History of infant milk formula
Optimal nutrition is one of the most important aspects in the care of infants, especially for the preterm infants and neonates. Until the 1900s, an infant’s survival and health were closly related to the availability of breastmilk. Human milk was and still is the best food for nearly all infants. Besides physical growth, human milk offers a variety of other benefits, including modulation of postnatal intestinal function, maturation of immune system, and has positive effect on brain development. Even though breastfeeding is highly recommended, it may not always be possible, suitable or adequate. Through history, the evolution of infant feeding included wet nursing, bottle feeding, and formula use. Wet nursing was the safest and most common alternative to the breastmilk before bottles and infant milk formula were invented. However, society's negative view of wet nursing together with the invention and improvements of the feeding bottle, the availability of animal’s milk, and advances in milk formula development, gradually led to replacing wet nursing with bottle feeding. Such evolution of infant feeding methods was similar throughout the world and Slovenia followed the trend. In this article, we review the history of different methods of infant feeding, other than breastfeeding, all of which presented an alternative to breastfeeding.
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