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Please excuse the terrible title, I don't know what I was thinking!
When I first found out that I was pregnant I was adamant that I was breast feeding for as long as I could. My Mum said she felt exactly the same when she was having my older sister but it just didn't work out for her and so she bought me a tin of SMA Gold to keep hidden in the cupboard 'just in case'!
'Just in case what?' I thought, 'my milk dries up and I can no longer feed my baby.' Breast feeding is the most natural form of feeding in the world, we were designed to do it, how hard can it really be???
WARNING! NOT FOR THE FEINT HEARTED So Isabelle was born and the feeding began and bar a few teething problems everything was going fine for the first week. The midwife said I was a natural and Isabelle just couldn't get enough. That, however soon became the problem. Isabelle wanted feeding every hour and a half and was guzzling for ages. I'd been awake for 48 hours prior to having Isabelle due to really painful non-labour contractions and after the whole labour process was absolutely shattered but Andrew obviously can't breast feed so it was all down to me.
Like her Mum Isabelle was/is impatient and refused to wait while I prepared myself. She soon stopped latching on properly and instead just grabbed whatever she could with her mouth causing bruising and cuts to match no other all over my breasts. I got over this and they healed pretty quickly but then on the final day of my breast feeding shannanigans (only 2 weeks in) I could bare it no longer. Andrew brought Isabelle to me in bed and said she was hungry, she latched onto my already sore nipple and the burning pain was incredible. I cried while she fed and Andrew looked helpless. We talked for around an hour and then Isabelle decided she was hungry again. I looked at Andrew and felt so guilty for not wanting to feed her that it almost broke my heart. Then he decided we were going to get the SMA Gold and feed her out of bottle. He explained he would like to feed her too and I knew he was just trying to make me feel better but it worked.
People have told me stories about how awful their midwifes were about breast feeding and that it is a must but mine was genuinely supportive. She said that I had given Isabelle a wonderful start in life even with just 2 weeks of breast feeding and it was obvious that Isabelle was a hungry baby, excuse the language but 'no shit Sherlock!' you've seen nothing til you've seen my baby eat!!
BACK TO THE POINT
Anyway I felt it was important to explain the ins and outs before getting into my review. Basically after 5 weeks on the SMA Gold Isabelle was taking 8oz and still crying for more at bed time. She was sleeping through the night and a very settled baby but the milk was not enough for her and it was way to early to start weaning. I decided to try the SMA White milk that my health visitor had mentioned and am soo glad that I did.
SMA WHITE PACKAGING Despite the title SMA White comes in a mostly blue tin with a blue lid and the word white written in blue. The SMA logo is at the top of the tine and a little cute yellow chick is peering through a banner that states 'More satisfying for hungrier babies'. Then there is a checklist as follows to ensure that you are using the correct milk for your little baby:
INFANT MILK When moving from or to complement breast feeding If baby is not being breast fed Helps to support immunity Helps brain and eye development
The tins are quite large and so if your stocking up make sure you have plenty of cupboard space. I buy mine from either Boots or Asda and at both stores they are priced at £5.98 per tin. All of the nutritional information can be found on the back along with instructions on how to make up your bottles. Basically it's one ounce of cooled boiled water per one ounce of powder. 'But how do I measure it' I hear you cry, well SMA have provided you with a little yellow scoop that when levelled off provides exactly 1 ounce of powder and your bottles will be marked with measurements so you know how much water to put in! How clever.
NOTE: Babies bottles should always be freshly sterilised and the boiled water should only have been boiled once.
The tin I buy holds 900g but you can also buy SMA white in a few different formats:
a smaller 450g tin but the only place I've seen these is at Bells Stores and they cost £2.98 per tin. in pre-measured sachets of either 4oz or 8oz. You get 16 sachets per box. Ready to use cartons at £1.58 per litre.
USING THE MILK I have never used the ready made variety but took the sachets with us when we went away and this was much easier than lugging a tin around with you and my Mum keeps one of the smaller tins at her house as it is much easier to store, so by my reckoning SMA really have thought of everything.
I tend to prepare Isabelle's bottles for the day on the morning so have the kettle pre-boiled and the bottles all sterilised. I scoop the milk out of the tin with the ingenius scoop provided and then level it off with the flat end of a clean knife. After pouring in the required amount of water (8 fl oz) in my case, I then measure out 8 scoops. If you forget where you are you really should start again as the wrong mix of formula and water can cause havoc to your babies digestion and thus to your sleep pattern. They will either still be hungry or constipated which is the last thing a tiny baby needs to worry about.
The only thing I noticed with this milk is that as you plop your dollop of milk into the water it stays perfectly formed in the little dome shape of the scoop and looks a bit like a dollop of ice cream. If the water is cold then the milk sits on the top for a while and then gradually filters out through the water. It is best to wait until the milk has settled before shaking your bottles up or you may get a residue of powder in the teat which can make it harder for your baby to suck the milk through.
After adding all the milk and securing the teat and lid in place, shake your bottles up and put them in the fridge.
WARNING: If using Avent bottles and teats expect them to leak and be prepared to shake the bottles over the sink.
Overall breast feeding is better for babies as your body prepares everything that you need to feed your little one. It's not always convenient and so SMA are merely providing an alternative option. You will never find SMA on offer or any other baby milk for that matter as it is part of a Government Scheme to get mothers to breast feed exclusively for 6 months!
Baby milk should only ever be reheated once and any unused milk should be disposed of.
Always test the temperature of your babies bottle on your wrist prior to putting it in their mouth as the last thing you need is a screaming baby and the guilt of knowing that you caused it!!
DOES IT WORK? So I've rambled on about the facts and figures, packaging etc. but does this milk really do 'exactly what it says on the tin?' Well the simple answer to that question is a great big whopping YES. Thank you SMA. After giving this milk to Isabelle for the first two days she was a little unsettled as most babies are when their routine is changed. After only 2 days however she was taking her 5 bottles a day and after her night time feed was off to dreamland without so much as a whimper for anymore milk. She was still gaining weight at a healthy pace and was no longer ratty after her feeds. She still took the whole bottle which surprised me but as I said, 'the girl can't half eat!!' (said in a Yorkshire accent.) I guess she takes after me and her dad as we're both big eaters!
OVERALL In conclusion I wouldn't change anything that I have done with Isabelle as so far she is a healthy, chubby little baby and I don't have a worry in the world. SMA White really helped her to settle into a regular feeding pattern of every four hours and put a massive smile on my face. I couldn't rate it any higher and can't think of a bad word to say about it.
You can find more information at www.smanutrition.co.uk but before switching your babies milk it is always advisable to speak to your health visitor and think about whether or not your baby really needs it changing. If you do decided to switch then I would recommend that you do it when you have a couple of days where you don't mind your baby being a little bit out of their usual routine. With refernce to the website mentioned above it really is a useful website with tips for while your pregnant and all sorts of generally useful advice. I would recommend that any mum or mum to be visits it.
That's about your lot on the milk front and I hope I've included all the necessary info. I hope I made it an interesting read but then how interesting can baby milk really be???
P.S. If you do decided to taste the milk yourself don't expect a pleasant surprise, it is rancid! But baby seems to like it.
Great review, I had a nightmare breastfeeding as well, my son decided that he didn't want to latch on anymore but soon took to the bottle and stayed on SMA gold x
Kayl0605 02.12.2008 14:38
Excellent review from start to finish!
mountisland 07.03.2007 01:46
this review may contravene the international code of marketing of breastmilk substitutes http://www.ibfan.org/english/resource/who/fullcode.html#1 - which basically forbids the promotion or marketing of any infant formula designed for babies under 6 month sold.