"Formula" not "cows milk"

(37 Posts)
Meringue33 Sun 30-Jun-13 02:40:57

Two friends today admitted they did not realise formula was cows milk with added nutrients etc

They thought it was some sort of synthetic chemicals created in a lab :O

Both have degrees, one in science. One has three children all ff after about five months.

I'm not sure what is more worrying: that you could think a bm substitute could be synthetically created from scratch; or that you would happily feed what you thought was pure chemicals to your child :O

(Disclaimer: am not anti ff, I mix feed myself).

scissy Sun 30-Jun-13 09:45:04

Tbf, you can get formulas that aren't based on cows milk or soya (for babies who are allergic). I dread to think what they're actually made from though!

Meringue33 Sun 30-Jun-13 15:37:26

Really?? What is it if its not soya? Rice?

scissy Sun 30-Jun-13 16:19:09

I was thinking of Nutrigen (the prescription only stuff) - my friend had to use it for her DD, I don't think it's soya based as they thought her DD had problems with both but I could be wrong. I seem to remember her saying it was foul smelling (and tasting) stuff!

tiktok Sun 30-Jun-13 16:53:07

Nutrimigen is still cows milk formula. Protein in it has been broken down but it still comes from cows.

People really don't know what formula is based on, on the whole.

Locketjuice Sun 30-Jun-13 18:26:36

I didn't know thatblush

I have never really thought about it other than using aptamil as it was 'closest to breast milk'

meditrina Sun 30-Jun-13 18:29:12

None of them are "closest to breastmilk". They are modified cow's milk, and it is totally safe to give to infants.

Formula is unrelated to human breastmilk.

heidihole Sun 30-Jun-13 18:32:42

Ha so true...I FF and have just had a wee lightbulb moment after your post. To be fair if I had thought about it I'm certain I'd have known that its just not something I've thought about!

Meringue33 Sun 30-Jun-13 19:06:19

They should just call it Milk... For infants, and stock it next to the normal milk in the supermarket

maja00 Sun 30-Jun-13 19:11:49

Does no one ever check the ingredients then? First one - skimmed cow milk powder, then whey, milk sugar, vegetable oil and a load of additives/preservatives/vitamins.

For most of them the allergy info lists - milk, fish, soya.

Neocate is not soya or cows milk, its based on amino acids...

Bakingtins Sun 30-Jun-13 19:25:17

If you read the ingredients you'd never feed it to your baby though, would you, so the companies are not too keen on encouraging that. They want you to believe there is a negligible difference between their formula and breast milk.

Neocate (and Nutramigen AA) is a very specialist formula for babies severely affected by milk protein intolerance and unless you are unlucky enough to have had one you are unlikely to be aware of it, so formula that actually is mainly chemically synthesised is a bit of a red herring.

Bakingtins Sun 30-Jun-13 19:28:34

I also think the companies push the "science" angle, all the "research" they conduct to make theirs better than the competitor. When formula became mainstream it was supposed to be a great new innovation, only people who were too poor to buy the new shiny sciencey formula would feed babies on their own milk....

YoniBottsBumgina Sun 30-Jun-13 20:16:38

I don't know, when it was first invented it was an alternative to feeding babies all sorts of random shit like mashed up bread, flour in water or gravy and mashed potato! I think it was only once they realised, hey, babies are actually thriving on this (in comparison to the ones fed home made formula or a combination of breastmilk and home made baby foods/formula) that they started to push it and market it aggressively at doctors etc.

delasi Sun 30-Jun-13 23:47:52

If you read the ingredients you'd never feed it to your baby though

hmm I read the ingredients of the formula. Then I fed it to my baby. I figured it might be better than not feeding him. I hear that's an even less successful substitute for breast milk.

victoriousEaglet Sun 30-Jun-13 23:51:31

Likewise, delasi
Please get off your high horse, bakingtins

1944girl Sun 30-Jun-13 23:58:55

Both of my sons were fed ''formula'' only it was known as powdered cow's milk fortified with added vitamins then.Both my two are now adults and are healthy and have no allergies.I am one of five children fed by the same method.We are all alive and allergy free.
Someone is bound to prove me wrong.

<applauds delasi's post>

Same here. I knew the ingredients of the formula. I also knew giving those to my son was preferable to starving him. I'd have given him anything to give him a fighting chance of living tbh. It was handy there was formula available.

heidihole Mon 01-Jul-13 05:06:00

Exactly Delasi.

No point in me reading the ingredients as once it had been confirmed by umpteen midwives, the HV and the breast feeding specialist that I was not medically able to BF (at which I cried and cried and felt useless) I had no choice in if to feed him th formula or not.

If someone had said oh god don't read the ingredients or you'll never feed it to him i may well have leapt off a cliff emotionally.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Mon 01-Jul-13 16:46:03

I didn't know it was powdered cow's milk either. blush Why are we not recommended to feed babies cow's milk until they are 1 if it's ok in formula, then?

leedy Mon 01-Jul-13 16:52:35

Because the cow's milk in formula is treated to make it more digestible/suitable for baby human nutrition. Straight cow's milk is bad for infant kidneys and doesn't have the right balance of vitamins/minerals.

LifeOfPee Mon 01-Jul-13 16:58:55

It's cows milk broken down into certain constituent parts (whey and casein e,g) and has fats added and vits and minerals, among others things. Ordinary cows milk, straight from the cow, doesn't have enough vitamins and minerals or easily digestible fats and sugars. By a year babies are hopefully eating a varied diet so don't need to get all their nutrition from milk.

What's pretty outrageous is that formula companies aren't obliged. by law, to state, on the side of the tin, all the ingredients. So parents aren't aware of what they're feeding their babies. It changes regularly too because of the price fluctuations of the ingredients.

tiktok Mon 01-Jul-13 17:33:02

They are obliged by law to put ingredients but they don't have to explain the exact source. Formula is subject to same statutes as other foods with regard to nutrition labelling.

The cows milk is skimmed milk - and because vitamins A and D disappear with the removal of the fat (they are fat-soluble) they have to be added as part of the manufacturing process. Then fat has to be re-added, and this can be vegetable fat or animal fat. Sugar of some sort is also added. Some of the sodium is removed to make it safer.

Bakingtins Mon 01-Jul-13 20:56:19

I'm sorry if my comments offended. Formula companies make me angry. Of course formula is better than starving or a home-made baby milk if that is the alternative, and that is what it was designed for (situations where a baby was orphaned or breastfeeding is medically impossible) The success of formula marketing has gone way beyond that situation though.
The point of the OP was have we largely been taken in by the marketing hype to the point where we are not making an informed choice, and I think the answer is yes.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 01-Jul-13 21:15:13

But it wasn't at all! Formula wasn't invented solely for orphans or women who couldn't breastfeed, that's just a romantic notion. Since the dawn of conscious thought and where there is enough food to make it viable parents have been making breastmilk substitutes and supplements for all sorts of reasons. Formula was invented to provide a safer way of doing this, and because someone saw a business opportunity of course.

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