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Picking the Right Formula

In this day and age, a parent might just look down the formula aisle in the grocery store and easily get overwhelmed by the vast variety and brands of formulas that are available. So, I am going to simplify it for you and provide a brief overview of the infant formulas.

Over the last 10 years, we have seen more varieties being added than ever before. It is very crowded and competitively marketed; sometimes the different companies are quite creative with their naming and labeling strategies- all of them are fiercely competing for your attention and your business, trying to entice the newborn’s parent towards them.

The formulas can be broadly categorized into 4 different categories:

  1. Cow’s milk-based formula- made of cow’s milk protein and has lactose as a sugar. Some may come as ‘lactose free.’
  2. Soy-based formula- made with soy based protein and they are always lactose free
  3. Protein hydrolysate formulas- the proteins are broken down into simpler particles called amino acids. These are used for babies who have true protein allergy.
  4. Formulas for premature and low birth weight babies- they have extra calories and minerals for catch up growth.

The cow’s milk or soy based formulas might also have enhancements like a rice formula thickening agent to help with reflux. Formulas that are specifically made to help with reflux or spit-ups contain rice cereal and they are labeled ‘AR’ for ‘added rice’ and ‘anti-reflux.’

Some other formulas have the proteins a little bit more broken down and/or contain less lactose for easier digestion. They have labels like ‘gentle,’ ‘sensitive,’ or ‘hypoallergenic.’

Whether a formula is brand name or it is store brand, they are all made per the strict guidelines of the FDA. Therefore they are quite comparable. You do not necessarily need to pay more for the name brand formulas.

All of the formulas have certain common characteristics, whether or not the manufacturer is making big claims on the label or packaging. All formulas have iron supplementation though some might claim to be low-iron. Iron supplementation is important for the baby until the baby starts eating iron rich foods.

In recent years, 2 fatty acids known as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ARA (arachidonic acid) have increasingly been added to formulas. These lipids are crucial for the development of the eyes and the brain. The formula might have prominent labeling with words such as “lipids,” “lipil,” “advance,” or just plain “DHA and ARA.”

Some formulas are also fortified with probiotics, which are types of “friendly” bacteria. Others are now fortified with prebiotics, which are natural food substances that promote healthy intestinal lining.

Infant formulas come in 3 different kinds:

  1. Ready to Feed
  2. Liquid Concentrate
  3. Powder

Which kind you choose to use will depend upon how much you will use, where you will use it (ready to use being easiest when you are on the go) and how much you want to spend. The liquid and the powder formulations are comparable in price and the ready to feed is more expensive than the other two.

Some basic measurements to remember are as follows

1 ounce= 30cc or 30 ml

8 fluid ounces= 1 cup

32 fluid ounces= 1 quart

Most babies do fine on cow’s milk or soy-based formula. Babies have a natural tendency to have spit ups and gas, and it is not always necessary to change formulas for these conditions because the formula may not be the cause for the baby’s symptoms. Please consult with your pediatrician before you make rapid changes to the baby’s formula.

However, about 10% of babies are truly intolerant of milk or soy-based formulas- a condition known as Milk Soy Protein Intolerance, which is caused due to the baby’s intestines truly being intolerant of the proteins in these formulas. These babies are not happy. They might have symptoms of fussiness, spit up a lot or become excessively gassy, or they may develop constipation or diarrhea. In this case, your pediatrician will probably recommend that you try one of the special formulas in which the proteins are broken down.

Other babies just show a clear preference for one type or even brand of formula over another or a preference between the consistency of powder-based versus liquid formula. Parents are prone to a fair bit of trial and error when they have a picky eater. I do caution the parents that once a formula change is made one should give it for a few days before deciding whether or not it is a good fit for the baby. After all, it might take a day or two before the old formula clears the baby’s gut and the new formula shows its effects.

The good news is that most newborns do quite well with whatever brand or type of formula they are given. Some do fine even with switching between

Happy #DrSeussDay 2016

Roger Kirk, our Pediatric Nurse Practitioner enjoyed reading to the kids at Lakewood Primary School in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday! He and our Office Manager, Amanda Bradshaw, even got to meet The Cat in the Hat!
Dr Seuss Day 2016 3


Dr Seuss Day 2016


Dr Seuss Day 2016 2





Holiday Hours Christmas 2015


Preferred Medical Group will close all 3 locations: Phenix City Children’s & Family Clinic, Fort Mitchell Clinic and Opelika Pediatrics & Family Clinic on December 24, December 25, and December 26 in recognition of the Christmas holiday.

We will reopen for normal operating hours at 8 a.m. EST on Monday, December 28.

For immediate assistance on these days, please call our answering service at (334) 664-0463, which can connect you with a doctor on call.

Preferred Medical Group 4th of July Hours


Friday, July 3, 2015 – Phenix City Children’s and the Fort Mitchell Clinic are open for normal business hours from 8-4. We will be accepting same day sick appointments.

Saturday, July 4, 2015– We will NOT have normal Saturday clinic hours from 9-1.

Monday, July 6, 2015 – Phenix City Children’s will be open for normal business hours from 8-5; Fort Mitchell Clinic will open at 1:00 p.m.



Best Pediatrician in Columbus, GA , Phenix City, AL and Fort Mitchell, AL Commercials

Looking for the best pediatrician in Columbus GA, Phenix City, AL or Fort Mitchell, AL? Look no further! Please check out our new 2014 commercials, which feature some of our cute patients and their families.

General :30 second commercial with Mrs. Suchman Testimonial


Phenix City Children’s and Fort Mitchell Clinic General :30 commercial with cute kid testimonials

Dr. Shilpa Vernekar- ADHD :15 Commercial

Dr. Jennifer Rumph- :15 asthma commercial

Dr. Michelle DeRamus, Child Psychologist at Phenix City Children’s :15 commercial

See the same doctor each time? Choose Dr. Ritu Chandra, Dr. Shilpa Vernekar or Dr. Jennifer Rumph!

Please connect with us on Google PlusYoutube and on Facebook to see more content.

September 2013

September 2013 Chick-Fil-ALakewood Primary School’s Chick-Fil-A Spirit Night– Our new PR Manager, Ms. Amanda Bradshaw, took our mascot, Dr. Bananas out to Chick-Fil-A for their first community event. She brought a macaroni jewelry craft for the kids, and they loved taking home the balloons at the end of the night.






Lakewood Elementary School Partner in Education Recognition Night- Dr. Michelle DeRamus represented the practice at Lakewood Elementary School’s first PTA meeting of the school year. All of the partners in education were recognized, and we took home a certificate.









Westview Elementary Muffins for MomsDr. Chandra donated 100 giant muffins for the moms, and Ms. Amanda attended the event to give out information on the flu vaccine.


Sept 2013 Muffins for Moms







Lakewood Primary PTO Bullying SpeechDr. Chandra spoke about bullying to students and parents at Lakewood’s September PTA meeting, and we were officially recognized as a Partner in Education for the 2013-2014 school year.

Mount Olive Movie Night Under the Stars– Dr. Chandra sponsored Mount Olive Intermediate School’s annual event, and Ms. Amanda brought the “Bop It Game” for the kids. It was a blast for everyone!

Sept 2013 MOIS Movie Night







New Beginnings Breastfeeding TalkDr. Jennifer Rumph spoke about breastfeeding to the pregnant girls in the “New Beginnings” program affiliated with Central High School.

Where Moms Connect meetingMs. Amanda attended the inaugural “Where Moms Connect” meeting at Central Baptist Church and talked about all that Phenix City Children’s has to offer for newborns- including a separate waiting room! Dr. Chandra donated snacks.

April 2013

Autism Awareness PhotoEFMP Autism Awareness Day in Ft Benning, GASince we have a child psychologist who specializes in autism, this event was near and dear to our hearts! The goal at the event was to connect families who are affected by autism with local resources.




“Kids Need a Medical Home” Research Grant- Dr. Chandra was awarded a grant to research what barriers families face in finding a pediatric medical home for their children. She has completed several focus groups and developed a Community Coalition Board to look into improving the referral process for families.

March 2013

Dr. Suess Birthday Celebration– Phenix City Children’s sponsored the Dr. Seuss birthday celebration at the Phenix City Library. Dr. Anglin read to the children and everyone made a Cat in the Hat.


Easter Egg Hunt– The Gardens at Stadium held an egg hunt for their residents, and Dr. Chandra donated the prizes for children who found the gold eggs.


Spring Fling Event The Edelman Headstart Center in Hurtsboro, Ala. held a Spring Fling event for the pre-school students.  Phenix City Children’s and Fort Mitchell Clinic were happy to donate prizes for the games and activities.


Annual Egg Hunt at Chick-Fil-A– To celebrate Easter this year, we got to attend this much-anticipated event. The Chick-Fil-A cow was out of town, but the Easter bunny showed up.

Happy Spring to you!

December 2012

Moon Lake Carnival– This is one of the best annual events! We enjoy going every year as they light up Moon Lake and Santa visits with the kids. We provided snowflake face painting for the kids and enjoyed hot cocoa.

The Bi-City Christmas parade – This was also a fun event. Columbus and Phenix City always do a great job of joining together for this annual parade. We donated candy to the children attending and set up a safe spot for our toddlers to watch the parade.

Busy Little Hands Playgroup Dr. Chandra sponsored this Christmas craft at McDonald’s. The kids made a holiday ornament and played on the playground. We all had a very Merry Christmas!

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