Sunday, May 22, 2022

Homemade Baby Formula

 I am appalled at some of the suggestions for feeding babies. I am not going to recommend a substitute formula. However, the fresh, unpasteurized milk some recommend is horrifying. There is a reason we pasteurize milk..

When I was born, the oldest of five, Mama tried to breastfeed me, but could not. So, she had to use formula. At some point ( a year) she gave me formula from Pet Milk. I do know she tried Similac at birth and I could not tolerate it, so she switched me to SMA and all my brothers and sisters started on SMA, too. The Pet Milk formula we fed my brother was fed only after he was a year old, so that was probably what she gave all of us after SMA or a year. 

I do know that Karo Syrup was added to the Pet Milk formula to counteract constipation. And, we had iron supplements. There could have been other supplements. I read the recipe for Pet Milk formula and it said to add the can to 20ozs of sterilized water. I could have sworn I mixed it half and half with water. I was almost 14 when he was born, so I mixed lots of formula from Pet once he was switched.

The people who make these pronouncements have stated the Pet Milk formula is harmful for babies. Maybe they mean for newborns. I don't know. But, we all grew with no health problems and most had high IQs. I don't know. 

What I do know is that I believe Pet Milk is better for us than Carnation or other condensed milks. Pet has only milk and is fortified with Vitamin D. Check the Carnation label. Carnation has milk, disodium phosphate, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Carrageenan. Disodium Phosphate is generally regarded as safe (GRAS). 

Carrageenan is an extract from a pink seaweed generally known as Irish Moss. … Some scientists have introduced proof that carrageenan is extremely inflammatory and poisonous to the digestive tract, and declare that it could be responsible for colitis, IBS, rheumatoid arthritis, and even colon most cancers.

My babies took SMA until they were a year old and then drank regular milk. I know the babies who need formula now are often newborn or have problems and need a special formula. 

I am not recommending Pet formula, but I would give it to one of mine if I could not find SMA. I only use Pet Milk when I cook with condensed milk. 

I know the problems some babies have with any but a specifically formulated feeding. 

What is your history with feeding an infant? What substitute would be comforting? What would you not use? 

Be nice and don't blame anyone for anything. If you are blaming, I will not post your comment.


28 comments:

  1. I have nothing bad to say, only worried for the parents of babies right now. It has been 34 years since my son was born. So many things have changed since then. The only thing I would do is listen to my pediatrician and do what they suggest for my baby. I would figure out some way to feed my child in a safe way. There are many women that produce excess breast milk that can be donated to other babies if the baby does well on breast milk and not formula. Each baby has specific needs, so we need to do the best to provide that.

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    1. Texas,
      Sometimes, pediatricians don't know what is best. I used SMA because we all thrived on it. That was not the pediatrician's choice, but she did not fight me on it or even suggest I do anything differently. I did what worked for my mother feeding babies. Well, no Pet milk for my children.

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  2. My mom was in her 40's when she had me, and just couldn't get breast milk in. She used the Pet and Kayro with vitamins added. I did fine. Many can't use cows milk - allergic. My eldest brother was allergic and he had to have goats milk. They bought a goat back then.

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    1. I laughed at their buying a goat...so much easier than buying a cow. There are so many stories! Thankfully, now there is formula for children with even more severe allergies or medical conditions. Thanks.

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  3. Your post today inspired me to read up on the baby formula shortage and what has caused this problem.

    I read that the company who made the formula had an FDA inspection back in September, where the FDA did not close them down. The facility was found to have unsanitary conditions, (details weren't mentioned), and people who were working with the formula with "unsanitized" hands. (I guess that may mean that they didn't have on gloves). Germy, dirty finger nails, maybe hairy hands? Let's hope they at least had on some kind of gloves.

    I also read that the profits on baby formula are dropping for the companies that make it because the birth rate in the USA is dropping.

    I think I remember my Mom telling me that they fed babies born in the
    1950's with Pet milk, boiled water and a little Karo syrup. I don't remember if she said any measurements on the ingredients. I fed my kids powdered formula made from milk, I remember there were a few times when I treated myself to buying canned ready to use formula for them. I can't remember what excuse I had for that.

    When our daughter arrived from South Korea at 4 months they sent a can of soy based formula along with her. The doctor said soy was better for Asian babies because they were more likely to have problems digesting dairy milk products. Oh my gosh, I was such a dumb first-time mom, that poor baby had such spitting up, I think as much came out as went in, I know now that it was abnormal to have that much spit up, when I called the doctor's office, they said don't worry, that is normal. After a while I decided I would try her on milk based formula and the spit up lessened immediately to just a little bit after each meal. I never fed our son any soy formula. He always had dairy based formula and he spit up just a very small amount.

    It surprises me how vehement the warnings are now about not making formula yourself. I guess they think they can't trust people to have the good sense to make their own formula. I have read about people using unpasteurized milk for baby formula, in my opinion that could expose a baby to a lot of extra bacteria. Why doesn't the government publish the simple old fashioned formula recipe that millions of baby boomers and maybe even generations before that grew up on. If more vitamins are needed, make them available. Is the government worried about the possible risks from babies getting homemade formula, or are they worried about the formula manufacturers losing profits? When I think about giant vats of powdered formula being made in a filthy factory with a bunch of people with no gloves, or dirty gloves involved in the process, it makes me want to throw up. When I think of the babies who were so sick and some who died from that contaminated formula, it makes me furious. But the government refusing to even publish safe formula recipes that people could make at home during this emergency makes me wonder why in the heck wont they do this.

    Isn't it amazing how so many manufacturers of so many items just don't seem to care about the quality of the product they are selling.

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    1. So, Asian babies handle soy better than milk? Right! You certainly learned better.
      You really dug deeper than I have. Food processing plants sort of gross me out anyway, but dirty baby formula plants are horrible. Hands are supposed to be washed before gloves go on.

      I do believe that babies can be fed safely without commercial formula. I refuse to believe we five children thrived on formula that was harmful. As for profits, they would not want people to use less formula once the supply of commercial formula is back.

      When I was pregnant with my third baby, I informed my husband I was going to use liquid, canned formula! I remembered using the powder and spilling it and then trying not to spill it and shaking to get it to dissolve. I was going to pamper myself!

      It is unfortunate that profits drive safety practices in factories of all kinds, but especially baby formula. There are safe baby formulas, so I, too, have wondered why the government refuses to even acknowledge they exist.

      You are absolutely correct and manufacturers generally not caring about quality. Profits rule.

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  4. Our oldest son had SMA and it was the only formula he tolerated. I breastfed the following four without any trouble. But, now we have a four month old grandson who was very sick when he was born and was in the hospital for 8 days after his birth so breastfeeding just did not happen for him. Now he is on one of the formulas that was recalled but they use the ready to feed which was not recalled. He is very small for his age and I would be worried sick if he had to be switched to anything but that formula that he tolerates very well. Most stores have a 4 unit limit so they can only buy for 4 days at a time which is scary to us all. My DIL said she spilled 4 ounces one day and stood in the kitchen and sobbed. New Moms should not have to deal with that!

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    1. Lana,
      You may be one of the few people who recognize SMA as a formula. I did not realize that ready-to-feed formula was not recalled. This crisis obviously hits close to home for you. The fact the dil cried made me cry. That is sad. I would have other people buying formula for me if I were limited.

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    2. All the grandparents are 2.5 hours away from them but trust me, we are ready to go hunt for it and drive it to them. They can occasionally get it from Amazon to fill in with what they can find in the store.

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    3. Lana,
      I imagine many mothers do not have such a good support system in place. Good for her!

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    4. Lana - I am so sorry that your Daughter in law is having to go through such awful stress. I could feel her worry and frustration when I read that she spilled some of it.
      When I wrote about the old fashioned formula that used to be given to babies, I sure didn't mean to make light of the families who have babies that need specially made formulas.

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  5. DIL1 tried for nearly 2 months to breastfeed, and finally after 2 months Pip was not gaining wait and was failing to thrive. Her pediatricians office was staunch advocate of breast milk, but she was losing weight daily. They had to demand a recommendation for formula which the dr.'s office gave reluctantly. Amazingly she started gaining weight immediately. I am so tired of the mom-shaming!

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    1. Mom shaming is the worst! Can you imagine a child born without a formula to feed her? I am glad Pip got formula and thrived.

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  6. My siblings and I grew up on raw cows milk after being weaned from breastmilk. It's all I drink now. I am healthy and have a high IQ also ;). My 3 children were breastfed and went onto raw cows milk as well after weaning around 9-10 months old. All are intelligent healthy people.

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    1. Lisa,
      I was not saying Pet Milk made for a high IQ. Articles claimed that children would suffer and not have mental acuity if fed homemade formula. I was refuting that based on my experience. Raw cow's milk is not dangerous if handled correctly from teat to lips. Obviously, your family handled the milk correctly. Congratulations.

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  7. Well I have two cans of formula here I am trying to give away!

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  8. I remember my mother saying she feed me Pet milk with water and Karo syrup. I think the vitamin was PolyViSol. I'm 60. I have 3 degrees. When daughter 1and 2 were born, the pediatrician said to use formula for 6 months then switch to 2% milk. When daughter 3 was 6 months, I changed her to milk and I had a different pediatrician. He was upset about the change and said 1 year on formula. I didn't change. All my girls were at the top of the charts for growth and are college grads. It's so disheartening what's happening.

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  9. angie,
    If Pet Milk formula caused a cognitive or physical deficit, I think we would have a nation of deficient people. I added that part in the post because in my experience, that is not true. Thanks for the personal confirmation. Four out of five of us siblings are tall. All but me were 5 lb babies. But, my breast-fed mother was tiny.

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  10. My children were mix fed. Breastmilk when I was travelling well, a bottle of formula when I was short of time or someone else was feeding them (not my second, he refused all but the breast so I just had to make time for him)
    The formula i used was called Karicare, my early childhood nurse gave me a sample and then I used it for all three. Formula companies are no longer allowed to give samples through nurses.
    It's interesting that you are talking about home made formula, the formula companies want everyone to buy their stuff so they try to pretend there are no other ways. About ten years ago I saw a piece of writing saying that formula companies want everyone to feel that they need supplementation and soon there will be a special milk for everyone. Not long after that I saw formula for elderly people advertised. It's true. they don't want us to trust our bodies, our food supply or any other thing, just use their product for "health".
    No thanks

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    1. kylie,
      That is interesting that you son rejected the bottle for the breast. He had a mind of his own!

      Hospitals here gave samples, but I don't know if they are still allowed. I will have to check. Similac was the formula hospitals gave out.
      I was thinking the same thing. That is why I wrote this post. Surely, there must be multiple ways to feed an infant. Most of the formulas put soy in them, something I would not want fed to my child.
      Formula for the elderly? I hope I am in my right mind so I can object. But, if I am old, that probably won't help for me to object. I suppose if companies can convince us that the only foods that are safe come packaged, the profits will be higher. What is the world coming to?

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  11. My history with feeding an infant is that by the second baby, I had enough courage to tell the nursing staff to get the heck off my back, and leave me alone. After my first delivery, where I felt forced to, but not supported in breast feeding, I brought a pump, bottles, my own formula and an attitude with me to the hospital, letting them know it was enough for them to know that my baby was getting fed. The how was none of their concern. My body, my choice. The irony of the timing of this shortage blows my mind...

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    1. Meg,
      It is good you found your voice and used it to help you get people away. You obviously did it right. There seemed to be no support for breastfeeding when I had babies--68, 70, and 75. They did not encourage it at all.
      I thought about the timing, also. Too many people are trying women how to manage their lives!

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    2. If you study the history of formula, you will find that there was a push by the manufacturers to get the medical community to sell their products, to the point that they sent mothers home with oodles of samples of formula. By the time I started having babies, that was dwindling, and with my last, the hospital no longer allowed samples to be given to mothers in an attempt to encourage breastfeeding. Formula could only be provided through a pediatrician's order. I did, however, receive a lot of merchandise (diaper bag, receiving blanket, etc.) with formula company logos.

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  12. My kids were both champion nursers. My son self-weaned at 5 months and was then put on formula. They slowly transitioned to whole cow's milk at age 1.

    Soy milk formula was regarded as some sort of miracle non-allergenic formula back in the day. I remember my youngest brother drank "Neo-Milk-Soy". We called it "Neo-Muck-Soy" because it smelled like crap. We accused our mom of torturing him! LOL! He also had those Poly-Vi-Sol vitamins. He's the tallest of my brothers today and an engineer besides, so obviously none of it hurt him.

    What would I substitute today? No idea. Glad it's not a problem for me.

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    1. Sue,
      Soy is not a good thing. But, some people are less affected. I have never smelled soy milk. I will have to remedy that...lol.

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  13. Soy milk smells nothing like Neo-Milk-Soy did. That stuff smelled like soy milk after it made a trip through a baby!

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