I am a firm believer that breastfeeding is the only way to go unless there are specific medical issues preventing it, whether it be the mother or the baby. As with most things, I have read all about formula too and I am still firmly in the breastfeeding camp, regardless of progress in the quality of formula.
During a discussion I was involved in, I was pointed in the direction of research into the epigenetic effects of breastfeeding and it is incredibly interesting. Rather than me do a dreadful job of explaining it, I advise you Google it and read about it; but the short story is that breastmilk can change composition and activate otherwise dormant properties within the baby’s DNA!
Anyway, that wasn’t the point of the post.. The point was that I was looking into a potential formula for Leo.. “but why?! After what you’ve just said!” Don’t panic, it’s as a backup. I seem to have an issue with my milk where is tastes really bad after storage, it is potentially an excess of the enzyme Lipase in my milk and it appears to be fairly common. Leo has recently been turning his nose up at my expressed milk and I have a feeling that this could be why. You can fix it if you boil the milk to scald before storing it, this does destroy some nutrients but is still considered the best option if your baby won’t take the change in taste. I have such a massive stock of milk though, it seems a shame to waste it.
So my plan was to take it out to use it and if Leo won’t have it and I’m not around, he can have formula instead. Well, that’s opened a can of worms! Whilst the organic options are indeed the best, there are a number of clangers to avoid and not one product avoids them all for milk suitable at Leo’s age! The good old palm oil is lurking in most, and whilst there are the obvious ethical issues related to this, there are also other concerns when it comes to babies consuming it. It is used as a source of palmitic acid, but this version of the chemical is not readily processed by the body and can inhibit the absorption of calcium and iron as it forms a type of stay substance in the intestines.
There is also the use of multiple different forms of sugar that each have their own set of issues relating to it and the use of hexane to strip down substances to utilise part of something present that they feel is required for the milk. Like DHA, an essential fatty acids that is extracted by methods involving the use of neurotoxic hexane, even if the label states organic..
The list goes on basically, the only one that doesn’t have any of the well documented nasties isn’t made for children under 12 months and the next best thing appears to be HIPP organic, which still contains palm oil unfortunately! Leo is starting on solid food now so it won’t really be an issue for long, I was planning on continuing a morning and an evening breastmilk feed for as long as possible, potentially even past 1 year.. But we shall see, he may reject me before then!