As the nurses laid Lillirose on my chest minutes after she was born; every muscle was weakened and wobbly after her 16 minute explosive all natural delivery, I exhaled looked down on her angelic face as she lifted her head up!! “Gahhh,” I said. My arms weren’t ready to tense up yet. All the nurses said, “whooaaaaa!! where are you going baby girl? Look at that! She’s holding her head up Momma looking right at you!” Lillirose also looked right at Grammy the first time she held her too!
I knew then I/we were in for a thrilling journey of unexpected surprises.
Nursing all my girls has always been one of my greatest gifts! Bonding time and providing the best nutrition! No bottles, no, sterilizing, no measuring, mixing, heating….simple, peaceful and easy. I realize this is not every woman’s experience but it was mine to date and I was really looking forward to enjoying this beautiful part of Motherhood again. The first time Lillirose latched on to feed, SURPRISE!!!! it took my breath away! Literally toe curling, tear dropping, teeth clenching… breath gone! She had the strongest latch out of ALL my girls! I knew I was a little rusty and it had been almost a decade so my mammary glands needed some toughening up but WOW! This baby had a vice latch! Lillirose had this way of feeding and gnawing at the same time which was also surprising! I had no idea how she could chew and drink all at the same time but she was, indeed!
What was I going to do? Sooo, as I do with all things…I knew, I wasn’t going to back down from the challenge. Nothing was going to take this special time away from my miracle baby and I. Since she had severe GERD/Reflux she could only eat very small meals, very close together. I adjusted to the way in which she latched and fed. We fell into a rhythm. Around 3 1/2 mths of age she began to teethe, which made me a little nervous and she continued to feed every 2-3 hours for the first 5 months of her life. All my girls seemed to teethe early but actually didn’t cut their first tooth until about 7 or 8 mths old. Meanwhile, Lillirose was gnawing on everything. Her teeth were budding, not erupting through the gum-line yet but any day it would happen and then OWWWW she BIT me! With NO teeth!!! Just hard budding gums. Talk about pain and a deal breaker! I squealed, she cried but it didn’t stop her from biting. Her gums were inflamed she was miserable and I was not far behind, so I started pumping….my toe curling days had come to a screeching hault! I had to come up with a new game plan and fast! Bottles and formula? EEEEEEEEEK I know too much about nutrition now. I can’t feed her formula not even the organic kind, dairy and soy!!! Our entire family is sensitive to these products! GAHHH
New game plan….I started pumping and would switch her to bottles….ok. Breastmilk and bottles. I have used Avent bottles with both Abby and Sophie. They didn’t have a problem using them, but Lillirose wouldn’t have anything to do with my old trusty Avent bottles! Surprise! Researched bottles….ones most like nursing, good for GERD/Reflux babies and I found a new bottle by Lansinoh called the mOmma bottle. She loved it! YAY! So I pumped and she gnawed, fed and chewed on her new mOmma bottles! Thank YOU Lansinoh! in the days that followed not 1, not 2, not 3, but 5 teeth erupted through her aching gums, so her transition to bottle was none too soon. Meanwhile, my milk supply was decreasing over time since I was no longer directly nursing…..and she needed more milk!!! Supplement with Formula???!!! I can’t. I’ve researched those ingredients! NO WAY!
More research….I found Dulas and Lactation Consultants that made their own formulas when their Mommies needed to supplement and since I know a little something about nutrition these days, I decided to follow suit. I created my own delicious nutritious formula. I wanted to share the recipe because I know there may be other Mommies out there that may need something non-dairy/soy for their miracle babes as well so here goes:
Disclamier: I’m not a Dr. and if you or your family members have nut allergies this recipe probably isn’t for you.
Lillirose’s Coconut Almond Milk Vegan Formula
3 32 ozs. boxes of Unsweetened Organic Almond Milk
2 32 ozs boxes of Unsweetened Organic Coconut Milk
4 tblspns Blackstrap Molasses
4 tblspns Coconut Oil
5 packets of Rainbow Light NutriStart Multivitamin Powder
12 tblspns of Plantfusion Protein Powder Unflavored
4 tspns of Madhava Coconut Sugar
2 Glass Containers: I use a 1 Gallon and 1/2 Gallon.
This recipe makes 160 ozs. It lasts us 4 days; 5 8 ozs feedings a day. (Lillirose has grown out of her GERD/Reflux and now drinks a full 8 Ozs at every feeding! 😉
I dump all my ingredients in my 8 qt pot. Then use my immersion hand blender to stir it up. It gets frothy.
That’s ok, you want it really good and blended. I don’t have a kitchen funnel so I pour formula from pot into my glass blender and transfer into glass containers.
After you refrigerate it it will separate but all you have to do it give it a good shake and it blends back up perfectly!
The contents are so nutritious and delicious. The benefits of coconut and almond milk are written about by many experts. Coconut oil contains Lauric acid which is found in breastmilk. Blackstrap Molasses is a wonderful source of iron, magnesium, Vit B6 and calcium plus much more. The Rainbow Light Vitamin powder is a whole vitamin powder which is best for the littles. However, it doesn’t contain DHA, which bums me out, but I buy DHA and put that in Lillirose’s nurturme Quinoa Infant Baby Cereal. Plantfusion Protein Powder is a plant powered protein. It’s fantastic! I have tried many kinds over the years. Plantfusion blends well and isn’t grainy in the slightest. If you hand blend well, it’s all good! All powdered infant formulas have corn syrup in them, mostly because the formula itself is hard to digest and corn syrup helps keeps the babies bowels moving and because it tastes awful! I don’t expect my babies to eat something I wouldn’t eat, so I try everything. NO joke! It’s bitter, grainy BLECK. However, Breastmilk is very sweet. I needed this transition to go well and smoothly. So I added a small amount of coconut sugar. I’m not a fan of sugar in the slightest but if you must use it this is the best there is and ratio wise 4 tspns to 160 oz. of fluid is minute. I’m sure I could remove it at this point. Lillirose probably wouldn’t care in the slightest, so it’s an ingredient you can omit if you prefer. And Plantfusion has a tiny amount of Stevia in it just as a side note.
So that’s it! Lillirose loves her new “milk.” The proof is in the pudding or the formula in this case. Lillirose has been drinking this formula as her food source since she was 7 mths of age. She just turned 9 mths old on July 16th. Her iron level is 11.5, which is great! She’s in the 65% in height and 50% in weight. We’ve never grown very big babies in our family and I am thrilled with these numbers from her struggles with severe GERD/Reflux. She was once in the 3% for weight so this is a huge explosion! She’s on the move every minute she’s awake and it looks like I will have a walker long before the age of 1.