Best alternatives to breast milk for our adopted daughter - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 05-14-2011, 01:12 AM - Thread Starter
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I am currently in Uganda about to bring home our 7 month old adopted daughter, Gabrielle. I have had her with me for two months. I was able to induce lactation and for the last two months she's been almost exclusively drinking breast milk. We tried and were not able to begin breastfeeding. I did not want to have a battle with her over this and have decided it's best for her to just make the bottle feeding as much like nursing as possible.


I am getting really tired of pumping, however, and I don't think I can keep it up a lot longer. I am able to make about 25-30 ounces of milk a day, all that she needs now that she's eating solids, but once I am home with our 5 kids on my own, I don't think I can keep the pumping up. Also, I will have to return to Uganda without our baby girl in about a month for 2-3 weeks to bring home her 4 year old sister (we couldn't get court dates at the same time). It will not be possible for me to keep pumping when I return to Uganda, so we have to figure out how we'll feed baby girl over the next 3-4 weeks.


When I stop pumping, she'll be about 8 months old. I have a small stash of donor milk in the freezer, maybe enough for 2-3 weeks more.


So I'm trying to decide what to do. Gabrielle does not do well with milk-based formula. I'm considering soy formula, but I don't like that the main ingredient is corn syrup. Any thoughts on soy formula vs. goats milk? She's doing well with solids so my plan is also to keep increasing her solid food intake so she's having 3 meals plus some snacks each day of good, healthy food.


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#2 of 11 Old 05-14-2011, 03:08 AM
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How great that you have Provided breastmilk for her thus far! Well done you!
Might you consider trying to source donor milk through the Human Milk for Human Babies network on Facebook as an option?
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#3 of 11 Old 05-14-2011, 06:05 AM
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At that age, she needs either breastmilk or a breastmilk substitute (formula).  She is too young to wean to goats milk or other milks at this point.  I would check out breastmilk donors first.

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#4 of 11 Old 05-14-2011, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I had read on the Dr. Sears page that with the addition of some supplements (daily multivitamin and omega 3s, sources of folic acid and iron), goats milk can be a good alternative to formula for some babies. It's a whole food, which seems better to me than soy formula made of mostly corn syrup and processed soy protein...


We may be able to find some donor milk, but we can't rely on it, and at least while I am back in Uganda I can't make my husband run around gathering milk. He'll be managing a full time job and 4 kids so whatever we do needs to be easy...

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#5 of 11 Old 05-14-2011, 08:10 AM
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Congratulations for your induced lactation - that's awesome!


I would go with donor milk and then if/when the donor milk ran out, I would switch to a commercial formula. I too would avoid soy in someone that little, and probably go with an elemental formula if baby was having trouble with cow's milk.


I hope that you can find a big stash of donor milk for your little one orngbiggrin.gif

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#6 of 11 Old 05-23-2011, 10:11 PM
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Awesome that you were able to induce lactation and pump for her! :) 


Goat's milk is your best alternative IMO- much better than a soy formula.  Also, I've read that many babies who have an intolerance to the proteins in cow's milk tend to also have a problem with the soy proteins.  I'd use Goat's milk over any formula, though :P


As far as donor milk- there is a great program called Human Milk 4 Human Babies (previously Eats on Feets).  They have a facebook page, and you can also link up to facebook pages specifically for your area.  Donors and those in need post on the wall- it's a great program!  And these people aren't charging for the milk, so it's much cheaper than going through a milk bank.


ETA: just realized someone already mentioned HM4HB - sorry for the repeat!

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#7 of 11 Old 05-24-2011, 03:43 PM
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At that age, she still needs breastmilk or formula (with whatever base) and not any type of cow's/goats milk. "Baby's Only Organic" has the best reputation for formula. No HFCS and they offer an organic soy version  It is labeled toddler to comply with the WHO code but is suitable for infants.


Recently our Whole Foods started carrying a Goat's milk formula, also labeled toddler formula. I don't know if it is in fact toddler formula or is labeled that way because of the WHO breastfeeding code as well.


And congratulations on bringing your daughter home. =)


[Edited to add] I have an cousin who's health was seriously compromised by homemade raw goat's milk formula. I cannot recommend it. As I posted above, there are formula companies with reasonable ingredients that also provide adequate nutrition.

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#8 of 11 Old 05-25-2011, 02:01 PM
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If I couldn't obtain sufficient donor milk, I'd make one of the formulas on the Weston Price site. I believe there's a goats milk base version.

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#9 of 11 Old 05-25-2011, 04:28 PM
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If donor milk was not an option, I would be using a commercial formula. If the cow's milk-based formula is not an option, I would be looking into the elemental formulas. Soy formula would be the next choice, after that, for me. I am wary of homemade formulas-- without clear data on the nutritional makeup of these, it is difficult to tell whether baby is truly getting a balance of all the essential nutrients required for growth and development. HFCS is obviously not ideal, but I would prefer it over the risk of baby running short on an essential vitamin or mineral. I would feel differently if we were talking about a supplement, along with breastmilk, or if we were talking about a toddler. But I believe, and most recognized authorities agree, that commercial formula is the best third option after mother's own milk and donor breastmilk.

Unmodified goat's milk is not nutritionally complete for infants. It contains too much protein, not enough fat, too much phosphorous, and is deficient in folic acid.
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#10 of 11 Old 06-03-2011, 09:00 PM
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Personally, I would not go with commercial formula. I had a horrible start with my supply due to PCOS and hormone imbalances and was forced to supplement my daughter for her first 4 months of life, and I HATED the experience we had with it. She developed a lot of problems both on dairy and the soy varieties. We tried baby's only dairy and she didn't react well to that unfortunately. I know a mom that's using the goat milk formula recipe from Dr. Sears website, who I met after I had gotten my supply up to the point where we stopped supplementing. Her son is perfectly healthy and thriving, and she said she loves making his formula, and that it isn't very hard. Goat milk is the closest to human milk, and the easiest for babies to digest when it comes to animal milks. If I had to do it again, I would have made dd's formula from goat milk.

Congratulations on being able to get your supply up so well, and for being able to pump for so long! Your dedication is TRULY admirable. How wonderful for your new LO's! I wish you luck with whichever choice you make :)


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#11 of 11 Old 06-03-2011, 09:13 PM
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