I'm not a fan of artificial milk, but in situations where a newborn doesn't have any breastmilk available, artificial milk is necessary for the baby's health. Cow's milk isn't enough to help a baby thrive and the baby could have real growth and development problems. If the mom can find someone to breastfeed the baby or donate breastmilk, that is great, but until then, cow's milk is a MUCH worse choice for this baby than formula. Please communicate that to them and encourage them to see their pediatrician.
Mom to two daughters born in 1997 and 2000