I was so inspired by her story and wanted to share her positive experience with you. I know there are countless women out there who can’t breastfeed for a variety of reasons, and my hope is that you too will be encouraged and inspired by my friend and her baby.
- Why did you decide to make your own baby formula at home?
I understand that breastfeeding is the best thing you can do for your baby, however, I had a surrogate and could not physically produce milk for my son. I tried to locate donor milk in Chicago, but I had a hard time finding someone I could trust. I did not feel comfortable receiving milk from someone I did not know, and buying pasteurized breast milk seemed pointless. I researched formula for weeks on end, and read numerous studies, and came to the conclusion that:
- Making my own milk was not that hard
- Formula companies had done a tremendous job paralyzing people with fear about making it themselves
- And that most of the products were incredibly inferior to what I could make at home. To begin with, almost all formulas use corn syrup as the sweetener and main carbohydrate source.
- What was in the formula and why did you choose these products?
Basically, for a baby you need two primary ingredients: carbohydrates and fats. In my first combination I used the Weston A. Price Foundation formula
Raw Milk Based Baby Formula
2 cups whole, raw milk from pasture-fed cows
1/4 cup homemade liquid whey
4 tablespoons lactose
1/4 teaspoon bifidobacterium infantis powder
2 or more tablespoons good quality raw cream, more if you are using milk from Holstein cows
1 teaspoon cod liver oil
1 teaspoon expeller pressed sunflower oil
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons coconut oil (heat to 76° to liquify)
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 teaspoons gelatin
1 7/8 cups filtered water
1/4 teaspoon acerola powder
But my son struggled with several ingredients which we identified over time. He was a c-section baby (so was deficient in gut flora), and was premature. Babies produce the enzyme to digest lactose (primary breast milk sugar) the last month they are developing, and we found he could not digest the lactose sugar and reacted strongly against it. He did much better with brown rice syrup. He also struggled with the nutritional yeast flakes, so I made him broth using chicken liver a few times a week for iron and B12. He also could not digest the gelatin, but I felt that the broths assisted him with this. Eventually we switched from cows milk to goats milk and we arrived to our perfect combination:
Cod liver oil
Baby probiotic from Natren
Several times a week, we gave him broth made from chicken livers. We also gave him fresh coconut water from Thai coconuts. This was one of the most dramatic changes we had seen. He did struggle since his birth with digestion. This is to be expected from c-section babies, premature, and not breast fed. However, his gas disappeared instantly and was never to come back after the first time we fed him fresh coconut water. Later, I would understand that not only do we receive our first inoculation of bacteria when we go through the vaginal canal, but also minerals. My son had no magnesium, an important mineral for bowel health and mental ease. I added colostrum from a trusted company who sources and produces it well. This was to assist in intestinal health and immunity. I am a huge believer in coconuts for babies. They include necessary minerals and is the only known source that also has lauric acid, a type of fat found in mother’s milk. Finally, we supplemented cod liver oil for Vitamin A and E.
- How long was he on this formula?
Until he was 6 or 7 months old.
- Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently, in regards to his diet?
I would have kept him on the formula for longer. I would have kept him off gluten strictly.
- Your sweet baby boy recently turned one. Can you describe his health during the first year of his life?
His health has been fantastic. He has regular bowel movements which is very rare for a formula fed baby. Although doctors said to expect 1 bowel movement every few days, he has consistently had several per day. I’ve also had many mothers comment that his poop ‘appeared’ exactly like breastfed baby poop. I felt pretty accomplished with this commentary (smile).
- Why did you decide to not vaccinate your baby?
I felt terribly uneasy about it, and didn’t think it was worth the gamble. Many of my friends have not vaccinated their babies and they are healthy. Statistically, most babies who come down with measles and whooping cough have been vaccinated. I am still not opposed to vaccines, but i would prefer for my son to be a bit older when he receives them, and not all at once. In america they give 22 vaccines in the first year, and this is not necessary as far as I am concerned. My baby is extraordinarily healthy, and just had a very mild cold (his first bout with illness), at 14 months old.
- Did you experience any resistance to this decision from family/friends/doctors/etc?
Yes, I had family members call me and tell me I was jeopardizing my son’s life. My mother-in-law actually cried about it. Doctor’s usual lecture.
- Have you done anything specific to prevent against the diseases the vaccinations are given for?
I still give him probiotics and colostrum. Millions of studies show how effective these things are against every disease including AIDS and cancer. This is not made up, totally documented, scientifically proven. We strengthen his immune system, avoid GMOs.