Are certain formula milk brands better for baby?

Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital experts address pressing questions on whether some formula milk brands offer more benefits than others.

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One huge decision new parents must make early in their parenting journey is what type of milk to feed their newborn.

What are the benefits of breastmilk versus formula milk? Is one formula milk brand better than another?

Natalie Goh, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital’s chief dietitian, and Loh Lee Lian, lactation consultant at Mount Elizabeth Hospital answer your questions.                                

Is breastfeeding or formula milk feeding better for my baby?
Breastmilk is the best for babies. It is uniquely tailored to the needs of the infant and the nutrients in breastmilk are constantly changing to meet the baby’s developing needs. It also contains factors that promote the development of the baby’s immune system, helping to protect the baby against infection and inflammation. Breastmilk is also easier to digest.

In addition, breastfeeding helps to promote bonding between the mother and child. It is also economical and convenient. However, if breastfeeding is not possible, for instance, due to medical reasons, infant formula milk is a reasonable alternative.

Formula milk has the known nutrients of breastmilk added to its contents. However, its overall composition is not the same as breastmilk. But it is enough to meet the normal nutritional needs of a non-breastfed infant.

How long are mothers encouraged to breastfeed exclusively? 
Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed babies exclusively for at least 6 months, and longer if possible. Only when breastfeeding is not possible due to medical reasons, would mothers be advised to supplement with formula milk.

Formula milk has the known nutrients of breastmilk added to its contents. However, its overall composition is not the same as breastmilk.

Mothers experiencing difficulty breastfeeding are encouraged to consult a lactation consultant or a doctor for advice. This also helps to determine whether there is a need to introduce formula milk.

Parents should monitor their baby’s growth and consult their doctor or dietitian for advice on feeding.

Does spending more on a particular brand of formula milk mean that your child is getting better nutrition? Click through!