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Best formula milk just in case cant bf.

(34 Posts)
CollieandPup Wed 21-Sep-11 10:22:54

First of all I fully intend to BF and to do as much as I can to do this successfully, but if for any reason I can't (and I've seen friends and family struggle) or am struggling to produce enough at first, I want to have some formula in just in case. I really don't want flaming for this decision, I've read enough threads on mn as to why people think you shouldn't have a stock of formula in, but I think I have enough will power (even sleep deprived in the middle of the night) to not use it if I don't need it and I live in a small village away from 24hr supermarkets.

So, my question is, which formula is best? I'd like to take into account what's best for my baby, but also the ethics of the brand. Any suggestions?

GoldenGreen Wed 21-Sep-11 10:32:40

Can't comment on ethics, as haven't researched it, but it is useful to know that they are not all vegetarian, for example. You could think about whether you want organic or not, and whether you want fish oils added. Otherwise some of them haven't much to choose between them - Cow and Gate and Aptamil, for example, are made by the same company and have virtually the exact same formulation (I checked the packaging!) but Aptamil is more expensive.

Cheria Wed 21-Sep-11 10:47:46

I use Nutrilon, which is the European version of Aptimil (?) which is apparently the same as Cow and Gate.

I would never use Nestlé.

my daughter has reacted really well so I haven't changed brand since I started FFing.

Cheria Wed 21-Sep-11 10:48:24

cross post with GG, oops the window had been open for a while before I posted. Sorry.

iWILLdothis Wed 21-Sep-11 11:19:32

Just want to say I'm in the exact same boat as you. Planning to BF but am realistic that it might not work, didn't last time and was stuck in the house (also far away from shops) with nothing to feed baby. sad I started on Aptamil as I heard from friends that this was supposed to be closest to breastmilk. But ended up changing to cow & gate because DD had terriblle colic and c&g do a comfort one that is pre-digested and easier on the little tummies, this helped with the colic enormously. So was discussing with DH this morning which one to have in the house just in case BF doesn't work and we decided on c&g again so that it's less of a change IF we have to swap to comfort again IF this LO also has colic. HTH

milkyways Wed 21-Sep-11 11:25:38

Hi collie! I had the same problem when DD was born. I couldn't breast feed due to sore bleeding nipples, so my sister had to rush out and buy formula and bottles for us the night DD came home from hospital. She got Cow & Gate and it was fine. I only fed her formula for 2 days, and then when my milk came in, I got the hang of bf-ing. Apparantly I was fed the same when I was a baby (so my Dad tells me!).

I recommend getting a small tub of whichever formula you choose to start off with, as your baby may not like it and not drink. My niece, for example, couldn't stomach cow&gate, but SMA agreed with her. I also wasted a whole tub, that went hard as I ended up exclusively bf-ing.

Ethics wise, I can't recall anything bad about cow&gate, apart from the advert where they mislead viewers into thinking babies need a certain amount of Iron in their diet. Nestle, is a obvious one to avoid, but I don't think they sell infant formula in the UK. Other obvious brands that stick out in my mind are Aptamil (same company as cow & gate, as mentioned above), SMA and I think HIPP have started baby formula feeds aswell, and they are an organic company.

grubbalo Wed 21-Sep-11 11:29:30

Hi, although I did bf I also mix fed Ds1 from about 5 months - as he was very much still predominantly bf I found the dry powder a complete waste of money as it took so long to use it up it went out of date! So I tried the ready made sachets and they were great - easy to use and I could also try a few different brands to see which he preferred and which suited him best (in his case, it was SMA).

Good luck!

hubbahubster Wed 21-Sep-11 11:36:58

I use HIPP Organic - just my experience but DS hasn't had colic or reflux, he's gone from 9th centile to 50th and is generally very healthy. His wellbeing is the most important thing, but the fact it's cheaper than other brands helps too! FWIW I think you're best to get some cartons of the ready made stuff for the first few weeks as newborns don't eat much and if BF is successful then a big box of powder will just go to waste.

Jojay Wed 21-Sep-11 11:41:03

I agree about getting the cartons on standby rather than a huge tub that may not get used.

AlpinePony Wed 21-Sep-11 11:55:17

Whichever one is readily available in your neighbourhood without having to make a 40 minute round trip at 4am. smile

Sawasdee Wed 21-Sep-11 11:59:06

Hello Collie! I started to introduce formula after four weeks of exclusive breastfeeding as DD was a rather hungry little baby! I used Hipp Organic which agreed really well with her (continued to BF as well); I then introduced the 'hungry baby' formula at three months and she's now drinking either Cow & Gate or Hipp Organic, both stage 3.

You might also want to have some Infacol at home (give baby some before every feed) as I found it helped to prevent wind / colic.

Every baby is different but you'll soon find out what works for you and your little one! Good luck!

wigglesrock Wed 21-Sep-11 12:04:58

I have ffed 3 daughters and I know I'm in the minority but I really like SMA Gold, my dds haven't had constipation problems which I know some babies have. When deciding to go with SMA when I had dd1 (I ff from birth) I did exactly what AlpinePony suggested I found the one most of our chemists/ corner shop had in stock (I didn't drive then).

I have been able also to swap between formulas with dds, I ran out on holiday once and just used a local formula and never had any problems.

picnicbasketcase Wed 21-Sep-11 12:07:24

Have a few cartons of ready made stuff in the cupboard just in case. Mine had C&G. Seemed fine.

StrikeUpTheBand Wed 21-Sep-11 12:07:39

I chopped and changed a bit with DD (had issues feeding and was more or less pressured into giving formula top ups while I expressed enough for my milk to come in). She had Cow and Gate in the hospital with no problems. I then chose SMA for a while after 6 months but found it made their poo smell rancid (DS had SMA after weaning and since it coincided I thought food was making it smell but it must have been the SMA). Hipp organic is also good but not so available in smaller shops (most sell Cow and Gate and SMA if it's anything like around here). I would advise buying the little cartons (maybe just 3-4) in case they are not needed. Also the cartons are just a case o 'snip, pour, drink' and don't have the same risks as making up with powder.
Hope that helps.

notcitrus Wed 21-Sep-11 12:24:53

HVs advised they all have to meet the same nutritional standards so start with the cheapest one locally and see how your baby takes to it.
I had a tin in the house from 3 weeks ish (I live next to a 24-hour store though), and there were times I thought about using it but couldn't face the reading instructions and mixing so tried another breastfeed.

I managed 6 weeks bf but ended up with problems so then had a day off with formula cartons and some expressing, finally got thrush treatment, and after that managed bf to 14 months, with cartons a couple times a week (and then 2 a day at nursery from 11-12 months). The tin of formula never got used! I used SMA Gold simply because I was raised on it which made me feel better at the time.

WhatTheWhat Wed 21-Sep-11 12:33:02

We used Aptamil at first as we'd been told the nonsense about it being the closest one to breast milk, but our DD would not take it. Tried SMA and C&G and she was fine with C&G.
I would say, buy a few different ones, in the ready-to-drink cartons and have them in the cupboard. You can always use it up for their breakfast cereal once you start weaning, so it won't be wasted.

Cheria Wed 21-Sep-11 12:40:06

WhatTheWhat why is it nonsense?

5littleducks Wed 21-Sep-11 14:33:34

Hi Collie,

I have never used formula but from what I have heard, different formulas suit different babies. Some may be sick on one that another is fine with etc. They all have to meet certain criteria in order to be sold as formula so I imagine that there is not a great deal between them.

I'm not sure what you mean exactly by the ethics of the brand. I don't think you will find a formula made by a company who would really prefer people to breastfeed and at the end of the day their aim is to make money from breastmilk substitute....

With regards to aptamil being the closest to breastmilk, this is just marketing. Have a look at this thread.

However, it is really really unlikely that there will be any reason why you cannot bf if this is what you want to do. It can be a struggle at the start - usually because there is insufficient support for new mums and babies - but it is by no means a given that you will find it difficult - I know some people who sailed through.

It sounds like you have made up your mind to get the formula in just in case and if it gives you peace of mind maybe it is the right decision. However, as well as doing this, try to make yourself as ready for BF (and any potential difficulties) by having the numbers of BF support lines handy (NCT 0300 330 0771, La Leche 0845 120 2918), find out in advance where and when there is a baby cafe close to you, and perhaps read a practical book about it - "the food of love" and "the womanly art of breastfeeding" are supposed to be good but I have not read them.

Good luck!

CollieandPup Wed 21-Sep-11 15:54:45

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. The little cartons are a god idea and infect also suggested by a friend who said they had less 'bad stuff' in them.... She was drunk and i was tired and may have stopped listening!

Organic HIPP sounds good, and I'm suprised to hear it's cheaper. Will go and investigate!

littleducks thanks for the numbers, I already have the NCT info and a local cousellor as I've been on their ante natal course. I also have a friend who is part of the BFN and has offered her help at anytime in the night which is reassuring to have.

I totally appreciate that I should be able to bf, but I've seen friends struggle in first few days and also have a couple of friends and family who just couldnt, for various complicated reasons. I just want to know that if I need to feed him, and I can't, I have a fallback option... Although I aso know I shouldn't panic as one missed feed might not be the endcf the world.....but I suppose it depends how I feel about that when he's here!!!

By ethics, I mean along the lines of Nestle, wider connections to other products and their ingredients and approach to fair trade etc.

hubbahubster Wed 21-Sep-11 17:06:59

I think you have the right attitude Collie - well done and good luck smile

lolajane2009 Wed 21-Sep-11 17:55:27

I have to admit I'd always said I would never use formula before I had my son on the 2nd. I still didn't when he was born then was put on the back foot a week ago when he had been admitted to hospital as he had lost too much weight. He's now having breastfeeds plus formula top ups with SMA gold and despite insane appetite no issues.

RitaMorgan Wed 21-Sep-11 18:04:58

I think Aptimil is probably the least ethical, they fund training for midwives and push this "closest to breastmilk" bollocks.

Plus, Cow & Gate and Aptimil are made by the same company and are identical as far as I can tell - it's just Aptimil is marketed as the aspirational/middle class brand (it's the one most breastfeeders end up using) whereas C&G is the ordinary brand.

urbandaisy Wed 21-Sep-11 18:55:20

We had a few cartons of SMA in the cupboard given to us by a friend who hadn't used them, and they were a godsend. My milk supply dropped very low on about day 3, and my baby wasn't getting nearly enough ehich in turn made him very stressed and was feeding poorly. With the combination he lost 11% of his birthweight.

A couple of formula topups at the start of a feed made a huge difference as they took the edge off his hunger and calmed him so that he settled down to the breast afterwards, which helped to get my supply up.

The other thing to consider if you find yourself in a similar situation is cup feeding rather than bottle feeding for formula/expressed milk, as it'll help to avoid nipple confusion. My boy took to cup feeding really well for the topups we had to give him, and he's now back exclusively breastfeeding and at 12 days old he's almost back to his birthweight which is such a relief.

DialMforMummy Wed 21-Sep-11 20:17:35

SMA made my baby constipated so I used Aptamil.
I could be a good idea to chose a brand and have a carton/box of another brand in case you encounter similar problems to us!

JennyPiccolo Wed 21-Sep-11 20:27:22

We used hipp for ethical reasons, and dd loves it. You can buy the cartons in bulk on amazon and have them delivered if you dont live near a big supermarket. It smells nicer than other formulas ive encountered, if that makes a difference.

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