Goat milk formula is harmful to babies. Goat milk formula is wonderful for babies.
Which theory is right?
When a person has a newborn baby with colic, it’s a special kind of hell. Watching a new baby cry for hours is heartbreaking.
When trying to survive this, parents will try anything. There’s no question that breastmilk is the best nourishment for babies. But breastfeeding is not always possible. Mothers can sometimes have medical problems that prevent them from nursing.
Now the parents are grasping at straws to find something that their little one can digest without all this pain. Some of the things they try are home-made formulas and goat milk baby formulas.
The Old Days
Back in the old days, if a mother could not nurse a baby, the baby was given cow’s milk. If the cow’s milk caused digestive issues, there was nothing that could be done. Parents just had to wait it out until the colic passed after a few months.
Some parents would try goat’s milk if the mother could not nurse the baby. Some parents would be happy to find relief this way. Goat’s milk seemed to be easier for the baby to digest than cow’s milk.
Today if you search the internet, it is actually possible to find websites that directly contradict each other. Among other conflicting claims, one website says goat milk is too low in iron; another says it is higher in iron than cow’s milk.
The Good Side of Goat’s Milk
Goat’s milk does seem to be easier for babies to digest. Also, goat’s milk contains more protein than cow’s milk. Goat’s milk is slightly lower in lactose. Some studies show that goat’s milk makes the human body digest other foods better.
Other websites will tell you that goat’s milk is higher in iron than cow’s milk. The truth is that each different brand of goat’s milk has different amounts of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.
The Bad Side of Goat’s Milk
According to the Mayo Clinic, regular goat’s milk is missing several nutrients that babies need. It doesn’t have enough iron and folate, which causes anemia. It is low in Vitamin C, D, and B6. It is also low in thiamin, niacin, and pantothenic acid.
Nowadays, we can analyze every chemical in the world. We know exactly how many milligrams of which nutrients babies need to thrive. We can predict what happens when a baby doesn’t get the right amount of a nutrient.
The Great Compromise
Commercially-produced formula to the rescue! When a mother can’t nurse, parents today can turn to formula. Most formulas are based on cow’s milk. When these also don’t agree with the baby, there are also infant formulas based on soy and other plants.
If a parent really believes in goat’s milk’s natural goodness, there are also goat milk baby formulas. In this case, parents don’t have to worry about missing nutrients, vitamins, or minerals if the formula is commercially prepared. A commercially prepared formula will add anything that is missing from the raw goat’s milk.
Goat milk formula can be better for babies because it doesn’t contain growth hormones. Cow’s milk contains growth hormones because of today’s production methods.
Also, cow’s milk is usually subjected to genetic modifications that are meant to increase milk production and therefore increase profit for the milk farmer. Goat’s milk doesn’t contain these genetic modifications.
When the baby formula is digested in the baby’s stomach acids, curds are formed. Cow’s milk makes a hard curd, while goat milk baby formula makes soft curds. The theory is that the soft curds pass through the digestive system more easily and cause less spitting up and colic.
There’s also the theory of fatty acids. Both cow’s milk and goat’s milk formulas contain about the same amount of fat. But the kinds of fat are different. Goat milk formula is said to contain more of the short and medium-chain fatty acids. Cow’s milk contains long-chain fatty acids. Short-chain acids are easier to digest.
So if you need to put your newborn on formula, don’t be worried about which one to use. Use goat milk baby formula if it appeals to you. If it is commercially prepared, it will have all the nutrients your child needs.