As breastmilk substitute or bottle food is called artificial baby food, which is intended for the complete replacement of breast milk. With the current state of research, it is possible to feed a baby from birth with bottle feeding and to renounce breastfeeding.

What is breastmilk substitute?

Man-made breastmilk substitutes must be adapted to the age and nutritional needs of the child so that the composition varies greatly depending on the child's age.

Breastmilk substitute in the form of bottle feeding is an alternative diet for infants, babies and toddlers from birth. It is a powdered or ready-to-use mixture that is mixed with water and given to the baby as the sole or accompanying food source.

Bottle feeding can be given from birth to infancy. Man-made breastmilk substitutes must be adapted to the age and nutritional needs of the child so that the composition varies greatly depending on the child's age.

In principle, breastfeeding is always the better option to feed a baby, as well as the recommendation of the World Health Organization. However, if the mother can not or does not want to breastfeed her baby, she can switch to breast milk substitutes at any time, usually without major problems, and feed her baby in this way.

Shapes, types & types

Since some babies need breastmilk substitutes from their first day of life, so-called PRE food is available especially for newborns and small infants. This contains virtually all the nutrients that are found in breast milk. Breastmilk substitutes in the PRE form do not yet contain any substances that are highly satiating, but only the vital nutrients. As soon as the baby is no longer satisfied with this type of bottle food alone, the next step should be taken.

The subsequent bottle feeding is sometimes very different. So there are variations with and without strength to buy: starch has a satiating effect, but must also be tolerated by the baby. Most manufacturers offer a total of 3 levels of PRE-level breastmilk substitutes, some of which contain more and less starch, and thus more or less satiated.

In addition, breast milk substitute products differ in the dosage form. Especially the lower levels for infants and small babies are often ready to buy, while there is also the variant as a powder for mixing.

Structure & functionality

Breastmilk substitutes are sold in dosage forms that are easy to prepare or can be given to the baby without further processing. Bottle feeding as a powder is mixed with a certain amount of hot water, which is exactly stated by the manufacturer of the breast milk substitute. The water should have about body temperature, since the breast milk is similarly warm and the baby takes the food at this temperature best. Important in the preparation of a powder food is also that this contains no lumps. Finished breast milk substitutes in liquid form can be warmed up and offered to the baby without further preparation.

Every breastmilk substitute contains as much as possible the nutrients and ingredients that are found in breastmilk. What is missing in bottle feeding, however, are the immune substances that only the body of the mother can give to the baby - they can not be contained in artificial food. Therefore, even mothers who can not breastfeed, or who would like to give their baby at least the first serving of breast milk immediately after birth, because it contains many important and important immune substances. Then it can be switched to the appropriate bottle food and the baby still enjoys a good immune protection.

From the stage when starch is added to breastmilk substitutes, it is more different from breast milk. The differences are evident, for example, in the fact that bottle babies need the bottle far less often than a nursing baby needs to be put on, as they stay full longer.

Medical and health benefits

In principle, the World Health Organization recommends that you always breastfeed as long as the mother can and as long as the child is satisfied with it. Nevertheless, it is sometimes not possible for medical reasons, be it through medication of the nursing mother or even because she no longer wants it.

While in some cases it is still possible to pump the milk by means of a breast pump, the baby needs a substitute food if it can no longer get breastmilk, it is insufficient or there are breastfeeding problems.

Breastmilk replacement was considered a great achievement of modernity when it was launched because it significantly increased the life expectancy of babies and reduced the mortality rate due to reasons that have become unnecessary today. While bottled food still ensures the nutrition of many babies, it also gives the mother the freedom to decide whether she wants to breastfeed at all and for how long. If breastfeeding causes problems for her, there is nothing to prevent the transition to breastmilk substitutes.

No important antibiotics or even far more important treatments such as chemotherapy have to be taken care of by mothers today because their child's nutrition is guaranteed by replacement. The switch to bottle feeding should still be done in consultation with the pediatrician, especially if previously breastfed. Tags: 

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