The issue of using an occasional bottle of formula for a breast-fed baby should be carefully considered. Of course, many factors play into the determination that formula is necessary for that particular mom or baby - not only physical reasons, but sometimes psychological reasons as well.
Nonetheless, research has shown new evidence that caregivers and parents should carefully consider before using formula.
In both colostrum and mature milk, antibodies coat the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract), which decrease the chance of allergens, bacteria, and viruses passing through in the first six months of life.
The coating, which protects against polio, coxsackie B virus, several staphylococci, E. Coli, and a multitude of other organisms, is disturbed when colostrum and mature milk is diluted with either water or formula supplementation. The protective coating of the GI tract is actually reduced. In fact, it’s been determined that one bottle of formula changes the GI tract to the point of taking up to one month to regenerate the normal flora.
As a result of this study, we should consider important long-term effects of even the single formula feed - and carefully consider its necessity.