The starting of my journey with my little boy was a challenging one. Due to lack of knowledge in the breastfeeding essentials, my boy started taking formula from bottle at the onset -- in the hospital. He was accustomed to the flow from a bottle and did not take to latching at all. To add on, my supply was also slow to kick in at the start, which resulted in us having to fall back on formula milk during the first month. Much as we didn't like the idea of formula milk, we found ourselves without any better options. We would have much preferred a plant based milk.
As I worked hard at pumping to get my supply up in the first month, it was a gruelling 10 pumps per day. I would pump every 2hrs during the day, just so that I could drag longer at night to get more hours of rest. In parallel, my confinement nanny would feed my boy whatever breastmilk supply I could provide. It was not until Week 6, that I was able to cover his demand.
During these initial few weeks, I couldn't help noticing that my boy had quite a few bumps on his forehead and some red patches around his face. Initially, we looked online and thought that it was baby acne. Baby acne is expected to go off with time. However, it would appear alot one day, disappear the next day and so on. Unpredictable, but patiently we waited. It was only when we had the switch over to 100% breastmilk in week 6, that we noticed somehow that the rash went down. I couldn't believe it that switching out from formula milk had such a big effect.
Initially, my hubby was very against feeding formula milk due to the cow's milk component in there. When he was a teenager, he had taken quite alot of milk. At the same time, he was struggling with bad acne. It was only when he stopped drinking cows milk that his acne went down. With that experience, he was not at all keen on formula milk for my boy. Now that we saw the rash subside, all the more he was sure it was the cow's milk causing it. Cow's milk brings about other health issues as well. You can read more here.
Now, my milk supply was just about sufficient to meet my baby's demand, without much to spare. As such, I was apprehensive as to what would happen if I needed to be away for a few days, or if my supply was suddenly disrupted. I needed to look for a good alternative for him. Fortunately for me, my supply continue to hold up until he reached about 6 mths of age. Grateful!!
Looking into the market, if I wanted to avoid all animal's milk, my next best option would be soy formula milk. While evaluating, one of the things that I went through carefully was the ingredient label. I really didn't like what I saw there.
First things first, there was a super long list of chemical names there. It caused me to doubt that I even wanted to feed him that much chemicals. Even down to the protein in the milk, it is labelled as "soy protein isolate". What this means is that soy contains many nutrients, but only the protein is isolated out to put into this formula milk. Why?
In my years of chemical engineering training, we know that it is ok to ingest some chemicals, as long as we don't exceed certain thresholds in terms of quantity or duration. However, if this formula milk is going to be the staple food for my young infant boy, that doesn't pass my funny look test. Imagine eating chemicals as a staple food? Do we do that as adults even?
On ingredient labels, sugars can appear in different forms and names. Hydrolized corn starch, sucrose, FOS...these are some examples of it. It is ok to have sugar on the ingredient labels. After all, who likes a tasteless food? Nevertheless, having them as the major ingredient is just unthinkable.
Do we scoop cubes of white sugar and eat it directly from a spoon? Or even maybe mix it in water then drink?
Have you ever considered before why formula milk is thought to be "heaty"? What this means is that when our children take formula milk, they experience inflammation in their body. This inflammation comes about due to the less than ideal Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio in the vegetable oils used in formula milk. The ideal ratio for our body is 1: 1. Inflammation brings about many health issues which we see in children these days - over-sensitivity of airways, constipation etc.
I will be writing more about inflammation in my future posts, so do stay with us!
Update on 7 Oct 2016: You will be able to find my new post on inflammation here.
Grateful to have chanced upon this option for my boy. I have been giving him Nutrifresh ever since my breastmilk supply started to drop after he turned 6 mth old. As it is packed individually, I need not worry about opening a tin of milk powder, only having to throw it away after 4 weeks. Even when he is 21 mths old now, it is still a good option for more wholesome nourishment for him when he is picky with his food.
The soy used here is tested to be GMO free among 2000 other laboratory safety tests. You can read more about the safety testing here. If you are worried about soy being unsuitable for children to take due to the presence of phytoestrogens, you can read more here.
Imagine heading to the supermarket every day to buy these 15 different types of fruits and vegetables, going home and cutting them up. For soy beans, the outer skin needs to be removed and it needs to be cooked at 70 deg C for the most optimal nutrients to be retained. Instead, isn't this a very convenient solution? You just need to tear open a sachet and mix in water. In less than 1 mins you get to enjoy the benefits of having wholesome nourishment from Nutrifresh. Best part of it, it costs only less than $2 each sachet! Great value for money!
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