Baby formula feeding-never the first choice but only the last resort
Baby formula feeding may be required when a mother does not get enough breast milk or is not able to feed due to other reasons (ex has to go out to work). It should however be remembered that breast milk is the ideal food for small babies and every effort should be made to exclusively breast feed babies for the first six months.
Breast feeding has innumerable advantages and a decision to formula feed a baby should not be taken lightly.
Before the availability of human milk substitute cow’ milk was widely used. However cow’s milk is not suitable for babies below six months for several reasons. The protein content of cow’s milk is much higher. This causes solute overload in small babies.
Though the iron content is higher than that of breast milk its bio-availability is low and hence the risk of iron deficiency anemia is higher. The calcium content is also higher than that of breast milk but because of higher phosphate content the absorption in much less and babies given cow’s milk are at risk of developing hypocalcemia which may cause convulsions.