Promoting Breast Milk
Breastfeeding is recommended, but not always the choice of parents
Some parents do not have that choice or look to supplement with formula.
According to the CDC, over 80% of infants receive some breast milk. However, by three months, more than half of infants are either exclusively formula-feeding or are being supplemented with formula5.
Guiding parents when infant formula choice is made
Infant formula manufacturers strive to emulate breast milk in composition, nutrients and outcomes. Because breast milk is a dynamic food, changing throughout the stages of lactation, and even within a feeding, formula manufacturers look to identify key components that will allow formula to more closely mirror the functions and outcomes of breast milk.
What key nutrients offer important benefits in infant formulas?
Human milk oligosaccharides, prebiotics found in breast milk, serve to feed the infant gut microbiome. Many infant formulas now have similar oligosaccharides, including galactooligosaccharides (GOS), polydextrose (PDX), 2'-Fucosyllactose (2’FL), and fructooligosaccharides (FOS), all of which function as prebiotics.
Lactoferrin is an important bioactive protein that binds iron and acts as an antioxidant2. Some infant formulas now have bovine lactoferrin added, as the structure and function are similar to human lactoferrin6,7.
MFGM (Milk Fat Globule Membrane)
Previously unavailable in infant formula, an innovation in dairy processing now enables this key membrane, which houses important proteins and components involved in brain development, to be added6. MFGM is a brain-building ingredient clinically shown to improve developmental milestones at 1 year*.
This important component is found in mature breast milk at 0.32% of total fatty acids†. DHA at this amount has been shown to provide short- and long-term cognitive benefits.
Formula with lactoferrin and MFGM leads to improved outcomes in infants8
* As measured by Bayley-III cognitive score at 12 months.
† Average amount of DHA in breast milk worldwide is 0.32% ± 0.22% (mean ± standard deviation of total fatty acids) based on an analysis of 65 studies of 2474 women9.