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A Closer Look at Infant Formula

Updated: May 30

As a family chiropractor, I get to take care of moms going through the ups and downs of pregnancy, post-partum and motherhood. I help them prepare for their desired birth, address any aches and pains, and promote optimal spinal alignment. I occasionally discuss breastfeeding and breastfeeding alternatives with inquiring mothers.

My Story

For both of my children, I exclusively breastfed for 6 months before transitioning to formula. Breastfeeding was crucial to me due to the exceptional nutrients and antibodies in breastmilk, as well as the bonding experience with my babies. Despite my initial plan to breastfeed, I was aware that I would be returning to work, prompting me to carefully select the formula for my baby. This process proved to be quite challenging. The world of infant formula in the US requires thorough consideration. It became evident to me that there is a wide array of options available, leaving us, as new parents, unsure of where to begin.

Our Choice

We ultimately decided to use a brand called Kabrita. This company is backed by Ausnutria which is a Dutch company with over 75 years of infant formula experience and research. Kabrita is the first European and goat-milk based formula that meets all of the FDA requirements. Dr. Ali Brown is a mother, a pediatrician in private practice for 28 years and serves as the Chief Medical Officer. Prior to 2023 the only acceptable base for infant formula was cow's milk and soy milk. However, in 2023 the FDA and AAP finally approved Goat Milk as a completely safe and acceptable base for infant nutrition. While goat milk is new to the US, it has been a staple in Europe for a while. This is because goat milk is closer in composition to human breast milk than the leading alternatives. It was my first choice from the start because of the type of protein, fat, and carbohydrates that are less irritating and more beneficial for their tiny bodies.

The Science

Casein and Whey are two types of protein most often found in formula. Casein is denser, thicker, and takes longer to digest in the gut whereas whey is softer and has less of a transit time during digestion. Cow's milk has an 80:20 Casein to Whey ratio, whereas breastmilk as a 40:60 Casein to Whey ratio. Kabrita is also at a 40:60 Casein to Whey ratio resembling mature breastmilk. The faster transit time means less constipation and less tummy trouble for baby. The primary carbohydrate present in all types of milk is Lactose, followed by oligosaccharides, which act as prebiotics, nourishing the microbiome, supporting gut lining development, and boosting the immune system. Goat milk contains five times more oligosaccharides than cow's milk, with a greater diversity. Another crucial nutrient for infants is fat, essential for brain health, vision, hormone production, and cell structure. The composition and structure of the fact determine how well the fat is absorbed by the body. Palmitic acid is found to be about 20-25% of all the fat content in breastmilk. To mimic this, most companies will use standard Sn-1 Palmitic Acid (Palm Oil) however the structure is less than ideal. Kabrita uses Sn-2 Palmitic Acid which makes up 70% of the palmitic acid in breastmilk. This seemingly minor change has been shown to improve calcium and fat absorption, improve stool consistency and can be associated with reduce crying, improve sleep, and increased bone and gut strength. Lastly, Kabrita does not use any genetically modified ingredients, corn syrup, or glyphosate.

Your Baby, Your Choice

I encourage each parent to do what feels right to them. Not everyone is going to feed their baby the same formula and that's ok! I share this for those who may be looking for similar things I was looking for at the time. All of this information and more can be found in this video and on their website: Kabrita USA

Kabrita can be found on Amazon, Whole Foods, and Sprouts. Luckily in the past few years there have been some improvements in the formula available here in the US. Other options you may want to look into is Kendamil, Serenity, Bobbie, and By Heart. Both of my kids did really well with Kabrita and I sincerely hope you find what works for you and your family!

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