more cost effective so you are looking at the store brand formula? How does that store brand compare with other brands?

Some other things to consider when choosing formula include you can take medications without having to worry about passing that to the baby. You can also drink alcohol, a cup of coffee, etc without having to worry.

Feeding You Baby is a Personal Decision:

Just remember feeding your baby is a personal decision. It is your decision. It is not your mother’s decision, your mother-in-law’s decision, or even  your husband’s decision. It is a decision for you and your baby to decide upon. Do not feel shameful if you are not able to produce enough milk to feed your baby. It is okay to use formula to supplement, or feed exclusively. If you are able to breastfeed exclusively that is amazing too.

I would love to hear your personal stories. Please comment below.

 

 Resources:

WebMD. (2005-2018). Breastfeeding Overview. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/nursing-basics#1

Women’sHealth.gov. (2018). Making the Decision to Breastfeed. Retrieved from https://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/making-decision-breastfeed

Baby Center Medical Advisory Board. (2015). Diet for a Healthy Breastfeedng Mom. Retrieved from https://www.babycenter.com/0_diet-for-a-healthy-breastfeeding-mom_3565.bc

Murkoff, H. (2014). Nipple Confusion. Retrieved from https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/ask-heidi/nipple-confusion.aspx

 

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Breast Feeding, Bottle Feeding, Formula Feeding: Which is the Right Choice for Me?

Photo Credit Disqus

I want to start off letting all the parents out there know that this article focuses on what is best for baby, and not what is necessarily the best choice overall. I am not bias one way or another. How you decide to feed your baby is a personal decision. It is the decision you make based upon what is right for you and your baby. Feeding your baby is more important than who is doing it the “right way” per other people’s perspectives. I hear so many moms shaming other moms because they don’t/didn’t breast feed. Did you know some moms can not breast feed? Some moms try to breast feed. They do everything they can to get their milk supply up. They don’t give up, but it just does not end up working out for them. Sometimes it doesn’t end up working out for baby either. There are so many factors in this.

My mother, with both her children, was able to breast feed. She would tell me she basically was a cow in the fact that she leaked milk constantly. She also has always been able to be at home doing something. She clearly is a great candidate for breast feeding her children. My sister and I did not have any issues latching on. We were fed a la breast.

Breast Feeding: Is This the Right Choice for Me?

Some of you may be reading this thinking “Of course this is the right choice. It’s the only choice.” Did you know this is not the only choice of feeding your baby? Breast feeding exclusively takes a lot of time and patience. It also takes dedication and willingness to offer your baby your breasts at every moment of the day. Every day. Working moms have a harder time with this. At-home-moms may have a hard time with this as well depending on their family’s needs, other children, etc.

mom-breastfeeding-baby

Just remember breast feeding is a personal decision. Do not let others sway you one way or the other. This decision is between you and your baby. Breast feeding has so many benefits for you and your baby.

Photo Credit Thayer Allyson Gowdy

*Breast Feeding: Benefits for Baby*

My personal reason for wanting to breast feed is that baby receives your antibodies from your breast milk. That is how baby stays healthy. If baby catches a virus that you already have had your body will have the antibodies for it and make it easier for baby to fight off the virus. Another great reason to breast feed is breast milk has the perfect amount of nutrients via what you put in your body. There’s fats, proteins, vitamins, etc. “Babies who are breast fed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea. They also have fewer hospitalizations and trips to the doctor.” (WebMD, 2005-2018).

mriPhoto Credit Telegraph Media Group Limited

The more interesting thing I have found though is that children who are breast fed seem to be smarter overall. They are more successful as adults and in their academics and careers. Some other great benefits I would like to highlight include the physical aspect of it for baby AND for mommy. The skin to skin/one on on for baby helps brain development. The touching stimulates the brain and helps it to grow. They have found babies who are interacted with have bigger brains and are smarter than babies who just lay in their cribs all day being ignored. Also, babies who are breast fed have a lower risk for SIDS.

*Breast Feeding: Benefits for Mommy*

breasfeeding-benefits

Photo Credit greatbabytips.com

Now let’s talk about how breast feeding can help you as a mother. I am pretty excited about this section. There are so many wonderful benefits. My personal favorites include helping your body heal after deliver, keeping weight off (and who doesn’t love that benefit), and being able to consume more calories. Some other great benefits are it helps you save money because you’re not buying formula, bottles, nipples, etc. It also help reduce your risk for ovarian cancer. You also have a less likelihood of developing osteoporosis. How fantastic are those benefits as well?

breastfeeding-benefits-and-awareness-4-638Photo Credit Anu Minivannan

Okay, now let me go more in depth with this. After you have your baby your uterus is still going to be stretched out and swollen. “It releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps your uterus return to its pre pregnancy size and may reduce uterine bleeding after birth.” (WebMD, 2005-2018). When you are breast feeding you are also burning calories like crazy. That is why you are allowed to consume more calories, an extra 500 calories to be exact (Baby Center Medical Advisory Board, 2015). I don’t know about you, but when I’m not pregnant I count calories to stay in shape or lose weight, so if you are already in the calorie counting game this should be easy for you.

Bottle Feeding: Is This the Right Choice for Me?

Photo Credit Bundoo

bottle feeding baby

Bottle feeding can imply both formula and breast fed babies. If you choose to pump but use a bottle that is perfectly fine too. Just remember feeding your baby is more important than how you feed your baby.

bottle

Photo Credit Dr. Brian Palmer, DDS

Okay, let’s jump in to this. Make sure you do your research about nipples and bottles. I prefer the NUK brand. No, I am not getting any kind of benefits for saying that. I feel the nipples are more shaped like my nipple when it’s inside my baby’s mouth. They seem to be easier for babies to latch on to as well. Please be aware of nipple confusion though. You can learn more about it here. Nipple confusion is simply your baby has so many things to learn and latching on to a nipple should not be one of them. If you use more than one brand of nipples your baby will have a harder time latching and feeding. This can cause all sorts of problems as you can imagine.

nuk

Photo Credit NUK

* Bottle Feeding: Benefits*

Benefits to bottle feeding include the fact that dad or brother/sister can feed the baby. Anyone can feed the baby. This is more ideal when baby starts going to daycare, or if you’re lucky enough to be able to get a nanny. I recommend if you are going to bottle feed that you also need to do skin to skin like you would with your breast. Still take your shirt off and have skin to skin time with baby, but use your bottle instead of your breast if you are not able to breast feed. You don’t have to worry about what you put in your body if you are using formula in the bottle. You also don’t have to worry about having to offer your breast at every moment of every day whenever baby is hungry. Bottle feeding is also easier for baby to learn.

*Bottle Feeding: Disadvantages*

There are plenty of disadvantages to bottle feeding. When you are trying to monitor nutrient intake it is hard to make sure your baby is getting everything they need. Of course this applies to formula feeding. When you know what you consume and you offer breast milk in a bottle then you know exactly what nutrients they are receiving. It costs money to keep bottles and nipples for baby. Nipples have different flow rates. When baby gets older they will want a higher flow rate because they will be able to take in more at a time. If you use formula that costs money as well. I remember how expensive that was when my daughter was a baby. I felt like we were buying formula weekly at $25/container. Ouch! Warming up a bottle takes time to do. My nephew does not like to wait for his bottle. He gets very impatient, and your baby might too. When you go out in public you have to make sure you have bottles on you. If you formula feed as well you have to make sure you have formula with you on top of that.

There are so many factors with bottle feeding to consider. Again, this is a personal choice and you as the mother should be the only one making this choice for you and your baby.

Formula Feeding: Is This the Right Choice for Me?

Formula feeding has some great advantages and some great disadvantages; just like the bottle feeding option. It also is a great alternative when you are not able to breast feed, or you are having an emotional time with breast feeding. When it’s time to move on and give up breast feeding you will know. Being stressed out over it is not worth it. Trust me, I’ve been there. Your emotional/mental state of mind is more important than being depressed while trying to take care of a baby.

*Formula Feeding: Advantages for Mom and Baby*

When you formula feed it is so much easier to monitor ounces that baby took in. When your baby is not getting enough breast milk then formula feeding is great for supplemental. It is more important for baby to be fed, than how they are fed. I know so many lactation nurses who push for breast feeding. That is great. The only issue is that they tend to forget that feeding baby is more important than making you feel like crap because you are not able to feed your baby via breast.

My sister recently had a baby and had a lactation nurse tell her that she should not even be offering her son formula (even though he was losing weight from not being able to get enough breast milk) because that was a bad choice. She felt like a horrible mother for even considering supplementing with formula. When she took her son to the pediatrician he reassured her that feeding is the only option. There are no “better choices” when it comes to your baby’s health. She is now formula feeding only. My nephew started gaining weight, and is now a healthy, solid cutie pie.

I also want to let everyone know to compare formulas when buying formula. Not all brands and categories are the same when it comes to formula. My daughter did better with Enfamil than with Similac. This time around with baby #2 we are going to give Similac another shot. Look at all the nutritional facts on the back of the containers. How do they compare? Does your baby have special dietary needs? Mine does. Do you need something more cost effective so you are looking at the store brand formula? How does that store brand compare with other brands?

Some other things to consider when choosing formula include you can take medications without having to worry about passing that to the baby. You can also drink alcohol, a cup of coffee, etc without having to worry.

Feeding You Baby is a Personal Decision:

Just remember feeding your baby is a personal decision. It is your decision. It is not your mother’s decision, your mother-in-law’s decision, or even  your husband’s decision. It is a decision for you and your baby to decide upon. Do not feel shameful if you are not able to produce enough milk to feed your baby. It is okay to use formula to supplement, or feed exclusively. If you are able to breastfeed exclusively that is amazing too.

I would love to hear your personal stories. Please comment below.

 

 Resources:

WebMD. (2005-2018). Breastfeeding Overview. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/nursing-basics#1

Women’sHealth.gov. (2018). Making the Decision to Breastfeed. Retrieved from https://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/making-decision-breastfeed

Baby Center Medical Advisory Board. (2015). Diet for a Healthy Breastfeedng Mom. Retrieved from https://www.babycenter.com/0_diet-for-a-healthy-breastfeeding-mom_3565.bc

Murkoff, H. (2014). Nipple Confusion. Retrieved from https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/ask-heidi/nipple-confusion.aspx

Breastfeeding: The Struggle is Real

Photo Credit Kristie, themomlifechronnicles.com. (2017)

I want to start this article off by saying it doesn’t matter how you feed your baby, as long as you feed your baby. I support breastfeeding, formula feeding, and supplemental feeding.

clock
Photo Credit Cafe Press, cafepress.com. (1999-2018)

There’s so much that goes in to breastfeeding. Commitment, time, dedication, and practice are all just a few of the things that go in to it. You constantly have to feed every 1-2 hours to keep your supply up. Supply and demand at it’s finest! You also have to get over the notion of “This is going to be easy.” It’s not. I know there are moms that leak like cows when it comes to pumping and breastfeeding. It didn’t come over night for them though. They worked for it and their bodies allowed it. I am so happy for you that you are able to do that. There are so many moms out there that can’t.

first time mom
Photo Credit Duck Duck Goose, duckduckgoosesale.com. (2010)

We all go in to pregnancy thinking “I am going to breastfeed. That’s what I’m doing and I’m not even going to consider the possibility that I can’t do it.” Those moms are the ones who refuse to buy bottles, nipples, formula, formula accessories, etc. News flash first time moms: It doesn’t work that way. No, I am not mom shaming. I love first time moms, and there is NOTHING wrong with being a first time mom. They have no idea yet what parenting really feels like, and they have so much joy to spread. You get to be excited with them. I was a first time mom at one point too. Don’t forget that. I love that you have the mentality to go forward with such hope and positivity. It will hopefully get you where you want to go. I know so many women who go in to that mentality (I was definitely one of them) and then were not able to produce the milk like they wanted. Don’t think just because you say you are going to that you are actually going to be able to. Your body decides. Not your brain.

Did you know your full milk supply doesn’t come in until a few days AFTER your delivery? So you won’t be able to pump that full bottle (if your body allows you to) until after you leave the hospital. They work with you so much at the hospital to help you have the tools for when you go home to be able to breastfeed your baby. They try to set you up for success. Not failure.

I highly encourage those who are struggling to try to go to the lactation classes. Try everything you can. If you are not able to don’t stress it! Stress is bad for you and recovery. Plus baby feels that anxiety and in turn starts responding to that. Both are not healthy choices. Don’t get discouraged just because you have to use formula. If you are able to breast feed (give it a few months before you quit completely) then that is fantastic! That is great for you and your healing, plus it’s great for baby too.

fenugreek

As a first time/new mom I was struggling to feed my baby. I kept on the breastfeeding bandwagon from day one. I went to all the lactation classes. I met with a lactation nurse several times a week to try to get my milk supply up. I started taking Fenugreek as well to help increase my milk production naturally. I pumped constantly. Nothing worked. I was starting to feel like a failure as a mother. I felt like “I am supposed to be able to feed my baby and I can’t. What kind of mother am I?”

got milk

Did you ever feel like that while trying to breastfeed?

When we got home from the hospital with our first born we had to go to the store immediately to buy formula to supplement feeding for her. My milk production had not come in yet. I had to make sure my baby was getting fed via breast and formula. Again, there is nothing wrong with how you feed your baby. Just please feed your baby.

Formula: What Should I Look For?

Photo Credit Admin, IMGtoys.com, 2017

There are so many different brands of formula on the market today. There’s so many categories too. Should I get soy? Should I get extra iron? Should I get advanced? Should I just get the cheapest? These are all great questions to ask yourself. I want to talk more in depth about that today.

This is not a bias article saying you should feed your kid formula. Feeding your child, however you may do that, is what matters. Breast, formula, baby food, etc. Just feed your child.

Okay, let’s jump right in.

How is Formula Made?

I want to start this article off with talking about how formula is made. 1) I find it interesting, and 2) it will help you, the consumer, understand what you are getting in to.

I recommend going here to the FDA website and reading more in depth about the process and how it works. I am only going to give you a general idea of how the process works. There’s 2 general processes for making baby formula. There’s dry blending and wet blending, or spray blending.

Dry Blending

dry blending
Photo Credit baanmu.com, 2013

You can read more about here.

“The dry blending process begins with the receipt of the ingredients. The ingredients are typically stored until they are tested for conformance to specifications, including microbiological contamination. Since microbiological contaminants may be present in low numbers and may be non-randomly distributed within the lot, it is difficult to assure microbiological quality by lot testing alone. Therefore, manufacturers of dry-blended products try to develop and maintain close relationships with their ingredient suppliers. Each supplier must produce their product in a manner that assures that harmful bacteria will not contaminate the finished ingredient. This is usually accomplished by a combination of appropriate process controls and strict adherence to good manufacturing practices” (FDA.gov., Unknown).

“Dry ingredients are blended in large batches (1, 000 to 5,000 lbs.) in a ribbon blender or other large scale blending equipment. The ingredients must be blended until the nutrients are uniformly distributed throughout the batch. The blended product is then passed through a sifter to remove oversize particles and extraneous material. The sifted product is then transferred to bags, totes or lined fiberboard drums for storage. In some cases, the powder is transferred directly to the powder packaging line. At the packaging line, the powder is transferred to a filler hopper that feeds powder into the can filling line. Filled cans are flushed with inert gas, seamed, labeled, coded and packed into cartons. Typically, finished product is held until it undergoes a final check for conformance to specifications, including testing for microbiological contaminants” (FDA.gov., Unknown).

Wet Blending

wet blending
Photo Credit ausnutrients, 2011

“The wet blending – spray drying process begins with the receipt of ingredients from suppliers. As with the dry blending process, ingredients are stored until they are tested for conformance to specifications. Ingredients are blended with water in large batches (1,000 – 5,000 gallons) then pumped to a heat exchanger for pasteurization. The severity of the pasteurization process varies among manufacturers, but it is always sufficient to destroy the vegetative cells of harmful bacteria. After pasteurization, the liquid is homogenized. [Note: Some manufacturers homogenize product prior to pasteurization.] After pasteurization, certain heat sensitive micro nutrients (e.g., vitamins, amino acids and fatty acids) are added to the product. The microbiological quality of these nutrients is critical, since the product may not receive further heating sufficient to destroy harmful bacteria. After the addition of micro-nutrients, the liquid may be concentrated by passing it through an evaporator or it may be pumped directly to the spray dryer. If the product is evaporated, it is heated to 145 – 170°F during the process. In some cases, the concentrated liquid may be cooled to less than 45°F and stored in a large tank (10,000 – 30,000 gallons) until needed. Prior to spray drying, the product is pre-heated to 160 – 200°F and passed through a high pressure pump to the spray dryer nozzles. The product is atomized into the spray dryer where the inlet air temperature ranges from 280 – 400°F, depending on the dryer model and process requirements. The spray dryer may be either a horizontal box-type dryer or a vertical funnel shaped dryer. As the droplets of product pass through the dryer, water is evaporated and the dry powder falls to the bottom of the spray dryer. The outlet temperature of the dryer is approximately 220°F. The temperature of the powder at the spray dryer outlet ranges from 110 – 175°F. The warm powder is passed through a fluidized bed where it is cooled by a stream of chilled air. At the end of the fluidized bed, the powder has cooled to approximately 70°F. Typically, HEPA-filtered air is supplied to the spray dryer and fluidized bed to minimize the risk of product contamination. After spray drying, the product may be agglomerated to increase the particle size and to improve its solubility. The finished powder is passed through a sifter then transferred to bags, totes or silos for storage. In some cases, the powder may be transferred directly to the powder packaging line. At the packaging line, the powder is transferred to a filler hopper that feeds powder into the can filling line. Filled cans are flushed with inert gas, seamed, labeled, coded and packed into cartons. Typically, finished product is held until it undergoes a final check for conformance to specifications, including microbiological contaminants” (FDA.gov., Unknown).

 

What are the Most Common Brands out There?

common forms of formula
Photo Credit Eduardo Cantoral, Newborn Care. (2012)

In my area the most common brands that come to mind are Similac, Enfamil, Parents Choice, Gerber, Nestle Good Start, the other generic brands per each super store’s brand.

How Do I Know Which one to Choose?

I’m so glad you asked! There are so many brands out there to choose from. Did you know not all brands are a safe choice? There are so many things to take in to consideration. My biggest thing is if you read the ingredients and you have no idea what even ONE of the ingredients is then PUT IT BACK ON THE SHELF. Yuck. Why would I want to feed my child something that I can’t even pronounce the name of, let alone know what it is. Yes, we can pull out our handy dandy smart phones and look it up. But realistically do you want to feed your kid something that you don’t even know what it is? Now, I know a lot of you are going to say “Well there’s so much in formula. I looked it up and it says it’s safe.” Okay good! I’m glad you did your research. If it’s safe, per formula guidelines with research, then yes. Pick it up and buy it if it’s what you are looking for.

There is a fantastic article by the Mayo Clinic about the different types of formula (soy, cow milk protein, protein hydrolysate formula). You can find that article here.

Cow’s Milk Protein Formula: This is the “normal” formula you can buy from the store. It is made of cow’s milk protein. It most closely resembles breast milk. It provides nutrients that your baby would get from breast milk.

Soy Based Formula: Soy based formulas are for babies who are lactose intolerant. You can also use it if you are trying to avoid any kind of animal in your formula (nutrition preferences).

Protein Hydrolysate Formula: This formula is for babies who have a hard time digesting the protein found in cow’s milk. They can’t digest the soy or the cow’s milk. They usually have a protein allergy as well.

I Want to Know More:

Some other things I want to mention really quickly is your baby needs iron fortified formula. Your baby needs iron to grow and develop (Mayo Clinic Staff., 2016). There is a lot of concerns about DHA/ARA in formulas as well. Some studies suggest it helps with developing eye sight. There have been other studies though that have said no this is not the case. If you are unsure about the possible safety of this I would just recommend avoiding it.

Don’t use used formula. Don’t buy contaminated (opened) formula. Don’t use expired formula.

If you want to buy the generic formula from your local super store make sure you look at the ingredients. It should also say something on the front like “Compared to (insert brand)”. Make sure you look and make sure it is actually comparable.

I really like the video below. It’s very informative! She goes in depth in a more visual aspect.

Make sure you talk to your doctor before you make any final decisions.

 

 

Resources:

FDA.gov. (Unknown). Powdered Infant Formula: An Overview of Manufacturing Processes. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/03/briefing/3939b1_tab4b.htm

The Mayo Clinic Staff. (2016). Infant Formula: Your Questions Answered. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/infant-formula/art-20045782