I spent last week at a training in Washington D.C. to become a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC). Lactation and infant feeding is a field I am truly passionate about and I received so much information at this training that I want to share with others!
Just some background information on my personal lactation journey first… I always thought that I would breastfeed my son. In fact, I didn’t even realize that there could be obstacles in my way until I was sitting there postpartum with a lethargic baby who wouldn’t gain weight. I saw numerous lactation counselors, consultants and even a breast doctor! My son had a tongue and lip tie revision, was closely monitored for weight gain, and had formula supplementation.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that, “infants are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. Babies who are exclusively breastfed will get the best start for growth, development and health. Infants who are not breast fed need a suitable breast-milk substitute, for example, infant formula.”
So I would like to talk about formula and safe formula preparation because many babies do receive formula and unfortunately many parents do not know how to safely prepare it.
I have same personal favorites when it comes to formula. If you would like to look more into it there is some great information on the formulas Holle and Hipp on the Udderly Organics website (which I have personally ordered from). I do not have any affiliation with this website/company but from personal experience I found them to be reliable and informative. You cannot go to the food store in the United States and purchase these formulas. I am also happy to discuss with you why I like these formulas!
Once you choose your formula it is important to prepare it correctly and safely because powdered formula IS NOT sterile and may cause serious illness in infants. So regardless of which formula you use, Holle, Hipp or a name brand sold in the U.S., i.e. Similac or Enfamil, you have the same procedures to follow. Please note that this is for POWDERED FORMULA. Premixed liquid formula does not need any preparation.
Safe Powdered Formula Preparation:
**Throw away any feed that has not been consumed within two hours.
WHO also states, “It is safest to prepare a fresh feed each time one is needed, and to consume immediately. This is because prepared feeds provide ideal conditions for bacteria to grow - especially when kept at room temperature. If you need to prepare feeds in advance for use later, they should be prepared in individual bottles, cooled quickly and placed in the refrigerator (no higher than 5 oC). Throw away any refrigerated feed that has not been used within 24 hours.”
I have prepared up to 12 hours worth of formula before (follow all cleaning, sanitizing and measuring guidelines as stated before). This helps cut down on the amount of preparation needed for each individual feed.
You can see the full WHO article here.