Hates Spinach, Loves Goat Milk Formula

Though he hates spinach, Georgie is loving his new (goat”s) milk.

About a month ago, I knew I needed to start giving Georgie something more than just my milk, since I wasn’t producing as much as he was wanting. And, I knew that I may need to find an alternative to my milk, in case I wasn’t able to continue pumping sufficient amounts. The thought was scary. Breast milk is so obvious. With my own milk I didn’t have to worry about harmful ingredients, and allergies. What’s more, my family has a history of dairy allergens and other information on the importance of “real food” made me hesitant to introduce a formula to my healthy guy.

My fear was replaced with excitement when I found this goat milk formula from someone much smarter than me  on the Organic and Thrifty blog. (Here’s the link to her page: http://oreganicthrifty.blogspot.com/2009/05/goat-milk-formula-recipe.html)

Georgie has been fully on this goat milk formula for almost two weeks now, and is doing great. I haven’t seen any notable difference yet. (Which surprises me!)

So, here’s the formula:

(I am paraphrasing and adding my comments to this recipe and commentary from Organic and Thrifty, who adapted this from Dr. Mary Enig & Sally Fallon’s Milk-Based Formula recipe in Nourishing Traditions)

Goat Milk Formula
36 ounces:2 cups raw or pastuerized goat milk (Organic and Thrifty says: “While raw milk will give optimal nutrition, it is my opinion that pastuerized and even powdered goats milk may be perferable, in some cases, to cow’s milk for children with extreme sensitivities.” For these reasons, I’ve been using Meyenberg’s pastuerized goat milk.)2 cups filtered water (I do closer to a 3:1 cup ratio of goats milk to water, now that Georgie is almost 11 months)

1/4 cup liquid whey from whole milk yogurt or kefir (I don’t include this in the formula, but rather feed Georgie yogurt in the morning, including the whey that has formed on top each morning.)

1 -2 tsp organic blackstrap molasses (Start with less, add more if needed. This provides B-vitamins, iron, trace minerals, and helped relieve constipation. If stools are too loose, decrease amount!)

2 tsp Grade B organic maple syrup (adds carbs, necessary for brain growth)

1/4 tsp of bifodobacterium infantis (I use MaxiBabydophilus from Country Life)

1/2 teaspoon high-vitamin cod liver oil (I use Nordic Naturals Children”s DHA. I don’t include this in the formula, but rather, give him this amount each day during one of his meals. I was worried about the fishy and fruity flavor it would add to the formula.)

1 tsp unrefined sunflower oil (Rapunzel brand) for Vitamin E

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil for monosaturated fats

2 tsp virgin coconut oil (this is very important, as it contains lauric acid which is a medium-chain fatty acid. It’s an important antiviral, antifungal that’s found in breast milk)

2 tsp nutritional yeast (This is also very important as it contains the B vitamins.If your child is gassy or has reflux on this formula, remove the yeast first and see if it improves. Yeasts vary from brand to brand, Organic and Thrifty recommends Lewis Labs.)

1/4 teaspoon amla or acerola powder (I am still on the lookout for this, and can’t find it in any of the natural food stores here in Flagstaff.)

Blend all ingredients together in a blender. Pour into individual bottles or one large. (I have found that pouring into bottles immediately helps distribute the coconut oil that sits on top, as it is harder to separate after refrigerating.) To warm, place in a bottle warmer, or pan of simmering water. Never use a microwave. This formula is best made daily to preserve freshness and to optimize nutrition.

Helpful Hint: I put in the dry ingredients first, then the oily ones, then the syrup and molasses. That way, I can use one measuring spoon for the whole process, and the oils keep the molasses from sticking to the spoon.

Hope this recipe, and link to Organic and Thrifty helps!

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My Victory in Breastfeeding

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About two months before Georgie was born, I was confronted with a question I hadn’t thought of, and quite frankly, knew nothing about: “Are you planning to breastfeed?”

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Being the avid information gatherer that I am, it signaled the beginning of a race of research. I was really hoping to find out that it didn’t really matter too much one way or another. The whole idea of breastfeeding was foreign to me, and it didn’t seem conducive to my mobile lifestyle. However, the more I read, the more I knew that breast milk would be ideal for my baby.

Learning to breastfeed was highly representative of how hard it was to adjust to motherhood. I was in love with my child, but didn’t love that I couldn’t pick up and go without a fully stocked diaper bag in tote, or that I was spending all day on a couch healing and nursing, and nursing and nursing.

Eventually, with the help of a lactation consultant, we discovered that our little guy had a slow-suck. Which explained why I was feeding him for nearly an hour, then pumping an enormous amount to supplement with.

I can’t quite remember which month we were in when I decided it was time to begin exclusively pumping. Though much of our decision seemed driven by my slow adjustment to the new obligations of motherhood (check out this article…it explains the adjustment so well! http://www.ncregister.com/blog/simcha-fisher/to-the-mother-with-only-one-child), I couldn’t deny that Georgie was happy and plump because of our ginormous breast milk supplementation, and that he was losing interest in “nursing”.

So, we began the adventure of exclusive pumping. I say we, to give credit to Josh. I think Georgie’s slow suck, or was it my discomfort (does it really matter?), was countered by Josh’s “We can do this!” attitude. So, while Josh was with the baby in the morning and night, and during our lunch, I was pumping.

Between cleaning bottles and parts, and having to pump in the middle of the night, it was a lot of work. I can’t describe how much I wished I was nursing Georgie, rather than chilling with a machine. However, it doesn’t matter. Georgie is nearly eleven months now. He is healthy and he loves his mama. (I was worried about missing out on important bonding.)

So, why am I posting this now?

Two reasons:

First, I want to celebrate something. When I first started to exclusively pump, my goal was to make it until Georgie was nine months. I made it ten and a half!

Second, to mention a formula alternative, that made my inability to produce anymore, feel a lot better. So, stay tuned. I’ll give details on that tomorrow.