What You Should Never Feed Your Baby!
If you’re pregnant, especially for the first time, you are being hit with decision after decision on where to have your baby, what name to use, what car seat to buy, and the list goes on and on. We know the challenges of making all of the decisions and the pressure you feel from friends, family, doctors and yourself to make the best decision for your baby. One very important and often controversial decision is what will be your baby’s first food.
In 1867 the first commercial baby formula was released. Ever since then companies and some hospitals and doctors have tried to convince mothers to feed their child formula over breast milk. We’ve all heard the arguments, it’s easier, it’s more convenient, your baby isn’t getting enough milk, it’s the exact same as breast milk without the hassle, etc. Well we’re here to not only tell you that these aren’t true at all, but these lies are actually keeping you from giving your child the best chance for great health now and in the future.
Here are just some of the dangers of giving your baby formula:
- Have lower IQs than breastfed babies.
- May be at a greater risk for type 1 and type 2 diabetes and Parkinson's disease later in life.
- Lack of beneficial bacteria in their intestines to help them digest food and fight germs.
- Lack of natural antibodies to build a strong immune system.
- Hormone imbalance
- Heart disease
- Diarrhea and bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease
- Asthma, allergies, and respiratory infections
- Eczema and other skin conditions
- More likely to die in infancy and childhood.
- Increase risk for SIDS.
The Problems with Formula
The formula that you buy in the store is either made from cow’s milk or soy milk, and both are not designed for your infant to consume.
1. Let’s look at cow’s milk first.
Although cow’s milk is not inherently bad, it is not designed for your infant. Cow’s milk was designed to help a 60lb calf become a 1,000lb+ cow. The protein ratios in cow’s milk are much higher in casein and lower in whey than human’s milk and this can make a world of difference for a newborn baby’s digestion. These different proteins are digested at different rates and can limit the baby’s ability to absorb nutrients properly. We have to realize that one is designed specifically for a calf’s digestive system and the other is designed for a baby’s digestive track. In addition, any dairy that is in store bought formula is pasteurized, which means that all the enzymes that help the body digest the cow’s milk are killed, making it hard for even a grown adult’s body to process it.
2. Soy, the most dangerous thing to give your baby.
If you only take one thing away from this, it should be to NEVER eat or feed your baby or child soy, EVER!! Unfortunately, most formula is made from soy, one of the worst products on the market. 90-95% of soy of is genetically modified (GM). It is estimated that infants fed soy formula have 13,000 to 22,000 times the amount of estrogen in their little bodies than infants fed other types of formula or who are breast fed. In fact, infants fed soy formula take in an estimated three to five birth control pills' worth of estrogen every day. Can you imagine giving your baby birth control? This increased estrogen leads to a massive hormone imbalance within the child which can cause:
- Food allergies and digestive distress
- Behavioral problems
- Thyroid disorders
- Early puberty and fertility problems (including anovulatory cycles; the inability to menstruate)
- Women who were fed soy formula as babies were 25% more likely to develop uterine fibroids, the leading cause of hysterectomy.
3. The Water
Soy and dairy are only two of the ingredients of many that are in formula that were not designed for your baby to eat. In addition to what’s in the formula itself, is water, usually tap water. Tap water is filled with fluoride, chlorine, and other harmful chemicals that you would never imagine giving your new baby. None of these ingredients were designed for your baby, nor humans in general to consume. These ingredients given to a baby at such a young age can not only cause health problems immediately, but they can manifest when they are children or even adults.
The Amazing Benefits of Breast Milk
It is crazy to think that man can mimic something so amazing and important as breast milk. Why do we think that we can duplicate something that God created? God not only designed breast milk to feed and nourish your baby perfectly, but He also designed it to be the best first food possible. The first milk that comes in for the baby is called colostrum, nicknamed, “liquid gold.” Colostrum is key for your baby's health immediately and long-term because it’s full of antibodies and immunoglobulins that protect the baby as he or she is exposed to the new world filled with bacteria and viruses, helping the digestive tract, and acting as a natural inoculation. Isn't our God an amazing designer? He created the mother to not only feed the child with milk filled with nutrients specifically designed to grow her child, but also included a natural process to jump start their immune system to prepare the baby’s body for entering the world. This is a much better option than our modern invention of vaccination (learn more about vaccinations).
Hormones and the Mother-Baby Connection
The last and possibly one of the most important reasons we urge people to breastfeed is to allow the mother and baby to connect on a deep intimate level. This is something that a man in a white lab coat could never duplicate. The skin to skin connection and the hormones released during breastfeeding create a powerful bond between the mother and child. We even discourage mothers from pumping as much as possible because the connection is just not the same and neither is the milk. Did you know that the milk the mother produces will actually change as the baby grows to adapt to the baby’s needs and even the milk you produce at night is different from the milk you produce in the morning? We understand the need for many women to pump as a means to keep nursing and return to work, but realize that the woman’s body is an amazing creation and cannot be mimicked by formula or a pumping machine.
Breastfeeding releases two hormones. One is prolactin which helps the woman’s body know to produce more milk, and the other is oxytocin. Oxytocin is a powerful hormone that helps the woman's uterus contract and return back to normal size. It is a natural antidepressant, increases mood and helps prevent postpartum depression. It is absolutely key for the bonding process. It’s the same hormone that is released during loving behaviors which make us feel good about the other person. This hormone allows for a deeper connection between the mother and baby and helps the mom fall even more in love with her child, which normally leads to increased care and interaction for the baby.
Check out this comparison of breast milk and formula to see the real difference in what was designed by God to be given to your child and what was designed by man.
Options for women who are not able to breastfeed
Breast milk contains everything the newborn will need during the first months of life that formula will never be able to replicate. However, we understand that there are times when a mother is unable to breastfeed due to health reasons or in the case of adoption. There are other options out there for women beyond the genetically modified soy or hormone filled dairy based formulas loaded with synthetics.
- Make your own homemade formula - we recommend the formula based on raw goat’s milk or liver using the WAP Foundation guidelines for homemade formula.
- Donor breast milk from someone you know and trust for the first months of life.
If these methods are used or even a store bought formula we do encourage you to introduce early weaning foods such as avocado, coconut, farm fresh egg yolks, homemade chicken broth, sauerkraut juice and pureed tropical fruits (which contain enzymes for digestion) when baby is ready, some start as early as 4-6 months.
Products to help women breastfeed
1. To increase milk supply
- Milk Rich - Wish Garden
- Nursing Magic - Herbally Grounded
- Fertility Tea - Spirit of Health Bulk Herb Section
- Mother’s Milk Tea - Traditional Medicinal
2. To prevent or heal from blocked ducts or mastitis
- Happy Ducts Tincture - Wish Garden
- Happy Ducts Compress - Wish Garden for topical application
- Echinacea - Cedar Bear to kill a lymph infection
- Cabbage Leaves for topical application
- **Important to eliminate dairy, processed sugars and grains to take stress off lymphatic system
We know that breastfeeding can challenging for moms and babies so we encourage you to read our 10 tips to assist with breastfeeding before switching over to a reliance formula.