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mother feeding her baby with a milk bottle

Breast milk vs formula milk: Know The Difference

Breast milk vs formula milk: Which one works best?

If you are pregnant right now or are already a new mother, you must make a very important decision – how to feed your baby. You have two main options to choose from – breast milk and formula milk.

Here are the main differences between breast milk and formula milk that you need to understand before you can make an informed decision about your baby’s well being.

Key Ingredients and Health Implications

Breast Milk

There is a major reason breast milk is championed as the best option for your child.

Breast milk is made up of colostrum that successfully acts as a seal on your baby’s stomach, and keeping it safe from any diseases and illnesses.

Furthermore, every drop of breast milk contains beneficial substances, such as:

  • hormones that can help regulate your baby’s appetite
  • antibodies that can prevent your baby from becoming sick often
  • ‘good’ bacteria that can help regulate your baby’s digestive system
  • white blood cells that can help your new born fight against infections
  • stem cells that can help repair your baby’s organs
  • long-chain fatty acids to help with the development of your baby’s central nervous system, brain, and eyes
  • and even probiotics that help support a healthy gut

Perhaps the greatest benefit breast milk has over formula milk is that breast milk can change, depending on the baby’s requirements.

If your baby is sick and trying to ward off illness, then your body will naturally begin to produce a greater number of antibodies and white blood cells.

These will, in turn, travel to your milk and feed your baby. Formula milk offers no such benefit.

Formula Milk

The exact ingredients of formula milk can differ from country to country and brand to brand.

However, at most times the formula milk is made up of processed cow’s milk (skimmed usually).

Also, various stabilizers and emulsifiers are added to the milk.This helps the water mix well with the oil when preparing the mixture.

Formula milk typically contains the following ingredients:

  • Amino acids
  • Vitamins and Minerals (from animal sources)
  • Oils like coconut, soybean, palm, rapeseed, and sunflower
  • Fatty acids (from fish oil)
  • Lactose or sugar syrup
  • Probiotics (sometimes)

Having reviewed these key differences between breast milk and formula milk, it would appear that breast milk holds an obvious advantage over formula milk in terms of health benefits.

You can always consult with your pediatric doctor to make sure that you make the right choice for your baby.

Need more support and guidance on taking care of your newborn? Manzil’s licensed nurses in our Mother and Baby Program will provide excellent care during your post-delivery recovery, and help monitor your baby’s health and needs.

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For more information about our Mother and Baby program, call us now on 800 626 945