Since the publication of recipes for raw milk baby formula, an estimated twenty thousand babies have benefitted from the raw milk baby formula—either as an adjunct to breastfeeding or because their mothers were unable or not willing to breastfeed.
Feedback on the health of the babies on the raw milk formula have been uniformly good, even with babies who have pre-existing health problems.
Health officials object to the raw milk formula with the claim that raw milk is “inherently dangerous”; yet we have not received even one report of foodborne illness in a baby on the raw milk formula. By contrast, commercial infant formula has caused major outbreaks of enteric and foodborne diseases.
For many years, scientists believed that human milk was safe because it was sterile. This notion has given way to the realization that human milk contains many pathogens. For example, scientists in Finland detected several strains of Staphylococcus aureus “known as a causative agent of maternal breast infections and neonatal infections” in human breast milk samples. Scientists in Canada report that breast milk “is a body fluid capable of transmitting blood-borne pathogens when ingested.” In fact, in a screening program for expressed breast milk in China, testing revealed “the alarming fact that our study group had the highest rate of contamination ever reported.”
Pathogenic bacteria in the human milk included enterococci and Staphylococcus aureus. The research team speculated that the high rate of contamination “could be due to the Chinese tradition of avoiding bathing for one month after childbirth.” Pathogens are transferred to the suckling infant via breast milk from the skin.
The discovery of pathogens in human milk has coincided with the discovery of multiple, redundant anti-microbial mechanisms in the milk of all mammals, which protect the infant by building immunity and by binding or destroying pathogens. “Protective factors in milk can target multiple early steps in pathogen replication and target each step with more than one antimicrobial compound. The antimicrobial activity in human milk results from protective factors working not only individually but also additively and synergistically.” These protective factors are also present in the milk of other species, as long as it has not been heat treated.
These protective factors include immunoglobulins, mucins, lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, oligosaccharides and short- and medium-chain fatty acids.
It just makes sense that the best substitute for breast milk is raw milk from another species of mammal, not factory-made formula based on powdered skim milk, vegetable oils, sucrose or high fructose corn syrup, and artificial vitamins.