Georgia doctor points out health risks of homemade baby formula

Mothers who choose not to breastfeed aren't always keen on feeding their baby processed formula that may contain preservatives, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and milk from cows that receive the recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). Because organic baby formula can be expensive, some moms turn to homemade infant formula. But is it safe?

Last month, news outlets reported that a mother in South Carolina created her own baby formula using a combination of organic coconut oil, goat milk powder, organic agave nectar, organic olive oil, cod liver oil, infant vitamins, infant probiotics, molasses and water.

While it might sound nutritious, experts warn it's not.

Many homemade formula recipes use unpasteurized cow's milk or goat's milk as a base, which may contain bacteria like E. coli, salmonella and listeria, and lead to severe or deadly infections, Dr. Jatinder Bhatia, a professor of pediatrics at Children's Hospital of Georgia, told Parents magazine.

Bhatia added that "full-fat milk, skim milk, goat milk, and other milks have levels of nutrients, both excesses and deficiencies, that are not well-suited for meeting the infant's nutritional requirements."

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Weston A. Price Foundation president Sally Fallon-Morell and Dr. Mary Enig developed three types of baby formula 20 years ago. According to Morell, homemade infant formula lacks enough cholesterol, which is critical for an infant's neurological development.

"Mother's milk is extremely rich in cholesterol and has special enzymes to ensure that the baby absorbs 100 percent of that cholesterol," Morell told Fox News. "One of the key problems with conventional formula is that it has low or no cholesterol because they use powdered nonfat milk."

The American Academy of Pediatrics states that when a mother's milk isn't available, donor milk from a human milk bank or iron-fortified infant formula should be used.

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