This week, we’re looking at how the rush to recommend raw milk formula over other options harms families. Today is part two. Click here to read part one about the impact breastfeeding has on the mother.
Financial Impact on Families
The financial impact on a family shouldn’t be ignored. In Super Nutrition for Babies, the authors state
“Less the milk and cream costs, homemade formula is estimated to come to about $4.16 per day, which is similar to the estimated cost of commercial formula.”
Really, I shake my head at this statement! Milk and cream are expensive! I pay $14 a pint for heavy cream and $10 a gallon for raw milk. According to that book, a full-term child around 1 month old is going to need about 24 ounces a day, and will go up from there. That means a young infant will consume about $3.50 worth of cream (4 Tbs at $14 a pint in 36 ounces of formula) and $1.25 worth of milk (2 cups at $10 per gallon in 36 ounces of formula) per day, making about $3.16 per day for the raw dairy that goes into the 24 ounces in a day in addition to that $4.16 for the other ingredients, for a total of $7.32 a day plus the gas spent in going to get the milk! That’s $220 a month plus gas for a child only drinking 24 ounces, plus the other supplies needed such as bottles, etc… The gas money alone would be tough, as where I live, I must drive hours each way to reach a place where the milk can be purchased. As a child grows, they can need more. I can’t imagine having that kind of a financial impact on my family, as extra food for a nursing momma, even high quality food, will run far less.
A good friend in Southern California has to pay $18 a gallon for milk. Another friend in the Heartland has to pay $12 a gallon for milk and $18 a quart for cream. When I asked on my Facebook page, I had fans say they pay as much as $20 for a gallon of raw milk, and many stated they couldn’t get separate cream. Most families are going to have difficulty finding the funds for raw milk formula on top of the expense of having a new baby and paying for a birth. Then the face discrimination and a lack of help because they can’t afford the formula or other expensive foods pushed by the traditional foods community.
What about the very real and very tangible non-nutritive benefits of breastfeeding? All of that was ignored by the big names in the traditional foods movement. Some of them actively deny that any non-nutritive benefits to breastmilk exist. A very large, and still-growing, body of evidence about palate shape, facial structure, bonding, species-specific antibodies, protection from illness from the mother manufacturing the needed antibodies from the infectious agents, the ability to heal things like pink eye and ear infections without medicine and more were summarily dismissed, despite some of this work even being based on Weston Price’s work! Not to mention financial considerations, lifestyle considerations, the ability to travel and deal with emergencies easily and quickly and much more were pushed aside and ignored.
The mother has less chance of several types of cancer as compared to a mother who bottle feeds, breastfeeding shrinks the uterus and aids in loosing baby weight, stops post-birth bleeding quicker, gives the mom confidence in her own body’s abilities, can act as a birth control method if done ecologically, allows the mother to get more rest and so much more. All of that is ignored.
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about my experience tandem nursing and how nursing impacted my children and was a significant help to their food intolerances.
Thank you so much for this series. I love my copy of Nourishong Traditions, and I have learned so much (and lost so much weight!) from the traditional foods community, but this is one aspect where I think the big names are wrong, wrong, wrong! Thank you for being a voice of reason here.