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New Survey Uncovers Common Infant Formula Mistakes That Could Harm Baby's Health

The Makers of Store Brand Formula Create New Resources to Help New Moms Keep Baby Safe

Charlottesville, VA, October 4, 2018 – Perrigo Nutrition, a leading U.S. infant formula maker, released findings today from a nationwide survey* of 2,000 moms with infants and toddlers. The survey gained insights into moms' thoughts on preparing for parenthood and feeding their baby. Even though 92 percent of millennial mothers plan on breastfeeding, the "Feeding Realities" survey found more than two-thirds of them rely on using infant formula. In addition, 21 percent did not feel adequately prepared by hospital staff for how to formula feed, which may indicate a need for more education and resources for moms around safe feeding practices.

The survey also revealed that moms are now taking education and preparation into their own hands, with 67 percent reading parenting books and nearly one in three educating themselves about infant formula, as opposed to learning from a pediatrician or hospital staff. As many new moms tackle the daunting task of preparing for a new baby, they are not equipped as well as they need to be with critical information on preparing formula and feeding their baby. This can lead to unsafe feeding practices and uninformed decision making that can harm a baby's health.

For instance, when it comes to formula-safety practices, an alarming 21 percent of moms said they have used more water than required by the instructions when preparing infant formula; nearly half stated their primary motivations for doing so was to help save money or make formula last longer. Further, nearly one-third of moms were uncertain if adding extra water to infant formula is dangerous.

"Many new moms have the misconception that diluting formula with water will help save money or make it easier for baby to digest," said Dr. Jennifer Gardner, family physician and co-author of The Mommy MD Guide to Your Baby's First Year. "This is a serious misunderstanding not to be taken lightly because diluting critical nutrients in formula at a time of rapid growth can be dangerous for their baby. No cost savings is worth the risk of poor health and infant mortality. Parents should always follow preparation instructions on the product label and consult with their pediatrician to talk through infant-feeding options."

Another misconception deals with bottle preparation. When warming infant formula, half of moms said they always or sometimes use the microwave to make a bottle. Microwaving formula bottles can affect ingredients in formula and cause hot spots that can burn a baby's mouth.

The survey also revealed that 51 percent of moms have thrown a partially used infant formula bottle back in the fridge to use for the next feeding time. This is also dangerous; according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), formula not fed to baby can be stored in the refrigerator for 24 hours but must be discarded after one hour from the start of feeding.

Moms also shared insights on formula-purchase preferences that revealed common misconceptions about formula brands and quality. According to the survey, 20 percent of moms worried about what formula to purchase in the first few months of their baby's life. When selecting a formula, nearly half stated they don't believe store brand formula provides complete nutrition for a baby, and 33 percent don't believe store brand formula meets the same FDA standards as nationally advertised brands. This is a costly misconception; all infant formulas are regulated in the same manner and must meet the same FDA standards. By choosing a store brand formula, families can save up to $600 a year. This truth is often misunderstood. All formula brands—including store brands—offer complete nutrition and represent a high quality option for feeding babies.

"New moms can feel confident that store brand formula will provide complete nutrition for baby just like any brand-name formula," said Dr. Gardner. "All infant formulas are required to meet the same FDA standards, which means store brand formula has the same quality as other brand names but costs less. More importantly, there's no need for parents to take unnecessary risks such as diluting formula to save money when they can trust that store brand formula is a high-quality and affordable option."

Perrigo is the largest manufacturer of store brand infant formula in the United States. Nationally advertised brands like Enfamil® and Similac® cost up to 50 percent more money than store brand formulas but do not offer better quality or nutrition. **

Perrigo's has published a complimentary e-book to help moms navigate motherhood and infant feeding: It's Called Formula for a Reason: Tips and Tricks from Experts and Parents Who've Been There. An infographic and more stats from Perrigo Nutrition's "Feeding Realities" survey are also available online.

About Store Brand Formula

Store brand infant formula is manufactured in FDA-inspected, ISO 9001:2008-certified facilities in Ohio and Vermont, U.S.A. Dairy ingredients are sourced from leading dairy markets, including the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. Perrigo is also fully compliant with the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Code, which certifies that a supplier's food safety and quality management system complies with this international and domestic food-safety standard.

Enfamil® is a registered trademark of Mead Johnson & Co. Similac® is a registered trademark of Abbott Laboratories. Store brand infant formula is NOT made by or affiliated with Mead Johnson & Co. or Abbott Laboratories.

*The Perrigo Nutrition Feeding Realities survey was conducted between July 23 - August 22, 2018, among 2,000 nationally representative Americans between the ages of 18 and 65 who currently have a child between the ages of one and three, using an email invitation and an online survey. Margin of error is +/- 3 percent.

**Total savings with Store Brand Infant Formula calculations based on a price per fl. oz. comparison of Store Brand Infant Formulas and their comparable national brands. Retail prices are from a September 2018 retail price survey of assorted stores. Actual prices and savings may vary by store and location.

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