Mummy Buzz


Today in Poor Choices: Making Your Own Baby Formula

Health organizations warn of dangers

Although at first glance making your own formula sounds like a healthier option for babe, Health Canada, the Dietitians of Canada and the Canadian Paediatric Society have all warned against the practice in a joint statement. 

I didn't even know this was a thing, yet apparently DIY recipes for formula are widely available on the internet. Far from being an elixir replicating breast milk, homemade formula can cause sickness and malnutrition in infants.

Commercial formulas get such a bad rep, it's no wonder some moms are turning to Google to create their own concoctions. But at least commercially made formulas are vetted by Health Canada and other quality control bodies. They are subjected to rigorous testing to ensure they provide the vital nutrients (including detailed energy, protein, fat and vitamin content) infants need. Suffice to say, homemade recipes don't have to adhere to those standards.

Hypoallergenic Baby Formula Won't Prevent Allergies

Parents shouldn't be fooled into thinking that making your own formula is somehow more 'organic' or natural. No one wants to endanger their baby; we get that. And I can see how some parents would be sorely tempted. It's crazy expensive and not without recalls and problems of it's own. When you have a baby, 99.8% of parents just want to do the best thing, and no one means to cause illness. There are problems to solve with the formula industry, but it's not the safest place for DIY-ers to throw their hat into the ring.

I was gobsmacked when I came back to Canada after living abroad. My son wasn't yet a year old, and he wasn't nursing. I couldn't believe the cost of formula in my native land. My husband had a good job, but simply feeding my baby cost a fortune! It was disgraceful.

What are parents living below the poverty line supposed to do? What about single parents? Feeding your baby is no more a luxury item than sanitary pads, but I digress. There will always be moms who use on formula, as is their option or need. And until it becomes more affordable, there will be parents out there who (albeit unwittingly) risk the health of their children by making their own. 

Read warnings from Health Canada and the Dietitians of Canada/Canadian Paediatric Society in their entirety.