Is there ANY trustworthy formula out there? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 02-23-2014, 01:01 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm sorry if this is the wrong forum or even site to post this.  I am in need of some advice here.


I am posting this under a different account because frankly, I'm afraid of being criticized about this issue.


I'm due in early Sept.  I am not planning to breastfeed.  I just want to know if there's any formula on the market that is almost as good as breast milk.


I'm mainly not going to do it because my mother, my grandmother,my aunt and my cousins all had trouble doing it because the women in my family have small boobs.  My mom tried with me but just went straight to bottle feeding when my siblings came along.  Same things happened to my aunt.  Both of her daughters went straight to bottle feeding because they knew it was probably not going to happen for them either.


I also just feel uncomfortable about the whole thing.  While I have a strong maternal instinct, I also feel very strong about having some bodily autonomy after this pregnancy.  I don't mind being pregnant.  I have a midwife and am planning a homebirth so if all goes well the pregnancy/birth won't be an invasive one.  But once I have the little one, I want to get back to my routine and my work as soon as I can.  I am very independent and just can't see myself being the sole provider of food for the baby, even if I had faith in my ability to produce milk.  I don't want to have to drop everything and whip out my boob whenever the baby gets hungry.  I understand life will change drastically when the baby comes but I feel like this is one of those things that doesn't have to change since formula exists.  At the end of the day, it does not feel like something I am looking forward to, only something that would make me anxious and possibly even resentful towards the baby.  I was brought up on mostly formula and so was a lot of my family.  None of us have had any health problems.  


I should also add that I come from a family of naturalists.  So although I did not get the "natural" nutrition as a baby, I wasn't vaccinated, I was raised on a very healthy diet, and my mother is a strict believer in no chemicals in the house.  So I am hoping that if my baby is raised with all of that, then the formula thing will be a small or non-issue.


My problem is that I cannot talk to any of my lactivist friends about this without them criticizing me for not doing it.  When I tell them I will likely not produce enough milk anyway, they push me to try, so I tell them I simply do not have the desire to do it for a variety of reasons.  A lady I work with, who I made the mistake of telling all of this even accused me of being abusive for taking this stance.  Everyone I know aside from family has this attitude that all formula is poison so of course I cannot get a straight answer from them about which ones are good.  My mom is fairly certain that my siblings and I all had Enfamil but I am just wondering what else is out there now a days that is perhaps even better?  Preferably something organic and not manufactured overseas?  I'm trying so hard to make an informed decision about this but it's hard knowing I can't trust some of the formula companies 100% but also knowing that they're not all pure poison either.

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#2 of 18 Old 02-23-2014, 01:48 AM
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First, a big hug.

We started supplementing last week. It was a hard decision but the right choice for us. I did a lot of reading and decided that I was most comfortable with Baby's Only brand. It is organic and comes in a dairy or soy option. I tend to prefer a natural/organic diet, but I also know in my heart that formula fed babies can be just as happy, healthy, and smart as breast fed babies - I see real life examples of that truth every day.

I would like to share a few thoughts from my experience with the caveat that I am not telling you to breast feed. I just see a few similarities in our experiences and in case it might be helpful I would want to say these things.

I am the first woman in my family to breast feed exclusively for any length of time (four months, now supplementing a bottle or two a day of formula). Like my family, I have inverted nipples and I heard horror stories during my pregnancy from women in my family who wanted to breast feed but couldn't, women who felt harassed and berated by lactation consultants, and I went into it carrying all of their baggage in my mind. I did want to try though, but I believed pretty strongly that it might be a lost cause. In hindsight I am glad I kept an open mind. The kid has to eat one way or another, and particularly for those middle of the night feedings, whipping out a boob was way easier for me and DW than getting up, going to the kitchen, preparing/warming a bottle, cleaning/sterilizing, etc. I absolutely had moments (especially in the first 8 weeks or so which I found super challenging) of feeling resentful about my lack of bodily autonomy. I'm not sure how much formula feeding would have helped that though. Some, sure, but I still didn't get control of my sleep schedule, still didn't recognize the woman in the mirror, and those things had nothing to do with BFing.

Again, I'm not trying to convince you to change your mind I just... I read your post and I wonder if not BFing is going to provide you with what you expect it will, and whether Bfing would really be the deal breaker that you percieve. In the end of course the choice is yours to make and I hope for you peace of mind and a wealth of support no matter what you do. Good luck.

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#3 of 18 Old 02-23-2014, 05:13 PM
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I'm moving this to the Life With A Baby forum as it's better hosted in that forum. @incognitomama congratulations on your pregnancy!

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#4 of 18 Old 02-23-2014, 08:16 PM
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All my babies have been formula fed and are very healthy. I'm a foster parent, so nursing isn't an option. All baby formula has to meet standards, so they are more alike than they are different. Baby's Only is organic but very expensive. I used that when my DD was a toddler and wasn't gaining weight. I could never have afforded it for full time use. My babies have used Enfamil, Similac, and both Target and Walmart's store brand. Actually, I had two babies who tolerated the Walmart brand more than than the name brands. Some babies do better with the liquid version instead of the powder.
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#5 of 18 Old 02-24-2014, 12:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your support, everyone :)


It's nice to know that I don't have to worry about being judged here.  I guess being so judged by friends/coworkers who are advocates for breastfeeding put the fear into me!  I got asked a question the other day along the lines of, "if you're not going to bother breastfeeding then why are you even having a baby?"  I mean, really?  So thank you for all of your helpful advice!


And Sphinxy, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has resentful thoughts at the idea of having to feed the baby every single time.  Again, I know people who think I'm some sort of terrible human being for even thinking this.


Polliwog, I have researched the liquid vs. powder issue and I am thinking we will be going for liquid for starters.  We want to try the Organic first but will only continue if he/she does best on it. 


Thanks again!

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#6 of 18 Old 02-25-2014, 09:19 AM
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I don't really have brand recommendations, we did use the Costco Kirkland brand for DD and she didn't have any problems with it (no spitting up, constipation, or issues with bowel movements). It can depend on the baby and how they react to ingredients like milk, soy, or even the added iron. We switched to formula at 6 weeks due to very low milk production (no really, I know many people say it doesn't happen but if Jack Newman told me, I will believe him!). Ironically my breasts are not small (currently pregnant and wearing a J cup) and increase in size during pregnancy like crazy so I never anticipated a problem!


Now with #2 I'm going to try breastfeeding again and we'll see how it goes (hoping to get some colostrum into the babe at least for the health benefits). I know what you mean about bodily autonomy as it's something I've also thought about and I wonder how I will feel about it if I am able to breastfeed. Last time the supplements, lactation consultant appointments, pumping, and trying to nurse were such a huge stress that switching to formula ended up being a relief. So I don't really know what "normal" breastfeeding will feel like but I guess at this point I only have negative associations because of my previous experience. So I'm no help but I think maybe I know what you are talking about. We did use a midwife, have a home birth, cloth diaper, baby wear, not-CIO, etc. and I don't feel that my DD suffered any from getting formula as all of the good bonding happened anyway. Mind you I was the one to feed the baby every time anyway even though she was getting a bottle but I didn't mind as it filled the void that not breastfeeding created for me.


I have read that for the newborn period some people recommend liquid ready-to-feed formula vs. powder because having been factory packaged it has less chance for contamination during preparation than a powder that you mix yourself.

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#7 of 18 Old 02-25-2014, 12:14 PM
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Look into the Weston A Price raw milk formula
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#8 of 18 Old 02-26-2014, 02:03 AM
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We use Nanny Care goats milk formula. I think it's from New Zealand, and is apparently the most popular one there. It's completely natural with no weird patented ingredients, and because it's goats milk it's gentler on the stomach. I've used it with both my children and found that they tolerated it a lot better than cow's milk formula. I'm not sure how easily available it is in the US, but here in the UK I order it from Amazon and we can get it from health food shops.

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#9 of 18 Old 02-26-2014, 10:16 AM
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Polliwog is correct. All formulas have to meet certain minimum standards so they are similar. Some are just made with different ingredients. For example, brown rice syrup instead of corn syrup. Earth's Best makes one that has more natural ingredients. My sisters formula-fed and it seems one key is to stick with the one that agrees with the baby. My sister ran out of her brand once and tried something else and the baby was very upset so we ran to the store to get more of the other brand. I'm sorry people are giving you a hard time. On some level, they are probably well-meaning. Often during pregnancy we get unsolicited advice that is not welcome. I didn't engage with people. I just smile and not and do whatever I wanted to do in the first place. I hope everything goes well with your birth and your new baby!

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#10 of 18 Old 02-27-2014, 07:06 AM
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Shame on anyone who attacks you on this forum!  It's common for new moms (and by new, I mean having kids less than five years old) to be judgmental.  I know I was far more judgmental when I was younger and had only two or three kids.  There is nothing quite like TIME to cure us of that...


I'm on my seventh baby in 11 years.  I totally hear ya.  I've been the mom that had a baby so attached I had to sit on a pallet at Costco and breastfeed with a cart full of food while people walked by and gave "helpful" advice.  I'm also a mom that had a baby completely reject the breast from the day she was born.


I've only used Similac, Enfamil, and Costco brand formula.  My favorite was the Costco brand because it was so much cheaper.  My baby showed no preference :)  She is happy, healthy, and thriving.  Hope that helps!

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#11 of 18 Old 03-17-2014, 08:24 PM
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Quoted: 7 Post(s)  this one seem to be a really god one for my neighbor i try not to do formula but have had to at time cause off not having a good supply but i use good start with mine because it was made with whey insteand of cow based

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#12 of 18 Old 03-17-2014, 08:42 PM
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Whey is a cow dairy product. Whey is the liquid part of cottage cheese aka curds and whey.
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#13 of 18 Old 03-17-2014, 10:38 PM
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I would look for an organic one and/or one w/o corn syrup in it if you're wanting to purchase one. I've heard good things about the goat milk varieties too. I read an article today on Facebook that explained why goat milk and some other varieties of cows milk are more easily digestable and it's because some breads of cows and all goats produce the A2 protein which breaks down differently than most conventional store bought milk, which comes from high production A1 protein producing cows! So interesting! Factoid of the day... 
If you're game for making your own there are a couple in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook-Weston A Price Foundation as another poster suggested. 
Good Luck, mama!! 

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#14 of 18 Old 03-18-2014, 11:43 AM
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I definitely think you should look into any and all options that make YOU comfortable, no judgement at all!!! While you are pregnant though, you have all these ideas, then a year later, you basically laugh about how it all turned out. Keep that in mind!!!!

A lot of things I thought I would or wouldn't want to do, when I was pregnant, became a non issue once my son was here. I thought I was going to wean him relatively early, but he is 9 months and I still haven't, simply for convenience. You really won't know how you feel about it until you are in the situation. Breastfeeding is so much easier for me...and it is more apparent now why.....because I hate washing dishes and having clutter in my kitchen, and remembering more stuff when I leave the house. I am honestly shocked we have gone this long.....just goes to show you really never know. I would give exclusive breastfeeding a try for a week or two....let your milk come in and your boobs regulate, then see how you feel about it. I am not trying to get you to change your mind though!!! If you use formula right away, your breasts don't really learn how to meet that demand. So just let that happen, then if formula feels right to you, and you feel strongly about it, use it, I guess. It is your decision, they are your boobs, and you need to be happy too. You are the parent. Good luck! Just don't get married to any one idea too early. That goes for pretty much everything!
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#15 of 18 Old 03-18-2014, 09:28 PM
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FWIW. I am NOT attacking. But as someone who came from a family in which none of the women breast fed, because of "flat nipples", and I am here to say I breast feed just fine with my flat nipples.. There is a lot of misinformation out there. Small breasts CAN produce plenty of milk-it's the glandular tissue, not the fatty tissue, that creates milk. That's not to say that IGT-Insufficient Glandular Tissue-doesn't run in your family. But sometimes misconceptions can create confidence issues, which creates a real problem with breastfeeding. Just food for thought. 99% of women are physically capable of producing enough milk for their babies.


What I might suggest is to try it for the first week or two of your baby's life. If you still don't want to, you can quit, but if you never try, you'll never truly know. You might *think* breastfeeding is inconvenient and kind of a drag (let's face it, it is!) but once you start, you just might find the benefits-not only to the baby, but to you as well-outweigh the inconvenience. Besides, even if you bottle feed, you'll be inconvenienced. There will be times when you, not your partner or your baby's caregiver, has to prepare the bottle, feed it, and wash the bottles and nipples. That to me is a lot more work than simply whipping out one's breasts. 


So, to answer your question, if you are set on using formula, I recommend the Weston A. Price foundation's recipe first. Here's hoping your baby can tolerate dairy. If he or she is truly allergic, as my son is, the only other option is soy. And I know this is a controversial statement, but soy formula is the absolute worst of the worst, for many reasons, least of which are its phytoestrogens which wreak havoc on a baby's developing hormones. If you don't want to make your own formula then look into a certified organic, dairy based brand. At least it will be GMO and pesticide free. Good luck.


ETA: breastfeeding was very difficult for me in the beginning. I ended up using formula because I couldn't figure out the latch/positioning initially and had to "relactate" to establish my supply. It was a lot of work...but I wouldn't trade breastfeeding for all the money in the world. I mean that wholeheartedly. So whenever I hear someone say they don't want to try it, I get a little passionate. I wouldn't want someone else to miss out on an experience that could be meaningful to them. Sure I miss being able to drink all the coffee and wine I want and have all the freedom in the world, but I know it's only for a short time. But the benefits to my son will last the rest of his life.

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#16 of 18 Old 03-19-2014, 09:25 AM
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I don't' want to force you into breastfeeding if you don't want to, but I am very small chested and the first in several generations of my family to breastfeed so it is entirely possible.  However, if you are set on not breastfeeding or not nursing very long, I would suggest Holle Organics formula.  It is made in Europe and has a very short list of ingredients.  A friend used it for her baby and the baby is fantastically healthy.

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#17 of 18 Old 03-19-2014, 10:22 AM
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Do what feels right for you. We have to supplement in addition to bf'ing. We started in Earths Best but DD was getting very constipated so we switched to Gerber Good Start. It's not organic but it contains whey protein which is easier to digest. So far, DD has tolerated this one the best.

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#18 of 18 Old 03-19-2014, 02:26 PM
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I used that when my DD was a toddler and wasn't gaining weight. I could never have afforded it for full time use.


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