This can quickly become a heated discussion with mamas out there. Is breast best, absolutely, but there are circumstances in which that is not feasible for some mamas and that is ok. Luckily there are plenty of options if that is the case. What I will say about formula is that not all formula is created equal and to go a step further not all organic formula is created equal either. I remember when I started thinking about having to supplement with my first daughter and the idea of not giving her my milk gave me so much anxiety. Nothing is more natural than breast milk but I was determined to find the best most natural option for her.
When it comes to food regulations, the US putting it bluntly, sucks and is one of the worst countries in the world. There are many loop holes as well as ingredients that most other countries in the world deem illegal because of the detrimental effects it has on the body. Let me just throw out a couple staggering facts so you can get an idea of what I mean. 80% of baby formula is known to contain arsenic, one third of baby food is also known to contain lead, and about 58% containing cadmium. Now these were just some of the harmful ingredients found. We all know heavy metals are extremely unsafe for adults let alone newborn babies who are supposed to be developing. There are also a slew of other health issues these harmful ingredients cause such as, kidney failure, bone softening, diabetes and cancer to name a few. In knowing this there was no way I could settle. I was going to have to take a deeper dive and really research this topic.
When this search first began it was 2016 and even though that was just three years ago there was not nearly as much info out there like there is today in 2019. I now see more and more moms posting about quality formula and that makes me so happy. In 2016 I didn’t know many moms and especially ones that were as mindful about health like I was so I was not sure where to even begin. The internet is saturated with products from huge companies so it is hard to weed through all of that to find quality products especially if they are from other countries. I started reading mom blogs, researching health advocates and really trying to find a community of people that felt the same way I did and who also had the knowledge I did not. I went a step further to not only see what moms were saying about this topic but to also see the actual differences between US vs European formula regulations. You can find that information here. It is pretty mind blowing.
Once all the research was done it came down to the brands Holle and HiPP. Lebenswert is another one but it was not an option back then. We tried both and I have to say that I was so pleased. We came upon these two options because one night I was worried that Brielle was maybe not getting enough milk. She would not latch and was super fussy and nothing would make her stop crying. Not knowing what I know now, I thought I wasn’t producing enough milk (even though I was) and I panicked and did what any mom would do, I sent Brian (my husband) out to get me every brand of organic formula from Whole Foods. We went through all of the formulas and tasted them and let me just say that they all tasted very synthetic and more like chemicals than milk. There was nothing “natural” about any of them. We ended up giving her the Baby’s only formula. I felt horrible because her gas was so bad, you could tell how much pain she was in. We knew it was the formula because she never had bad gas and she was not a fussy baby at all. The next time she pooped it was a weird brown color not yellow like it normally was and it smelled awful. Thankfully we only had to give her the formula twice.
We actually purchased both Holle and HiPP and supplemented both with 2 bottles a day for about 4 months. They both were very similar in taste and smell as well as with Brielle’s poop color and smell. It was so nice to finally feel good about supplementing especially because I had so much mom guilt to begin with about my milk supply declining when I went back to work.
The second time around I have to say has been a lot easier, not with the whole no sleep zombie part but with knowing with confidence what to do in the event my plan is derailed somehow with nursing. We did buy Holle to have just in case and we have used it a few times but for the most part Aliciana is being breastfed exclusively. Peace of mind is huge deal for moms and I think having a plan and being 100% ok with it helps so much. I hope that with the information I provided you too can have peace of mind in knowing there are great options out there when it comes to formula for your baby.