Just one bottle… by Rosanne Gephart, MSN, NP, CNM


Really, Come On, One bottle of Formula Really Could Not Make a Difference,….Right?


Well, actually, it could! The smaller and younger the baby, the bigger the difference! Add on the

exposure that new born babies get who are in the hospital, who have been on antibiotics, or who

are not allowed to breastfeed or are unable to breastfeed, and you have possible life threatening

circumstance from just ONE bottle.


Here are the facts:


Before birth, the stomachs of babies are sterile and have no bacteria. Babies born through the

vagina get the good bacteria of their mothers in to their stomachs. Babies born by surgery

(cesarean) get their first bacteria from the air, the staff at the hospital, and the linens and

equipment of the hospital, unless they go immediately to the skin of the mother, which is not

always practical. The more separation from the mother and her life saving bacteria, the more

contamination of the baby’s stomach and intestines by other bacteria.


After birth, babies who receive their mother’s fresh milk are the healthiest. By four days of life the

differences in the bacteria in the babies stomachs are striking. Some of the deadliest bacteria just

simply can not live in a breastmilk environment. ANY formula will dilute this protective

environment and could change how sick the baby will be in the future! The first seven days are

critical to the development of a healthy gut and babies who are fed formula may not ever be able

to develop the healthy levels of the good bacteria that protects them for future illnesses.


Additional reasons to avoid formula in the first year of life are:

It is not needed and often can cause the mother to produce less milk the next day. (less demand

from baby leads to less empting of the breast and less milk production…..this is the way babies are



In families with a history of cows milk allergies, babies given cows milk proteins early in life

through formula develop earlier and more sever milk allergies. Also, avoiding cows milk protein in

the first months of life reduces the incidence of insulin dependent diabetes in later life.

Your baby needs your milk and if not yours, consider a human milk bank before you resort to formula.


Rosanne Gephart, MSN, NP, CNM

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