Is anyone concerned about formula?

Heather - posted on 12/02/2008 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I am currently breastfeeding my three month old but planned to supplement with formula at 6 months while I am away at work. I have heard that there is BPA in the canisters that hold the formulas and also that there may be a link between formula and autism... Thoughts?

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Marilyn - posted on 12/07/2008

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I didn't think anyone on here was being judgmental toward women who "formula feed" - at least I didn't interpret anyone's comments that way (and I certainly wasn't intending to be judgmental, myself, so I hope it didn't come off that way). If any judgment was made, I think it was toward formula, because of the potential hazards and whatnot, but not toward the women. Sure - breast is best, but I know that's not always possible or practical for some women, so they do what they can to feed their babies - it doesn't make them bad parents, as long as whatever they do is the best they are able to...

Heather - posted on 12/04/2008

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Thanks for all the advice...I did supplement at 6 months with my two year old because I didn't have the time or place to pump. I'm a teacher and so I can't just pump when I want or need to. I have worked it out so far to feed him right before work and I also am blessed with being able to go and breastfeed him on my lunch break but that leaves one late day feeding. I have been back to work since he was 6 weeks and my frozen supply is almost gone,,, I guess we will just see how it all works out.

Jennifer - posted on 12/04/2008

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I just have to say that I breastfeed and supplement w/one formula bottle a day. It is what works for my family.



I also would like to express my disappointment in how judgemental some people are about formula fed babies. There are women in this world who have NO CHOICE but to feed their little ones formula and they are put down for it. Yes breast is best but, thank goodness, there is an alternative when it isn't possible beacuase of it I have a happy, healthy neice.

Sian - posted on 12/04/2008

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hi heather - i'm another promoter of the keep breast feeding school!!!! my daughter has been breastfed from day one and still has one feed just before bed and she is 2 on christmas day... i went back to work when she was 4 months old and was able to keep breastfeeding by pumping at work. it can be done and works well - you just have to be diligent and committed to the process. i was blessed with a huge milk supply and had to get a small special freezer just for the breastmilk as didn't have room for the stock in my normal freezer, and had to dump a heap once lilly reduced her feeds... so keep going - its the best for you precious little one, full of some many wonderful benefits, 100% natural and FREE!!!! wishing you all the best!!!!

Briana - posted on 12/04/2008

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I really think its a blessing to be able to breast feed & evan though with the tecnoligy today they can try to come up with a milk nearly as good as breastmilk I wouldnt risk anything when it comes to my children, I have been fortunate to be able to B/feed & yes its been very hard with work & unwell babies but I now have the piece of mind that I gave my children the best milk they could get, so well done for your effort so far & good luck with any choices you make.

Tamara - posted on 12/04/2008

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I would love to avoid formula but just don't know if I can do it work and finish uni and breastfeed at the same time :) but will try! My baby is nearly 6 months and I am exclusively breastfeeding and giving solids after feeds just so he can try different tastes. I was freezing my milk at the beginning because I had a lot of milk so I expressed it and stored it. But when I offered it to my son he wouldn't take a drop. I tried everything different bottles I got my husband to feed him but no way he just cried more and more....and I throw all the milk away :(
That's why i have a problem he wont take any water and I wanted to start with formula in a few months but I would keep morning and evening feed . I kinda knew that formula wasn't that good but after reading this I am sure of it and i will try to breast feed my baby until he is ready for cows milk. I hope I will manage....

Marilyn - posted on 12/03/2008

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in case you didn't already know, you can freeze your stored breastmilk and it will keep for 3-4 months...

Nicki - posted on 12/03/2008

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I formula fed my daughter she is know 4 yrs old she is totally fine. but I am 16 weeks pregnant and I am going to breastfeed this one, I didnt with my first cuz I was a senior in highschool.

Laura - posted on 12/03/2008

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My son, David is 6 months old and was exclusively breastfed until a few weeks ago when we started solid foods. Up until now David has always had expressed breastmilk in a bottle when I need to be away for a few hours. Recently, however, he has started to refuse the bottle so the milk either ends up wasted or in the freezer. Since my son is now big enough that he can wait four or more hours between feedings, my husband and I were considering using formula as an emergency back-up instead of me pumping but after I read the reports about the BPA, melamine and cyanuaric acid in the formula, I decided that I'm going to keep pumping when I need to be away. Of course there are lots of healthy formula fed babies so you just need to do what is best for you and your family.

Hilary - posted on 12/03/2008

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I agree...keep breastfeeding. I had to go back to college when my little girl was 3-4 months. Most employers are very understanding and will allow you time to pump. It's not as big of a hassle as most people make it out to be. Buy a good pump, Medela makes a great one, and tote it along. Be sure that you pump at the same intervals that your daughter nurses to keep your milk supply up. Keep strong! It's the best for your baby.

April - posted on 12/03/2008

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All my nephews and there sister have all been formula feed (powder) from birth and are fine. My children have both been breast feed (my oldest until 4 months and my second 9 months), then suplemented with powder formula. I have herd bad things about the formula that is already mixed up, but I have not found any bad effects from formula.

Jessica - posted on 12/03/2008

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Ive been supplementing my baby with formula since he was 6 weeks old and he is absolutely perfect! millions of babies are soley formula fed from birth i wouldnt worry

Marilyn - posted on 12/02/2008

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thanks for the info, Bryna! I thought we were pretty cautious about what we wanted (or didn't want) to expose our baby to, and we avoided formula simply for the fact that it doesn't compare to the benefits and cost savings of breastmilk, but somehow we didn't know about the possible dangers... wow!

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Not to mention the melamine and cyanuaric acid that were just discovered in many major brands of formula! There are lots and lots of reasons formula is really icky stuff, I could go on and on, but I'll give you a couple of the biggest ones and let you make your own, informed decision.

before I do, as a Certified Lactation Counselor, let me tell you that Peter Hartmann's latest research shows that babes take in about 20 oz a day from sometime around 4 months until they stop nursing. They just change the increments they take it in. Some babes take lots and lots of small feedings, while others take a few large feeds. That being said, as long as you can get yourself a good supply in your freezer, you shouldn't have to worry about supplementing, unless you can't pump at work...which would lead to a decrease in your overall supply. But before I go way off track, let me list some evidence-based facts about formula you may not know:

Enterobacter Sakazakii is in every single can of powdered formula. It begins multiplying the moment it touches water, and doesn't stop. It multiplies fastest at 38-65 degrees fahrenheit. (refrigerator to room temp) and within one hour can double it's volume. This is a nasty little bacteria that causes diarrhea in babes, and completely wipes out the really, really important villi in your baby's intestinal tract. Breastmilk increases those villi's effectiveness. You can google E. Sakazakii, for more info. You should!

Increased risk for obesity and diabetes mellitus. Formula actually blocks your child's insulin receptors. No kidding. Enough formula and your child's insulin production will decrease significantly.

Cadmium. Yup, formula companies include way, WAY more of this heavy metal in infant formulas than the WHO's recommended allowable levels. SInce the addition of iron to infant formulas ( which they can't process anyhow) The formulas looked muddy and grey. To fix this problem, and make the formula look more white, like milk, they add cadmium. It's a heavy metal ( like mercury) and causes lots, and lots of problems.

There are lots more reasons, but this is getting lengthy. As far as Autism, from all of the research I've seen lately, there isn't enough proof to link the two. As of yet it's still unknown that any outside factors directly cause autism. But that's a thorny subject and depends on which research study you read. I'd check the Journal of Breastfeeding Medicine, which is one of the most reliable evidence-based resources for research studies.

Sorry to come off to anti-formula. There are a lot of babes that really need the stuff, but if you can avoid it at all, I would! Check with your local LLL. They usually have working mom groups and those moms will have lots and LOTS of helpful information about working and breastfeeding. Kellymom.com is excellent, too.

Again, sorry for the novel!

[deleted account]

I looked into this as I have to supplement when I take migraine meds. I haven't heard the link between autism and BPA but there is BPA in formula, however, the amount is very low in the powdered formula that comes in a can. See the website from EWG for more info: http://www.ewg.org/node/25570

Marilyn - posted on 12/02/2008

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wow - I hadn't heard those claims, but it's good you are being cautious about it by trying to find out more info, before potentially exposing your baby.



my baby will be 6 mos old at the end of this week, and we have managed to solely breastfeed this whole time (w/the exception of introducing baby food). it seems my milk supply is diminishing, so I thought I would supplement formula on occaision, but now I'm not sure I will if there's any truth to what you are saying...

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