Victoria is a stay-at-home mom, author, educator, and blogger at Healthy at Home. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.
When it comes to your kids, you want to feed them the best that there is to offer right? I’m assuming all of you have said “Absolutely yes! I want my kids to get the best there is to offer!”
When starting or adding your family, one of the important decisions that needs to be made is how you are going to feed your newborn(s) when they enter the world. Children should have the best, healthiest start to life. “The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continued breastfeeding for at least the first year of a child’s life.” (Voices)
Studies have shown that since over the years, the percentage of women breastfeeding, at least initially, has risen to 74.6% (MinnPost). However, after six months, just a mere 1 in 6 women is still breastfeeding due to work schedules, stress, and inconvenience, and so turn to baby formula for help. However, too many mothers are now learning what is actually being used in baby formulas.
What's Really in Baby Formula
Did you know that arsenic has been found in most baby formulas? Actually “six times the federal limit of 10 parts per billion (ppb) for total arsenic in bottled or public drinking water. This is particularly worrisome for babies because they are especially vulnerable to arsenic’s toxic effects due to their small size and the corresponding arsenic consumption per pound of body weight.” (Consumer Reports) It’s crazy that it’s even allowed at all. With this news being reported, several manufacturers are scrambling to fix the problem with organic alternatives.
No one reads the labels of something as simple as baby formula. We trust manufacturers to produce healthy, safe products, especially for our infants. But even if this dangerous poison isn’t in your baby formula, what about the chemicals, sugars, preservatives and growth hormones? These products have been proven to increase the likelihood of many common childhood sicknesses like allergies, asthma, childhood diabetes, and so many others.
Baby formula simply isn’t appropriate for babies. This bothers me so much that I had to find an alternative. Please read Carrie Vitt’s blog for more information on what is really in baby formula.
So What Do You Do if Breastfeeding is Not an Option?
For many women breastfeeding just isn’t an option. Maybe your baby won’t take your breast milk for one reason or another. Maybe you can’t produce enough milk to sufficiently feed your baby, or maybe you can’t produce at all. What about those mothers that are adopting children that don’t have the ability to produce milk not having been pregnant?
Many more women than you would think have this same issue. In fact, many healthy women that should be able to produce breast milk for their babies are not able to due to all of the chemicals and preservatives in their own diets. Consider reading labels on your food or reading some of the research on the real ingredients of the food most of the United States is putting into their mouths. You'd be horrified.
I am certainly not a vegetarian, a vegan, or an environmentalist. My husband and I are just normal people living like the rest of the US, but our baby-making efforts this last year have really brought a lot of information to light than we would have known about otherwise. Either way, new mothers should know their options, especially if they are not able to provide breast-milk to their little ones, or need a supplement.
There are other options for you! I realize this is a sensitive topic and I am not the most sensitive person to be discussing this, and for that I am sorry. But I feel like parents are entrusting companies with the health of their families that are being duped every day. It’s not your fault and you shouldn’t feel guilty at all. Science and new discoveries happen all the time, and are constantly changing their minds about what is right and what is not. I know you are doing the best you can for your children.
So What are My Options?
Great question! You can make your own formula, just like you could make your own baby food. The Weston Price Foundation has been a serious contributor to solving the issue of baby formula for new mothers. They have some great recipes for homemade baby formula. They also include a nutrient comparison chart, a price comparison chart, and other tips on how to feed your baby a nourishing diet. In fact, it’s actually cheaper to make your own formula than it is to buy it from the store. When you check out this website, you'll be surprised!
They teach you how to make “baby formula” the healthy way, made from cow’s milk, goat’s milk, or even liver, using eggs, cream and other REAL ingredients that haven’t had the GMOs, growth hormones, arsenic or other chemicals added yet. I know this sounds a little fruity and super environmental, but we’re talking about what you put into your infant’s body. If it can’t be your milk, wouldn’t you want to know that it was the absolutely best possible ingredients you could offer?
It may take a little bit of time on your part in the beginning, but most mothers that use these recipes have gotten it down to a mere ten minute process. The website will walk you through exactly how this is done, even in your likely sleep-deprived state. Less money, not much time, and healthy ingredients; isn’t your baby worth it? If you’re not convinced that you’re saving time and money, consider the doctor’s visits, medications, and medical bills in the future and that should convince you.
I don’t know about you, but I simply can’t trust commercial baby formulas.
For more information, visit The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action’s report, The 21 Dangers of Infant Formula. There is also the option of sites like Human Milk 4 Human Babies and Eats On Feets to find donor milk. There are plenty of options available to those of you concerned about what your brand-new infant is eating.
Do yourself and your baby a favor, and read the ingredient list on the back of the formula containers. I really hope this helps!
© 2013 Victoria Van Ness
Victoria Van Ness (author) from Fountain, CO on August 14, 2013:
Unfortunately I know it. :) Making your own is always much safer if you can't do breast milk.
MomInTraining123 on August 14, 2013:
You would be surprised to find what's in the organic formulas too. It's scary.