THE GLUTEN-FREE ALTERNATIVE TO BREAST MILK

January 19, 2017

It never occurred to me that formula milk might have gluten in it.

formula-ingredients-9

In fact, it might not be something you’ve thought about, either.

But when you’re Coeliac and you have a baby, there’s a 10% chance your baby will also be Coeliac, so you may already be thinking about gluten.

To begin with, many mothers breastfeed and don’t need to worry. But if you can’t breastfeed then the most obvious alternative is to opt for formula.

But do you actually know what goes into formula? There are 3 brands that grace my local supermarket’s shelves and the ingredients are all fairly similar. So are the allergens.

All of them contain milk, soy and fish.
Yep, fish! Well, fish oil, to be exact.

The good news is there’s no gluten in there. The bad news is you’re faced with a rather tough dilemma if you’re vegetarian or vegan.

So what’s the alternative? You may scoff and say, “Well, breastfeeding, of course.”

But it’s not that simple. Think about the following scenarios:

life-saving prescription medication may pass through to breastmilk & the mother therefore can’t breastfeed;
a mother may not produce enough milk to breastfeed her baby; and
certain operations mean a mother may not produce any milk.
So what can you do if you don’t want to use formula?
It used to be called wet nursing. It’s now called ‘shared nursing’ or ‘cross nursing’.

According to netmums, 1 in 25 women actually have another woman breastfeeding their own child. Read more here.

So there you go. Breastfeed, use formula or get another woman to nurse your child. Whichever option you use, at least they’re all gluten-free.

What do you think about formula and its allergens? Have they caused you a problem? Do share your story below.

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