This is a new feature I have added to organize reader questions. Some days I spend quite a bit of time writing out answers to questions that readers send only to have someone ask the same question 2-3 months later and I can’t find what I previously wrote. Well, it was about time I smarten up here…I will be answering them on the blog so I can just send a link…easy peasy.
Q: I think you may be past the point of needing infant formula, but do you have any strong feelings towards any of them? I need to supplement my 6mth old b/c I’m just not producing enough to keep her tummy from growling =(. We started Nestle- but then I read on various websites criticism towards the company for undermining breastfeeders. Now with contamination in formula from China and BPA in cans – I’m not sure what to use. I find it difficult to trust these companies.
A: Well, I am past the point of formula feeding but I DID use formula in the not to distant past as I had to stop breastfeeding my youngest at 6 months when I was diagnosed with cancer. It was an agonizing thing for me because I know breast is best but I know personally that there is sometimes a need for baby formula and the BPA in the linings and now the Melamine in formula from China is pretty scary.
First off I would stay away from soy. There are numerous reasons why processed soy is not a good idea…especially for infants. The BPA issue is present with all forms of baby formula. The Environmental Working Group found that “Every manufacturer except Nestlé said it uses a BPA-based lining on the metal portions of their powdered formula cans. Nestlé failed to provide EWG with reliable documentation of their alternative packaging, and thus is not a clear improvement over other types.” Also “Powdered formulas are a better choice. Our calculations indicate that babies fed reconstituted powdered formula likely receive 8 to 20 times less BPA than those fed liquid formula from a metal can.” So if you have to choose between powdered or liquid…go with powdered.
I personally used Nature’s One Organic Baby Formula for my son. They state that their formula cans are BPA free but that there MAY be trace amounts of BPA on the metal pull-back lid. They are also USDA certified organic, which I like. And this is a USA made product…no ingredients are sourced from China.
There is also the issue of how additives like DHA and ARA (omega fatty acids) are added. Most companies use chemicals like hexane, acid and bleach to extract these components. The only one I have found thus far that claims they do not use this process is Nature’s One. But other companies say that any other method is not FDA approved so who do you believe….sometimes it sucks to be a consumer.
My suggestion for anyone though would be to call the maufacturing company and ask them directly about any of your concerns. Another to look into would be Earth’s Best Organic Formula. And if it is in any way possible to breastfeed…do it…then you don’t have to worry about any of this.
Other links: Make Your Own Baby Formula & Use Donor Breastmilk
Q: I’ve read that you cloth diapered and I recently started. I have been a bit disappointed just because I have had a hard time finding what I want to use. I have gone with fitteds with a wool cover because I wanted to avoid all plastic. Unfortunately my favorite diaper is bumgenius 3.0 because it is so much easier and less bulky. But it irritates me that it’s my fave because of the pul outer. I am very skeptical of using polyurethane laminate on a baby. What do you think of PUL? I’ve had a very hard time coming up with any real evidance on this. My problem is everyone criticizes disposables for the plastic, organic bedding companies rant against polyurethane foam, and polyethelane is supposed to be the safer of plastics… so why is everyone using PUL?
A: GREAT question! Cloth diapers have two major options…a cloth diaper that needs a waterproof cover or a diaper that already has a waterproof layer (AIOs, pockets, one-size). MOST cloth diapers will use some sort of plastic in the cover or waterproof layer….it could be a vinyl material, nylon, or it could be a polyurethane laminate (PUL) which is basically laminated polyester. Well, obviously we see the inherent danger in using vinyl (I hope), but what about PUL? Well, polyester is not a natural material, it is synthetic and the laminate is plastic. Furthermore, “polyester slowly emits phytoestrogens, which are endocrine disruptors, or compounds similar to estrogen, which can promote certain types of cancer.” * Being a long time member of the cloth diapering mom community I have also heard my fair share of stories about PUL causing bad rashes and skin reactions.
So if you want truly natural materials you may not want to use these diaper types and they are the most popular ones…the BumGenius 3.0, Fuzzi Bunz, etc. I have used many of these in my diapering lifetime but eventually opted to use cotton fitted diapers and wool covers and longies. Wool is naturally waterproof so if you are concerned I say go the cotton/wool route. When in doubt…go with natural fibers.
Keep the questions coming!
Friday, October 3rd, 2008