Enfamil Baby Formula Review
Several factors may impact a parent’s decision to feed their baby formula rather than breastfeed, ranging from low milk supply to having a work schedule with limited flexibility. And, as if understanding the right nutrition for your baby’s health wasn’t overwhelming enough for new parents, finding the right formula brand can be an additional stressful step.
Here, we provide a comprehensive review of the popular infant formula brand Enfamil, including researched studies from medical experts and opinions from pediatricians. Keep in mind, what works best for you and your family is the most important thing to consider—whether that’s exclusive breastfeeding, exclusive bottle feeding or a combination of the two.
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Enfamil at a Glance
Enfamil’s product offerings include formula, vitamins and supplements, feeding accessories and more. The brand is highly accessible, as its products are sold at big box stores including Wal-Mart, Costco, Target, Sam’s Club and Buy Buy Baby, as well as pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid. Enfamil products can also be purchased through online retailers like Amazon.
When my first child was 6 months old, I supplemented with Enfamil once my milk supply started decreasing. While I was hesitant to make the switch from breastmilk to formula, I felt secure in my decision to choose Enfamil among other brands at the time—as this was what was recommended by my pediatrician due to my son’s issues with acid reflux.
I now have a second child, and am experiencing the same situation I did with my son, and supplementing with formula due to decreased milk supply. She is currently 7 months old, and is not reacting well to Enfamil formula. I chose the Gentlease type, which caused her to spit up and have stomach cramps. Switching to another brand of formula for her fixed the issue immediately.
My experience with Enfamil is a testament to parents everywhere that each child is different and completely individualized when it comes to what their tiny stomachs can handle or how their bodies will react to certain types of alternative nutrition.
Mead Johnson, a global company focused primarily on infant and child nutrition, is the parent company of Enfamil. Backed by decades of research and invested in science, the company aims to be the world’s leading nutrition company for babies and children.
Introduced in 1959, Enfamil was Mead Johnson’s first routine infant formula designed to be modeled after the nutritional composition of breast milk, according to the company. Since the formula’s inception, the product has undergone several reformulations to adapt to changing nutritional needs of infants and children.
Offering a family of formulas, including Enfakid, Enfafagrow and Enfapro, Enfamil is trusted by parents and healthcare professionals around the world, thanks to its development of safe, high-quality products that meet the nutritional needs of infants and children, the company touts.
All infant formulas marketed in the U.S., including Enfamil, must meet federal nutrition requirements outlined by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). This is worth highlighting, as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has warned parents that imported, European infant formulas—which have spiked in popularity—are not FDA-registered and may pose safety concerns.
Enfamil Baby Formula Options and Prices
There are an array of different formula offerings from Enfamil, each catering to a specific need or issue your baby may have. Categorized on Enfamil’s website by feeding need including “Everyday Nutrition,” “Allergies,” “Tummy Troubles,” and “Special Dietary Needs,” parents can easily pinpoint and access the best option for their child, no matter if their baby is dealing with fussiness, gas, common allergies or something else.
Below is a snapshot of some of Enfamil’s infant formula product offerings in the Everyday Nutrition category, many of which come in powder and liquid formats. Note that prices are accurate as of publication.
Meanwhile, the following Enfamil infant formula products are designed for infants with sensitive stomachs who may suffer from colic, gass, fussiness, spit-up and constipation.
Pros of and Cons of Enfamil
Based on my own experience with Enfamil, here are the pros and cons of the product.
What I liked about Enfamil:
- Its availability. If I was in a pinch, I knew I could find Enfamil formula, whether I was headed to the grocery store, a convenient store or even a corner market.
- The variety of options. I liked that there were multiple options catered to whatever issue my baby was having —fussiness, gas or something else.
- The price. Compared with the other formula brand I now use for my daughter, Enfamil is much more cost effective for the amount of formula that comes with it.
What I didn’t like about Enfamil:
- The smell. I’m not sure if other brands of formula have a strong odor, but I was sensitive to Enfamil’s smell, which made washing bottles not the most pleasant activity.
- It wasn’t the right choice for my daughter. Again, this is only from my point of view and what I experienced, but I did not like that it caused my daughter to spit up.
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What Pediatricians Say About Enfamil
I spoke with two pediatricians on their thoughts and opinions about Enfamil, and received only positive feedback.
“The Enfamil brand has been a reliable source for baby formula since the 1960s,” says Divina Lopez, M.D., a pediatrician licensed in New York and New Jersey. “It is the leader in infant formula in the U.S. simulating breast milk, which I think shows their commitment to infant nutrition.”
Adding that breast milk is “the gold standard of infant nutrition,” Dr. Lopez praises Enfamil for standing out with its newest formula (Enfamil Enspire Gentlease Infant Formula), which contains a blend of proteins also present in breast milk.
Ayala Wegman, M.D., a pediatrician and assistant clinical professor for the Department of Pediatrics at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York City, compares Enfamil closely to Similac, stating Enfamil is “one of the two major powerhouse American brands.”
“It is one of the most common brands sold to our U.S. hospitals. Analogous to ‘farm-to-table’ marketing, formula in the U.S. is very much marketed ‘factory-to-hospital,’” says Dr. Wegman. “This is one of the first brands that parents come face-to-face with when their babies are born, so the fact that major hospitals stand behind it, that definitely makes it more palatable and popular to parents.”
The brand is especially beneficial for premature infants, Dr. Wegman adds, noting they often require “specific needs, nuanced nutrients and increased calories to grow,” and adding that she has seen many infants “thrive” with Enfacare, the formula tailored to support growth and nutrition of premature infants.
“If a baby has specific dietary needs, such as a milk protein sensitivity or an allergy, the hydrolyzed or amino acid-based version of Enfamil may be the right choice for parents,” she says.
As parents ultimately look to pediatricians as their trusted source of information, Dr. Wegman notes that “accessibility is a huge key,” acknowledging that some formulas are becoming difficult to find due to supply-chain issues.
“I may love a particular formula, for example,” says Dr. Wegman, “But if my patients cannot reliably access it, I will recommend an FDA-registered one that might not have all of the bells and whistles but may be readily available to them in a bind when they head to their local drugstore.”
Is Enfamil Right for Your Baby?
“Every baby is different, so you will not know whether or not a formula will agree with your baby’s physiology until you have actually tried it,” says Dr. Lopez. “It is a bit of trial and error. But I always recommend a formula which I know meets the FDA standards, supports a healthy development and is affordable for the family.”
Dr. Wegman seconds this, stating that if a parent is looking for an accessible, middle-market, FDA-registered formula for their premature or full-term baby, Enfamil could be the right choice for them.
Remember, though—as a parent, only you can know what is right for your baby. With the right resources and education on the various types of formula brands on the market, you should be able to feel confident in your decision.
What Is Anise?
This herb may help ease menstrual cramps and menopause symptoms
Cathy Wong is a nutritionist and wellness expert. Her work is regularly featured in media such as First For Women, Woman's World, and Natural Health.
Lana Butner, ND, LAc, is a board-certified naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist in private practice in New York City .
Verywell / Anastasia Tretiak
Anise is an herb (Pimpinella anisum) that has a long history of use as a medicinal aid. Anise seed, anise oil, and—less frequently—the root and the leaf, are used to make medicine to treat digestive issues and other problems. According to some sources, anise was used in Egypt as early as 1500 B.C.
Anise is also commonly used to flavor foods, beverages, candies, and breath fresheners, and it is often used as a fragrance in soap, creams, perfumes, and sachets. You may be familiar with its licorice-like taste and scent.
Also Known As
Anise is known by several different names, including:
- Anis vert
- Anisi fructus
- Graine d'Anis vert
Anise is not the same as star anise, even though the names sound similar.
What Is Anise Used For?
Research on the health effects of anise is fairly limited. Certain chemicals in anise may have estrogen-like effects and impact menstrual and menopause symptoms.
Here's a look at several findings on the potential health benefits of anise extract.
A combination of anise extract, saffron, and celery seed may help alleviate menstrual pain, according to a study published in the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health in 2009.
For the study, 180 female students (ages 18 to 27) were split into three groups: one group received the anise/saffron/celery seed mixture, one group received mefenamic acid (a type of anti-inflammatory drug), and one group received a placebo. Starting from the onset of their menstrual bleeding or pain, each group took their assigned treatment three times a day for three days.
After following the participants for two to three menstrual cycles, the study authors found that those assigned to the anise/saffron/celery seed combination experienced a significantly greater reduction in menstrual pain compared to those assigned the other two treatments.
In a study published in the Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research in 2012, researchers found that anise may help relieve hot flashes in women going through menopause.
The study included 72 postmenopausal women, each of whom took either anise extract or potato starch in capsule form daily for four weeks. Compared to the control group, those treated with anise extract had a significantly greater reduction in the frequency and severity of their hot flashes.
Taking a combination of anise, fennel, elderberry, and senna may help ease constipation, suggests a small study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2010.
In a clinical trial that included 20 patients with chronic constipation who were treated for a five-day period, researchers found that the anise-containing herbal combination was significantly more effective than placebo in increasing the number of evacuations per day. The authors noted that the herbal combination may help fight constipation by producing a laxative effect.
Anise is used in herbal medicine as a natural remedy for the following health problems:
Anise is also said to stimulate the appetite, increase the flow of milk in lactating women, promote menstruation, and enhance libido.
When applied topically (i.e., directly to the skin), anise extract is thought to aid in the treatment of conditions like lice and psoriasis.
However, there is not enough scientific evidence to know if anise can provide relief or aid in the treatment of any of these conditions.
Possible Side Effects
Anise is likely safe when consumed in amounts typically found in food. There is not enough evidence to know if anise is safe when used medicinally.
You may experience an allergic reaction to anise if you have an allergy to a related plant such as asparagus, caraway, celery, coriander, cumin, dill, and fennel.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid the use of medicinal anise because there is not enough scientific evidence to know if it is safe for them.
Anise may have estrogen-like effects, so there’s some concern that the use of anise supplements may be potentially harmful to people with hormone-sensitive conditions, such as hormone-dependent cancers (breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer), endometriosis, and uterine fibroids.
Anise may also interact with certain medications including birth control pills, estrogen, and tamoxifen. Speak to your healthcare provider before consuming anise if you are taking these or any other medications.
Selection, Preparation, and Storage
You'll find anise in almost any grocery store, generally in the spice aisle. Anise seed is sold whole or ground. Many Middle Eastern, Italian, German, and Indian recipes call for it.
Store anise like you do other spices: in an airtight container and away from heat and light. Whole seeds usually last three to four years. Ground anise seed usually lasts two to three years.
You can purchase anise extract or anise oil for medicinal use in many natural-foods stores and shops specializing in dietary supplements, as well as online.
Read labels carefully. Star anise oil—which is from a completely different herb—is also commonly sold and may be labeled as anise oil. To ensure you are purchasing anise, look for a product that specifies Pimpinella anisum or anise seed on its label. (Tip: If the bottle has a star-shaped brown fruit on its label, it is likely sourced from star anise.)
Also, keep in mind that supplements like anise are largely unregulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to government standards, it is illegal to market a dietary supplement as a treatment or cure for a specific disease or to alleviate the symptoms of a disease.
But these products are not tested by the FDA for safety or effectiveness. In some cases, the product may deliver doses that differ from the specified amount for each herb. In other cases, the product may be contaminated with other substances.
Some consumers look for products that have been certified by ConsumerLabs, U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), or NSF International. These organizations don't guarantee that a product is safe or effective, but they do provide a certain level of quality assurance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Anise's flavor is often described as being similar to black licorice, but licorice and anise do not come from the same plant. However, black licorice candy is traditionally flavored with anise, not licorice root, as some naturally assume.
No, although it’s common for recipes or grocery store signs to use the terms interchangeably. The confusion is not surprising. Anise and fennel taste similar and are both in the parsley family, but they’re from different plants. While anise seeds are used in cooking, fennel seeds, leaves, and bulbs are all edible.
Anise (Pimpinella anisum) may help people with diabetes control their blood sugar and lower their risk of heart disease. In studies, the herb helped reduce hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and hyperlipidemia (high fats in your blood).