Why breastmilk substitutes?

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.


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

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