Once you give birth to your little angel, one of your most immediate concerns will be to give your baby the proper nourishment to speed development. Since an infant’s digestive system is still fragile, it cannot consume solid food yet. Infants rely on breast milk from their mothers.
Breast milk is the healthiest and most ideal option when it comes to infant nourishment. The only problem is that there are mothers who cannot produce adequate breast milk for their infant. To solve this dilemma, an artificial milk substitute was created, also known as infant formula or baby formula.
Aside from the mother’s breast milk, baby formula is the only form of milk accepted by the medical community to be given to children who are less than one year old. The formula is available in ready-to-feed variations, powder forms or concentrated liquid that needs to be prepared in small batches and given to infants in cups or baby bottles.
Unlike cow’s milk that has a high protein and salt (electrolyte) content, baby formula milk is designed to have mild but nutritious contents. Compared to cow’s milk that can damage a baby’s kidneys, baby formula milk is safe for infants’ digestive systems.
The first baby formula was created in the 1860s in Switzerland by Henri Nestle. When he observed that mothers were having difficulty producing baby milk for their children, especially in impoverished areas, Nestle became determined to invent a breast milk substitute to solve this dilemma. He then created “farine lactee,” a concoction made from a cereal component and wholesome Swiss milk. These ingredients were blended together through a special process.
He fed his invention to a premature baby boy whose mother could not breastfeed him because she was ill. The premature infant survived, and Nestle became famous for his milk formula invention. Soon, other milk formula manufacturers appeared and followed in Nestle’s footsteps. These included Mellins Foods, Horlicks and Justus Von Liebig.
Even though breast milk is still considered healthier, many parents are now turning to baby formula as a nutritious and beneficial alternative. Baby formula also offers numerous advantages over breastfeeding, both for the infant and the mother.
For one, this feeding method is less time consuming and can be done almost anywhere, whereas breastfeeding is not always appropriate in certain public places. Babies who drink baby formula milk also do not need to feed as frequently as those who are breastfed.
Baby formula is also more practical, since anyone can give the milk to the baby, not just the mother. By using this type of milk diet, the parent can also keep track of how much the baby consumes, unlike breastfeeding, in which the mother is not assured of how much milk her child ingests.
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