Some mothers are unable to breastfeed their babies, others choose not to, whatever your reason you can read all about bottle feeding your baby here.
Human babies need to have either their mother's breast milk, or a specially designed milk formula, as their main milk drink for the first 12 months of their life. While breast milk is always the best for babies, and will never be exactly emulated by artificially made formulas (because we cannot 'reproduce' the antiinfective and antiallergenic properties of human milk), companies who manufacture baby formulas have to carefully modify cows milk and soy bean products, so that they come as close as possible to what a baby would drink, if having breast milk.
There are many circumstances, or reasons why, women will choose to bottle feed their baby(s). The formula feeding may start from the time that the baby is born, or after weaning the baby from the breast, before they are 12 months old. Formula milk is usually given to the baby with a bottle, but may be given with a cup if the baby is old enough, (usually after 6 to 9 months). Many women will combine breastfeeding and formula feeding for varying lengths of time, either for personal reasons or to facilitate
In the last 50 years or so, formula feeding has become a much safer practise in countries with good public health facilities. However, it still remains one of the main causes of infant deaths in under-developed countries. Safe formula feeding for newborn babies is essentially based on:
- Having accurate and understandable information about formula feeding and correct formula preparation.
- Being able to access a continual, clean water supply.
- Being able to prepare formula and sterilise equipment in a clean environment.
- Being able to store prepared formula milk in a refrigerator.
- Being able to afford the cost of purchasing specially designed formula milk for the first 12 months of the baby's life.