Why breastmilk substitutes?

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For certain rare genetic diseases, such as galactosemia, (identified through the early newborn metabolic screening)1 the use of non-milk based breastmilk substitutes is the suggested feeding option.

Please see this WHO publication (section 1:89) for other medical reasons for the use of breastmilk substitutes. The Codex Alimentarius provides information on the standard of practice for use of infant formula for special circumstances.

Next: Risks and ethics of breastmilk substitutes


  1. Commonly referred to as the ‘heel prick’ or ‘PKU test.’ []

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