Many women make themselves unnecessarily unhappy because they can’t breastfeed or because breastfeeding isn’t feasible if they must return to careers that bring financial benefit to the family.
If you can’t breastfeed, or if you have to return to work there is no reason for you to feel guilty or inadequate, then baby may be fed artificially. This is in the form of cow’s milk, either straight or made up from various commercial forms.
There are excellent commercial preparations on the market and your maternity hospital, and your baby clinic or health center will advise you on formulas.
According to the experts: “Undiluted cow’s milk is the substitute for breast milk, and it has been shown that the majority of full-term, healthy infants can be fed undiluted cow’s milk from the first few weeks of life, provided extra water is given in hot weather.”
In the early weeks of life, cow’s milk is often diluted with water. This reduces the protein content. The calorie content is then built up to normal by the addition of lactose.
Many commercial products are available. They are of three main types: Fresh pasteurized bottled milk, evaporated canned milk (this must be diluted with water to equal fresh milk), and full cream dried milk (this must be mixed with water to equal fresh milk).
Cow’s milk is notoriously deficient in Vitamin C. So it is essential to provide an extra amount. Fresh orange juice is the simplest way. Rose hip syrup is another.
Irrespective of the type of milk used, baby is best fed “on demand”. He is often the best guide as to how much milk he needs, and how often.
Make sure enough milk is provided each feed. A simple rule is to make sure a little is left over. If he is still hungry after the first bottle, offer him a second.