Breastfeeding Alternatives

Alternative Feeding Methods - breastfeeding alternatives

There are a number of options for feeding baby when you are unable to directly breastfeed, including..


will always be some mothers who have to give up breastfeeding or find that it does not suit them and choose to stop. If you really find breastfeeding too difficult, you should not be pressured to continue. It is more important to ensure you and your baby are happy. There is a school of thought that your baby may suffer emotionally if you stop breastfeeding. My mother breastfed me only for the first few days of life and no one could have had a stronger bond than she and I had.

If you have decided to bottle-feed your baby from day one, your hospital should provide you with ready-made formula milk. When you leave hospital and must choose a brand of formula milk. I would recommend an organic variety to help ensure it does not contain any, artificial additives, chemical pesticides or residues, or GM ingredients.

Milk Substitutes

Breast, formula, and follow-on milks (offered later on) should be the main drinks in the first year. Cooled, boiled tap water may be given in between feeds (cooled, boiled bottled water is safe unless labelled "natural mineral water", in which case it can contain higher concentrations of solutes such as sodium and fluoride). Other drinks, such as diluted fruit juice, should be given only at meal times once you are weaning, in a feeding cup. It is wise to consult your doctor, midwife, health visitor, nurse, state-registered dietician or pharmacist for more information on breast milk alternatives before choosing.

Infant Formula Milks

These provide a sole source of nourishment for babies for the first four to six months. Infant formula milk is more likely to trigger an allergic reaction than human milk because it is based on cow's milk protein. If you have a family history of allergies, seek advice before you start formula milk feeding.
organic infant formula milks Made with organic ingredients and guaranteed to be GM free.

Soya Infant Formula Milks

There are concerns about the long-term health effects of soya-based infant formula, particularly that babies with a risk of allergies may also become sensitive to soya protein. There has only been one study examining long-term implications and, although it did not find any adverse effects, it is recommended (by the British Nutrition Foundation) that soya-based formulas should only be fed to infants on the advice of a doctor or state-registered dietitian.

Follow-On Milk

Unlike infant formula milks, these are not intended to be a sole source of nutrition but part of a mixed diet. The levels of some nutrients are higher than in human or cow's milk, with a minimum level of iron twice that specified for infant formula milk.

Note: Fresh cow's, goat's or sheep's milk should not be given as a drink to babies under the age of 1. Similarly, soya drinks, other than soya infant formula milk, should not be given during weaning.