Before I share any info here, I want to start with a disclaimer: This is NOT meant to shame or place guilt on mothers who cannot nurse. This is simply meant to clear up confusion and provide answers for moms everywhere. I truly believe that every mother does the absolute best that she can for her child(ren) with the resources and knowledge she has, and I honor that to the highest level. I know how emotionally, physically, and mentally upsetting it can feel to not be able to breastfeed a child, and my hope is to provide information to support parents going through this however I can.
There are lots of reasons why a mother may not be able to nurse her child. Perhaps her milk didn’t come in, or her supply is low, or her work schedule won’t allow her to nurse. Whatever the reason, it is important to know the truth about commercial baby formulas, and that there are other options.
Commercial baby formulas are advertised to be healthy and nutritionally sufficient for babies, but this is not the case at all. In fact, they are ridden with chemicals, hormones, and harmful ingredients that can affect your baby’s health now and for life.
Most baby formulas are quite lacking in nutritional content. The first ingredient in several popular brands of formula is some form of corn syrup, which has NO nutritional value, and can increase a child’s risk of diabetes (both type I and II).
These formulas often contain either cow’s milk protein or soy protein, both of which have less than ideal effects on baby. Cow’s milk is, as I stated above, a cause of dampness (TCM term for mucus production), and can often be the culprit for children suffering from frequent sinus, ear, or respiratory infections (among other things). And as icing on the cake, most cow’s milk comes from cows that were given growth hormones, which end up in the milk and wreak havoc on a baby’s body.
Soy can be an issue because it is usually genetically modified and is full of hormone disrupting plant estrogens. Soy is also high in phytic acid which can contribute to weak and cavity-ridden teeth and poor bone structure/density.
Baby formula is powdered and meant to last a long time on the shelf, which means it must contain preservatives. These are NOT safe for an infant’s body, or even for an adult for that matter. Just as adults should try to steer clear of processed foods, so should babies.
Fake Fatty Acids
Lots of baby formula companies advertise that their product contains DHA and/or AHA, which are great for brain development and cellular health. The truth is, the formula contains synthetic forms of these essential fatty acids, which are not compatible to the needs of the body. These fake fatty acids can cause lots of digestive issues like colic, bloating, reflux, and diarrhea.
With all of this being said, it is clear that commercial formula is NOT the best option for baby’s nutrition and health.
Homemade Baby Formula Recipes
The Weston A. Price Foundation has done extensive research and come up with DIY formula recipes that meet baby’s nutritional needs. Click here to view the recipes.
The Healthy Home Economist has created a dairy free homemade formula with several variable options based on baby’s specific needs. Click here to view the recipes.
Avocado is the closest food to breastmilk, nutritionally. It is possible to make formula from blended and strained avocado, with coconut water and banana. Click here to listen to Anthony William speak about this option.
Making the Shift
Making your own formula for your child may seem daunting at first, but there are lots of ways to make it more attainable. First, you need to fully believe that this is the right option for your child, get all your questions answered by a healthcare practitioner, and let go of any doubts you may have. Trusting your choice is hugely important, otherwise you will become overwhelmed and exhausted both physically and emotionally by the process. Know that the beginning will be more tricky, and there will be some trial and error, but once you get into a routine with it, it’ll be smooth sailing!
Ask For Help
Enlist the help of a friend or family member to assist you in making the formula while you are recovering and healing from giving birth. Choose someone you trust, and someone who won’t pass judgement or give unsolicited advice.
Tips and Tricks
Have a designated workspace and a set of tools specifically for formula-making
Be sure to consult your child’s healthcare practitioner and work together as a team to develop a protocol that is best for your child. This article is in no way meant to replace or serve as medical advice, and should be used for informational purposes only.
Caitria is a licensed acupuncturist, Chinese herbalist, and intuitive guide. She specializes in pediatrics, pregnancy, and postpartum care. Caitria LOVES to share information to empower YOU, wherever you are on your healing journey.