Hey guys! Long time no post. Life with a newborn has been crazy. This is a total Mom post about breastmilk and formula, so child-free followers, you might as well not even bother!
I’ve been exclusively pumping again for Emma, but she was having a lot of issues with gas and reflux. I started probiotics daily and gas drops in every bottle and noticed some improvement in her discomfort. But then- I ate ice cream every night until the half gallon was gone and I drank coffee. If you know me, my daily cup of coffee is necessary. It’s my relaxing time. My cup of warmth. It takes me back to cafes in Europe and all the things I am no longer doing while I have a newborn. It’s my favorite drink other than water (and the only other thing I drink, really). I had avoided it for the entire month beforehand out of sheer laziness honestly. We have an espresso machine and I was just too tired to make a latte, even though it takes all of a minute to make.
After a few days of drinking coffee and eating ice cream, Emma became inconsolable. She was spitting up huge amounts to the point where I was concerned that she wouldn’t gain weight with how much she was spitting up. I’d lay her down and come back to her drenched in spit up that was a foot in diameter surrounding her head. She became so congested sounding. When she’d eat a bottle, she would act so hungry and suck so hard on the bottle, but then spit it out screaming. Repeat that cycle for about 40 minutes and half the time, she wouldn’t finish the whole bottle. She was also constantly choking on her milk. All of these things are signs of reflux in babies!
I had been eating cheese but was now having milk in my coffee and ice cream… I know coffee and dairy can affect babies and since I want dairy in my coffee, I didn’t know how I’d give it up. I know some moms are really into breastfeeding and will cut out every food group for their baby. That’s great for them. This is my second baby though and I really don’t care enough about breastmilk to do all of that. My driving force for breastfeeding is the cost of formula- not the whole “benefit of breastmilk” thing. I’m pretty sure all kids are the same no matter what. I did do a short experiment and cut out the coffee and ice cream and Emma seemed to be getting much better, but then Jon came home with 3 things of cold Starbuck’s coffee from Publix and that was the end of my coffee hiatus.
Because I am unwilling to make dietary changes for another 10 ½ months, I decided to look into formula. I had heard great things about Holle and always assumed I’d just use Holle. Since dairy could be a culprit here and I really just preferred to stay cow’s milk free, I looked at their goat formula. I’ve known for a long time that goat milk is the closest milk to human milk and is much easier to digest, so it really seemed like a no brainer to go with goat formula anyway. After a few days of not pulling the trigger on buying it, Facebook picked up on my goat formula searches and put an ad for KabritaUSA on my newsfeed. Kabrita offers a free trial of a 14oz can of formula for just the cost of shipping and handling ($8.99). Only the toddler formula is sold in the US but per Kabrita, it does meet the nutritional requirements for infants, the FDA just doesn’t approve it yet to be marketed as an infant formula. So, I decided to go with it and if we didn’t like it, we’d switch.
The formula has made a HUGE difference! We did a few solely goat milk bottles and a few frozen breastmilk and formula bottles. The congestion is gone. She does still spit up, but in much smaller amounts and she is finally not crying all the time! I am still playing with it to see if I can add in my fresh milk after drinking coffee and alternating straight formula bottles with supplement bottles to figure out what we can do to keep her comfortable, but still offer some breastmilk since I’m a milk cow this time around too.
I’m in a lot of mom groups and am seriously shouting out goat milk from the rooftops because it has made such a difference in such a short period of time. There are so many moms who are suffering with refluxy babies and putting their babies on meds. Medication long term seems to possibly have negative outcomes, so it just isn’t something I wanted to go to unless we had to. And my pediatrician seemed mostly unhelpful when I discussed it with her at Emma’s last appointment, so I really wanted to take this into my own hands. Supplementing (or switching entirely) to goat milk seemed like the easiest thing to try.
So moms out there who are struggling with reflux and are breastfeeding and not wanting to cut everything out of their diet, TRY IT! The sheer number of testimonials on goat milk reducing reflux and GI symptoms makes it worth to spend the $8.99 to see if it works for you. The worst you can be is wrong and your baby will just still have the same old issues.
Go to KabritaUSA and you can read all about the benefits of goat milk formula versus cow milk formula.