Thursday, May 5, 2011

What? I'm Having a Baby?

That's news to me!

A couple of months ago I started getting spam for mothers and mothers-to-be. I shook my head, marked it as Junk and went on my merry way.

Then last week I opened up my mail box and found a box of Similac samples. Wha? I wondered, How did they get my address? And, What made them think this grandmother of three was having a baby? For the record, that would be a miracle... and then I got an American Baby magazine in my mailbox.

I'm gonna chock this up to two things:
  • There is no privacy—everything about you is known by anybody who wants to know
  • Can anybody get anything right today?
So, dear blog readers, I'm taking this opportunity to do an evaluation of infant formula.

Let's Examine Similac Advance

The main ingredients are nonfat milk, lactose, high oleic safflower oil, soy oil, coconut oil, galacto-oligosaccharides, whey protein concentrate. The remaining ingredients are various supplements that make up 2% of the product.

Nonfat milk and lactose (milk sugar)—Unless noted as organic, today's cows are fed genetically modified (GM) feed and pumped with hormones and antibiotics. These additives come through the milk and become part of the infant formula. In the first six months, an infant's body is rapidly developing—chemicals, antibiotics and hormones can have severe ramifications for their long-term health.

High oleic safflower oil is 70% monounsaturated (Omega-6) fatty acid. Unless the ingredients say expeller-pressed, the oil has been extracted using chemicals and heat.

Soy oil (or anything soy) should not be used for infants. Soy has a very high concentration of manganese which can lead to brain damage as infants and behavior issues as adolescents. Soy also contains phyto-estrogens. Babies don't need estrogen—it can harm your baby's reproductive health and development. In addition, most of the soy grown in the US is GM and heavily contaminated with pesticides. Finally, GM soy may cause allergies.

Coconut oil is a saturated fat that increases HDL cholesterol and as a virgin oil (processed without heat), is very healthy. This oil mimics benefits provided by breast milk.

Galacto-oligosaccharides is a milk-derived prebiotic that assists the body's growth of healthy bacteria, an important element for a healthy immune system.

Whey protein concentrate is low in fat and cholesterol, a source of amino acids and high in compounds that aid protein synthesis. It also helps regulate insulin and promotes a healthy heart and immune system function.

The Shocking Ingredients in Similac Sensitive
The main ingredients are corn syrup solids, sugar (sucrose), milk protein isolate, high oleic safflower oil, soy oil, coconut oil, galacto-oligosaccharides. The remaining ingredients are various supplements that make up 2% of the product.

No need to belabor much on this one. I would pitch this in the garbage immediately. Not only are there no quality proteins, the main ingredient is sugar. How is this supposed to be better for a sensitive baby?  For Fussiness & Gas the label says. So if your baby is fussy or has gas, lets give him a good start on obesity and insulin intolerance.

Just to make you feel good about your choice of using Similac, the packaging and materials state: Strong moms start with Similac. This type of marketing BS has no place when it comes to the health of our children.

Please learn to read labels, especially when it comes to food for children.

Breastfeeding is Best
Of course the best food for a baby is mother's own breast milk. Ideally you should breastfeed your baby exclusively for the first six months and then introduce healthy foods. Breastfeeding also benefits the mother by burning more calories, allowing quicker return to pre-pregnancy weights, and a reduced risk for chronic disease like diabetes and breast cancer. The best benefit is the beautiful bond you build with your baby when you sit down and enjoy the quiet stillness of a treasured moment.

If you must supplement with something other than breast milk, here is a healthy home-made infant formula.

Pass this post on to a new or soon-to-be-mom.

What is your experience with infant formula and breastfeeding? Scroll down and leave your comments.


  1. It is horrible what passes for food these days. I was blessed to be able to breastfeed all my children, but I know some women struggle. I hope they'll be encouraged to seek out or make healthy alternatives.

  2. I gave formula to my oldest two and breastfed my youngest two. My oldest daughter had ear infections and eventually needed tubes. My second oldest child has allergies really badly. My younger two kids had very healthy babyhoods. Though my youngest has allergies too now.

  3. Wow, Joanne. That says a lot. BTW have you given your youngest grape seed extract for his allergies?

  4. How sad!! I am a big avid breastfeeder so you're speaking to the choir here, but I still like to read articles like this.

  5. Erin, I'm hoping the choir is growing! When I breastfed my son almost thirty years ago, many were breastfeeding. Now we know MORE about what is bad about formula and good about breastfeeding.

    Incidentally, my son is a very healthy young man, never gets sick, who makes healthy food choices. The only thing he had as a child was an ingrown big toe nail.