If you’re breastfeeding or thinking about breastfeeding, you’ve come to the right place. This post is your one-stop-shop for all things breastfeeding. Stop in for a quick glance or stay for a while and browse the different blog posts below. We’ll keep adding new ones as they are published. If you have questions, email us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org. We are here to help.
Posts Tagged ‘formula’
Moms may decide to change formula brands for a variety of different reasons. My friend recently told me she bought a new formula for her baby because she had a coupon for a different brand. Her baby was not able to digest the new formula as well as the old brand; she did not anticipate that changing formula brands would be a problem for her baby.
Here are some tips to keep in mind if you are thinking of switching formula brands.
First of all, there are several basic types of formula in your local grocery store:
• Cow’s milk-based formulas: Made of treated cow’s milk that has been changed to make it safe for infants.
• Hydrolyzed formulas: often called “predigested” meaning the protein content has already been broken down for easier digestion.
• Soy formulas: contain a protein (soy) and carbohydrate (either glucose or sucrose), which is different from milk-based formulas. Soy formulas do not contain cow’s milk.
• Specialized formulas – for infants with specific disorders or diseases. There are also formulas made specifically for premature babies. Often babies who are allergic to lactose (found in cow’s milk) or soy protein may need a specialized formula.
Formula can also be found in three different forms: Ready-to-feed liquid (which can be fed to your baby immediately), concentrated liquid or powder (which needs to be mixed with water before feeding). Be sure to learn the do’s and don’ts of bottle preparation and feeding.
Reasons to change formula
Some reasons to switch formulas are if your baby has a food allergy or needs more iron in her diet. Switching may also help your baby if she has diarrhea, is fussy or hard to soothe. Your baby’s doctor can determine if switching the formula may help, or if there is some other medical condition going on that is causing your baby’s distress. But, before switching your baby’s formula, speak with her pediatrician.
It is possible for a baby to have an allergic reaction to a formula. Reactions include:
• abdominal pain
• hives (itchy, red bumps on the skin)
These, and other symptoms may be a sign to change formulas, or they may also be a sign of something unrelated to your baby’s formula. If the reaction is unrelated to the formula, changing formulas could make your baby’s symptoms worse. This is why it’s important to always talk to your baby’s health care provider before making any changes.
If your doctor gives you the OK to switch formulas, he will recommend a plan of action on how to introduce the new formula so that the transition goes as smoothly as possible.
Keep in mind
All formulas made in the U.S. are regulated by the Food and Drug administration and meet strict guidelines, but always check the expiration date on the formula packaging and don’t use damaged cans or bottles.
For more information see this blog post.
Powdered infant formula is not sterile. It could contain bacteria that can cause serious illness to your baby. By preparing and storing formula properly and sterilizing bottles, you can reduce the risk of infection.
Here are some tips for keeping bottle-feeding safe for your baby:
• Boil bottles and nipples for 5 minutes before you use them for the first time. After the first use, wash them for 1 minute in hot, soapy water and rinse after each use. This removes harmful bacteria that can grow and make your baby sick.
• To be sure your baby’s formula is sterile, feed her prepared liquid formula, especially when she is a newborn.
• Wash your hands before preparing each bottle.
• When you first open your formula container, make sure it is sealed properly. If it is not sealed, return it to the store.
• Check the “Use By” date on the formula package. Do not use it if it has expired.
If you are using powdered formula:
• The safest way to prepare formula is to boil the water before use. Allow the water to cool down before mixing with formula. If you do not boil the water, prepare the formula with sterilized bottled water.
• Avoid mixing up large amounts of formula at one time.
• Be sure to use the right amount of water to mix with your baby’s formula. Read the directions on the packaging label. Too much water may keep your baby from getting the right amount of nutrients she needs to grow. Too little water may cause diarrhea or dehydration.
For all bottles:
• Don’t heat formula in the microwave. Some parts can heat up more than others and burn your baby. You can warm or cool the bottle by holding it under running water. Make sure the running water is below the lid of the bottle. Then, shake the bottle to mix the formula to avoid hot spots.
• To keep bacteria from growing, don’t leave formula out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours. If you do not plan to feed your baby right away, refrigerate the bottle until the feeding.
• If you plan to make a bottle of formula in advance to use later, prepare the feedings separately and put them in the refrigerator until they are needed. Throw away unused formula that has been in the fridge for more than 24 hours.
• If your baby does not finish the entire bottle of formula, discard the remaining formula.
• If you are traveling, keep the prepared formula cold by placing the bottle in a lunch bag with ice packs.
For more information on how to prepare bottles safety, visit the World Health Organization’s guidelines for cleaning, sterilizing & storing. For information about formulas and what to ask your baby’s doctor, visit our website.
For information on safe handling and storage of breast milk, visit our blog.
If you have questions about bottle-feeding safety or other pregnancy and newborn health questions, email us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org
March of Dimes staff and volunteers collected $10,000 worth of diapers donated by Kmart and Kimberly Clark for New Jersey babies in need following Superstorm Sandy. The cartons, loaded by members of fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha, were delivered by Farmers Insurance trucks to two locations in Hillside and Sayreville. Thank you to these wonderful people who helped so much.
More deliveries are planned for other sites in New Jersey and New York.
The March of Dimes has set up a special new baby registry at http://tinyurl.com/ac265gq where people can purchase diapers, formula and other essentials that the March of Dimes will deliver to infants and families in need.
“We thank Kmart and Farmers Insurance for their generosity toward the moms and babies of our region whose homes and lives were damaged by Superstorm Sandy,” said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. “The resources we’ve gathered will take care of some of their greatest needs right now.” We’d love to have your help.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is urging parents not to give premature babies (babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy) the thickening product called SimplyThick. The product may cause a life-threatening health problem called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). With NEC, tissue in the intestines gets inflamed and dies.
Some premature babies have trouble swallowing. SimplyThick is a product that’s added to breastmilk or formula to make it thicker. Health providers recommended SimplyThick because it helped premature babies swallow their food and keep it down, without spitting it up. SimplyThick was available from distributors and local pharmacies.
The FDA learned that some babies got sick with NEC after they were sent home on an eating plan that included SimplyThick. Sadly, some of these babies died. NEC most often happens early in a premature baby’s life while she is still in the hospital, not after she’s sent home. NEC is very dangerous to a baby’s health.
At this time, the FDA isn’t sure what about SimplyThick is making babies sick. The organization is actively looking into the link between SimplyThick and these illnesses and deaths.
In the meantime, the FDA urges parents to stop using the product immediately, even if their babies don’t appear to be sick.
Call your baby’s health care provider if she shows any of these signs:
• bloated stomach
• greenish-tinged vomiting
• bloody stools
For more information on SimplyThick and the risk to premature babies, visit the FDA website.
About 5 million Similac powdered infant formula containers, including Isomil and Go & Grow, are being recalled. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that these containers may have insect pieces or larvae in them.
The recall is for milk and soy-based Similac powdered infant formulas sold in United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, and some Caribbean countries. Some of these formulas were given to families through the federal government’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) health and nutrition program. Similac liquid formulas aren’t being recalled.
If you’ve already fed your baby some of the recalled powdered formula, the FDA reassures that your baby won’t have any long-term health problems. In the meantime, if you have a recalled container, stop using it immediately and return it to the manufacture for a full refund.
To learn more or to see a complete list of the recalled powdered infant formula products, visit the FDA Web site. You can also look at the lot numbers printed at the bottom of the formula containers and enter them in the search box on this FDA Web page to see if they’re part of the recall. Contact Abbott (makers of Similac) at (800) 986-8850 with any questions.
So there you have it. Last Friday I mentioned starting my daughter on cow’s milk and let’s just say it’s not going well. She turns her head and pushes the cup away every time we offer it to her. My husband has a knack for tricking her into taking a few sips, but she makes the most awful grimace and then lets it dribble down her chin. We’ll continue to encourage her and offer lots of praise though. She’ll get used to it at some point, right? If you have any advice on weaning or making this transition easier I’d love to hear from you.
As you already know a baby should turn one before they start cow’s milk, but do you know why? Well, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, younger babies simply can’t digest cow’s milk as easily as they digest breast milk or formula. Cow’s milk contains a lot of protein and minerals, which can put a lot of stress on a newborn’s kidneys. Also, cow’s milk lacks the proper amounts of fat, iron, vitamin C, and other nutrients that growing babies need.
Have a great weekend!
My daughter has never taken a bottle or formula. It’s been a wonderful year nursing and bonding with her, but quite honestly I’m ready for the next step. I’m ready to put the nursing bras and breast pump away. She’s able to feed herself now and I’m back at work. It’s time. I’m taking it slowly though and want this transition to happen as naturally as possible.
A couple of months ago I went to one of those warehouse baby stores to purchase a cup for her. There were so many brands and styles to choose from! Some had two handles, some a hard plastic spout, and some had a straw. I figured I’d buy several and let her decide which one she liked the best. When I got home I washed-out one of them and filled it with a little water. I handed the cup to her. She shook it a few times and threw it on the floor. Now what?
This routine happened everyday for weeks. Before offering her a different cup I would demonstrate how to use it, but I think she thought it was a new toy to play with. Shake, toss and watch mom pick it up. Fun! Then one day it just clicked. She put the little straw in her mouth and took a sip. Hooray! She’s been drinking water from it once daily ever since. This was a major milestone for me and a huge step in trying to wean her.
Now that she’s one, we can introduce whole cow’s milk. I’ve heard that some babies don’t like it at first. Keep your fingers crossed that she does. I’ll keep you posted.
Have a nice weekend.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expressed concerns about BPA, a chemical used in plastics. BPA is used to make plastics clear, strong and hard to break. Some baby bottles, dishes and toys contain this chemical. BPA stands for bisphenol A.
Some studies have linked BPA to developmental problems in the brain, behavior and prostate gland in fetuses, infants and young children.
The FDA and other organizations are conducting in-depth studies about BPA. Until we have more answers, the FDA has several recommendations for parents, including:
* If plastic baby bottles and infant cups contain BPA, discard them if they have scratches.
* Do not put boiling or very hot liquids, such as formula, into plastic bottles or containers that contain BPA.
* Read the label to see if a plastic container is dishwasher safe. Don’t put it in the dishwasher unless it is.
Plastic products for babies are now available that do not contain BPA.
Most babies are ready to eat solid foods at 4 to 6 months of age. And for most babies it doesn’t matter what the first solid food is. Traditionally, we start with single-grain cereals such as rice or oats. However, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), there is no medical evidence that introducing solid foods in any particular order has an advantage for your baby. For example, your pediatrician might recommend starting vegetables before fruits, but there’s no evidence that your baby will develop a dislike for vegetables if fruit is given first. Babies are born with a preference for sweets, and the order of introducing foods does not change this.
Once your baby learns to eat one food, gradually give him other foods. Wait at least 2 to 3 days before starting another. After each new food, watch for any allergic reactions such as diarrhea, rash, or vomiting. If any of these occur, stop using the new food and contact your baby’s doctor.
Within a few months of starting solid foods, your baby’s daily diet should include a variety of foods that includes: breast milk and/or formula, meats, cereal, vegetables, and fruits. Talk to your pediatrician about when you should introduce eggs and fish. Some might say to avoid these foods during the first year of life because of allergic reactions. The AAP also states that there’s no evidence that introducing eggs or fish after 4 to 6 months of age determines whether your baby will be allergic to them.