If there’s a familiar, ubiquitous image of an all-American infant, it has to be the Gerber baby. That chubby-cheeked cherub has been the face of healthy infants for decades in the United States. But even this iconic American establishment has a caveat for us about the effects of cow’s milk in babies:
“Of all the infant food allergies, cow’s milk protein allergy or CMPA is the most common in infants. CMPA occurs when a baby’s immune system reacts to the proteins in cow’s milk.”
While many children and adults may experience discomfort or allergic reactions to bovine proteins, when the irritation occurs in infants, it may be harder to diagnose since our little ones can’t communicate with words yet. If your child is having trouble digesting cow’s milk, there are alternatives that may ease discomfort while still providing the nutrition she needs.
American milk products tend to come from cows, while countries around the world have a penchant for other animals’ milk, utilizing the full range of animals that produce milk for their young. For example, many cultures predominantly use goat’s milk. Goats eat less and take up less grazing space than cows, thereby allowing families to care for and use their own animals in their backyards. In addition, goat’s milk may be easier to digest in the human body because of the formation of fatty acids, lower levels of lactose (lactose intolerance, anyone?), and as a bonus, more calcium.
Whether your child is consuming formula as a supplement to breast milk or as her sole nutritional source, it may be helpful to know that there are alternatives to traditional, chemical-laden formulas that are based on cow’s milk. Goat’s milk may not eradicate all symptoms of allergies or irritation, but because its structure is so close to cow’s milk, without some of the common allergens associated with lactose irritation, it bears exploring as an option. And as with any formulas or cereals you may be purchasing for your baby, organic, high quality ingredients are always best. And goat’s milk is a better first choice than soy after cow’s milk, since soy formula often contains a class of compounds called isoflavones, which may create estrogen-like effects in babies. Cow’s milk and goat’s milk both have protein structures similar to those in humans, so the body has a better chance of absorbing them as nutrition like a mother’s milk.
If cow’s milk formula has produced irritability, gassiness, or allergic reactions in your baby, you may want to try the Holle Organic Goat Milk Formula: https://udderlyorganics.com/holle-organic-goat-milk-formula-stage-1-sample-20g-0-months/.
This formula, like all of our products, contains no GMOs, added colors, preservatives, or chemical additives.
There are many sources of information about cow’s milk, goat’s milk, and soy formulas. In addition to what you may learn in researching, you know your baby best and are best equipped to tell if he is more comfortable with goat’s milk formula than with that made from cow’s milk. Above all, if you still have questions, check with in-depth research or your doctor for more information.