Breast Milk vs. Formula Chart

Breast Milk vs. Formula Chart

Nutrient Factor

Breast Milk Contains

Formula Contains



Rich in brain- building omega 3s, namely DHA and Automatically adjusts to infant’s needs and levels decreases as baby gets olderRich in cholesterolNearly completely absorbed
Contains fat-digesting enzyme, lipase
Doesn’t adjust to infant’s needs
No cholesterol
Not completely absorbed
No Lipase
Fat is the most important nutrient in breast milk; and the DHA, the vital nutrients for growing brains and bodies, may predispose a child to adult heart and central nervous system diseases.  Left over unabsorbed fat accounts for unpleasant stools in formula-fed babies


Soft, easily digested whey.  More completely absorbed; higher in the milk of mothers who deliver preterm. Lactoferr in for intestinal healthLysozyme, an antimicrobial

Rich in Brain and body building protein components

Rich in growth factors

Contains sleep inducing proteins

Harder to digest casein curds. Less completely absorbed, more waste, harder on baby’s kidneys. No lactoferrin or only a traceNo lysozyme

Deficient or low in some brain and body building protiens

Deficient in growth factors

Does not contain as many sleep-inducing proteins

Infants aren’t allergic to human proteins


Rich in lactose  Rich in oligosaccharides, which promotes intestinal health