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Is formula food good for infants?

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Absolutely not

    Let me be clear—there is no real substitute for breast milk. It is simply the best food for your baby. It provides all the nourishment they require and builds immunities protecting your baby against developing certain infections to which they will be exposed.

    To be fair, formula companies have produced milk for babies which, at least on paper, seems to resemble the real thing. Formula is definitely better than it used to be. But on close inspection, what the factories make doesn't quite measure up to what mom makes. It is nearly impossible for artificial baby milk manufacturers to make a milk with nutrients even close to what mothers' bodies can make. And these companies' primary goal is to make a profit, so marketing and manufacturing issues influence what finally gets into the can.

    One of our concerns is that even though formula-fed infants appear to grow normally, are they really thriving? Thriving means more than just getting bigger. It means developing to the child's fullest physical, emotional, and intellectual potential. We just don't know about all the long-term effects of tampering with Mother Nature – though we do know that there are significant health differences between formula-fed and breastfed infants. Human milk is a live substance containing live white blood cells and immune-fighting substances, and is a dynamic, changing nutritional source, which daily (sometimes hourly) adjusts to meet the individual needs of a growing baby. Formulas are nothing more than a collection of dead nutrients. They do not contain living white cells, digestive enzymes, or immune factors. In terms of human history, they are a new experiment.

    Even though the Infant Formula Act passed by Congress in 1985 mandates the Food and Drug Administration to see that formulas contain all the nutrients that babies need, we don't really know everything there is to know about what babies need. The good news is that formula companies are constantly updating their recipe in order to keep up with new research into infant nutrition. The bad news is that each change in formula is really just a new experiment.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Formula is definately not as good as a mother's breast milk. Formula does not bring the greatest benefits to the baby. True, it may be more convenient , but it is the baby who is on the losing end.

    The newborn infant enters a world that is full of diseases for which it does not yet have immunity. Breast-feeding provides for this in the colostrum that the mother secretes instead of milk for a few days after the baby’s birth. This yellowish fluid is rich in antibodies and proteins that provide an immunity lasting several months against certain bacteria.

    The breast milk, too, is rich in antibodies and chemical properties that destroy harmful bacteria and viruses and block the entry of foreign proteins that cause allergies.

    By contrast, the heat treatment used in preparing artificial infant food destroys some of the elements that fight disease. So the bottle-fed infant has less protection.

    It has been found in India that infants who were bottle-fed from birth had a death rate nearly eight times as great as those who were breast-fed. Also, there is much less possibility of contamination in breast-feeding than in bottle-feeding.

    Breast milk also contains the needed elements in the right proportion and composition. Thus minerals, vitamins and other elements can be absorbed without overloading or causing stress to the baby’s immature and delicate digestive system.

    Source(s): Awake
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    To correct Debbie breastmilk is best, formula is FOURTH best. The order is breastmilk, mom's own expressed breastmilk, banked human milk THEN formula. (see sources below)

    Also formula is NOT regulated by the FDA they have NO POWER to prevent the sale of unsuitable formula:

    "Per the FDA, "The law does not require that FDA approve infant formulas but instead requires companies to provide certain information to FDA before they market new infant formulas. Manufacturers must provide assurances that they are following good manufacturing practices and quality control procedures and that the formula will allow infants to thrive. If such assurances are not provided, FDA will object to the manufacturer's marketing of the formula; however, the manufacturer may market the new infant formula over FDA's objection.""

    A Fresh Look at the Risks of Artificial Infant Feeding*

    Mortality . A risk/benefit analysis by the United States National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences estimated that for every 1000 infants born in the US each year, four will die because they are not breastfed.17 Most of the infant deaths worldwide (1.5 million/year) related to artificial feeding are due to diarrheal illness. In the United States, five hundred children aged one month to four years die each year from diarrheh.18 At least 70 percent of these deaths are caused by rotavirus infection in children four to 36 months of age, against which breastmllk has a known protective effect." One sudden infant death per 1000 live births occurs as a result of failure to breastfeed in western industrialized nations.19.11 Formula feeding has been identified as a risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS, cot death) in the results of the SIDS study conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.21 Seventy-nine percent of deaths from SIDS in New Zealand are attributable to three factors-maternal smoking, prone infant sleeping position, and not being breastfed .22

    A multicenter study in British neonatal units showed breastfeeding to be the single most effective method of preventing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in preterm infants. Infants born at more than 30 weeks gestation whose diet contained any breastmilk rarely experienced NEC. It was 20 times more common in those babies fed only formula. The authors estimated that exclusive formula feeding could account for 500 extra cases of NEC each year, and the death of 100 (20 percent) of these infants.23

    Known Contaminants Found in Infant Formula

    Mothers are sometimes worried about or have been discouraged from breastfeeding because of concerns regarding toxins found in the body and transferred to the baby through lactation. However, infant formula is full of pollutants that carry a great potential to harm. The infant formula industry would prefer we not know this; indeed, these "ingredients" are not listed on the labels. We can make an informed decision about what we choose to feed our infant with a look at a few of the unlisted and hidden components.

    Breastfeeding and Public Health

    Shortened or absent breastfeeding has enormous public health implications for all segments of society: children and adults, male and female. Below are some statistics:

    What Every Parent Should Know

    About Infant Formula

    Hot Milk

    The unbottled truth about formula

    The deadly influence of formula in America

    What Breastmilk Has That Formulas Don't

    Why breastmilk will always be better than formula.

    Source(s): "Breastfeeding is best; artificial milk is second best. Not according to the World Health Organization. Its hierarchy is: 1) breastfeeding; 2) the mother's own milk expressed and given to her child some other way; 3) the milk of another human mother; and 4) artificial milk feeds (4)."
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  • 1 decade ago

    I truly believe everyone should try to breastfeed first. They say the colostrum at the very beginning is the best and then for 2 months afterwards.

    I wasn't ever able to breastfeed, but I did pump for the first month. I got so tired and could not get on a regular schedule otherwise I would have continued longer.

    So my daughter was on formula since month 2 and she is a vibrant happy healthy 20 month old now!!

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  • 1 decade ago


    It is clinically proven gain and again that breast milk is the only thing that you should ever give infants. A mothers body knows instinctively what the baby needs. If the baby is sick, the milk automatically adjusts it's chemical composition to make the baby healthy. Formula is another way for companies to make money. No one knows a baby as well as their mother. If you want more information on breastfeeding, check out Le Leche League (or LLL), an international network of nursing mothers who know everything there is to know about breastfeeding.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    That depends on how you define the term. It's nutritionally well balanced and has the correct calorie density, but it's difficult to digest compared to breast milk, and lacks maternal antibodies. Also, the foreign proteins risk development of allergies, later asthma, etc.

    I suppose the best way to think of it is that it's about the equivalent to an adult eating fast food. There's nothing wrong with a burger, fries, and a Coke, but there are better choices.

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  • 1 decade ago

    They say nothing beats breast milk, and how very true, it is natural of course, ...

    But I can not stand breast feeding, I could not do it, it really turned me off!

    My son has been on formula since he was 4 days old and all I can say is that he is healthy (11 months now), he is walking, he has no allergies, hes is starting to talk, he is strong and tall...and I am happy and he is happy!

    Years ago formula was basic, but when you think of it formula has come along in leaps and bounds in recent years.

    The one plus about formula is that you know that your child is getting the exact nutrients every feed, and it does not depend on what you eat.

    I personally love a glass of wine now and then (maybe three or four sometimes!) and my son is not affected in any way being on formula. No breast to bottle, no expressing...

    If you are uncomfortable with breastfeeding please don't let people try to push you to do something that 'works for them' you do what best suits your life, after all, a happy baby is a happy Mummy!

    Good luck!

    I would also like to add that that your colosrum (clear stuff in the first few days) has enough of your immunity and antibodies to cover your baby for well over 6 months!!!, Colostrum vanishes out of breast milk within a short time anyway.

    My son is thriving!!!!!! He is meeting milestones if not quicker or at the same time as breast fed babies.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Mother's milk is best - formula is 2nd best. An infant should remain on either breast milk or formula for at least the first year.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well two things that are great about formula is that you know its balanced nutrition (vitamins) and you know exactly how much volume the baby is getting - because you can see the bottle empty.

    Breastmilk has immunizational qualities to it (that formula cant ever have) and is easier to digest for most infants.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Breast is best, but if it's not an option to breastfeed, then commerically made formula is the next best option. Homemade formula or straight milk are not.

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