|The raw milk formula saved us from having to use the awful dried milk formula mixes. I do think breast is best but more for the bonding and hormone exchange than for nutrition. Cows and goats are lower on the food chain and generally are less exposed to the fat soluable toxins humans are, if they are healthy and grass fed they are eating what makes their bodies healthiest (you can't say that for most humans) and when buying best quality ingredients I agree with SF that the formula is probably (strictly from a nutritional standpoint) better. I know that breastfeeding doesn't need any more bad press but I think that SF assumes that people reading her book probably have a working understanding of nutrition and can separate their politics from the info she's providing. Also, having low supply I can speak to the alienation that those of us who can't breastfeed feel from those of you who can and who insist what is happening to us does not exist. It does and it was really helpful to find support in NT.
I don't question for a moment that low supply happens, even when the mother does everything "right" from day one. It absolutely can and does happen. No one who is actually educated about lactation and breastfeeding could say otherwise. How often it is insufficient glandular tissue or hormonal imbalances or other structural or genetic problems vs. environmental causes is slightly debatable, but by looking at societies and even entire nations where the use of supplementary formula from birth onwards is unheard of, it's clear that environment is playing a LARGE part in the US in breastfeeding failures. Of course, there will always be that 1 or 2% (which is one or two out of every hundred people, nothing to sneeze at) who cannot do it regardless, for whatever reason, in mother or baby. I had to pump and bottlefeed and have therefore dealt with a touch of the alienation you speak of, not to the same degree I'm sure, but I do sympathize.
Ok. Now that's out of the way- SOME babies and SOME mothers will absolutely have no choice and need a high quality, home made formula. Is it better than Enfamil? No doubt in my mind. Someone who knows what they're doing can create a formula with grass fed animal milk that is safe, nutritious, and healthy. Is it equal to or- as you imply- possibly even better than human breastmillk, regardless of the mother's diet? Absolutely not.
As far as "chemicals in the environment", we're talking trace amounts and there is no question in the mind of anyone who has researched the subject fully that the theoretical risks are far outweighed by the benefits. When SF and others speak of "nutrition of the mother" as an argument for TF formula, it really exposes a huge lack of education on the topic of breastmilk. Vitamins, minerals, and fats in breastmilk certainly depend, in part, upon the mother's diet, so strictly speaking, the nutritional
quality can be influenced by diet. What cannot be influenced, are, in my opinion, the much more important aspects of breastmilk. Yes, more important than long chain fatty acids and vitamin C are the factors that protect a newborn from HUMAN disease. The most perfect, well nourished cow or goat is still a cow or goat who cannot provide the same benefits that even a 24/7 fast food eating breastfeeding mother can. I won't even begin to start listing the diseases formula fed babies are in danger of from lack of breastmilk, but Hib is a good example. The fact that some women have no control over their ability to breastfeed does not change this. A human baby, especially a newborn, will always be better off with human milk regardless of the mother's diet.