I have been searching for an easy to use guide for parents who need to use formula. Formula requires special preparation, whether you are using a ready to feed preparation, a concentration, or a powdered formula.
Many are not aware that powdered formula is not sterile and can contain bacteria. The World Health Organization has a wonderful publication regarding powdered formula, but it is quite lengthy and may not easily be understood by everyone in all cultures (in my opinion), Safe preparation, storage and handling of powdered infant formula:Guidelines (the guide is 25 pages long). Here is an excerpt regarding the possible contamination of powdered formula:
“Powdered infant formula (PIF) has been associated with serious illness and death in infants due to infections with Enterobacter sakazakii. During production, PIF can become contaminated with harmful bacteria, such as Enterobacter sakazakii and Salmonella enterica. This is because, using current manufacturing technology, it is not feasible to produce sterile PIF. During the preparation of PIF, inappropriate handling practices can exacerbate the problem.”
I found another formula preparation guide produced by UNICEF that is Baby Friendly Compliant too and it is a wee bit simpler, http://www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/Baby_Friendly/Leaflets/4/guide_to_bottle_feeding.pdf –it is 22 pages long but has a nice step by step with pictures that will likely appeal to new parents.
Sterilization and cleanliness are important when preparing formula for a newborn. The water source you use must be safe. In underdeveloped areas of the world where clean water is not readily available and rates of dysentery, illness that causes severe diarrhea and dehydration, are high breastfeeding may safe many lives. However, having clean water and preparing formula in developed areas still requires careful preparation.
Many hospitals/health care professionals do not always prepare families who choose to formula feed or those who need to formula feed how to properly prepare. Ready to feed formula is very expensive and most families will choose to use the concentrated or powdered formula in order to cut costs. Health care professionals must support all families and providing education regarding formula preparation for those who need it is essential.
For those who need the information, please take a look at the “Guide for Bottle Feeding” prepared by UNICEF, I think you will find it very helpful.