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Best Breast Milk Alternatives for Babies!

Breastfeeding is beneficial for both mother and child. Breast milk constitutes the vitamins, proteins, and fat required for the normal growth of the baby. Breast milk is known to contain antibodies. Antibodies are substances that help in fighting various viral and bacterial infections in the baby. Breastfeeding prevents many diseases like asthma, allergies, ear infections, respiratory airway infections, diabetes, obesity and cancers in the late stages of life. Also, breastfeeding is known to be responsible for the strong IQ of the baby. Breastfeeding helps the mother lose the extra weight gained during pregnancy and reduces the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and osteoporosis.

However, in a few conditions, the mother is advised to terminate breastfeeding and opt for NAN milk (นม แน , which is the term in Thai). In conditions where the infant is having classic galactosemia, or syrup maple disease, phenylketonuria, and hypoglycemia, breastfeeding has to be substituted with a suitable alternative. And, if the mother suffers from diseases like HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis, breastfeeding should be terminated. If the mother is under the medication of anti-psychotic drugs, anti-epileptic drugs, alcohols, narcotic opioids, nicotine, cocaine, amphetamine, breastfeeding is not suggested. This is because these drugs are capable of causing teratogenicity in the baby.

In cases like the above-mentioned ones, breast milk has to be substituted with a suitable alternative. Many options do exist and finding the right one is most important. Unlike breastfeeding, the breastfeeding substitutes have to be given carefully and in a measured quantity to ensure the right amount of nutrition is supplied to the baby. 

  • Cow Milk

Cow milk is a good source of protein, calcium, vitamins A and D, and fat. Cow milk is suggested when the baby is 1year old. It is the most common substitute.

  • Goat Milk

Goat milk is said to be closer to breast milk. Babies who are allergic to cow milk can be fed with goat milk. While feeding goat milk, it is important to add certain nutrients like iron, folate, vitamin B, C and D since these substances are present in low quantities. 

  • Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is a non-dairy substitute for breast milk and can be used to make different formulas. Coconut milk has lauric acid that boosts the immune system of the baby. Although coconut milk lacks protein and calcium, it is best suitable for babies with milk allergies or intolerance.

There are many other substitutes for breast milk like hemp milk, soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, etc. Few other products are available in the market which is specially formulated for babies. For example, NAN milk is one product that is formulated with all the ingredients present in the milk. They can be given right from the birth of the baby.

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