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.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 9:00pm
From what I understand, the protein in cow's milk is too difficult to break down. That is why they used evaporated milk in the first homemade formulas, the protein was broken down and easier for the baby to digest.

My mother bf me for two months and then put me on homemade formula. This was in 1960. It was evaporated milk with Karo syrup (for constipation), and also some type of vitamin mixture added. From what I have read, this milk did not contain the fats babies needed for brain development, so solids were started early. All I can say is, thank God for that! My mother fed me egg yolks and pablum, I'm not sure when, but probably earlier than 4 months.

From what I understand, the majority of babies probably did ok on homemade formula, or it would have been scrapped pretty quickly. I don't have any statistics on this, just a guess. I am also pretty healthy and it didn't seem to harm me. Using the argument most ff'ers use, I should have no qualms about putting dd on homemade formula.

Sherry

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 8:46am
That's my exact point about formula:

" 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!"

We also know formula causes problems for babies. I totally understand using it in the case of someone who can NOT breastfeed, but how can we condone people using it just b/c they "feel like it"? That is, IMHO, using our children as guinea pigs, esp. since they can't test the newer formulae on any other animal to see whether they're "ok" before putting human babies on them, since any other animal would not necessarily react the same (that's the whole point of each species having its own species-specific milk).

Fio.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 8:52am
Exactly my point!

"From what I understand, the majority of babies probably did ok on homemade formula, or it would have been scrapped pretty quickly. I don't have any statistics on this, just a guess. I am also pretty healthy and it didn't seem to harm me. Using the argument most ff'ers use, I should have no qualms about putting dd on homemade formula. "

My DH was also fed on evaporated milk in a homemade mix. He "seems fine" compared to the masses.

If there are no studies showing that this mix is any worse than today's industrial formulae, and yet there ARE studies proving the inferiority of formula compared to human milk, why should we shoot someone down for choosing to use a homemade formula, if we don't do the same to a mom choosing to not use human milk?

;-)

Fio.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 9:41am
Because there IS info that intestinal bleeding and anemia are somewhat more prevalent on homemade evaporated milk-based formulas. It's in one of the links I posted in my other post... I don't have a bunch of time or I would track down which it was. Homemade condensed-milk based formulas were found to be the worst thing to feed babies besides straight cow's milk. Formulas are specially engineered to reduce this risk - although it's still not entirely eliminated, just a pretty rare problem.

-Deb

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 9:51am
It only causes problems on rare occasions. The vast majority of babies are thrive on formula. I do not view it as a significant risk. I plan on BFing any future babies, but not because I think formula is a significant risk - it is because of BM's benefits to baby, and BFing's benefits to me.

-Deb

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 11:25am
But can you guarantee that? What if today's formulae cause major problems once the person is in their 60's?

"It only causes problems on rare occasions. The vast majority of babies are thrive on formula. I do not view it as a significant risk. I plan on BFing any future babies, but not because I think formula is a significant risk - it is because of BM's benefits to baby, and BFing's benefits to me. "

Once again...there aren't any benefits to BFing. ;-) Just risks to not doing so. ;-)

fIO.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 11:27am
OK, this is *possible*, but isn't it also possible that this is pushed into the light MUCH more than what really happens by the giant ever-powerful companies that sell those formulae?

I'm sorry, but I have little trust in these companies to provide unbiased information, *and* I'm willing to bet that a lot of info we get is "paid to be distributed" in a specific way.

Fio.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 11:43am
I couldn't find the link to the homemade formula article. If you have time, could you re-post it? If you have to do a search again, you don't need to bother, I'll check myself. Thanks!

Sherr

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 11:58am
Whoops, guess I didn't include that one. It came up in google, when I searched for either "cows milk formula" or "homemade formula" - I forget which! I'll see if I can find it later on when I get a chance. Right now I've only got like 10 minutes left of DDs naptime. ;-)

-Deb

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 11:58am
You know we'll never agree on the whole "benefit" vs. "risk" thing. ;-)