1st Milk (Initial Milk)

1st stage milk, also known as "initial milk", is an infant formula developed for babies from birth to about the sixth month. It serves as an alternative or supplement to breast milk, especially when breastfeeding is not possible. It is important to emphasize that breast milk provides the optimal source of nutrition for infants and brings comprehensive health benefits.

1st stage milk compared to Pre milk

Carbohydrate composition: The main difference between 1st stage milk and Pre milk lies in the carbohydrates contained. Pre milk is based exclusively on lactose, the main carbohydrate in breast milk, and contains no starch. 1st stage milk, on the other hand, often contains starch in addition to lactose, which can contribute to longer satiety.

Satiety: The addition of starch in 1st stage milk can be beneficial for babies who have a higher energy requirement or who do not seem to be fully satisfied after feeding with Pre milk.

Target group and usage: Both 1st stage milk and Pre milk are suitable from birth until the introduction of solid foods. Both can be used as the sole source of nutrition or in combination with breastfeeding.

Integration of prebiotics in 1st stage milk

Modern 1st stage milk, as well as PRE milk formulas often contain a combination of prebiotics to support the intestinal health and immune system of infants. These prebiotics include:

Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs): Some manufacturers of infant formula have begun to supplement their products with HMOs to replicate the benefits of breast milk. These HMOs, especially 2'-Fucosyllactose (2'-FL), are important for immune development and intestinal health. However, the regulatory status of HMOs in infant formula is complex, and although the EFSA has strict guidelines, HMOs are not always fully approved for children under 12 months. Nonetheless, studies show their positive effects on the health of infants. The labeling of HMOs on 1st stage milk products can vary, and they are often found under the abbreviation 2'FL in the fiber listing.

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and Galactooligosaccharides (GOS): These prebiotic fibers are commonly used in infant formula to promote the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria and are a standard component in many 1st stage milk formulas.

It is important for parents and caregivers to carefully check the ingredients and nutritional information of 1st stage milk, especially when looking for specific prebiotics like HMOs. Reviewing the ingredient list and the nutritional table can help identify products that contain these valuable ingredients, even if they are not explicitly advertised on the label.