Please call the pharmacy to inquire about store hours or delivery service as they may have changed.
Breast milk is widely acknowledged as the best source of nutrition for newborns. For a variety of reasons, however, some mothers choose to give their babies infant formula. Let’s compare these two options.
Breast milk is currently recognized as the milk of choice for infants. Here is why:
While breastfeeding is a natural process, it does not always come easily. It is a skill that needs to be learned, and both mother and child generally require a period of adjustment. During that time, support from an outside source (e.g. a nurse, breastfeeding coach, lactation specialist, pediatrician), may be useful. Ask the staff at your CLSC: they should have a list of resources available in your community.
For various reasons – insufficient lactation, latching problems, return to the workplace, personal values, etc. – many mothers decide to feed their babies infant formula. Some of them formula-feed exclusively, while others opt for mixed feeding (a combination of breast milk and formula). According to Health Canada, “If an infant is not breastfed, or is partially breastfed, commercial formulas are the most acceptable alternative to breast milk.”
You’ll find a wide range of infant formulas available today. Here is an overview of products you’ll find on store shelves.
For healthy, full-term babies, standard infant formulas sold over the counter (in pharmacies, for example) are considered a good option. Approved by Health Canada, infant formulas comply with rigorous standards of quality and composition. As a result, they are specifically designed to meet the basic nutritional needs of infants – as opposed to regular cow’s, goat’s or soy milk.
Standard infant formulas contain the essential nutrients for infant growth (proteins, carbohydrates, calcium, vitamins and minerals.
For several years now, consumers have also been able to find on the market formulas that are supplemented with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These play a significant role in brain and vision development.
Standard infant formulas come in three forms:
According to Health Canada, “the nutrient content of iron-fortified infant formulas is designed to meet the nutritional needs of healthy term infants until 9 to 12 months of age.” Iron is added to help prevent iron deficiency anemia.
Along with Health Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society and the Dietitians of Canada also currently recommend iron-enriched formulas until the age of 9 to 12 months.
Good to know!
Cow’s milk is not suitable for infants under 9 months of age. It contains excess protein and mineral salts and not enough lactose, linoleic acid, vitamins, copper, magnesium and iron.
You can also find specialized infant formulas, for example lactose-free or soy-based products for babies suffering from food intolerances or allergies. If you need more information about these, ask your paediatrician or pharmacist. Therapeutic formulas are also available by prescription for infants unable to tolerate regular products (due to regurgitation, stomach pain, etc.).
Need advice about breastfeeding or infant formulas? Consult your pharmacist for expert advice!
[UNIPRIX] - The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.