Questions about feeding methods or our latest innovations? Here are some answers.
Frequently Asked Questions about 2’-FL HMO
1. What are human milk oligosaccharides?
- Human milk oligosaccharides are a group of unique prebiotics that are abundant in human milk. Scientific evidence shows that some human milk oligosaccharides strengthen the infant’s developing immune system. There are more than 100 different human milk oligosaccharides found in human milk.
2. What is 2’-FL Human Milk Oligosaccharide?
- 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. Similac with 2’-FL HMO supports the immune system in the gut and 2’-FL HMO circulates throughout baby’s body.
3. Does the human milk oligosaccharide (2’-FL) in Similac® come from human milk? Are you adding human milk to your formula?
- 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 similar to how some vitamins are made (e.g. Vitamin B2).
4. Why is this ingredient called human milk oligosaccharide if it isn’t sourced from human milk?
- 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.
5. Why is Similac Pro-Advance™ with 2’-FL, a human milk oligosaccharide, closer than ever to breast milk?
- We believe that breast milk is the best nutrition for babies. That’s why we constantly study the ingredients that make breast milk so special. 2’-FL is the most abundant human milk oligosaccharide in most human milk. Approximately 80% of women have 2’-FL in their breast milk, so adding 2’-FL brings Similac closer to breast milk than ever before. For those parents who need or choose to use formula, being as close to breast milk as possible is really important.
6. How is 2’-FL Human Milk Oligosaccharide narrowing differences in immune function between babies fed breast milk and babies fed formula?
- 2’-FL HMO helps support baby’s developing immune system by closing five gaps in immune function between formula-fed and breastfed infants (as measured in blood samples in a clinical study).
Download the Frequently Asked Questions about 2’-FL HMO PDF(27KB).
If you have additional questions about 2’-FL HMO, just give us a call at 1-800-515-7677, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., EST/EDT.
Frequently Asked Questions about OptiGRO™
At Abbott, we know that breast milk provides the best nutrition for babies, so we strive to design our formulas to be as close to breast milk as possible. We are proud to say Similac is now closer to breast milk that ever before because we have reformulated many of our formulas to better match the average caloric density of breast milk, and continue to deliver the recommended levels of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients needed to ensure that babies continue to have the healthy growth and development you would expect from Similac.
1. Why did Similac reformulate their products?
- Recent evidence suggests that the average caloric density of breast milk may have been overstated in the past, and breast milk is actually closer to 19 calories per fluid ounce on average, and we design our formulas to be as close to breast milk as possible.
2. How is OptiGRO different than EarlySheild™?
- EarlyShield represented the benefits of immune support, brain and eye support and strong bones. Similac products continue to have the same great benefits of EarlyShield in addition to OptiGRO. Only Similac has OptiGRO, our exclusive blend of brain & eye nourishing nutrients for baby’s development.
3. Do I need to feed my baby more ounces of formula now that your formulas have one less calorie in each ounce?
- No, you do not need to feed your baby more formula. Each baby, regardless of age, has his or her own nutritional needs so the best advice is to follow your baby’s hunger cues. Your baby will drink the right amount to be satisfied.
4. Will my baby have any issues switching to your formulas with OptiGRO?
- 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.
5. Are Similac products still WIC-eligible?
- 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 your state allows the 19 calorie per fluid ounce products, you may need to obtain a medical referral from your baby’s physician.
Download the Frequently Asked Questions about OptiGRO PDF(72KB).
If you have additional questions about OptiGRO, just give us a call at 1-800-515-7677, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., EST/EDT.
Frequently Asked Questions about non-GMO
1. What does non-GMO mean?
- 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.
2. What does genetically engineered mean?
- 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 U.S. was the tomato. Food experts altered the plan to help a tomato stay fresh longer after being picked.
3. How do you make sure your ingredients are non-GMO?
- We work closely with our suppliers to verify that the ingredients in our non-GMO products are not genetically engineered.
4. What about the milk in your non-GMO products? Are the cows that produce it fed non-GMO food?
- In the U.S., 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.
5. How are your non-GMO formulas different than your other formulas?
- Our non-GMO and regular formulas have the same ingredients; they just have different sources for the ingredients.
6. Does this mean your other formulas contain GMOs?
- Many crops in the U.S. are genetically engineered. Our U.S. formulas not labeled non-GMO may contain ingredients from genetically engineered crops.
7. Are your non-GMO formulas better?
- 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.
8. Are your other formulas safe?
- 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.
Download the Frequently Asked Questions about non-GMO PDF(27KB).
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 a.m. to 5 p.m., EST/EDT.
Frequently Asked Questions about Breastfeeding
1. Does my baby need to eat anything else besides breast milk?
- 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.
2. What kind of diet is good to follow while I’m breastfeeding?
- 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. Taking a supplement such as Similac® Breastfeeding Supplement is an easy way to get the vitamins, minerals, lutein, and DHA you and your baby need. 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.
3. Can I lose weight if I breastfeed my baby?
- 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.
4. I’m going to have to go back to work. How can I continue to give my baby breast milk while I’m away?
- 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.
5. Can you give me some information about expressing breast milk?
- 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.
6. What can I do to get dad involved?
- 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.
Download the Frequently Asked Questions about Breastfeeding PDF(44KB).
If you have additional questions about breastfeeding, just give us a call at 1-800-515-7677, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., EST/EDT.
Frequently Asked Questions about Formula Feeding
1. Why is my formula choice important?
- 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.
2. My baby spits up after feeding. Should I be worried?
- 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.
3. What should my baby’s stool be like?
- 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.
4. Is it okay to switch my baby from one formula to another?
- 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.
5. My baby seems constipated. Should I change formulas?
- 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 you baby’s stools continue to be hard after a few days, or if she cries or is extremely distressed with bowel movements.
6. Does my baby need to be burped at every feeding?
- 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 you 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 a.m. to 5 p.m., 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.