Breast milk or formula milk? This has been an ongoing argument. However, there is no right or wrong answer. Both supplement and promote healthy babies. However, one important question needs answering: “How does formula differ from milk?” Take note this is essential for all mothers to know—whether you are breastfeeding your baby or formula feeding them. This article will tackle these questions. Not only that, but we will also give you the many advantages and disadvantages of both kinds of milk. Read on.
What Is Breast Milk?
Breast milk is, of course, what all mammals produce to feed their young. It is the best and only food appropriate for your newborn. Breast milk contains a multitude of beneficial ingredients. It contains a substance called colostrum, which protects the digestive tract of your baby. It has antibodies and white blood cells that protect them from infection and diseases. Breast milk has stem cells that promote organ development! Not only that, but breast milk produces hormones, prebiotics, fatty acids, enzymes that all help maintain the immunity and health of the baby—all naturally made.
Advantages of Breast Milk
Before we answer the question: “How does formula differ from milk?” we need to learn the many advantages and disadvantages of breast milk. Here are some of the advantages:
Giving breast milk to your newborn baby during feeding time provides both you and your child to develop a bond. Something that formula milk feeding can never offer.
As the mother, you can easily give your baby fresh breast milk when they are hungry, whenever and wherever you are.
Of course, we all want free things to save up on money. Breast milk is free! What more can you as for?
Health Benefits for Baby
Breast milk has multiple health benefits for the baby, given the nutrients, antibodies, and hormones they get from it. Breastfed babies are immune to infections and grow smarter. Not to mention, breast milk can help in your baby’s digestion.
Health Benefits for Mother
Breastfeeding also has benefits for you! It helps prevent breast cancer, ovarian cancer, hypertension, and diabetes. It also helps burn calories.
Disadvantages of Breast Milk
Here are the disadvantages of giving breast milk:
You must be careful with the food or drink you take because it will surely affect your breast milk. Eat and drink healthy.
Difficult to Measure
Since it comes naturally for you as a mother, it can be very difficult to gauge if your baby has enough milk consumed already. Breastfeeding can be difficult to measure.
Lack of Supply
This is usually the biggest problem some mothers face. Not all mothers always produce breast milk, and even in time, mothers who do will gradually stop producing their milk. This problem is the reason why they resort to giving formula milk.
More Time to Feed
Breast milk is easily and quickly digestible, meaning it will often require multiple feedings before your baby is satisfied. You will not have a break for a few weeks, and even months after giving birth—your baby’s well-being is important.
If you rely too much on breast milk, you may have to feed your baby in public, which you may find awkward or uncomfortable. You may also be suffering from sore or cracked nipples, which are painful.
What is in Formula Milk?
So how does formula differ from milk? In the first place, formula milk is skimmed milk with additional stabilizers and emulsifiers that are an alternative to breast milk. Ingredients may vary. It depends on the brand and the country manufacturing it. Formula milk, compared to breast milk, contains lactose and other sugars such as fructose or corn syrup. It also has palm oil, coconut oil, and other plant-based oils. It can have fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, and probiotics—all commercially manufactured.
Advantages of Formula Milk
Since it is important to know how formula differs from milk, we shall look at the advantages of formula milk as well:
What is great with formula milk is that you only need to mix it in warm water in a baby bottle, and you can just let the nanny or your partner feed the baby when you are out of the house for groceries or work. Pretty convenient!
A Great Alternative
Formula milk is the only alternative that pediatricians allow for newborn children. Animal milk—such as cow’s milk or goat’s milk—is a no-no because they are too heavy for your baby’s stomach.
Less Feeding Time
Formula milk allows you to have a break in feeding time. Since formula milk is fuller compared to breast milk, your baby slowly digests it. Slow digestion means lesser feeding time.
Disadvantages of Formula Milk
Here is a look at the disadvantages of formula milk:
As mentioned, formula milk is factory-made. It is artificial and made in laboratories, unlike breast milk, which is a natural product.
There are instances when babies cannot accustom to formula milk at all. That is why some mothers resort to mixing breast milk with formula.
It is ill-advised to store or reserve a bottle of formula milk for future feeding. Once mixed, you have to give the formula milk to your baby immediately. Beyond ten or fifteen minutes, throw that mix away.
Since it is factory-made, formula milk will cost you a lot. Not only that, but it will take most of your time planning your feeding schedule—particularly before the expiration dates.
Lacks the Proper Nutrients and Antibodies
Formula milk is a great alternative but is not complete supplements. It does not have the antibodies that breast milk has to boost the immune system of your baby.
How does formula differ from milk? This article has surely provided you with enough information to answer that question. Which one is the best? It all depends on you. Both breast milk and formula milk have their advantages and disadvantages—it all relies on what situation calls for it. If you want to feed your baby formula milk, go for it. But it is always advised that breast milk is the best. Remember, it is the well-being of your newborn child that is important. Know more about baby milk.