I had the opportunity to breast feed both of my children however, I know some mothers may not be able to breast feed as long as they would like. Others may stop breast feeding and find that Infant formulas are not as healthy and complete as they would like them to be or their infant is having reactions to commercial formulas. The information below was provided by Dr. Richard Brouse, from Sunny side clinic.
Infant Formula Fortification Protocol
A healthy and well nourished mother’s breast milk is nature’s perfect and complete food for babies and can’t even come close to being reproduced. With so many substaus all of the as-yet unidentified constituents, it should come as no great surprise that children today are suffering from a vast myriad of illnesses and disorders.
The human brain is infinitely more sophisticated than the world’s fastest computer, yet many people naively think that this wondrous organ can be perfectly constructed without any regard to the “raw materials” required. Building a properly functioning brain requires the right materials, just as building a computer would. Imagine trying to build a computer from scratch, without any microchips. Or trying to build a house without any lumber, bricks, steel, or other materials. However, while there is no way to create a formula equal to breast milk, there are steps that can be taken to improve upon the standard formulas that are available.
One of the nutritional areas that are woefully inadequate with formulas is in regards to their fatty acid content. With all of the anti-fat propaganda going on these days, most people don’t realize the critical importance of fat, especially with infants. Not only is the quantity important, but the quality and breakdown of the types of fat supplied as well. After all, the brain is 60% lipid (fat). Of this fat, approximately 12 % is arachidonic acid (AA) and 17% is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Many people have heard about the benefits and importance of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, made by ocean algae but found primarily in fish. The importance of DHA in the infants’ diet recently prompted many countries (not including the US) to allow formula producers to fortify their products with DHA, as well as AA. Currently, DHA/AA enhanced formulas are available, although not mandatory, throughout most of Europe.Unfortunately, this small step still does not provide infants the nutrients they desperately require, due to several problems.
First of all, the DHA added to the formulas, obtained from microalgae, is highly oxidized (approximately 30%).Additionally, DHA and AA are not the sole fat constituents of breastmilk. Fortifying with an adequate amount is critical.
In an effort to help people provide their infants with the best possible nutrition, our clinic often instructs mothers to “create” fortified formulas. But of course we insist that mothers breastfeed if at all possible or even obtain fresh breastmilk from a lactating friend or relative, if they have adopted a baby, or can’t breastfeed for some reason.For the infant to remain as healthy as possible, he must obtain a proper balance of all the essential fats, which is difficult to impossible, especially when you are changing mother nature and trying to create a formula.However, below is a basic daily fat fortification protocol, which attempts to come as close as possible to “the real thing”:
• Shaklee Omega Guard – one capsule per ten pounds of body weight
• Organic egg yolk – 1 yolk daily added at four months of age
• Organic cream ideally non-pasteurized and non-homogenized — If you are unable to find a local dairy farmer who will cooperate with you please try this link: http://www.realmilk.com/where.html.
• Shaklee GLA – 1 capsule per ten pounds of body weight daily
• Shaklee Lecithin. This oil needs to be added both for the inositol but to prevent the other oils from sticking to the bottle. One or two capsules per feeding to keep mixture in solution.
It is important, if not breastfeeding, to use protein as a “base” from which to fortify the infant’s diet. Remember, it is dangerous that something could be inadvertently left out or added in too great a quantity. A mistake could cost an infant his life. For these reasons, you may want to use an organic protein formula as a base. Here are some suggestions:
Nutramagen or Alimentum can be used as a base infant formula and ‘doctored up’ with nutritional perks. Both of these formulas are acceptable in regard to the ‘allergic’ aspect, and are the ones usually used when children cannot tolerate anything. Of course, they are also the most expensive.
FORTIFIED COMMERCIAL FORMULA Makes about 35 ounces This stopgap formula can be used in emergencies, or when the ingredients for homemade formula are unavailable.
• 1 cup Mead Johnson low-iron, milk-based powdered formula, Nutramigen or Alimentum are best and better tolerated but are more expensive
• 29 ounces filtered water (3 5/8 cups)
• 1 large egg yolk from an organic egg uncooked. Do not give unless infant is older than four months of age
• 1 capsule of Shaklee GLA and Omega Guard
• 2 capsules of Shaklee Lecithin
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend thoroughly. Place 6-8 ounces in a very clean glass bottle. (Store the rest in a very clean glass jar in the refrigerator for the next feedings.) Attach a clean nipple to the bottle and set in a pan of simmering water until formula is warm but not hot to the touch, shake well and feed to baby. (Never heat formula in a microwave oven!)
If your baby is premature, one additional area of fortification is in the area of free amino acids, most notably taurine. This nutrient is also critical for infant development and is found in human milk but not in cow’s milk. Although many formulas add some taurine, it has been shown that formula-fed infants have lower levels of taurine in their blood than breastfed infants do, even when the formula has added taurine.
Contrary to the advice given by some, soy milk, almond milk, or carrot juice, even if organic and homemade, are most definitely NOT ACCEPTABLE SUBSTITUTES FOR BREASTMILK. Parents frequently ask me about the safety of soy protein for infants. Babies who drink soy formula receive significant amounts of processed estrogen-like compounds (phytoestrogens) in the form of damaged soy isoflavones. This happens at a developmental time when permanent effects are theoretically possible. Some have speculated that soy formula might be responsible for early puberty in girls or infertility in boys. We have raised our three children and ten grandchildren on Shaklee soy protein, immediately after weaning with excellent results.
The August 15, 2001 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) contains the results of a study of 811 adults, some of who drank soy formula as children and others who drank milk-based formulas. No statistically significant differences were observed between the groups in either women or men. They followed more than 30 different measures of general health or reproductive health. Breast milk is clearly the ideal food for babies, but this study is quite reassuring that soy formulas are a safe alternative. This is good news for many babies who have cowmilk allergies in their parents or do not tolerate cow’s milk formulas well.
For those mothers who are breastfeeding, it is important to realize that the essential fatty acid content of her breast milk coincides with what she eats. Therefore, her diet is very important for the health of her baby. One of the most important things that a breastfed mother can do is to avoid foods containing trans fats, such as margarine and anything with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
While one can’t guarantee that taking the steps outlined above will completely eliminate problems such as ADD/ADHD and other behavioral problems, developmental problems, autism, visual difficulties, and others, I believe it is a strong possibility that it could help to reduce their incidence, although it is important to always remember that human breast milk is always the best for your baby.
Provided in the public interest by Dr. Richard Brouse – (503)654-3225
with them is a step in the right direction, but still leaves out plenty of important substances.
Click here to listen to an audio by Nedra Sahr, M.S., C.N.S., takes us through a discussion of early childhood nutrition and the natural superiority of breastfeeding with an emphasis on what parents can do to ensure the health and well-being of their children.