Let me preface this post by saying that I am a firm believer that "breast is best." Breast milk is the perfect food for a growing baby, and it is truly magical how breast milk can change in order to meet the needs of our growing babies. However, not all mamas are able to breastfeed. Whether it is due to a low supply, an inability to produce milk altogether, anatomical issues in mother or baby, problems with latching, or even adoption, sometimes formula becomes necessary for the well being and survival of the baby. And thank goodness that option is available!
As I talked about in my previous post, My Breastfeeding Experience, I struggled with breastfeeding my son for the first three months of his life. I saw two different pediatricians, several lactation consultants, and no one was able to help me. I was told that my son's latch "looked fine" and that they had no idea why he wasn't doing a nutritive suck to transfer milk efficiently.
Our first pediatrician chalked it up to my son being a "lazy nurser" and handed me a six pack of liquid baby formula and told to begin formula feeding him and accept that breastfeeding wasn't working. I went home and cried. I wasn't ready to give up on breastfeeding, and was willing to do whatever it took to make sure my son got as much of my breast milk as possible. However, when he was about a month old I finally faced the fact that I was going to have to supplement my child. We were lucky enough to have my sister-in-law who had a baby three months before I did, and who's milk supply is beyond incredible. She offered to donate some of her milk to us to use as supplementation instead of formula, and we jumped at the opportunity! We tried this for a couple of weeks but my son was having a hard time drinking her milk. He would cry and have terrible gas afterwards and we had no idea why. I assumed it had to be something in her diet. (I was right, but more on that later.) So we decided to stop using her milk and try formula.
I did a ton of research (something I do often) on which were the safest, purest baby formulas on the market. I asked friends for advice, and even went as far as to order baby formula from Europe as it was by far the best one I could find. I later came to find out that when baby formula is shipped overseas it is x-rayed, which then changes the makeup of the formula...not ideal. Back to the drawing board. I finally settled on the best organic baby formula I could find that was available in the US, called Baby's Only Organic Whey Formula. At first my son seemed to be doing well on it and he certainly had no issue with the taste! But after a week or so his tummy troubles were back and worse than ever. He now had acid reflux, gas, and colic. I was finding mucus in his poopy diapers (gross) and became concerned that he had a food allergy. After many lengthy discussions with his pediatrician, stool test, and my insistence that he had a sensitivity to cow milk protein, our pediatrician finally agreed. I was instructed to cut out ALL dairy from my diet (since I was, and still am also breastfeeding my baby) and I was told to switch him to a hypoallergenic formula.
Hypoallergenic baby formulas are still made with cows milk, but go through a process to essentially "pre-digest" the milk proteins. Therefor a lot of additional synthetic crap is added into the formula to meet the nutritional standards. There is NO organic option and the hypoallergenic formulas smell (and taste) like chemicals. They are full of GMO corn products and other harmful ingredients. This was in no way going to be a long term solution for my son, but until I could figure out what else to do, I decided to try it. My son refused to drink it! (Its that bad folks.) I'd been toying around with the idea of making my own homemade formula, so I did hours of research on the subject and decided to give it a go. And you know what? My son LOVES it and gobbles it right up! He only needs one 3-4oz bottle of formula a day at MOST now that we have mostly resoled our breastfeeding issues, so my husband gives it to him before bed and he sleeps so well! He is growing well, thriving, has an excellent weight gain pattern, and our pediatrician continues to be impressed with how healthy and happy he is!
I chose to use goat milk as the base for this formula for a number of reasons. Goat milk most closely resembles the protein, fat, and carbohydrate structure of breast milk. Goat milk is much easier for babies to digest due to the softer curds as compared to cow milk. Goat’s milk does not contain agglutinin, therefor the fat globules do not cluster together, making them easier to digest. Goat milk is also much less likely to cause an allergic reaction than cows milk (cow milk protein allergy is the most common allergy amongst babies and children) because goat milk casein is much more similar in make up to human breast milk than cow's milk casein is and contains only trace amounts of the allergen alpha S1. Many babies who can not tolerate cow milk do well with goat milk (my son included!) Goat milk is higher in many essential vitamins and minerals than cows milk such as calcium, B16, niacin, vitamin A, and potassium, but it is lacking in folic acid and vitamin B12 so it must be added in to the formula to ensure that baby is getting adequate amounts of each.
*Please note that I am NOT a doctor. I am just a mama who is passionate about holistic wellness and whole foods and wants to be sure I am giving my baby the very best nourishment I can. Please consult your pediatrician if you are wanting to start your baby on homemade formula.
Homemade Organic Goat Milk Baby Formula Recipe: (makes 32oz)
32oz filtered water
4 tbsp full fat powdered goat milk (Meyenberg is a great brand and is fortified with folic acid and vitamin D which goat milk is lacking in.) OR you can use organic, raw full fat goat milk ~ if you choose this option then only use 1 7/8 cups of water (pour two cups and remove 2 tbsp to get 1 7/8 cups)
4 tbsp goat milk lactose (Mt. Capra makes a good one) OR you can use 4 tbsp organic raw turbinado sugar for carbohydrates
2 tsp organic raw coconut oil
2 tsp organic extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp organic unsulphured blackstrap molasses
2 tsp nutritional yeast (if your child has acid reflux then skip this ingredient)
1/4 cup organic liquid whey - see my post on how to make your own whey here
The following ingredients are to be added to ONE bottle per day only, NOT the entire batch:
Heat up about 1/2 of the water enough to melt the coconut oil, pour into a blender or Vitamix. Add in all ingredients EXCEPT for the goat milk. Add in remaining water (should be room temperature) and the goat milk. Blend on low until smooth and all ingredients are fully mixed. Keep this formula stored in glass bottles with a tight lid in the refrigerator and use it within 3-4 days. If you are only supplementing your child and not exclusively formula feeding and therefor do not need to make this large of a batch (I only make about 16oz each batch) you can modify the recipe for the amount you need, or you can freeze the extra (use within 2-3 months). To heat the formula, place the bottle in a bowl of hot water until warmed. DO NOT EVER MICROWAVE BABY FORMULA as it can create "hot pockets" and burn the baby, and microwaving also depletes the nutritional value of the formula as well as breast milk.
Is your baby thriving on this amazing recipe? If so, let me know!