Q: After breastfeeding for a few months, I feel guilty about giving my baby formula now. Is it really healthy enough?
A: There's no reason to feel guilty. Although formulas can't pass along the resistance to infection that breast milk does, they do provide adequate nourishment for a growing baby. Formulas contain a comparable balance of protein and sugar and match the calorie content in mother's milk. And just like breast milk, formula gets about half its calories from fat, which is crucial to brain development. Formulas are also supplemented with various vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, and vitamins C, D, and K. Of course, no infant formula exactly duplicates breast milk, which is incredibly complex. But breastfeeding your baby even for a short amount of time confers many of its immune-boosting benefits. And know that some of the most intelligent, healthy people were bottle-fed as infants.
Copyright 2009 Meredith Corporation.