The huge excitement and anticipation at the birth of your new baby can instantly change to feelings of anxiety and despair when your baby is suddenly premature and are faced with the Dangers of Bovine Based Baby Formulas Fed to Preemies.
This is not something you had planned for. You have a general idea that there are much greater risks for your baby when it arrives much earlier than planned, but you don’t know the details and immediately you fear the worst.
And then, horror of horrors, it transpires that the baby refuses to breastfeed, despite your best efforts, and the doctor is advising that you consider using baby formula.
As a mom you are probably already dealing with feelings of inadequacy (every mother must surely be able to breastfeed their child and give it the absolute best chance of development …?), and now you are faced with a premature baby and the specter of using artificial baby formula.
What to do?
All baby formulas are NOT the same
First of all, don’t allow yourself to be guilt ridden about any of this. This is beyond your control and it is what it is.
You need to accept this and then make good decisions to move forward. You are a great mom and you will do the best for your baby.
Secondly, there are other alternatives to formula – speak to your doctor about using donor mother’s milk.
If this is not possible then insist that you are not prescribed any cow based milk formula.
Even if your doctor is adamant, do not give in and insist that you are not allowing your infant to be compromised.
It’s important for you to know that if your baby is premature and is low weight and it is fed with bovine based formula (formula based on cow’s milk), your baby will be at risk of serious complications and even death.
What is the biggest danger from lactose based formulas?
One of the biggest risks is that your baby develops NEC. Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC) is a gastrointestinal disease that affects the intestines of babies, primarily preemie babies.
Bacteria can invade the intestine wall and cause inflammation and infection.
A rupture in the wall can ensue and consequent leakage of waste into the surrounding cavity. Once this becomes gangrenous, which can happen within hours, severe complications can develop, and can even result in death.
Do cow’s milk based formulas cause NEC?
In a study published by Unicef UK, it was found that infants who were exclusively formula fed or received a mixed diet were at a higher risk of developing NEC compared with breastfed infants.
Exclusively formula-fed infants were 6 to 10 times more likely to develop NEC than those who received breastmilk.
There are a number of lawsuits being launched currently against the manufacturers of cow’s milk-based formulas.
Did you know that most brands of formula are based on cow’s milk? These should be avoided at all costs and are just not worth the risk.
In particular, Similac and Enfamil, are being sued for selling bovine-based formula made specifically for premature babies with no disclosure of risks, despite scientific evidence linking these brands to NEC.
None of these major brands make any attempt in their labelling to inform parents of the risk of NEC, especially with preemie babies.
There is a growing body of evidence that cow’s milk based formula significantly increases the risk of NEC in preemie babies.
Parents who have had babies which were premature and were prescribed cow’s milk based formula whilst in the hospital have been encouraged to submit a claim against the brands that caused NEC, which then lead to either death or complications.
The Bottom Line
Stay away from all formula manufactured using cow’s milk – especially if your baby is premature and underweight. Stay resolute and refuse – your baby’s life may well be at stake.