Friday, January 27, 2017

Today I'm thankful for: infant formula

Today (and every day) I'm thankful for infant formula.

Nursing and pumping are both great options for feeding babies, and while they work great for many people, they don't work for everyone, and fortunately for us, we have infant formula.  Scientists have studied what nutrition is necessary for growing babies, and infant formula stays on the cutting edge of that science.  Not only does it include everything we believe babies need, but it is also getting updated all the time as we learn more about the components of human milk.  Some babies have special dietary needs, and we have specialty infant formula that meets those babies' needs, too.

Before an infant formula manufacturer can introduce a new infant formula, they need to notify the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who reviews the formula to make sure that it is safe and nutritious before it can be sold in stores.  I have worked with the individuals on the infant formula team at FDA: they are all highly qualified, hardworking people who are dedicated to the work they do, and I am glad that they are on the case.

I am also thankful to the manufacturers of infant formula themselves, who are committed to making formula not only safe and nutritious for infants, but also user-friendly for their sleep-deprived parents.  Powdered infant formula comes in a very fine grain, which dissolves very easily into water, with very little work on my part, while still being coarse enough to not float into the air in the way that, say, powdered LB broth does.  And for those times when you don't have the wherewithal to even mix the easy-to-use powder with water, ready-to-feed liquid formula is also available, which has already been pasteurized and is ready to go.

Another benefit of infant formula I learned to appreciate just a few weeks ago, when I was sick with some dread contagious disease, and managed not to infect the babies, which I'm not certain I could have done without infant formula.

Alice and Katherine, and so many other babies, have infant formula as a safe, nutritious, and user-friendly option, and I am thankful.

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