Proponents of raw milk say that it’s much more healthy than pasteurized. Opponents to it say that it has the capabiltiy of doing more harm than good. It’s a hotly contested debate and beyond the scope of this page to settle it for anyone. But we will take a look at the pros and cons of giving your baby raw milk and allow you to make an educated decision.
The reason that this is such a sticky situation is because both sides of the argument sound plausible. It makes sense that you’d want to treat a fluid that comes out of an animals body before drinking it. But it also makes sense that during this sterilization process a lot of key elements would be destroyed, essentially robbing the milk of the nutrients that made it desirable in the first place.
Where you end up in this debate is going to depend in large part to how much you buy in to the whole all-natural, whole foods, raw foods, organic foods, health foods movement. The mere fact that you’re looking for the answer to this question shows that you’ve got some interest in providing the best for your baby. You should also consider whether it’s a good idea to give your child cow’s milk at all.
Can I Give My Baby Raw Milk? Answer: Depends on Who You Ask
There are anecdotal stories from parents that say that their baby was able to drink raw milk without any problems, and also those that said their baby showed signs of sensitivity to regular milk, but were able to drink raw milk with no problems. It’s really all in who you ask because there are also plenty of moms and doctors that recommend not giving your baby raw milk, and have their own stories to tell about it.
If you ask someone that supports the consumption of raw milk they will say that the pasteurization process kills off a lot of the best qualities of milk, and that the reason milk got such a good reputation as a health food was because people used to drink raw milk before the pasteurization was invented. People didn’t stop drinking milk, but they eventually stopped drinking raw milk and now drank regular milk but didn’t get the same benefits.
The FDA chimes in by warning Americans of the dangers of drinking raw milk. They say that unpasteurized milk could pose a serious health risk. They go on to say that the pasteurization process is responsible for killing bacteria found in the milk that could be harmful. They then go on to debunk many of the myths that raw milk supporters claim is the reason why it’s so much healthier.
After researching the topic if we had to decide for our own babies whether to give them raw milk or pasteurized, we’d probably opt for pasteurized, as the FDA made a stronger case than some of the other sources. But it’s definitely still open for debate, and we encourage any and all comments below.
What’s a Mother to Do?
In the first year you’re pretty much covered by breast milk, and you should try to breastfeed them for as long as you can. Eventually you’ll start to supplement their diet along with your breast milk, and there shouldn’t really be a big need to feed your baby cow’s milk at all. They can transition from breast milk to a combination of breast milk and formula, to fortified cereals made for babies, to solid foods, and then to finger foods and eventually they’ll be eating with the rest of the family. That might be a good time to introduce cow’s milk or even raw milk if that’s what the rest of the family drinks.
At the end of the day you have almost total control over what goes into your baby’s mouth, and you’re setting them up for the way they’ll end up eating throughout their lives. Doctors say that this time is so important for a person’s development, and they stress the importance of breast feeding and keeping your baby well-nourished during their formative years. It can play a big part in how intelligent they are, and countless other factors, so it’s not a decision to make lightly.