In the first few weeks of a baby’s life, breastfeeding is often recommended as an ideal source of food for babies. Although breastmilk is certainly the most nutritious and exclusive food for infants, some parents continue to have difficulties nursing their babies. If you are one of these parents who is looking for alternatives to breastmilk or if your baby has difficulties in breastfeeding, there are several alternatives that can be used in place of breastmilk when trying to provide your baby with nourishment.
- Soy milk: Soy milk can be a great alternative but you should watch out for excessive amounts as it contains phytoestrogens that may contribute to development problems later on in life. If you are an adult and can tolerate phytoestrogens, they can act as estrogens in the body.
- Goat milk: In some parts of the world, ghee is used to prepare foods and can be a great replacement for breast milk or cow’s milk. You should be aware that goat milk contains trypsin inhibitors which can result in digestive problems.
- Coconut milk: Coconut milk is actually very nutritious but it does have a different consistency from cow’s milk and it can take some time for your baby to get used to it.
- Organic formula: If you are considering formula or baby probiotics, make sure that it is hypoallergenic. You should also keep in mind that most babies will not accept the flavour of organic formulas the same way they do with breastmilk or a commercial formula.
- Just water: If you have no idea what is best for your baby, just offer your baby water. However, it can make for a messy situation if your baby is not used to drinking water.
- Similac or Enfamil: These formulas are great choices as both types are hypoallergenic and can be given to babies with any allergies or sensitivities. Keep in mind that they are not as nutritious as breast milk although they can still be beneficial in providing the necessary nutrition to your baby.
- Medela’s formula: Medela’s formula is an organic formula that provides nutrients in a very easy-to-digest form for babies who cannot tolerate cow’s milk formulas.
- Breastmilk from another mother: If you have a strong support system available, you can ask another breastfeeding mother to donate her breastmilk to your baby.
- Emergency milk banks: These milk banks usually carry out screening and pasteurisation so they are viable alternatives to breast milk if you do not have a healthy and supportive family that can donate the breast milk to your baby.
- Formula: As an alternative source of food for babies, formula is often recommended as it can regulate the pH level in a baby’s body when she has digestive problems or sensitivities in her gastrointestinal tract due to other food particles that she is unable to process.
Breastfeeding is definitely the best choice for healthy babies but if you decide to follow these guidelines, you can supply your baby with nutritionally complete nourishment.