REAL Breast Milk… and the next best thing.

This post is dedicated to breast milk and mamas because it truly is a real food, and mamas are the only ones that can make it.   The research has been done and most people know that indeed, “breast is best.” But what if you can’t breastfeed? Before my third baby and the complications post partum I never had to think about not being able to nourish my babies, for I had easily nursed my two older children past two years old.  So as I am sitting in the emergency room with  an i.v. shooting serious pain killers in my arm, I knew I had to come up with something. I had to give in, or so I thought.  You see I am a bit compulsive when it comes to real food and what I put in my body.  I had all three of my children (two at home) drug free, and I’m proud of that.  I never gave them formula…but what else was I going to do?  Within a period of 6 hours I could not walk, the pain was debilitating.  I remember my husband coming home and I was on the phone on all fours talking to  my midwife, trying to figure out what was going on in my body. Earlier in the morning I was enjoying tea showing off my 5 week old baby, having no idea of the storm that was taking place in my uterus, and now here I was struggling to figure out what to feed my baby. I knew I would have to give her formula because I had not pumped yet.  (I wasn’t planning on going anywhere without her) I looked at the Similac label and cringed but yet knew it had to be done and I would be home tomorrow to resume our routine…or so I thought.  

I was diagnosed with a serious staph infection in my uterus.  I stayed in the hospital for five days, and although I was on antibiotics I still nursed my baby. I had too, even though I knew it wasn’t the best, it was better than the alternative. There are many websites and books to choose from that explains what is ok to take while you are nursing. I researched here and here and cross referenced with my doctor, and found that many of the antibiotics were rated from ok to good.  I took over 5 different antibiotics,  and because of that I came down with a serious intestinal infection, c. diff,  contracted in the hospital.  Because I had so many antibiotics in my body,  my good flora  was wiped out and made me susceptible to get new germs.  I lost 9 pounds in 6 days, and had to be put on a very strong antibiotic… one that was o.k.from my  doc’s perspective, but there was contrary evidence online… I  realized that I couldn’t do this to my baby if I was still nursing.  I had to do something else!!

And so I did.  I put the word out. Why did it take me so long? Within days I had moms donating breast milk to my baby. A new dad drove 15 miles to give me milk and moms met me at the farmers’ market to give me their milk…   Oh, how blessed I felt during this difficult time.  Our families had stepped up and now our community helped as well. But the supplemented breast milk was not enough, and another friend stepped in.  

In the chaos that followed  a friend stepped up and told me about the Weston A Price formula recipe and how it was most like human breast milk.  I remember looking at it and being intimidated by the long list of instructions…

She was insistent and went out and bought most of the ingredients, and made the first batch. Our daughter loved it and it felt so good to give it to her than regular formula. I knew exactly what real food was going in there and I made it in small batches.  I knew that she was going to be fine; looking at all the ingredients and being amazed at the superfood I was making was somewhat inferior to what I produce naturally.  WHOA!!!  

So this is my shout out for Nourishing Traditions Baby Formula. If you know a mama who is unable to nurse,  help her with this recipe. Go and buy some of the ingredients and make the first batch.  After the first batch it is easy, well relatively speaking of course,  and so much better for baby.

Posted as part of REAL FOOD Wednesdays with Kelly the Kitchen Kop and Cheeseslave.


2 Responses to “REAL Breast Milk… and the next best thing.”

  1. 1 emily October 28, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    so sorry to hear about your troubles post-partum. were you ever able to resume exclusive or partial breastfeeding? i know there is someconflicting information out there, especially amongst docs that DONT specialize in maternal/child care but myunderstanding,from reading Medications and Mothers Milk by Dr. Thomas Hale,and from La Leche League, and myown primary care physician, is that there is usually an antibiotic for MOST (perhaps not yours?) that is relatively safe/compatible w/breastfeeding. I am NOT suggesting you made a wrong choice,but I want to inform mothers out there who may be reading this that there are a lot of medications that you CAN breastfeed while taking, and not all doctors know this.

  2. 2 groovygreenmama October 28, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Yes, I agree that there are meds that are ok, but because I was on so many during my hospital stay (i.v. for five days) and afterward, I couldn’t imagine having my baby take more. So after the 10 day Vanco (for c.diff) I did resume full nursing and plan to do so for a while now. My experience made me empathize with those moms who can not breastfeed for whatever reason… I am glad though that this formula recipe is out there, and the ingredients are known. Thanks for your comment. 🙂

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