Your Parenting Info Sign Up

Important Formula News

by Lori Sciame | June 5th, 2012 | Infants/Toddlers

I have three beautiful children. They are healthy, happy, and smart. What makes them different — they were all given soy milk as infants. Because my body could not produce milk, I had to resort to bottle feeding my babies, and not only did I have to bottle feed them, I had to give them soy milk due to the doctor’s recommendations. I had no choice — all three of my kids have milk allergies. Now, all these years later, a study was recently released that states that infants given soy milk do just as well as children given cow’s milk.

Thomas Badger, professor of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and lead investigator of the study, gives many parents hope that they are doing the right thing. He states in a Yahoo News article, “‘I don’t think parents should be worried at all if their kids are on formula.'” This has been what I’ve been waiting to hear for 21 years … the age of my oldest child.

When I had my firstborn, it was disappointing to learn that my body would not produce enough milk for him to thrive, and things did not change with the births of my next two children. Because of that defect, I have felt guilty all of these years. I have often wondered if I had hindered my kids in any way. In effect, had I given them each the best start in life?

When I look back on the situation, I can’t help but feel a bit angry towards the health establishment that belittled me for my lack of milk production. I must say it was humiliating when a specific nurse told me I “wasn’t trying hard enough.” What did she think I could do? Make my breasts produce milk through sheer willpower?

However, I am glad that young mothers today will not have to deal with this guilt due to this groundbreaking study.

Carina Storrs reports that Professor Badger said “the researchers did find a difference in brain development between breast-fed babies and those on cow’s milk or soy formula, but it was so small that it will probably not affect long-term ability.” (I can vouch for that! One example – my oldest child is on scholarship to a prestigious southern university, and he speaks fluent Japanese as well as French)

As a health educator, I know that breast milk is best for infants. The benefits are many. It’s the right temperature, it doesn’t cost anything, it has the best nutritional make-up, and it has the anti-bodies your child needs; however, not all mothers can breast feed for one reason or another.

But I do want to say thank you to Professor Badger for helping this mother to stop feeling guilty. I did what was best for my three children at the time, and it didn’t hinder their physical or mental development in any way! So, if you are a young mother who can’t breastfeed, take heart … your beautiful baby will turn out just fine.

Comments on Important Formula News