8 The chapter after Breastfeeding

For a long time I never had to think about what kind of milk B would drink and I liked that. It was like I got to hit the pause button on making a decision. I know most people don't think twice about what kind of milk their child will drink so for me it was difficult to find people to talk to and hear their stories. That was until I was browsing my Facebook newsfeed one day and saw that my lovely friend Rachel was talking about milk options. There were lots of responses including those who are feeding their children soy milk, rice milk and almond milk. I don't think there was a single mention of cows milk which completely shocked me. Joe and I grew up on cows milk and had never had anything else. But I knew that I did not want to feed B cow's milk, I knew that I wanted to find an alternative that would make me feel as good about what I am feeding him as I did when he nursed.

We (okay me) decided against cow's milk because of the amount of hormones, steroids and antibiotics that are in the milk. I worked my ass off to provide B with breastmilk for 27 months so it didn't feel right to start the chapter after breastfeeding with milk that I wasn't comfortable giving to him. 

Here are some things I learned in my research
* Our bodies are not even designed to process dairy products from cow's.
* There is frickin pesticides and dioxin in cow's milk. The FDA even says that virtual 100% of dairy products produced and sold in the US have pesticides in them.
* People are grossed out by human milk but not by cow's milk
* Cows udders can become infected but they are still milked. That means there is puss in the milk (hence pasteurization).
* Drinking large amounts of cow's milk can block iron absorption leading to iron deficiency.

Soy milk was off the list immediately because of the information I read about estrogen in the milk that can be bad for little boys. It was down to rice or almond milk. There is no reason I picked almond milk over rice milk maybe because I couldn't stop laughing at Joe's very helpful comment 'how the hell do you milk an almond anyways?'. Honestly I just kind of stopped researching at that point and went to almond milk.One thing to keep in mind with almond milk is that you can get lots of different flavours. Look for the unsweetened kind because of the sugar levels in the vanilla and original flavours. 

And the cherry on top of all of this is that I too have made the switch to almond milk. Joe well not so much...I can't even get him to taste it. I get the feeling he thinks it is gross. If only he had read what I have read about cow's milk.

Diet for a Poisoned Planet: How to Choose Safe Foods for You and your Family by David Steinman
Milk Sucks
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (just search Milk)
The Ecologist
Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin
Rachel's Facebook Page (bawawawah - no seriously)

Related Posts - Check them Out
The Earth is Part of Us
Moooo goes Mommy
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  1. I just found organic flax milk, no soy, hormones,dairy,lactose or gluten in it. I never seen it before and bought the vanilla flavor, but next time I will go for the regular flavor. (vanilla was too sweet) I looked and it has more vitamins compared to cows milk. I bought mine at whole foods. Maybe that is an option.

  2. Oh I have never heard of that Kathy! I will have to look into it. We don't have a Whole Foods here but the next time I am near one I will stop in.

  3. Almond is definitely better in the vitamins and minerals department. Its just way more packed naturally, as opposed to rice milk with has to be fortified.

    Did you ever consider goat's milk?

    I'm not sure what we'll end up doing with Gwen. It will probably take some trial and error once breastfeeding is over, since right now she doesn't seem to want to touch any of it!

  4. We didn't try goats milk because I was still grossed out from cow's milk and that just translated to all animal milk.

  5. My wife and I drink almond milk as well, and she has been breastfeeding from day one. Her and our daughter have bonded very strongly because of this relationship, which is such a no-brainer. I understand that some mommies take medications that can interfere with breastfeeding, but doctors can also be really discouraging to new moms when it comes to breastfeeding. Our doctor tried to tell us how hard it was to breastfeed, almost as if she wanted us to use formula. It's like, "Who do you guys work for? Us or the formula company?"

  6. A lot of times it seems like they work for whatever company is giving them funding!

    We went with a midwife who fully supported breastfeeding. We found that the LC's at the hospital were hit and miss. I think that you should only be a LC (or even a nurse giving nursing/feeding advice) if you support breastfeeding (especially when it is clear that the mom wants to nurse)

  7. It is also possible to make your own almond milk. You need to soak the almonds over night so you need to prepare in advance but it's super easy. Congrats on giving up cow's milk!!

  8. Kristin - How many almonds do you find it takes to make a batch? Is it cheaper than buying it too?