Nutrition Mission: Alternatives To Cow-Milk-Based Formulas

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Deciding on how you want to feed your infant is a delicate process. Some mothers decide to do breastmilk strictly, while others do a mixture of breastmilk and formula. Other mothers decide to do formula alone. Purchasing the popular, recommended brands may seem like the right choice at the time, but if you don’t do your research and skip over the fine print, you may be subjecting your baby to medical hardships.

Nutrition Mission: Alternatives to Cow-Milk-Based Formulas

Formula brands like Similac and Enfamil contain cow milk in their ingredients. Cow’s milk can be harsh on an infant’s digestive system and cause potentially irreversible damage, especially if they are born prematurely.

In some instances, infants have contracted Necrotizing Enterocolitis or NEC. This is a very serious and potentially deadly disease that attacks the intestines.

Several infant formula lawsuits are being filed against Similac and Enfamil for the damage they’ve caused to susceptible infants and their families. Suppose your child has been diagnosed with NEC, and their condition is directly correlated to their consumption of these formulas. In that case, you may be entitled to a settlement from the responsible parties.

Cow-milk-based formulas are not the only type of baby formula available. If you want to avoid putting your child at risk, or if you’re simply seeking an alternative to this type of formula there are several viable options available.

Soy, Non-Dairy Formulas

Soy-based formulas are entirely gluten-free and don’t contain milk proteins or lactose. If you need an alternative that’s free of cow’s milk and vegan, this is a great choice. This formula is also easier to digest and doesn’t cause gas build-up.

Soy-based formulas are available in liquid or powdered form. Powdered soy formulas can be found at most major retailers, but the liquid may require a prescription from your baby’s pediatrician. Talk to your doctor and see If this is the best option for your baby.

Hemp-Based Formulas

A few hemp-based formula brands are on the market, but they’re not as readily available as soy and cow milk alternatives. Hemp is an allergen-free plant that contains high levels of Omega- fatty acids and proteins.

Hemp is a great alternative to cow dairy because it’s easier to digest and doesn’t contain as much sugar as soy-based formulas.

The only con of using hemp-based formula is that the mixture requires more water than other products. Using too little powder could lead to dehydration or an unbalanced diet for your baby. It’s important to follow the mixing instructions closely.

Hemp formulas are allergen-free and provide your baby with essential nutrients.

Hypoallergenic Formulas

If your child has a milk allergy, hypoallergenic formulas are available. These products are created with hydrolyzed proteins that break down the allergen structure. This process makes them easier to digest and less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

A few different types of hypoallergenic formulas are available, like amino-acid-based and partially hydrolyzed. These are not the same as soy or hemp formulas; they contain more milk proteins and fewer carbohydrates.
Your baby’s pediatrician can help you decide if a hypoallergenic formula is the healthiest option for your child.

Low-Lactose Formulas

If your infant has a manageable or fluctuating tolerance for lactose products, you may want to consider low-lactose formulas. They provide all of the same benefits as traditional nutrients without the complication of gastrointestinal issues.

These formulas are made with enzymes that break down the milk sugar into glucose and galactose. This makes it easier for your baby to digest and eliminates uncomfortable symptoms like gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Low-lactose formulas are available in both soy and cow’s milk varieties. 

Review your options with your pediatrician and ask them for recommendations.

Like soy-based formulas, they can be purchased as a liquid or powder. This is a great choice if your baby needs fewer carbohydrates or lactose in their diet, but you’re not ready to completely replace cow’s milk.

Lactose-Free Formula

If your child is lactose-intolerant, this is the best formula option for you. They are also gluten-free and don’t contain any added sugars. This benefits your baby’s digestive system by providing a nutrient that their bodies can break down naturally without causing any discomfort, infection, or intestinal damage.

Lactose-free formulas provide all of the same benefits as traditional cow’s milk. They are a great choice for infants who need to avoid dairy but don’t want to miss out on important benefits like calcium, protein, and vitamin D.

There are plenty of brands that fall under these alternative categories. Do your research, talk with your pediatrician and decide on the formula that works best for your infant.

You want to do what’s best for your baby. Mindful nourishment is a great place to start.

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