Background Information: I did not have any problems breastfeeding my first son, and that lasted for about two years. When my 2nd son was three months, I noticed he had started loosing weight and when he was finished nursing, I felt “empty”, and he was still restless. From my experience with breastfeeding and working as nurse with moms and babies, I knew right away my milk supply had gone down, and I had to quickly act to get it back up.
I started trying everything I knew of: Herbs/supplements, teas, a supplemental nursing system, renting a hospital grade pump and pumping every two hours around the clock for almost two weeks, and consulting a lactation specialist to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. For awhile it worked, but my milk supply dwindled when I stopped even one of the things mentioned above. Since it was becoming exhausting and unreasonable for me to pump every two hours around the clock, I started my son on formula as a supplement.
The first formula I tried, Enfamil, gave him severe congestion with thick, sludgy, green snot that I couldn’t get rid of. I tried a special soy-based formula next which he hated and even I couldn’t stand the taste or smell. I tried Goodstart and other brands, but they all seemed to give him constant congestion and somehow they took a toll on his immune system. He had everything: hand, foot and mouth disease, pneumonia, eye infections, colds, coughs, croup, and even severe diaper rashes that ended him up in the emergency room twice.
After doing some research, I decided to try and make my own formula using raw goat’s milk as a base. I found a local farm that made unpasturized, raw goat’s milk and delivered it to a nearby health food store. I put my name on the ordering list and thought I would give it try. I saw incredible results immediately. Here is the recipe I found on organicthrifty.blogspot.com used from Dr. Mary Enig & Sally Fallons Milk-based formula recipe in Nourishing Traditions:
“Raw Goat Milk Formula
2 cups raw goat milk (Why raw? Raw milk provides numerous enzymes, and allows the proteins to stay in tact while pastuerization renders them denatured. 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.)
2 cups filtered water (As the child grow, you should adjust this water-to-goat milk ratio by increasing the amount of goat milk and decreasing the amount of water. This can begin gradually at about 9 months. If stools become more difficult for the child to pass, then increase the amount of water and try again in another month).
1/4 cup liquid whey from goat yogurt or kefir (contains lots of good probiotics and is very nourishing; making it more like breast milk. To get whey simply strain goat milk yogurt or fil mjolk fromCultures for Health. (I get a lot of questions about the whey. You can also make it by straining plain cow milk yogurt, as long as there is no severe intolerance. Some people omit the whey, but I think it’s very important)
1 -2 tsp organic blackstrap molassas (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 raw agave nectar (adds carbs, necessary for brain growth. Alternatively, you could use lactose, but I wanted to avoid this as I could not find a source that was made from goat milk since Jonathan was reacting to anything made from cow milk. Organic Brown Rice Syrup is also an option, but I didn’t like the processing involved here. Obviously honey is out.) Update: Grade B, organic maple syrup is looking like the most ideal option out there in terms of sweeteners, so consider this if you are concerned about agave nectar. My son did fine with the agave, and he is not addicted to fruit or carbs (I have him on a sugar-free, low-starch and low-fruit diet).
1/4 tsp of bifodobacterium infantis (I used Metagenics “Bifidus” which is a dairy-free culture and of high quality. Also, Bio-Kult is a strong probiotic that has been used with infants as well. Consult your ND! Available through naturopaths, chiropractors, and other practitioners)
1/2 teaspoon high-vitamin cod liver oil (I used the Quantum brand from Radient Life) but any will do.
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. I like Lewis Labs Nutritional Yeast because it’s gluten-free and full of a wide spectrum of minerals ) 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, and I can only recommend Lewis Labs.
1/4 teaspoon amla or NOW acerola powder (I prefer amla, as it does not contain any extra additives, and I found this for cheap in an Indian store)
Blend all ingredients together in a blender. Pour into individual glass bottles or one large. To warm, place in a pan of simmering water. Never use a microwave. This formula is best made daily to preserve freshness and to optimize nutrition.
Notes: Many recipes say to add frozen, raw goat liver for the purposes of replacing B vitamins. I never did this, but did begin feeding my son pureed chicken liver at 6 months.
Updates: Yes, you can add liquid B-vitamins such as Folic Acid and B12 rather than the Yeast. B-vitamins should be given at 1/4 of the adult dosage listed on the label.
Coconut oil can be difficult as it is solid when cold. You will notice it forming clumps on the surface of the formula. It can help to liquify the coconut oil by melting it slightly before blending. Then, when you warm up the formula in a hot water bath, the coconut oil will liquify and you can shake it up. The oils are the biggest bugaboo, honestly, of this formula, and if they don’t work well for you, you can omit them and it won’t be the end of the world nutritionally “
How the Raw Goat Milk Formula Recipe helped my infant: This formula recipe did incredible things for my son. The thick sludge from his nose immediately stopped, his immune system began to strengthen and he stopped getting sick so often (he still had the occasional cold/runny nose) but nothing severe. Also, I noticed he was much happier on the formula, it had a better taste and smelled delicous! Most of all, he was happy, healthy & thriving on the formula. It met all his nutritional needs and although naturally, I was little concerned about making my own formula, if you do your research, the ingredients in the raw goat milk formula meet/exceed needs for nutritional nourishment.
Where to find raw goat’s milk: Make sure to get your goat’s milk from a trusted, clean farm that properly cares for their goat’s and has proper temperatures for the goat’s milk. Sometimes, when the farm was running low, I used pasteurized goat’s milk from whole foods and it seemed to work very similarly to the raw.