Lots of new moms plan on breastfeeding. And lots of moms try very hard to breastfeed. And lots of moms……can’t. So what is the best, natural, healthiest alternative to that oh-so-perfect breast milk? Here’s what I did.
There are a ton of reasons why breastfeeding doesn’t work out like you plan. Low milk supply, a mom that is on medicine after labor, a baby that doesn’t latch on, mastitis, reactions to the food mom eats that’s in her milk, a very busy work schedule. And that’s just a few of the reasons. So you can test out theories to increase your supply. You can rearrange, change positions, and wiggle around to try to get your baby to latch on. You can try home remedies to cure your mastitis. But in the meantime, you have a hungry baby. I am not suggesting that you give up. Not at all. But if you need to supplement while you troubleshoot breastfeeding, it’s okay! Or if breastfeeding isn’t going to work out for you at all, it’s okay!
My breastfeeding story is a little different. I actually never tried since my son is adopted (see his placement story here). My son, Morrison, has never been breastfed (as far as I know. He was with his birth mother for a few days and she may have breastfed him).
Morrison was born allergic to pretty much everything. He was violently allergic to dairy and soy. It’s very hard to find a commercial formula that doesn’t have dairy or soy. Before he came home, his amazing transition family tried a lot of different formulas trying to find anything he could keep down and not have horrible reflux after eating (read more about that here). When Morrison came home at 1 month old, he was on a prescription formula and 4 medicines he took daily. As I am writing this, he is now 23 months old and has ZERO allergies.
The Problem With Commercial Baby Formula
Oh where to begin… Here are the formulas that Morrison was given during the first month when he was with his wonderful transition family. Read more about it here.
- Similac Advance – couldn’t keep it down
- Similac Isomil Soy – lots of gas and cramping
- Similac Sensitive – couldn’t keep it down and cried for hours after eating
- Similac Alimentum – better but still cried a lot
- Neocate – This is a prescription. This is what he was currently eating on the day he came home at 1 month old.
I have listed the ingredients in the soy and prescription formulas because those are 2 very common formulas recommended for babies with allergies.
Here are the ingredients in Similac Isomil Soy:
Corn Syrup Solids (39%), Soy Protein Isolate (14%), High Oleic Safflower Oil (11%), Sugar (10%), Soy Oil (8%), Coconut Oil (8%). Less than 2% of the Following: C. Cohnii Oil, M. Alpina Oil, Beta-Carotene, Lutein, Lycopene, Fructooligosaccharides, Calcium Phosphate, Potassium Citrate, Salt, Magnesium Chloride, L-Methionine, Ascorbic Acid, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, m-Inositol, Zinc Sulfate, L-Carnitine, Mixed Tocopherols, Niacinamide, d-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Cupric Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Palmitate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Phylloquinone, Biotin, Sodium Selenate, Vitamin D3, Cyanocobalamin, Potassium Chloride, and Potassium Hydroxide
Here are the ingredients in Neocate:
Corn Syrup Solids (54%), Refined Vegetable Oil (Medium Chain Triglycerides (8%), High Oleic Sunflower Oil (6%), Sunflower Oil (5%), Canola Oil (4%)), Calcium Phosphate Dibasic (2%), and less than 2% of each of the following: L-Arginine L-Aspartate, L-Leucine, Tripotassium Citrate, L-Lysine Acetate, L-Glutamine, L-Proline, CAEM (an emulsifier), L-Valine, Glycine, L-Isoleucine, L-Threonine, L-Phenylalanine, L-Tyrosine, L-Serine, L-Histidine, L-Alanine, Sodium Chloride, L-Cystine, Magnesium Chloride, L-Tryptophan, Choline Bitartrate, L-Methionine, Tricalcium Citrate, Magnesium L-Aspartate, M. Alpina Oil*, C. Cohnii Oil**, M-Inositol, L-Ascorbic Acid, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, L-Carnitine, Uridine 5’-Monophosphate Disodium Salt, Cytidine 5’-Monophosphate, Niacinamide, Inosine 5’-Monophosphate Disodium Salt, Adenosine 5’-Monophosphate, Calcium D-Pantothenate, Guanosine 5’-Monophosphate Disodium Salt, DL-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Manganese Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Cupric Sulfate, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Acetate, DL-Alpha-Tocopherol, Potassium Iodide, Mixed Tocopherols, Folic Acid, Chromium Chloride, Phylloquinone, Sodium Selenite, Sodium Molybdate, D-Biotin, Vitamin D3, Cyanocobalamin
Let’s take a closer look:
- Corn Syrup: We all know corn syrup is bad. So why are we feeding it to infants in the first months of their lives? Babies do not need any sweeteners at all in their formula, especially a synthetic one like corn syrup.
- C. Cohnii Oil and M. Alpina Oil: These are neurotoxic solvents with side effects like diarrhea, vomiting, gastrointestinal distress, and reflux (which my son had and many babies suffer from).
- Synthetic Ingredients: There’s not much in these 2 ingredient lists that is not synthetic. But some of the worst offenders are Lutein, Lycopene, Taurine, I-Carnitine, and L-Methionine.
Raw Goat’s Milk Formula
This is the recipe I used for my son. Please consult your physician before trying this or any other homemade formula recipe.
My son was allergic to cow’s milk. But he was not allergic to goat’s milk. Goat’s milk is much easier for a baby to digest than cow’s milk.
- Goat’s milk has a higher fat content than cow’s. The fat clusters are arranged in a way that makes it easier for the baby to digest.
- Camel’s milk is the closest milk to human milk, molecular structure. I don’t know anyone with a camel in Texas. Goat’s milk is the runner up.
- Goat’s milk has a softer and smaller protein than cow’s milk, making it easier to digest.
- Goat’s milk has less lactose than cow’s milk. So if you are lactose intolerant (like my son was), try goat’s milk.
Goat’s milk is low in folic acid. My homeopathic doctor prescribed an iron and folic acid compound that I added to his milk.
- *My son prefers the orange Fermented Cod Liver Oil. He still takes it now at 23 months old. And I take the cinnamon flavor. Read more about Fermented Cod Liver Oil here
- **Read more about probiotics here. Probiotics are important for all babies (breast milk is a natural source of probiotics), but especially important for babies with food allergies. Probiotics were a key part of reversing my son’s allergies.
- ***My homeopathic doctor prescribed a folic acid and iron compound to add to the raw goat’s milk. Add soft boiled egg yolks to your baby’s diet (as a solid food, not in the formula) as soon as you can (I added them at 4 months).
- ****Read about the health benefits of gelatin here
- This is the recipe I used for my son. Please consult your physician before trying this or any other homemade formula recipe.
Morrison will be 2 years old next month. He currently has zero allergies and is very healthy. He currently drinks raw cow’s milk now. He still takes his orange fermented cod liver oil and gelatin. He now gets his probiotics from homemade kefir.