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Infant formula - please help!

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  • Infant formula - please help!

    The good news... I have a beautiful, healthy 4-week old baby boy.

    The bad news... I am not healthy! I have had serious heart troubles all my life, and pregnancy only complicated things. I have just found out that I will need heart surgery in the next couple of weeks (as soon as they can schedule it) and I'm starting a medication that is not safe for breastfeeding right now.

    I feel so, so guilty about this. I was hoping to breastfeed for a year, but there is no way I can breastfeed while recovering from open heart surgery! I am holding on to hope that I can "relactate" if the surgery removes the need for medication, but after my frozen pumped supply runs out (in 2 weeks) the baby will have to be on formula.

    I spent so much time reading about why breast is best and how all formulas are chemical monstrosities that I am truly freaked out. So far the best formula I can find is this one, which I will have to ship from Europe: Holle Organic Infant Formula 1 400 g - Natural Products shop Violey. It is soy-free, which is very important to me, especially with a boy: I can't find a single soy-free formula in the US (what a load of c***)

    Does anyone have any other suggestions? I've looked at the homemade recipes on the WAPF website, but I don't think it's a realistic option (I'll be in hospital, my husband will be the sole help with the baby, and there is absolutely no way I trust him to mix up any of those things safely and following all instructions.) I don't have any nursing friends to borrow milk from, and I don't really trust unregulated donor milk... plus all the screened, "safe" milk banks pasteurize the milk anyway, which removes the good antibodies and seems to make the insane cost not worth it over a formula.

    PLEASE do not tell me that I am giving up, breastmilk is the only good option, I am dooming my baby with formula, or anything of that nature... I know it all already. This is truly a medical necessity. I am comforting myself that I have a wonderful healthy baby, was paleo all through pregnancy, had a completely natural and unmedicated birth, and will have given the baby human milk through the first six weeks. Other than my formula guilt we are managing all this stress really well... and yes, I know it is ridiculous (and primal!) of me that giving the baby formula is worrying me more than imminent open heart surgery! Most American babies are still fed formula...

    Please help. Does this Holle formula sound okay? Anyone want to share how brilliant, healthy and not damaged their formula-fed babies are? Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Goodness, give yourself a break hon! You're having heart surgery, you've done the absolute best that you can for your baby and you have the rest of his childhood to feed him awesome nutrition!

    My eldest daughter had only a few weeks of breast feeding before she shunned it totally so I had to bottle feed her in the end. She's tall, hugely intelligent, fit and disgustingly healthy and at 15, knows it all.

    I don't know the forumla myself as I'm in Aus, but soy free sounds like a great start. I'm sure others will jump in.

    Good luck with your surgery!


    • #3
      I hope this doesn't come as any offense, I certainly don't mean any by it, but why is it that you don't trust your husband to mix those formulas? You trusted him enough to have a child with, and he will be the child's father for the rest of his life no? Give us guys some more credit I've read the breastfeeding chapter in NT and to me, they seem like the next-best options.
      I never know what to put in these things. I write songs!


      • #4
        Congrats on having a healthy baby I'm sorry for all the stress you are under right now. I agree that you need to give yourself a break. Yes, breastmilk is best, but many babies thrive and are very, very healthy on formula.

        I think soy free is a good start, but is there any type of formula out there that doesn't contain vegetables oil? Something with a more natural fat in it? My top priority would be healthy fats and no corn syrup followed by the least soy possible.
        Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )


        • #5
          The WAPF formula is really the best advice I've got for you. Why don't you trust your husband to make the formula? There's a video showing you how to make it. Looks like it takes a little time, but not too difficult.

          Homemade Baby Formula, Homemade Infant Formula, Sally Fallon Baby Formula, Nourishing Traditions Baby Formula

          No one should give you a hard time about needing to use formula. It's not your fault, and there isn't much you can do about it. The Holle formula doesn't sound horrible, except for the fact that they remove dairy fat to add vegetable fat. HOWEVER, any formula is significantly better than knowingly poisoning your baby with medicated breastmilk, so don't let anyone make you feel bad about this. Good luck!
          Type 1 Diabetic. Controlling blood sugar through primal life.

          2012 Goals:
          Maintain A1c of 6.0 or lower
          More dietary fat, less carbs, moderate protein
          LHT and sprint as per PB fitness
          Play more!


          • #6
            Have you looked in to a local chapter of Eats on Feet? I wish I had known about it when I had my Grace. I tell everyone about it now, and it was one of our Primal members here on MDA that mentioned it. Moms who have a surplus of milk donate to those in need. That pretty much sums it up. If you don't mind using someone else's mojo, please look into it!

            nm, just read that you don't trust unregulated donor milk
            pardon my ADD.
            --Trish (Bork)
            FOOD PORN BLOG!


            • #7
              I was going to suggest donor milk as well. The risks are far less than any other option, but you do have to feel comfortable with the road you choose.


              • #8
                first of all, we all do the best we can. you've got extenuating circumstances, so give yourself a break!

                second, i'm not suggesting that you're a bad mom if this doesn't work out, buuut is it possible to pump and dump while you're on the meds and feed your baby your milk (that's in storage) and then formula? when you're safe to nurse again, you'll have fewer problems increasing your supply. it's just a thought, don't stress over it. if pumping works for you, this may save headaches down the road. if it doesn't work for you, IT WILL BE OKAY. maybe you get get something like Earth's Best organic formula, and look around on the web for tips on whether or not you should add anything to it (like DHA or vitamin D).

                if nothing else, feel comforted in knowing that your son received colostrum and a few weeks of breastmilk.
                my primal journal:


                • #9
                  Connect with Human Milk 4 Human Babies.

                  This is a donor-milk organization, and mamas are happy to help supply you with real human milk for your wonderful DS.

                  With this, I would also "pump and dump" to see if you can keep your supply up and then reintroduce your milk down the track (not necessary of course, but a possibility).

                  And, definitely look at the WAPF information and see what you want to do . . . they have lots of kinds of formulas, and it looks like the one you are looking at looks good.


                  • #10
                    Also, I was a donor-mom for a friend of mine. It was great for me to be able to share. I felt good, and her baby got 1/3 my milk, 1/3 her milk, and 1/3 formula for the first 3 months, and then got 1/3 my milk and 2/3 formula after that until she was about 6 months old, and then formula for the remainder of the year. She's a vibrant little thing.

                    Everything will work out fine.

                    And I wish you the greatest luck with your surgery and recovery as well as congratulations on your baby!


                    • #11
                      Everything is going to be okay. My first, now 2, wasn't thriving according to the peditrician, so I had to supplement with Nutramigen due to dairy, soy, gluten sensitivities. Read supplement as mostly formula with some breast milk. I wasn't primal then, but I felt so guilty. My daughter is miles ahead of the average milestones. She's doing things, speaking, and all around at the level of a 3.5 yr old according to our doctor...and everyone that meets her. I wanted to make my own WAPF formula, but my husband didn't trust me (but some strangers are trustworthy making the store-bought formula??). I added a little bit of coconut oil to every bottle and probiotics. It may not be optimal, but that is life. We can only do what we can do. However, she never had baby food.

                      Good luck.


                      • #12
                        I really recommend looking more into donor milk to see if your fear of using a stranger's milk can be alleviated. A lot of OB practices do STD screens during pregnancy as a matter of course, so odds are good that the other momma KNOWS her disease status before donating. My OBs office even screened for HIV, which was kind of cool b/c having no "risk factors" I never plunked down the money for it before, but it was covered. Think about a hundred years or more ago: what would you have done? Excluding "die from your heart problems"! Let's just suggest you couldn't make enough milk. A nursemaid or friend would help the baby!

                        I also agree with pump and dump if possible during treatment, but DON'T SWEAT IT. You will make the best choices you can and everything will be all right. Lots of babies fed solely on mainstream infant formula thrive, and you're here, so that means you probably aren't planning on feeding him the SAD for the next 20 years. Do what you gotta do, and good luck with the surgery!

                        Oh, and before I went primal, I had SO much trouble breastfeeding both my babies. I used something with... Pro-shield? It had probiotics and other stuff designed for newborns. Modern formula is pretty fancy... though if I were reading the label NOW, I would probably be just as worried as you are!


                        • #13
                          My nephew was almost totally formula-fed, and is brilliant and strong and healthy.

                          I would say stay away from soy, but otherwise your baby will be fine. You're doing the best you can with the circumstances, and which do you think will be more important to her when she is grown - that you breastfed her for a year, or that you are alive to see her grow up?

                          If you have that much guilt about formula, you might want to do some more research on donor milk. Do you have any friends who are currently lactating? If a friend or relative had approached me with this problem when I was breastfeeding my son, I would have gladly helped out.


                          • #14
                            Aww hun, I feel your anguish....the massive maternal instinct to protect your baby in those early months is profound and when such a good, consciencious Mummy like u has done all her research and is prepared to give bf a good go, it must be heartbreaking - and another thing our hormones do is makes us very easily feel guilt! But don't! You have a very good reason to have to find an alternative and if u look at it another way, be grateful those other methods are there, 100yrs ago they wouldn't have been....

                            Sorry no advice but just wanted to try to help u not down yourself! I had to stop bf my girl when she was 7mths cos of meds - no Doc told me to consider pump/dump - just said I'd have to stop! See now I feel guilty for not having thought of that myself, lol! See, us Mums are fab at doing guilt, lol!

                            Congrats on bubs and good luck with surgery,

                            H x
                            An English girl who's been on lots of different diets, weight gone up and down but always been a naturalist at heart and have always wondered why "Conventional Wisdom" diets don't allow you to eat red meat and nuts - that are purely natural things?! So feel I've found my niche in the PB/Paleo Lifestyle and really want to make this my way of life for good!!!


                            • #15
                              I have heard good things about this one: Baby?s Only OrganicŪ Dairy Formula contains USDA organic certified ingredients - They call it a toddler formula b/c they recommend breast feeding for the first 12 months; however, it has the same nutritrional ratios as infant formula. They sell this at Whole Foods or you can buy it online.

                              I've heard it's gentle for babies b/c they use brown rice as the added carb source (instead of adding more lactose) - to get the macro-nutrient ratios to be the same as breast milk (which is higher in carbs than cow's milk).

                              Anyway, you may want to check it out...