I hear it time and time again. “Baby Johnny didn’t have problems until I stopped breast feeding and switched to baby formula.” In the past, I have focused on the new food or formula being introduced. That has just been the path that made the most sense. After all, everything was going well until new foods were introduced into the baby’s system.
If the problem seems to be with the introduction of the baby formula, I will recommend switching to a hydrolyzed formula like Nutramigen or Alimentum. It’s not a matter of switching from soy to cow’s milk or vice versa–it’s just that your infant’s gut is not ready to handle anything other than mom’s milk until well after 6 months. This is why the hydrolyzed formulas are a better option–the proteins are already enzymatically pre-digested so his or her little digestive system has less to react to.
Of course, all of this was before I read this particular article.
I have addressed all the benefits of breast feeding over baby formula in a previous blog article that can be read by clicking here, so I won’t belabor the issue again.
Researchers identified two key abilities of breast milk that were not present in formula:
- Breast milk had a natural ability to quiet smooth muscle cells, like those of the GI tract. This could help nursing infants from having abdominal cramping and pain.
- Breast milk had higher antioxidant abilities over baby formula. Greater antioxidant protection can obviously lead to all kinds of protective benefits over the formula.
I won’t belabor the point again, but I will highlight that we really have NO idea the full breadth and diversity of compounds that are present in breast milk. As a result, even the best baby formula will be just a shadow of what breast feeding is to a developing newborn and infant.