1. Formula for Lactose Intolerance
Lactose is the natural carbohydrate found in breast milk and also used in most baby formulas. For a formula fed baby with diagnosed lactose intolerance, a baby formula for lactose intolerant babies can be used. These are often labelled as “For Lactose Intolerance” or “Lactose Free”. These formulas are not recommended for healthy infants and should be used under the guidance of a health care professional.
2. Thickened Formulas
Thickened formulas, often labelled as “AR” baby formulas are thickened using a starch (e.g. Potato or corn). These milk formulas may be useful for formula fed babies with regurgitation, however they are not recommended for general use and should be used under medical supervision.
3. Hydrolysed Formulas
I. Partially hydrolysed baby formula
Partially hydrolysed refers to the protein used in these baby formulas. The protein has been chopped up into smaller pieces. These formulas can be used by all healthy formula fed infants.
II. Extensively hydrolysed baby formula
Extensively hydrolysed again refers to the protein used in these baby formulas. The protein has been chopped up into even smaller pieces than the partially hydrolysed formulas. These formulas are not recommended for healthy formula fed infants, they are used for the dietary management of specific dietary conditions, and should only be used under medical supervision.
III. Amino acid based baby formula
Amino acid based also refers to the protein used in these baby formulas. The protein is a synthetic mixture of individual amino acids. These formulas are not recommended for healthy formula fed infants, they are used for the dietary management of specific dietary conditions, and should only be used under medical supervision.
4. Formula for Premature Babies
Premature babies have very different needs to the term baby. Some of you may have used a ready-made baby formula when you were in hospital in a glass or plastic bottle. Often these formulas are used in special care nurseries for premature/low-birthweight babies. Preterm baby formula in these glass or plastic bottles aren’t readily available once you leave hospital, they are usually a hospital-only product.
5. Breast milk Fortifier
Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for all babies, including premature infants. In hospital you may have noticed your health care professional adding nutrition to your expressed breast milk? This is a very standard practice and used to provide additional nutrition to support the growth of your premature/low-birthweight baby more than breast milk alone. Breast milk fortifiers aren’t readily available once you leave hospital, they are usually a hospital-only product.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Breast milk is best for babies and provides ideal nutrition. Good maternal nutrition is important for the preparation and maintenance of breastfeeding. Introducing partial bottle feeding could negatively affect breastfeeding and reversing a decision not to breastfeed is difficult. Professional advice should be followed on infant feeding. Infant formula should be prepared and used exactly as directed or it could pose a health hazard. The preparation requirements and cost of providing infant formula until 12 months of age should be considered before making a decision to formula feed.