Switch­ing to pow­der

Time Out Malaysia Kids - - Parenthood -

If you’ve al­ready de­cided to jump the fence and ei­ther sup­ple­ment breast­feed­ing with for­mula or go all the way with for­mula, plenty of choices await.

The up­side, she ex­presses, is that you can’t really go wrong with for­mula per se, in that all the for­mu­las ap­proved for sale in Malaysia have passed gov­ern­ment stan­dards for nu­tri­tion and safety. How­ever, Hor con­veys that for­mula has be­come ‘very so­phis­ti­cated, and now can im­i­tate in most ways breast milk.’ She main­tains that the main in­gre­di­ents in breast milk that can never be repli­cated are the an­ti­bod­ies from the mother that can help keep baby healthy and dis­ease-free.

The choices fac­ing young mums in terms of for­mula can be mind­blow­ing. Read the la­bels care­fully. You can now get or­ganic for­mula, or for­ti­fied with ex­tra vi­ta­mins, min­er­als and DHA. De­signer for­mu­las have ar­rived.

‘For those who can’t or don’t breast­feed, when they choose the for­mula they should fol­low in­struc­tions prop­erly. If they’re not sure what for­mula to try, talk to a doc­tor. The doc­tor would be the best per­son rather than a friend,’ states Hor.

What tends to go wrong with for­mula isn’t the for­mula it­self, but user er­ror. If a baby isn’t thriv­ing, or is gain­ing too much weight too quickly, of­ten the rea­son is in­cor­rect mix­ing. In other words, read the di­rec­tions very care­fully. Hor says many lo­cal mums are tempted to di­lute the for­mula be­cause they be­lieve it’s too heaty. But di­lut­ing also di­min­ishes nu­tri­tion and baby health can be en­dan­gered. On the other ex­treme, the cav­a­lier scooper who puts in a bit of ex­tra for­mula for good mea­sure can also be con­tribut­ing in­ad­ver­tently to baby’s un­healthy weight gain and pos­si­bly other med­i­cal com­pli­ca­tions. A fat baby isn’t nec­es­sar­ily a healthy baby.

The other fac­tor, which is still com­mon even in ur­ban ar­eas like the Klang Val­ley, is where for­mula is kept out too long or the bot­tles aren’t ster­ilised be­fore use. Bac­te­ria mul­ti­ply at an amaz­ing clip in for­mula left at room tem­per­a­ture, and even for­mula mixed in the morn­ing shouldn’t be kept till the next day in the re­frig­er­a­tor. ‘Con­tam­i­na­tion from poorly ster­ilised feed­ing uten­sils is a real and com­mon threat that can be fa­tal.’ warns Hor.

Hor her­self is a pan­el­list for www.babycen­tre.com.my and also rec­om­mends www.mum­snet.co.uk.

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