I am a huge proponent of breastfeeding because it provides the best nutrition and health benefits for babies and moms, but I also recognize that it doesn’t happen naturally or easily for all mothers. For many moms, difficulty or inability to breastfeed can be a big struggle and disappointment. This is where either donor milk or non-GMO organic baby formula can come in handy.
If you decide to give your baby formula, please consider using only one of the best non-GMO, organic baby formula options available on the market. What your baby consumes directly impacts their health and well-being, and sadly, traditional formula made by the likes of Enfamil, Gerber, and Similac, among others, contain harmful, unnecessary ingredients, including corn syrup, maltodextrin, and GMOs. Even some organic formulas are made with unnecessary ingredients that aren’t good for a baby’s developing digestive system, so please choose your baby’s brand of formula wisely and carefully.
If you plan to breastfeed, should you have baby formula on hand as backup?
Some moms-to-be avoid buying any formula before their baby is born, thinking that it might jinx or hinder their breastfeeding efforts (especially in those early days when nursing is extra painful and hard to adjust to), while others prefer to have at least a can of formula on hand. I can relate to both trains of thought, so I encourage you to figure out what works best for you and stick with that plan. (I intentionally didn’t have any formula on hand when my son was born, because I didn’t want to reach for it in a moment of exhaustion or weakness and I can say with certainty that it helped me stick to my goal of breastfeeding.)
How do you choose a brand of organic baby formula?
Please be sure to only give the best quality organic formula you can afford. Just some of the unhealthy ingredients that should not be in baby formula (but are) include:
- Carrageenan (a potential carcinogen that is prohibited in the EU)
- Sweeteners such as brown rice syrup
- Palm Oil
- Synthetic DHA and ARA extracted with neurotoxic hexane
- Synthetic preservatives
- Synthetic nutrients
- Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
What is the best non-GMO organic baby formula available?
A detailed study of baby formula has been conducted by Charlotte Vallaeys, former Director of Farm and Food Policy at the Cornucopia Institute and now a Senior Analyst for the Consumer Safety and Sustainability Program at Consumers Union. Vallaeys details many of the ingredients you should avoid when choosing a brand of formula, some of which I’ve listed above.
Her recommendation is that if you’re not interested in making your own infant formula, you could consider importing Holle brand formula from Europe, although it still contains maltodextrin and palm oil. This is the best formula available on the market. Alternatively, consider Hipp (another European import) or Baby’s Only Organic formula, which is made in the US and does not contain palm oil or hexane-extracted DHA/ARA.
The Gentle Nursery’s Top Pick:
The best choice for a non-GMO organic baby formula currently on the market is Holle brand formula.