Dried powdered cow’s milk is the most common alternative to the mother’s milk. But is it better or just as nutritive or not as good as mother’ milk?
Some has been due to the way cow’s milk differs from human milk.
Cow’s milk contains more protein, in particular more curd protein or casein, and these thick curds being less easy to digest will cause bowel obstruction. Cow’s milk contains more fat and phosphorus. In the early weeks of life, particularly from 5 to 15 days of age, this may lead to hypocalcaemia with subsequent fitting.
Cow’s milk has a relatively high sodium content and this, with the tendency of mothers to make strong or concentrated feeds from powdered or condensed milks leads to hypernatraemia, which may cause fits and brain damage.
Some infants are allergic to cow’s milk protein; they may react to feeding with perioral rashes and oedema or by vomiting or passing frequent loose stools which usually contain blood.
Makers of infant feeds now prepare a variety of modified cow’s milk. They say that these feeds have been “humanized” in that the mixture more closely resembles that found in average mature human milk.
But milk is a complex colloid mixture and it is very sensitive to any attempts to change it. In addition, manufacturers can only modify and supplement cow’s milk to resemble human milk as far as their knowledge of the constituents of human milk permits.
Each manufacturer markets four standard products, a whey based formula with a whey: casein ratio of 60:40 like human milk, a casein based formula with a whey: casein ration of 20:80 like cow’s milk, a soy protein based formula with no milk constituents at all, and a “follow-on” milk for weaning infants with a higher protein content.
So, by the analysis, we can easily find which one is better for baby, the human milk or the cow’s milk.