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FAQ - Baby Questions from Formula Nutrition to Baby Feeding

Questions about feeding methods or our latest innovations? Here are some answers.

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Frequently Asked Questions About 5 HMO Prebiotic Blend

Human milk oligosaccharides are a group of unique prebiotics that are the third-most abundant solid component in breast milk. HMOs are important immune-nourishing prebiotics and are associated with immune support and digestive health.

HMOs in Similac are not derived from human breast milk but are manufactured to be structurally identical to HMOs in breast milk.

There are over 150 HMOs found in human milk, and they fall into 3 categories. These 5 HMOs now represent all categories. Each HMO is unique in structure and function and is structurally identical to those HMOs found in breast milk. The addition of 4 HMOs brings Similac 360 Total Care closer in composition to breast milk. Our formulas with the 5 HMOs provide unique whole body benefits to the infant.

Large-scale studies have fed infant formulas containing either 2'-FL or a 5-HMO blend, and both formulas were shown to be well-tolerated.

Similac 360 Total Care products are the first formulas with 5 HMOs in the US.

Research shows that HMOs help support the infant's digestive system by supporting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. 

Human milk has over 150 HMOs, and there is a large range of HMO levels. 360 Total Care has 5 of the most abundant HMOs found in human milk. Each of these HMOs is within breast milk range. 

There are three categories of HMOs that each provide unique benefits to the infant: fucosylated, sialylated, and acetylated. Similac 360 Total Care formulas contain 2'-FL (fucosylated), 3-FL (fucosylated), LNT (acetylated), 3'-SL (sialylated), and 6'-SL (sialylated).

If you have additional questions about 5 HMOs, just give us a call at 1-800-515-7677, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm, EST/EDT.

Frequently Asked Questions About 2’-FL HMO

2’-FL stands for 2’-fucosyllactose [two few-co-syl-LACK-tose]. 2’-FL is the most abundant human milk oligosaccharide found in most breast milk. HMO stands for Human Milk Oligosaccharide. Human milk oligosaccharides are a group of unique prebiotics that are abundant in human milk. There are more than 100 different human milk oligosaccharides found in human milk.

HMOs encourage the growth of “good” bacteria in your baby’s digestive tract, which is where 70% of the immune system is located. Similac with 2’-FL HMO supports the immune system in the gut, and 2’-FL HMO circulates throughout baby’s body. Scientific evidence shows that some human milk oligosaccharides strengthen the infant’s developing immune system.

No. Advances in science made it possible to make 2’-FL that is structurally identical to that found in human milk, using a fermentation process similarly to how some vitamins are made (eg, vitamin B2).

In scientific literature, experts in the field of human milk oligosaccharides refer to these compounds as human milk oligosaccharides, regardless of whether they are from human milk or fermentation. Our ingredient is structurally identical to the 2’-FL human milk oligosaccharide found in breast milk.

Pro-Advance, Pro-Sensitive, and Pro-Total Comfort were the first formulas with 2'-FL HMO to provide complete nutrition for your infant. Now 360 Total Care with 2'-FL and 4 additional HMOs is our closest infant formula to breast milk. 360 Total Care Sensitive is designed to be our closest sensitive formula to breast milk with 2'-FL and the addition of 4 new HMOs.

If you have additional questions about 2’-FL HMO, just give us a call at 1-800-515-7677, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm, EST/EDT.

Frequently Asked Questions About Organic

Products labeled “Organic” must contain at least 95% organic ingredients. Similac Organic infant formulas contain at least 95% organic ingredients by weight and therefore are classified as organic.

Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides or fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients. 

Yes, Similac Organic formulas provide complete nutrition for a baby’s first year. Similac Organic uses the same ingredients as in other Similac formulas, but the ingredients meet USDA organic standards. 

We create organic formula options to give parents a choice. All our formulas provide complete nutrition for a baby’s first year. No clinical evidence is available to conclude that organic products are better or healthier than non-organic products.

Since organic products are produced without conventional pesticides, growth hormones, etc., some parents prefer these for their children as part of a healthy lifestyle. 

Similac Organic uses the same ingredients as in other Similac formulas, but the ingredients meet USDA organic standards. 

Always check with your baby’s doctor when choosing a formula.

All Similac brand infant formulas, including Similac Organic, are formulated to be gentle for your baby and to be easily digested and well-tolerated.

All infant formulas are regulated by the FDA. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responsible for the organic program.

If you have additional questions about our organic formulas, just give us a call at 1-800-515-7677, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm, EST/EDT.

Frequently Asked Questions About A2 Milk

A2 milk is milk that is sourced from select cows that only produce A2 beta casein. A2 beta casein is one of the predominant proteins in milk.

Consumers are increasingly interested in A2 milk. As with other milk proteins used in infant formulas, A2 milk protein is naturally easy to digest. Similac Organic with A2 Milk is certified USDA organic formula that is gentle and easy to digest.

Similac Organic with A2 Milk is the first and only certified organic infant formula to be made with specially sourced A2 milk.

Like other Similac products, Similac Organic with A2 Milk has DHA, lutein and vitamin E for brain, eye, and overall growth and development. In addition, it does not contain palm olein oil, allowing for excellent fat and calcium absorption for stronger bones.

Yes, Similac Organic with A2 Milk has all the OptiGRO ingredients: DHA, lutein, and a natural form of vitamin E.

Similac Organic with A2 Milk is made with uniquely sourced A2 milk, which is produced by select cows that naturally produce only A2 milk. A2 milk beta casein protein is digested differently than the A1 beta casein protein, which is in most infant formulas.

Yes, Similac Organic and Similac Organic with A2 Milk have made improvements to their formulations. The new and improved formulations have lactose as the primary carbohydrate, like that naturally found in breast milk. 

In our improved formulation, we removed maltodextrin and sucrose and replaced them with lactose as the primary carbohydrate, like that naturally found in breast milk.

Additionally, the levels of inositol, iodine, and choline were increased to better match the levels in human milk.

Yes, now lactose is the primary carbohydrate in the products.

The primary carbohydrate is lactose. The formulation also contains a prebiotic (fructooligosaccharide).

We would not expect tolerance issues. If additional guidance is needed, please seek medical advice on how to transition from feedings. 

Similac Sensitive and Pro-Sensitive are milk-based, reduced-lactose formulas for infants with fussiness and gas due to lactose sensitivity. Additionally, Similac Pro-Sensitive has 2’-FL HMO for immune support.

Similac Organic with A2 Milk is a milk-based formulation with A2 milk as the protein source. A2 milk comes from select cows that only produce A2 milk. It is a gentle and easy-to-digest, certified USDA organic formulation. It is not a reduced lactose formula.

Similac Total Comfort and Pro-Total Comfort have partially hydrolyzed whey protein for easy digestion and are reduced lactose for infants with fussiness and gas due to lactose sensitivity. Additionally, Similac Pro-Total Comfort has 2’-FL HMO for immune support.

Similac Organic with A2 Milk is a milk-based formulation with A2 milk as the protein source. A2 milk comes from select cows that only produce A2 milk. It is a gentle and easy-to-digest, certified USDA organic formulation. It is neither a reduced-lactose formula, nor does it contain a partially hydrolyzed protein.

If you have additional questions about Similac Organic with A2 Milk, just give us a call at 1-800-515-7677, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm, EST/EDT.

Frequently Asked Questions About OptiGRO®

Yes, most Similac products have OptiGRO, our unique blend of DHA, lutein, and vitamin E.

If your baby did well on our previous Similac products, there is no reason to believe he or she will tolerate new Similac with OptiGRO products any differently. If you have any questions, however, please talk to your child’s doctor.

It is up to each state to determine which products they will offer through their WIC program. You should check with your local WIC agency to understand which formulas are available in your area.

If you have additional questions about OptiGRO, just give us a call at 1-800-515-7677, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm, EST/EDT.

Frequently Asked Questions About Non-GMO

On our label, non-GMO refers to the fact that the ingredients in the product are not genetically engineered. There isn’t a national standard for labeling non-GMO, so we’ve chosen to be consistent with the European Union standards.

In simple terms, genetic engineering is the science of making changes to the genes of plants or animals. One of the first genetically engineered foods in the US was the tomato. Food experts altered the plant to help a tomato stay fresh longer after being picked.

We work closely with our suppliers to verify that the ingredients in our non-GMO products are not genetically engineered.

In the US, unless it’s organic, the milk is likely from cows fed from genetically engineered sources. We do not use organic milk in our non-GMO products. According to labeling laws in the European Union, milk from cows fed conventional feed is not considered to be genetically engineered. Think of it this way—the food the cows eat may be from genetically engineered sources, but the milk they produce is not.

Our non-GMO and regular formulas have the same ingredients; they just have different sources for the ingredients.

Many crops in the US are genetically engineered. Our US formulas not labeled non-GMO may contain ingredients from genetically engineered crops.

Our non-GMO and regular formulas have the same ingredients; they just have different sources for the ingredients. As our regular formulas provide the same nutrition as their non-GMO counterparts, it’s really just a matter of what a parent prefers.

Yes. We work with our vendors to verify that all the ingredients in our products labeled non-GMO are not genetically engineered in accordance with US standards.

Absolutely. We’re a science-based company, so we always start with what science says. The science is clear—GMOs are safe. The FDA has stated that ingredients from genetically engineered crops are safe to use in foods.

If you have additional questions about our non-GMO products, just give us a call at 1-800-515-7677, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm, EST/EDT.

Frequently Asked Questions About Breastfeeding

No, your baby shouldn’t need to eat anything else besides breast milk, unless recommended by your doctor. Ask your pediatrician about vitamin D supplements. It is now recommended that all infants and children have a minimum daily intake of 400 IU of vitamin D beginning soon after birth.

For women who are breastfeeding, an ideal diet includes a well-balanced variety of healthy foods, including dairy products, fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins. Most women can maintain a healthy milk supply while taking in at least 1,800-2,000 calories per day. It’s helpful to minimize the amount of empty-calorie foods and eat much more nutrient-rich foods. It’s also important to talk with your doctor about vitamins and include iron in your diet. If you notice that your baby becomes upset after some feedings, it may be because of something you ate. If this happens, talk with your doctor; however, no one food or food group should be eliminated from your diet unless your baby has a very clear reaction to a specific food.

Breastfeeding often helps a mother get back to her pre-pregnancy weight for two reasons. First, the hormones involved in breastfeeding help the uterus shrink back to the size it was before you became pregnant. Second, you naturally burn calories in order to produce breast milk. To help you lose weight, limit or eliminate foods containing high levels of solid fats and added sugars, such as cookies, crackers, donuts, and pastries. Encourage yourself to eat healthy foods, which will increase your energy while providing nutritious milk for your baby. Also, many moms find that eating frequent, small, nutritious snacks and meals and drinking plenty of fluids helps them lose weight. Breastfeeding mothers can begin exercising as soon as their doctors give them the OK.

You can continue giving your baby breast milk while you are away by expressing (pumping) breast milk to be bottle-fed. Many women pump during the day while at work and breastfeed when they are at home. In order to pump breast milk at work, you’ll need a pump, access to a clean, private area (not a bathroom), a place to store the breast milk (a breast milk cooler or refrigerator/freezer), breast milk storage bags/bottles, flexible break times, and supportive company policy. Your employer may already have an established lactation program to help you get started.

Hospital-grade electric pumps with double collecting systems provide the closest imitation of your baby’s sucking action and are a great option if you will be pumping on a regular basis. If you’re only going to be separated from your baby occasionally, you can consider purchasing a hand pump.

Let him know he plays an important role in feeding time. Studies show that with a father’s support, breastfeeding is more successful and continues for a longer period of time. To start, dad can prepare meals, help around the house, and, if you’re expressing milk, he can take a turn and bottle-feed, which will allow him to bond with baby.

If you have additional questions, just give us a call at 1-800-515-7677, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm, EST/EDT.

Frequently Asked Questions About Formula Feeding

During the first year, your baby will grow and develop faster than at any other time of life. What you feed your baby during the first year supports that development, including bone development. In fact, from your baby’s very first day, she’ll need to receive the proper amounts of nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D. Formulas containing palm olein oil have been shown to reduce the absorption of calcium. Infants fed Similac without palm olein oil have excellent calcium absorption and bone development.

That depends on how much and how often. Many babies spit up a small amount after they’ve been fed. If you are concerned, talk with your doctor about trying Similac® For Spit-Up NON-GMO.* It’s been clinically shown to reduce the frequency of spit-up by 54%.1,† If your baby repeatedly spits up or vomits most of a feeding, or if you notice blood in the spit-up or vomit, call your baby’s doctor immediately.

Ideally, your baby’s stool should be soft. The stools of breastfed babies are usually yellow, soft/loose, and sometimes seedy. Interestingly, it’s been shown that prebiotics help soften stools to be more like breastfed infants. For more information, visit DiaperDecoder.com.

If you are talking about switching brands of formula, you should know that not all formulas are the same and switching between them may be difficult for your baby to tolerate. Within a brand, however, a variety of infant formulas are available and switching within the brand’s formulas will provide your baby with an easier adjustment.

If your baby experiences occasional fussiness or gas, ask your doctor about Similac® Soy Isomil® or Similac Sensitive®. Similac Soy Isomil is soy-based and milk-free and may help alleviate some of these common feeding problems. If you prefer a milk-based formula, Similac Sensitive can help reduce fussiness, gas, or mild spit-up. In general, babies can take anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks to adjust to a new formula, although some babies adjust right away. It’s always best to consult with your baby’s physician before making formula changes.

Some babies will grunt and strain when they have a bowel movement. This, by itself, doesn’t mean they are constipated. If your baby’s bowel movements look like formed, hard balls, try changing to a different form of the same brand of formula (for example, from powder to liquid). Check with your doctor if your baby’s stools continue to be hard after a few days, or if she cries or is extremely distressed with bowel movements.

Yes. Once or twice during a feeding, and after a feeding (usually for the first 6 months), you can help your baby remove swallowed air by burping her. Hold your baby upright against your shoulder, face down across your lap, or upright on your lap while you support her head and chest with your hand. (You will want to place a towel on your shoulder or across your lap or hand as you burp her, in case more than air comes up.) Then gently pat or rub her back until she burps, for a minute or so. Babies don’t usually need to actually burp after a feeding, but they should have the opportunity to do so.

If you have additional questions about formula feeding, just give us a call at 1-800-515-7677, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm, EST/EDT.

* Ingredients not genetically engineered.
† Among 2-month-old healthy infants compared to a standard milk-based formula.
‡ Due to lactose sensitivity.

Reference: 1. Lasekan JB, et al. J Am Coll Nutr. 2014;33(2):136-146.

If you have additional questions, just give us a call at 1-800-515-7677, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm, EST/EDT.

Frequently Asked Questions About Milk from Grass-fed Cows

Consumers wanted a formula based on milk from grass-fed cows, and grass-fed cows are abundant in Ireland.

Pure Bliss is manufactured at our facility in Ireland using locally sourced milk. Due to the unique climate of Ireland, the cows that produce the milk for Pure Bliss are able to graze on grass outdoors as their sole food source most of the year. In the winter months, if grazing is not feasible, the cows are fed grass and some grain, if needed.

European crafted Pure Bliss is a formula that starts with fresh milk from grass-fed cows. Pure Bliss by Similac contains no artificial growth hormones,* no antibiotics, no palm olein oil, and is non-GMO.

* No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rbST-treated and non-rbST-treated cows.

† Ingredients not genetically engineered.

Pure Bliss is not an organic baby formula. It is a European crafted formula that starts with fresh milk from grass-fed cows. Pure Bliss by Similac contains no artificial growth hormones,* no antibiotics, no palm olein oil, and is non-GMO.

If you’re interested in formulas with organic ingredients, check out Similac Organic with A2 Milk and Similac Organic.

* No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rbST-treated and non-rbST-treated cows.

† Ingredients not genetically engineered.

Pure Bliss Infant Formula is European crafted and made with milk from grass-fed cows in Ireland, but it is not sold in Europe. Our Pure Bliss products are manufactured in Abbott’s Ireland plant that follows both FDA and EU (European Union) regulations. 

No, the ingredients are not better because they are from Europe. We are able to access a continuous source of milk produced from grass-fed cows from Irish farms, making it European-sourced. All ingredients must meet both FDA and EU (European Union) requirements.

If you have additional questions about our products made with milk from grass-fed cows, just give us a call at 1-800-515-7677, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm, EST/EDT.

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