Alternatives to Baby Formula

Hello Mommies and Daddies. Thank you for reading with me today! As you know, I created happyhealthychildren.org to help parents throw off today’s toxic modern culture and get back to the basics of raising happy, healthy children. Today I want to talk with you about alternatives to baby formula.

You may be asking why I am discussing alternatives to baby formula rather than just encouraging mothers to breastfeed.  While I am a big proponent of breast-feeding (please check out my video Breastfeeding and its Benefits to Both Mom and Baby), there are many mothers who either cannot produce milk, do not produce enough milk to fully nourish their baby or they have a medical condition that prevents them from passing their milk along to their baby. 

This post is targeting those moms because, even if you cannot breastfeed, your baby is going to turn out awesome. And we want to provide you with information that will help you to raise the happiest, healthiest baby possible!

What does the FDA say about alternatives to baby formula?

Firstly, I should tell you that, according to the FDA, the only good alternative to breastmilk is store-bought baby formula. But is this really the case? We have seen that, over the past several weeks, multiple baby formulas have been recalled due to contamination that has actually led to death in at least two babies. 

You may ask: what about when baby formula is made in a clean setting? Is it then the best option for my baby?  That is up for you, as a parent, to decide. I would encourage you to take some time researching the issue and also researching the ingredients in store-bought baby formulas. I have provided a picture of one such ingredients list below.  Corn syrup solids, soy protein isolate, sugar, soy oil??  These are all ingredients that we try to avoid in our own daily diets, right? So why would the powers that be encourage parents to feed them to a developing baby? (Food for thought…no pun intended.)

Alternatives to store-bought baby formula

The first and most common alternative to store-bought baby formula is homemade baby formula. Again, the American Academy of Pediatricians and the FDA do not recommend homemade baby formula. But, if you do your research on other issues that feel the AAP and the FDA recommend either for or against, you may question whether their recommendations are always best for your family.

Homemade baby formula is fairly simple to make. There are several recipes online. You can also consult with a nutritionist for advice.  Once you have selected a recipe, I would recommend checking with your baby’s pediatrician to make sure that you are not missing any critical ingredients and that all ingredients are used at the correct ratios for your baby’s age and size.

When cooking for your baby, always use best hygiene practices. Wash your hands regularly and clean surfaces thoroughly.  Also, remember, whether you are cooking for adults, young children or making baby formula, the most important thing you can do to optimize nutrition is to use quality ingredients. Your baby is at a critical age. Make sure to purchase the best ingredients available for your baby formula.

Milk from a breast bank as an alternative to baby formula

Some mothers choose to use milk from a breast bank to feed their young babies. In this case, lactating women supply their milk to a breast bank because they know there are some mothers who cannot breast feed and the donors want to help. This is a great option, particularly for the youngest of babies. Breast bank milk provides babies with the nutrients of breastmilk that optimize health and development. The breast banks also screen the milk for disease prior to dispensing it.

What are the downsides of milk from a breast bank? Firstly, it is very expensive. So expensive, in fact, that you may decide to combine milk from a breast bank with homemade baby formula due to financial constraints.  Secondly, breast banks pasteurize their milk, which, depending on your perspective, you may see as a pro or a con. Finally, breast milk banks will only sell you 40 ounces of breastmilk without a prescription. So, if you know or suspect that you will be in the situation of not being able to breast feed, make sure to speak with your baby’s pediatrician early on to get a prescription.

Nursemaids as an alternative to baby formula…yes, nursemaids really exist!

The final alternative to baby formula is the use of nursemaids. These are ladies who are lactating and physically nurse your baby. Nursemaids are not a new concept. They have been around since almost the beginning of time. For those of you who are familiar with the story of Moses, you will remember that Pharaoh’s daughter actually hired Moses’ own mother to be his nursemaid!

The advantages of using a nursemaid as an alternative to baby formula are that your baby gets fresh breastmilk from a lady who is living in the same environment as your baby. She is being exposed to a lot of the same pathogens and environmental toxins and can provide your baby with defenses against these.

Unfortunately, there are several disadvantages of nursemaids. First, you cannot ensure that your baby’s nursemaid is free of transmissible diseases. Even if you have the nursemaid tested sporadically throughout the nursing process, they can pick up a communicable disease at any time and pass this on to your baby. Secondly, while you as a mother can make sure that you are living a healthy lifestyle, eating properly and not using harmful substances, you cannot ensure this in your nursemaid.  If she has a wild night out or eats a box of twinkies, the toxins in her system will be transmitted to your baby.  Thirdly, nursemaids are expensive. Finally, some mothers struggle with the concept of another woman nursing their baby. Emotionally, it is a difficult concept for some mothers to bear. I would say, of the three alternatives to baby formula, the nursemaid is my least favorite.

Medical disclaimer

As you know, although I am a board-certified medical doctor, I do not provide medical advice on my website. However, it is my job to provide you with the information that you, as a parent, need to know to raise happy, healthy children. You are a sovereign individual, responsible for the care of your children. Therefore, it is your responsibility, not the responsibility of the FDA, the CDC or even your pediatrician, to make medical decisions for your baby.

That being said, I would advise you to check in with your pediatrician during this process so as to get their opinion on whatever decision you make for feeding your baby. After all, if you trust your pediatrician enough to put your faith in them to care for your baby, hopefully they have good input that will help you along in this process.

Thank you for reading with me today.  I wish you joy and patience in raising your happy, healthy children.  Please enter your email address below to subscribe to my blog, which will allow my future posts to come directly to your inbox.  Write to me at dr.pamela@happyhealthychildren.org with any topics you would like to see me cover in the future .  And please share my Gettr account, Facebook page, YouTube videos and Instagram with your friends and family.  My goal is to help parents get back to the basics of raising happy, healthy children!

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