As a parent of a premature baby, selecting the best baby formula for your child is very important. However, it is not just about providing adequate nutrition to your little one but also ensuring that your baby does not suffer from any health issues due to improper feeding. In this article, we will discuss some vital tips that can help you choose the most suitable baby food formula for premature babies:
Choose a Baby Formula Specially Designed for Premature Babies
The baby food formula for premature babies is specially designed. Premature babies have different nutritional needs from full-term babies. They need more calories, protein, fat, and calories than full-term infants. Premature babies also have a delicate digestive system, which makes it very important to choose the right formula that will be easy to digest.
The best way to ensure that your premature baby gets all the vital nutrients he/she needs is by choosing a formula specifically for preemies or micro-preemie(s). It is a special formula containing higher levels of protein and calorie content than conventional formulas. In addition, it is so designed that it meets the demands of their growing bodies while allowing them time to grow properly before being introduced into solid foods once they reach 32 weeks gestation age.
Select a Baby Formula that Contains Suitable Amounts of Fat, Protein, Carbohydrate, and Calories
Selecting a baby formula is not an easy task. There are many factors to consider, and you want to ensure that your baby gets the best food. It should contain appropriate quantities of fat, protein, carbohydrate, and calories. These nutrients are essential for the proper growth of your little one’s body and brain development. Fat is needed for brain development, while proteins help build strong muscles in your child’s body. Carbohydrates provide them with energy for daily activities like crawling or walking. Lastly, calories help them grow into full-fledged humans with enough energy levels to do all these activities without running out of breath quickly.
Look for a Formula Containing Nutrients Like Antioxidants, Probiotics, and Prebiotics
Look for a formula having all the necessary nutrients like antioxidants, probiotics, and prebiotics. These are the ones that help in building your baby’s immune system. Antioxidants help in fighting diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Probiotic helps nourish your baby’s digestive system by promoting healthy bacteria growth in their gut. Prebiotics does the same, but with fiber content, it helps grow certain types of good bacteria inside your body.
Vitamins, minerals, and protein are also essential ingredients when choosing an ideal baby food formula for premature babies to avoid any health issues later on in life. They must contain enough vitamins like A, C, or D, minerals like calcium or phosphorous, and proteins like whey or soy-based products. Calories are essential, yet stay away from the formula that has more than 60 calories per 100gms. The chances are high that it contains trans-fat instead of healthy unsaturated fats, which can lead to various problems.
Ensure that the Formula is Easy to Digest by Premature Babies
You should ensure that the formula is easy to digest and can be digested quickly by premature babies. You should also ensure that it does not contain salt or sugar, as these can strain a baby’s digestive system. Select a baby formula that contains suitable amounts of fat, protein, carbohydrate, and calories. You should choose a baby formula specially designed for premature babies.
Avoid Cow’s Milk-Based Formula
The foremost thing you should know is that cow’s milk-based formula is not suitable for premature babies. It is because cow’s milk contains lactose which is difficult for premature babies to digest. Lactose is a sugar found in dairy products like cheese and yogurt. In addition, cow’s milk contains proteins that are hard to digest by premature infants. It also contains proteins that can cause allergies. Therefore, avoiding using this type of food with your child is important if possible.
Using cow’s milk-based formula can have subsequent consequences on a premature baby’s digestive system. Hospitals must not use these products in maternity wards. There are chances that a premature baby can get a gastrointestinal disease called Necrotizing Enterocolitis due to cow’s milk-based formula.
For example, a case was filed against Abbott (a company manufacturing baby food) in Madison County, Louisiana. In this case, a baby was fed with Enfamil, a cow’s milk-based formula, and was later diagnosed with Necrotizing Enterocolitis. Later, with this reference, many other parents across the country filed a Toxic Baby Formula Lawsuit.
Pick a Formula that Contains DHA & ARA to Support Brain and Eye Development
It’s necessary to choose a baby formula that contains DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, and ARA, an omega-6 fatty acid. These two nutrients are crucial for your premature baby’s brain and eye development.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that preterm infants receive 2 grams of DHA every day from birth through 12 months. This amount is equivalent to 8 ounces (240 ml or 1 cup) or more of infant formula prepared with DHA-fortified liquid soybean oil.
Never Use an Expired Product
Expiry dates are necessary to note when choosing which formula to buy. Expired baby formula is harmful to your baby and should be avoided at all costs.
The expired baby formula may have bacteria, which can cause diarrhea in your child. If the product is having unpleasant smell or looks different from when you first bought it, do not use it on your child. It may indicate that the product has gone ill and could cause irritation or infection.
Lastly, expired baby formulas do not provide the nutrition that premature infants need to grow properly and thrive.
Choosing a Baby Food Formula Carefully to Avoid Any Potential Health Concerns
Choosing a baby food formula for premature babies is very important to avoid any potential health concerns in your little one. Baby formula is a vital part of a baby’s diet, but it can cause complications if it isn’t chosen correctly. In addition, there are many different types of baby food formulas, so choosing the right one could be confusing for some parents.
It is necessary to choose a formula specially designed for premature babies. They have special nutritional needs and should not be fed regular formulas unless their doctor prescribes them.
Premature babies are at a higher risk of developing health issues in their early years and even after adulthood. So the formula is one of the most crucial elements in their lives as it helps them grow, develop and stay healthy. However, choosing an ideal formula for your child is a big responsibility.