Archives for posts with tag: organic infant formula

Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 8.40.24 PMMany moons (and sleepless nights) ago, I wrote a post about my battle with breastfeeding. After five-and-a-half months, I had to completely stop. When the breastfeeding issues peaked, I began to research how to make my own formula. It was a devastating decision at the time, but looking back now, it was definitely the right one for our family.  With the permission of my pediatrician, and under the guidance of my trusted clinical nutritionist, we found an excellent recipe that has since proven to be a complete success.

Now at a year old, I see that my son, Beckett, didn’t just “get by” on his formula, he thrived. Beckett is in the twenty-fifth percentile for weight and ninetieth for height, which is pretty much where he has been since his first four months of life when he was exclusively breastfed. He loves and eats all foods and is allergy-free. He has never been to the doctor for illness. Beckett is strong, active, happy, and everything I hoped he would be despite the switch to the homemade formula early on.

When Beckett reached the one year mark, he seamlessly transitioned from drinking his formula to plain, raw goat milk. I still use the leftover ingredients from the formula recipe for his late morning smoothie so I know he’s still getting the benefits of all the wonderful nutrients that went in each and every bottle. He drinks his milk from a sippy cup and it was very easy to get him off his beloved bottle. The transition was far easier than I imagined! His body has adjusted perfectly.

Before becoming a new mom, I never considered the possibility I’d have issues with breastfeeding. I imagined this perfect little dance between mom and baby with both sides enjoying the benefits and the bond. When it wasn’t going my way, I became a total emotional mess and was convinced that Beckett was going to suffer tremendously because of it. I am sure he experienced my stress and anxiety during that time. It really was a battle in our house with this lady putting far too much pressure on herself to try to make it work. And when it was no longer under my control, I researched an alternative that seemed to be the best choice for our situation.

If you find yourself in a similar boat, please be kind to yourself and know that there are excellent alternatives besides commercial formula, if that doesn’t feel like the best option for you. You aren’t a terrible mother for supplementing or not breastfeeding if you’ve done your best (as I am sure you have – don’t we all try to do what’s best for our kids?) There are great ways to supplement or feed your baby what I believe to be the next best thing to mother’s milk. Having said that, I am in no way suggesting you don’t breastfeed. Breast milk from a healthy mother is definitely the best option. I still would have chosen that path if things had been different, and should I have another child, I hope to breastfeed exclusively for a far longer period of time! Even with all of the many problems I faced while breastfeeding, I really loved it.

In addition to my homemade formula recipe, the Weston A. Price Foundation has created a few other excellent recipes: a similar goat milk recipe to mine, a raw cow’s milk recipe and a lactose-free liver based one for babies that can’t tolerate dairy. I’m not going to lie – it wasn’t an inexpensive choice to make my own formula, but neither is buying the canned stuff! Planning and thinking ahead was an important part of making my own formula.  I traveled with my formula pre-made and frozen in a bag on one trip, and on another trip I made it fresh by packing all of the ingredients so I could whip up a fresh batch once I got to my destination. I treated it just like breast milk as it consisted of many raw ingredients; it never went through x-rays at the airport, never sat out for more than a few hours and I never froze it for more than a couple of months. Like anything with babies, it just meant a little more preparation. It really was easy and quick to make and there was never any resentment on my part. I can proudly say that making my own formula was a process I loved and enjoyed and I hope you have a similar experience, no matter how you choose to feed your baby!

Excellent Resources for Formula feeding (commercial and homemade) and Breastfeeding:

More questions answered on my specific recipe (slightly altered from the Weston Price one) on Organic Thrifty’s Site

FAQs on homemade formula recipes on Weston Price Foundation Site

How-to video for making the same formula recipe that I used

Wonderful Yahoo Group, WAP Healthy Babies, for information and support on making homemade formula with like-minded parents

Fantastic formula feeding support site

Great article for those of you that formula feed and have any feelings of guilt or shame about it (Thanks for this one, Hillary!)

Information on raw milk versus pasteurized

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Written by Lana House

Studio Owner, House Pilates

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If you read my latest post about my battle with breastfeeding, I recently had to give up breastfeeding and decided to transition Beckett onto an organic, homemade formula. I decided that the time I had spent both pumping and breastfeeding could be put to great use by making Beckett his formula, rather than buying in a can. Additionally, I did not want to put Beckett on a cow milk formula as I didn’t think it would be a good match for him. From the beginning he seemed to be sensitive to dairy (I cut out dairy early when breastfeeding as I noticed he was significantly less fussy  once I did) and since I too have always had a sensitivity to it, I felt goat’s milk would be a better fit for him. Plus, I wanted to do what I believe is the next best option to breast milk by giving him something homemade and fresh.

Goat milk is believed to be more gentle on the digestive system and has more similar nutrient qualities to breast milk than cow milk. Dr. Sears (famous pediatrician and author) wrote a great page on goat milk as it pertains to feeding infants, toddlers and children. To summarize, he breaks down the qualities of goat milk and compares them to cow’s milk pointing out that goat milk is easier to digest due to the different fat and protein content. It also has many higher levels of nutrients such as the antioxidant selenium, potassium, Vitamin B-6, calcium, niacin and copper and in some cases the nutrients are more than doubled the percentage in cow milk. It does however have less folic acid and B12, which is why commercial goat milk infant formula is not sold in the United States. In the recipe I use below you will notice there are great sources of B vitamins to make up for what is lost in using goat milk. (Additionally, I have Beckett supplemented with a multi-vitamin and fish oil).

In doing the research for a goat-milk based formula recipe, I came across the one below on a nutritional therapist’s health blog, Organic Thrifty. It is adapted from my most trusted and favorite cookbook, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, so I immediately knew it was the right recipe for us. With the permission of our pediatrician and clinical nutritionist, I found a local co-op that sells raw goat’s milk and began making Beckett’s new food.

In a nutshell Sally Fallon is a founder of the Weston Price Foundation, which is a nonprofit charity dedicated to restoring nutrient dense foods to the human diet through education, research and activism.  Dr. Weston Price was a dentist who wanted to figure out what was causing the tooth decay he was seeing in his practice and decided to study cultures around the world. In his studies he learned that beautiful straight teeth free of decay were prevalent in cultures that were eating traditional, organic diets much like those of our ancestors, full of healthy natural fats.

In another post I will go into detail about the differences between drinking raw milk versus pasteurized but if you are curious as to why, Realmilk.com is a great website that breaks down the facts. If it is something that makes you nervous, that is completely understandable as we live in a country that has instilled fear in us about eating/drinking raw dairy. This recipe can still be made with pasteurized goat milk which may be the only thing available to you anyway. It isn’t easy to find raw goat milk everywhere and may have to really research it if it is important to you.

The Weston Price Foundation also has a non-dairy homemade formula alternative on their site for those interested. They have a very handy page that compares the nutrients of their cow milk, goat milk and non-dairy liver based formulas versus commercial formula and breast milk. I found it super interesting!

Weston Price Infant Formula Nutrient Comparison

I am very happy to report Beckett has been thriving on his new food with no issues on it whatsoever. As with any transition from breast milk to formula it took a couple of weeks for his body to regulate but is now doing fantastic and he LOVES the taste. In fact, I have been drinking it a few times a week as well since it is so nutritious and I don’t mind the taste at all. I can’t believe how much energy I have after drinking a bottle!

Happy Formula Making!

(Taken straight from Organicthrifty.com and a few of my notes added in red as well)

Disclaimer: It must be said that you should consult your health care practitioner for any and all infant feeding questions, and be certain that you have taken all measures in order to increase your breast milk supply if in fact you are supplementing for lack of milk as I was. Since I had thoroughly exhausted my efforts at increasing supply, I sought the most high-quality alternative under the supervision of two naturopathic doctors. Also, make sure to get a supply of goat milk from a farmer you can trust. If you must use pasteurized goat milk, you can do so as well.

Raw Goat Milk Formula**
36 ounces:

2 cups raw goat milk

2 cups filtered water

1/4 cup liquid whey from goat yogurt or kefir (contains lots of good probiotics and is very nourishing; making it more like breast milk.)  HERE IS THE RECIPE I USE FROM NOURISHING TRADITIONS

 1 -2 tsp organic blackstrap molassas (start with less, add more if needed. This provides B-vitamins, iron, trace minerals, and helped relieve constipation.) BECKETT GETS THE FULL 2 TSP.

2 tsp raw agave nectar (adds carbs, necessary for brain growth. Alternatively, you could use lactose, but I wanted to avoid this as I could not find a source that was made from goat milk since Jonathan was reacting to anything made from cow milk. Organic Brown Rice Syrup is also an option, but I didn’t like the processing involved here. Obviously honey is out.)

1/4 tsp of bifodobacterium infantis (I used Metagenics “Bifidus” which is a dairy-free culture and of high quality. Also, Bio-Kult is a strong probiotic that has been used with infants as well. Consult your ND! Available through naturopaths, chiropractors, and other practitioners. I GET OUR PROBIOTICS FROM OUR NUTRITIONIST AND CHIROPRACTOR’S OFFICE. DELSON INSTITUTE FOR WELLNESS

1/2 teaspoon high-vitamin cod liver oil

1 tsp unrefined sunflower oil (Rapunzel brand)

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp virgin coconut oil (this is very important, as it contains lauric acid which is a medium-chain fatty acid. It’s an important antiviral, antifungal that’s found in breast milk)

2 tsp nutritional yeast (this is also very important as it contains the B vitamins. I like Bob’s Red Mill “Food Yeast” and Frontier as well. They are MSG-Free ) I LIKE LEWIS LABS AS IT IS GLUTEN-FREE

1/4 teaspoon amla or acerola powder (I prefer amla, as it does not contain any extra additives, and I found this for cheap in an Indian store) I WAS ABLE TO FIND ACEROLA WITHOUT ADDITIVES AT THE LOCAL HEALTH FOOD CO-OP

Blend all ingredients together in a blender. Pour into individual glass bottles or one large. To warm, place in a pan of simmering water. Never use a microwave. This formula is best made daily to preserve freshness and to optimize nutrition.

**With my busy work and life schedule, I can’t always make it fresh every morning as is suggested so I will often make one or two big batches for the week and freeze the week’s worth.  I then take it out the day I need it and use it within 24 hours of defrosting. I basically follow the same rule as I did with breast milk but just to be extra cautious, I try to use what is fresh within a couple of days of making.

It may seem like quite a commitment to make but the more you make it, the faster you can do it. I can make two days worth in less than twenty minutes from start to finish. My amazing mom went out and found me 42 glass bottles so that when I make it to freeze, it is already in an individual 6 oz serving. If you don’t have the freezer space for that but still would like to be able to make ahead, you can also use 36 oz glass jars and freeze the day’s worth that way.

Making the whey is the only thing that really takes time and planning. I like to start it at night and by the morning I have at least one cup of whey (4 days’ worth) and by the end of that day I can get up to another 4 days’ worth. I never clean the spoons between ingredients and get everything out before I start to save time. If you’d like more info about my efficient routine and experience, feel free to email me!

Lana House

Studio Owner, House Pilates

Lana@housepilates.com