Featured Local Business

Most Read: Wellness

Are Your Kids Caffeinated?

Find out why caffeine and kids don’t mix. Read more

Chatting About Online Safety

Nowadays kids of all ages are connecting with friends and fa... Read more

Why Yoga is Good for Kids

Little Cecilia Kocan, age 5, sat perfectly still, meditating... Read more

Family + Sports = Fun

Fitness starts early—from a child’s first steps! When Mom an... Read more

Nuts About Nuts

Holiday vacation time is approaching, and I already feel lik... Read more

The Dirt on Dirt

“Don’t track mud in the house!” “Wash your hands before din... Read more

Why Manners Matter

Start your children on the right foot by teaching them manne... Read more

Put an End to Bullying

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged ... Read more

Walking the Middle Path

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a relatively new appro... Read more

Zits for Grown-Ups

Cafeteria cliques may be a distant memory, but if you’re sti... Read more

Make Sleep a Priority

  Parents often use bedtime stories and other peaceful... Read more

Concerned about Fever?

One the most common reasons I see a child in my office is fo... Read more

Bringing Home Baby

As a parent-to-be, you are probably feeling overwhelmed as y... Read more

Let's Move

Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in Amer... Read more

Fitting in Fitness

When was the last time you played with your children—really ... Read more

Girls Fighting Fire

While going on nature hikes, singing songs, and roasting s&r... Read more

To Cell or Not to Cell

My husband and I were sitting on the couch chatting one nigh... Read more

Eat Your Veggies!

Summer’s bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables offers a... Read more

Plan a Summer Cookout

Some of my favorite summer memories were times when my dad b... Read more

Mild Concussions

Recently I had the opportunity to listen to Dave Baron, DO, ... Read more

2021 Feb

About Infant Formula

While breast is best, formula is a safe, nutritionally balanced alternative.

Infants require breastmilk or formula for the first 12 months of life. It is well known that breastmilk is best for infants. Most expectant parents plan to breastfeed. Unfortunately, statistics show that many fall short of the goal of breastfeeding for the first 12 months. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) 2017 U.S. National statistics show that 84 percent have breastfed, 58 percent are breastfeeding at 6 months and only 35 percent are still breastfeeding at 12 months. Babies who are no longer breastfed need to be on a safe, nutritious infant formula.

During the 19th century, bottles containing animal’s milk was used. Unfortunately, improper milk storage and improper cleaning of bottles led to the death of a third of all bottle-fed infants. Between 1890 and 1910, cleaning and sterilization of bottles was stressed. By 1912 easy to clean rubber nipples were available. In 1929 the first non-milk formula was available to the public, but it lacked vitamins. Vitamins were eventually added to formula.

During the 1940s and 1950s, infant formulas were popular and recognized as safe for infants. Formula was so heavily marketed that the global rates of breast-feeding dropped during this time. This decline prompted a movement to promote breastfeeding in the 1970s. This movement caused an increase in the number of breastfed infants as well as in the duration of breastfeeding.

In 1988 formula manufacturers began an advertising campaign to the public causing the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to oppose such advertising in 1990. The AAP noted concerns that formula feeding may contribute to the development of atopy (the tendency to develop allergic rhinitis, asthma, or eczema), obesity, and even diabetes.

Throughout history and into the present, breastfeeding is the best, most nutritious, safest, cost-effective, healthiest way to feed an infant. Still, there are safe, nutritionally balanced formulas for those who cannot or choose not to breastfeed. Commercial formula has been extensively researched and studied for safety. It contains complete nutrients and vitamins for infants.

Formulas are divided into three main groups: milk-based, soy-based, or specialty formulas. An infant is usually started on a milk-based formula. If there are issues with digestion, such as fussiness or gas, there are partially hydrolyzed milk-based formulas with pre-processed smaller proteins, which are easier to digest. Specialty formulas are used for infants with formula intolerance.

If you are considering switching to formula feeding due to difficulty with breastfeeding, consult with your pediatric healthcare provider and an IBCLC (International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants) lactation specialist (connect.ilca.org). If you choose to formula feed or are unable to breast feed, your pediatric healthcare provider will advise a suitable formula. Store-brand formulas are much less expensive than comparable brand-name formulas and must maintain the same standards. This can be a significant cost savings. Always consult with your pediatric healthcare provider prior to switching formulas.

There are recipes for “homemade formulas” on the internet; however, it is not safe to do so. There are risks for malnutrition, contamination, and even health consequences by using such products. Do not use raw milk or regular milk products. They do not have the nutrients that babies need. Do not purchase imported formula. Only breast milk or commercial formula that meets FDA requirements is safe for infants.

Be sure to wash your hands and sanitize the bottles and workspace before preparing formula. Bottles can be sanitized in the dishwasher or by hand. If hand washing, rinse before and after cleansing with soapy water and allow to air dry. You can sanitize the items by boiling them for 5 minutes. Mix the formula precisely according to the package directions. Never dilute formula to “make it stretch” as this can result inadequate nutrition.

Formula should not be warmed in a microwave, as it can heat unevenly causing a burn. Instead, place the bottle in warm water. Test the milk temperature by dripping it on your skin. Use formula within 2 hours or store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

It is crucial for parents of infants to provide either breastmilk or formula until 12 months of age. As someone who needed to utilize formula, I am thankful that there are nutritionally balanced formulas available that are safe for infants. Breast is best; however, formula is a safe, nutritionally balanced alternative.

Melanie J. Wilhelm, DNP, CPNP

Dr. Melanie J. Wilhelm, DNP, CPNP, is a Doctor of Nursing Practice, and a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Norfolk, as well as core faculty at Walden University and an adjunct Assistant Professor at Old Dominion University. Her book, Raising Today’s Baby: 2nd Ed., is available on Amazon. Visit RaisingTodaysChild.com. Email her at raisingtodayschild@gmail.com. Follow her at www.facebook.com/RaisingTodaysChild and  www.twitter.com/Rzn2dayschild.

Website: www.RaisingTodaysChild.com

Enter to Win a FREE Staycation at KOA Virginia Beach Holiday

Tidewater Family Plus is excited to giveaway a fun family staycation package at Virginia Beach KOA Holiday! Entering is Free Enter below for your chance to...

Free to Enter!