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Why it’s dangerous to make baby formula yourself – NBC10 Philadelphia

The frenzy of feeding their babies while continuing lack of baby formulas, some parents wonder if recipes with their own hands are a good idea. However, doctors “strongly advise” not to cook the mixture at home.

on thursday President Biden has promised to “urgently” work to make the formula available after an outbreak of pathogens at Abbott Nutrition, the largest manufacturer of infant formula in the United States, which temporarily limited its spread.

Meanwhile, shoppers are faced with empty store shelves, online searches for homemade baby formula are increasing, and parents are sharing formula recipes online.

The problem with the home formula

“AAP strongly advises not homemade formula»,« American Academy of Pediatrics says on its website. “While homemade formula recipes that are distributed online may seem healthy or less expensive, they are not safe and do not meet your child’s nutritional needs. Infant deaths have been reported from the use of some homemade formulations. ”

Pediatrician Natalia Vernovskaya agrees.

“There is nothing in the kitchen that could be recommended [as a safe substitute for formula]”- says spokesman Vernovsky Just answerwebsite for affordable help from experts.

On the one hand, homemade mixes can cause allergic reactions in infants or bacterial infections if ingredients with expired shelf life are accidentally used. And recipes from scratch probably won’t be as sterile as commercial formulas.

The biggest problem, however, is that babies have very specific nutritional needs for which breast milk and formula have been developed.

“The milk formula contains a certain proportion and percentage of proteins, carbohydrates and fats that are absorbed and transmitted by infants,” says Vernovsky. TODAY Parents. «[It also has important] vitamins and electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and chloride ”.

Without these minerals, babies could potentially risk problems such as seizures or brain swelling, Vernovsky says.

Cow’s milk also shouldn’t be on the menu, he says Dr. Stephen AbramsProfessor of Pediatrics at the University of Texas at Austin and spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“For babies under six months, the protein level in cow’s milk is too high,” Abrams says to TODAY.

Vegan milk is usually also not to be considered. “Some formulas use soy milk, but it’s not quite perfect,” he says. “And coconut and almond milk are really inadequate because few of them are fortified with protein or calcium.”

As previously reported by TODAY Health, two babies were hospitalized last year after drinking homemade vegan baby formula and experienced heart and neurological problems.

Related story: A homemade vegan baby formula puts kids in the hospital: what parents need to know

Recipes on social media are spinning

Despite recommendations about homemade baby formula, people share impromptu recipes on TikTok and other social networking platforms.

“Always remember that you can cook on your own,” said one woman in the TikTok kitchen textbook, explaining that different types of milk can be a liquid base, even flavored. She suggested adding coconut or olive oil to the mixture for polyunsaturated fats.

Another creator of TikTok recalled childhood memories: “I think my brother had sugar water … We didn’t do all this and we survived … I’m just saying all this, as the government says, we need – I’m sure of course [that formula] has a lot of vitamins, but there are other ways to get this stuff. ”

“I raised a child on a home mix,” someone commented. “They were born in 2003 and 2005 and they are doing well.”

A 1950s recipe card for a homemade baby formula containing scalded milk, water and curry (corn syrup) – distributed online. This same recipe card also encourages parents to feed their children orange juice at the age of three weeks.

“It’s not fake news – it’s [recipe] used in the 1950s, but it poses a significant risk to infants, ”Abrams says.

The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees. “Although feeding babies regular milk or making homemade formula was commonplace decades ago, it is not a safe or recommended practice,” the organization said. “In the United States, laws and other government regulations ensure that all baby formulas sold in stores comply with very strict rules regarding their ingredients to make sure they support healthy growth and development.”

Related story: Is breastfeeding “free”? The shortage of infant formulas sheds light on myths about infant feeding

What parents can do

No one objects that the parents are in a very difficult situation.

Vernovsky invites parents to try visit a breast milk bank or ask their doctor for either sample formulas they may be available in the office.

And as a last resort, Abrams says children older than six months can consume whole pasteurized cow’s milk for a few days to two weeks provided they take iron supplements, all under the guidance of a pediatrician.

“It’s not optimal nutrition, but now we need a certain level of flexibility,” Abrams says. “It’s also a matter of fairness because many low-income families can’t travel long distances [to buy formula]».

And remember, says Abrams, “We dissuade people from turning a lack of mixture into a problem between breasts and bottles. Tell moms they need to breastfeed now it is harmful and useless. “

Related story: Desperate parents are asking for help from breast milk banks in the face of a shortage of infant formula

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