October 14, 2009

Choosing the Right Infant Formula

In light of the recent Typhoon Ondoy calamity in the Philippines, I was initially confused about the news that infant formula was not an encouraged donation as relief goods. I could not reconcile the idea that despite the big need for baby milk in evacuation centers, it was not being allowed. But as I read through articles and discussions as to why it was not allowed and/or encouraged, it did make sense to me. I do agree 100% that breast milk is best for babies and for as long as it is available, I feel that infant formulas should be the last option for mothers to choose. However, given the fact that after being subjected to such intense trauma, many of the mothers were unable to feed their infants adequately. While I try not to encourage formula feeding early on, I do recognize that at times, mothers (much as they want to do so) really cannot breastfeed for long. For example, many mothers do not have the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom. Ergo, after a certain period for maternity leave, they are forced to go back to work. Some also have health issues which may limit their capacity to breastfeed. Given these factors, it seems the best alternative a mother can do is find the best infant formula available. However, parents should not be fooled in to thinking that the more expensive the formula, the better it is. Just because pharmaceutical companies can easily advertise and pump up a brand for a product doesn't equate to better nutrition and quality. In fact, store brand formula IS nutritionally equivalent as popular brands.

While there are cheaper alternatives for milk substitutes for babies, this should not be an excuse to not breastfeed. In the US, it is interesting to note that the WIC or Women, Infants and Children program is taking steps to encourage breastfeeding by decreasing subsidy earmarked towards formula and other baby food products that can actually be addressed by breastfeeding. As such, families under the program now need to take more practical steps in managing their subsidy, which can include breastfeeding longer, opting for less expensive yet equally nutritional formula or go with branded milks. In the case of the situation here in evacuation centers, especially since the long-term effects of this storm seems apparent, I think having options for cheaper and yet good quality milk is essential. But as the experts say, breastfeeding is still best for babies.


0 stars twinkling:

  © Blogger templates Psi by 2008

Watch Pacquiao Vs Clottey Live Streaming and Watch Pacquiao vs Clottey's video live stream

Back to TOP