A whopping 86% of infants experience digestive problems, leading to crying babies and stressed-out parents looking for answers.
Breastmilk is the best option for babies, but the reality is that some mothers are unable to breastfeed exclusively. Switching to formula milk is the most suitable alternative but there are so many brands on the market and it can be difficult to find reliable information on brands that will not only provide appropriate nutrition but also help to calm sore tummies.
Cow’s milk has always been the standard base for formula milks, however as we learn more about the importance of balanced gut bacteria from birth, more parents are looking at goat’s milk formula as another option. Goat milk formulas are included in official infant feeding guidelines and like all formulas are heavily regulated by the Australian Food Standards code for safety.
But what is different about goat’s milk and why can it help with upset tummies? Let’s look at the benefits.
We all have good and not-so-good bacteria in our gut and the balance of these bacteria can greatly impact our health. Prebiotics are the foods that your good bacteria like to feed on. Making sure you have enough prebiotics in the diet encourages them to flourish so you have more good than bad gut bacteria. A high dose of prebiotics has an additional benefit as it can help your bub to absorb more water from their gut, preventing constipation and bloating.
Goat’s milk is particularly high in prebiotic oligosaccharides and in fact has six times the concentration than regular cow’s milk. These probiotic oligos are also structurally closer to breast and research studies suggest that these oligosaccharides help to start your baby’s life with a healthy gut flora and are excellent for promoting fewer digestive issues and tummy upsets, which means a happier bub!
Fat is an important part of a baby’s diet as it provides energy for them to grow. Having the right type of fat is essential if your little one is suffering from tummy troubles. In comparison to cow’s milk, goat’s milk contains a higher amount of short and medium chain fatty acids than long chain fatty acids. This can be easier for the body’s digestive enzymes to break down to provide a constant source of energy. It’s believed that the smaller fat globules in goat’s milk might assist with a number of gut-related issues in babies, particularly those that hinder nutrient absorption.
Almost half of mums with children aged 1-2 years have changed formulas to try to address their child’s digestive issues. Goat’s milk has less than half the A1 casein protein found in cow’s milk. Just like adults, some babies can be intolerant to the A1 protein causing digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, wind and pain. In fact, it has been suggested that the A1 protein contributes to digestion issues for approximately 10% of Australians that have intolerances to regular cow’s milk. Therefore, a higher proportion of the A2 protein (which is because of this people with this intolerance generally find it easier to digest) that is found in goat’s milk formula may be a better option to help with digestion.
Intolerance to lactose (the sugar found in milk) is also another common digestive issues in newborns and young children. Goat’s milk naturally contains lower levels of lactose, so if you suspect your little one has mild lactose intolerance, they should be able to digest goat’s milk more easily than standard cow’s milk.
If you choose to use formula milk to feed your little one, rest assured that all infant formulas on the Australian market are is under strict manufacturing and safety regulations in an effort to be as close to human breastmilk composition as possible. If your baby is experiencing digestive complaints with regular cow’s milk formula or if you want to try to prevent any tummy troubles, try a goat milk based formula.
Goat’s milk formula is a great option for your youngster as it provides is naturally high in many essential vitamins, minerals and other nutritional properties quality nutrition as well as some added having great natural digestive benefits. As digestive issues can vary from baby to baby, ensure you consult with your GP or dietitian to assess their health and see which particular formula may be most suitable for your baby.