Physical inadequacies or health problems may affect milk production and prevent mothers from breastfeeding. What are the alternatives? How safe are these foods for your baby?
By Indhu Rebecca Varghese
Motherhood is often depicted by a touching picture of a breastfeeding mother and the exchange of emotions between mother and child. Though this does define motherhood, there are many mothers who choose not to breastfeed, due to physical inadequacies or health problems that affect milk production. Working out of office combined with short maternity leaves forces some mothers to give up breastfeeding. Lactose intolerance in the infant could be another reason for resorting to breast milk substitutes.
According to paediatricians, breast milk is incomparable to any other food. It is the elixir that builds immunity in your child. It is vital that a mother who can’t breastfeed for one reason or another, should use effective substitutes for breast milk. We bring you a list of alternatives with the pros and cons:
Formula is often the first choice as a breast milk substitute because of lack of awareness of other options. Formula is designed to be as effective as breast milk. It is also fortified with nutrients. Ensure that you choose age-appropriate products. Be informed about the ingredients used in formula since it may have a high concentration of sweeteners.
If you distrust store-bought formulae, you can try to make them at home. The confidence that you can have in the ingredients used is unparalleled, provided you get your hands on them. We have a detailed recipe for making homemade formula here.
Homemade ragi porridge for babies over 4 months
250 g ragi (finger millet)
How to use
Note: Consult your doctor about when to introduce ragi in your baby's diet. Follow the 3-day wait and test rule. Do not give your baby any new food for 3 days following the introduction of ragi.
What are the must-have foods for a breastfeeding mother? Click the article to find out.
Remember that there is no real substitute to breast milk. Alternatives must be resorted to only in unavoidable cases. It is important to consult your paediatrician before making any changes so that you can make an informed choice about the alternative to be used and to determine the pace at which it can be introduced into your infant’s feeding schedule.
Want to know how to store breast milk? Click the article below.
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Indhu Rebecca Varghese