As a woman and a mother, I deeply sympathize with the thousands of women unable to breast feed their babies and now face an unprecedented shortage of infant formula. As a practicing physician and nutritionist, I was amazed to learn that so many are still feeding their babies a formula based on cow’s milk.
Cow’s milk has a nutrient profile intended for a baby that grows up to weigh 1,300 pounds and may well overwhelm an infant’s digestive organs. It is high in artery-clogging saturated fat and cholesterol, yet deficient in iron, vitamin C and other nutrients that human infants need. 70 percent of African Americans and 95 percent of Asian Americans are allergic to lactose, the sugar in cow’s milk.
We all want the best for our babies, and breastfeeding works best for most moms. For others, there are lots of healthy infant formulas that spare our babies from milk intended for other animals.