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Home » Family Wellness » How One Company Is Shaking Up the Infant Formula Aisle

For decades, the baby formula selection at the grocery store has looked the same. Almost all formulas made in the United States are made by two big corporate conglomerates and one contract manufacturer. That’s because the process of developing a new infant formula, studying it in babies, and earning approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is famously rigorous and time consuming. 

Recently that changed, and now parents have another option.

One infant formula company, called ByHeart, launched in 2022 after more than five years of research and development. Their team developed a patented protein blend that gets closest to breast milk and conducted the largest clinical trial by a new baby formula brand in 25 years.

Mia Funt

Co-Founder, ByHeart

“We spent 5 years working with global experts in infant nutrition and breast milk research, sourcing ingredients from around the world in order to create a truly new formula,” said ByHeart co-founder Mia Funt.

In a paper published in the October 2022 edition of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, researchers found that, compared to a leading infant formula, babies who drank ByHeart experienced:

  • Easier digestion
  • Less spit-up
  • Softer poops
  • Higher levels of essential and conditionally essential amino acids
  • More efficient weight gain

The company also touts benefits such as support for brain and eye development, gut health, and immune health.

ByHeart formula contains a high-quality protein blend and grass-fed, organic whole milk. The product is Clean Label Project certified, too.

“We built our formula entirely from scratch with the goal of getting as close to breast milk as humanly possible,” Funt said. “We handpicked every ingredient, partnering directly with suppliers that we know and trust. It’s so important to us as a company to give parents transparency into our process so they can feel confident in their feeding choices.”

A closer look at the science

“We ran the largest clinical trial by a new infant formula brand in 25 years,” Funt said. “We really went above and beyond, including more babies, following them for longer, because we wanted to empower parents with real data and evidence of the benefits of our formula.”

The study authors aimed to investigate the safety, tolerance and growth of infants fed the new formula versus a commercial formula and breast milk. They randomized 311 healthy infants, ages 14 days or younger and born at full term, to receive either ByHeart formula or commercial formula, while 100 infants consumed human breast milk. The infants did not have a history of intolerance to cow’s milk protein or soy, and their parents chose to formula feed at the outset.

Another option

Choosing how to feed your baby isn’t always an easy or straightforward choice, Funt says.  

She pointed out that sometimes, feeding plans don’t always work out the way parents expect. She noted the importance of options: “How you feed your baby is such a personal thing. And it’s impacted by so many different circumstances — your baby’s health, your own health, your work situation, your caretaker situation,” Funt said. “So, we want to encourage parents to just prepare and have choices.”

There’s a lot of preparation that happens before a new baby arrives — from readying the nursery to buying baby clothes and other essentials. Funt encourages soon-to-be parents not to overlook researching feeding in that preparation.

“Whether you plan to breastfeed or formula-feed or some combination,” Funt said, “just know that you have options and choices, so that when it comes time, you have the tools to navigate feeding however it happens.”

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