Cow milk vs. formula

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Cow milk vs. formula
32
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 7:33am
In the conferences I've been to, they said that there has never been a non-biased study that has been done that has proved that formula is, in fact, better for babies than plain cow milk, or a home-made formula. (If anyone can find me one, I'd be very interested, but I do believe that there aren't any studies out there proving this) Logic tells us otherwise; that we could theoretically, with the help of modern science, make something that would be less harmful to our children than pure cow milk. But scientific studies don't exist proving this.

Despite this, if you go see a MD and say you're feeding cow milk or a homemade formula, he will probably just about lynch you...call the CPS, etc. If you go see a MD and say you're feeding formula, most MD's will just say "that's fine, just make sure it's iron-fortified" or something like that. Or some would perhaps promote the brand they are bought out by. ;-) This, despite the multitude of studies proving the differences between bfed and ff'ed kids. Why? Why is it that they are so scared to say ANYTHING promoting bfing, or even *trying* to bf, when they would "promote" ff'ing even in the absence of studies proving a difference btwn ff'ing and feeding cow milk?

Does anyone else think that there is something wrong with this picture?

Fio.

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Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 8:50am
I recently asked my mother how long she bf'd me and why she stopped. I was VERY surprised by her answer. I had had it wrong all these years!! She bf'd me for about 6 weeks then put me on Similac. At 6months of age I went to straight cow's milk..and of course all the table food I could eat. She said that back then that's what was done, what you were told to do. 6 months you could eat table food and so she just provided nutritious meals. When I asked her why she had stopped bfing she said it was because she was HUGE. She couldn't handle her breasts being "overflowing." (((sigh)))


I don't know anyone who would actually do a study on the effects of plain milk versus formula. It stands to reason though that formula i spacked with nutrients and milk has calcium, vitamin and a lot of sodium. I don't think it's much of a leap to make regarding the benefits of formula. How can a newborn get its nutrients from something where it doesn't exist??

Also, I thought there were documented cases of problems with children who were just put on cow's milk or better yet......NOT on formula as infants??

I would say that a lynching was in order too if a new mother was feeding her newborn cow's milk instead of formula.

<<>>

I don't think being "scared" has anything to do with it. I believe it has everything to do with personal choice and we are a society SET on choices. To me, it's sort of like a DR encouraging or telling a woman she should HAVE the baby instead of an abortion.....because it's the "right" and natural thing to do. No DR would dare cross that line into personal freedom and choice. Maybe a bad example but one that happens.



christine




~christine~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 10:12am
Straight cow's milk can cause anemia in babies because it causes minor bleeding in the intestine. I don't have a study, but that's pretty common knowledge. Formula is engineered to avoid that, and add addtional iron, since all formulas are iron fortified, with the exception of special "low iron" type formulas.

I'm not sure I get what you're debating here... do you deny that formula is better for an infant than cow's milk?

-Deb

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 11:10am
Not all pediatricians are "bought out" as you put it. They will recommend what is best for your child but that may or may not be what they just told the mother in the next room. They are not all brand loyal. Mothers also choose their own brands of formulas only going on recommendations from the hospital and pediatrician. Some prefer to be told by their doctor or the nurses. Not all hospitals are brand loyal, they have several to offer or for whatever the mom requests.

What is a pediatrician suppose to do? Start right there at the hospital visit saying while formula is adequate bm is best? The mother knows bm is best. But for whatever reason she didn't go with bfing. She went with formula. The decision has probably been made for some time. For mothers who don't read up then it would be a good thing. But for those making decisions that they know what they are doing it will just be an annoying conversation.

I don't think they are scared to promote bfing. Not in my own experience with my pediatrician or ob. But after talking with you about it, providing you with resources, that is all they can do. It is a decision to be made personally.




iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 3:19pm
Hmm, well...

"Also, I thought there were documented cases of problems with children who were just put on cow's milk or better yet......NOT on formula as infants??"

Well, "doccumented cases" are not the same as "controlled studies" though. ;-) There are doccumented cases of kids who have died while drinking formula too. ;-) Does that mean all will?

"<<>>

I don't think being "scared" has anything to do with it. I believe it has everything to do with personal choice and we are a society SET on choices. To me, it's sort of like a DR encouraging or telling a woman she should HAVE the baby instead of an abortion.....because it's the "right" and natural thing to do. No DR would dare cross that line into personal freedom and choice. Maybe a bad example but one that happens. "

Hmm, that's true, *but* why isn't giving cow milk instead of formula also a personal choice? If it's a choice btwn different formulae, why couldn't a mom choose to not use a formula, or to use a home-made one, etc.?

Fio.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 3:22pm
" Straight cow's milk can cause anemia in babies because it causes minor bleeding in the intestine. I don't have a study, but that's pretty common knowledge. Formula is engineered to avoid that, and add addtional iron, since all formulas are iron fortified, with the exception of special "low iron" type formulas."

OK...I always thought it was the bovine proteins that caused the anemia. And those same bovine proteins are still in the formula...just more iron is added, so anemia is less of a worry. But like many other things in comparing FF to BF: "can cause" means correlation, not causation, right? It can in SOME kids, but not everyone...therefore, why worry? ;-)

"I'm not sure I get what you're debating here... do you deny that formula is better for an infant than cow's milk? "

I'm not denying *or* agreeing with anything. I'm saying there don't seem to be any studies proving anything one way or the other, so why should we believe the companies' hype that their product is better?

Fio.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 3:27pm
" Not all pediatricians are "bought out" as you put it. They will recommend what is best for your child but that may or may not be what they just told the mother in the next room. They are not all brand loyal."

Do you know some who are like this? And you have proof of it? How MANY are not brand loyal? I am willing to bet that a LOT of them are brand loyal...the brand that gives them the most free cruises or whatever is what they recommend. Not all, but a lot.

"Not all hospitals are brand loyal, they have several to offer or for whatever the mom requests."

But a LOT of hospitals promote mainly the brand that pays for their paediatric care wing, or whatever.

"What is a pediatrician suppose to do? Start right there at the hospital visit saying while formula is adequate bm is best?"

Usually it comes up pretty soon after the birth. Soon enough that a lot of moms could re-lactate if they wanted.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 3:39pm
Yes. Our hospital & the one my sister-in-law delivered have the name brands, not a specific one-only brand.

My point about the pediatrician is approaching a mother, as like myself, who made the decision before delivery, the bfing discussion would be pointless. I have made my decision, yes, an educated decision. I'm not going to change my mind. The question came up when I walked in to the labor hall. Are you going to bf? No, I'm going to use formula. End of all discussions.





iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 3:48pm
Yes on the pediatrician's question you asked. I don't think my post made that clear. This board format & my keys are sticking today.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 5:28pm
Whoa - how can you do a "controlled study" on something like this? We KNOW cow's milk causes problems for babies - there are documented cases. It is impossible to do a controlled study when we already know it is not good for babies! I certainly wouldn't volunteer my baby to be the "cow's milk baby" in the study!

-Deb

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 5:39pm

 

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