Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Weaning the Baby off Breastmilk, What Milk Next?

My Feelings and Thoughts of Weaning My Baby

My baby is not a baby anymore, she is now twenty one months and I will be weaning her off breastfeeding soon. It's a bittersweet feeling. On one hand, I can be more free and wear my nice shirts again, and not bound to the few pieces of tops that allow me to nurse while I'm out and about. No more nursing tanks and no more pumping. On the other hand, I treasure the bond, relationship, and time spent when I nurse my sweet baby. The comfort and peace it gave her when she's hurt and sick. The connection that I felt from the first day I nursed her in the hospital and I knew without a doubt she's mine. The amazing miracle I witnessed on how God created a little being to know how to suckle the moment she's born and knew exactly where her mama's milk was. Her eagerness and smile when I offer her milk. Those are memories I do not want to forget to remember. Now the time has come for me to wean her off. I will be traveling without her soon and as much as I'm not ready to wean her off, I know I have to. Knowing exactly when I need to wean her off has helped me prepare myself mentally for what's to come.

The Search for Milk Post-Weaning

I have been searching for the milk for her to drink post-weaning and I must say that it is not as easy as I thought but glad that I have finally decided on what milk to give her. There are so many brands of milk, be it formula or fresh milk, cow's and goat's, soy or nuts, and the more I read, the more information-overload I get. Before I continue on, I just want to put a my disclaimer that many studies say this and there is no right or wrong answers. What works for us may not work for others, and each person has different health conditions. This post is what works for us and reasons why I decide to choose one brand over the other, based on my research of what is best for my child currently, with what is available in Singapore. I do not claim that this is the best choice for everyone and I'm not affiliated to any of the brands mentioned and this finding is just based on my personal experience and research. You are free to use this as your reference but I cannot be held responsible for any decision you make regarding your own health choices.

The main reason why I have been nursing my baby for this long is because it is a fact that mother's milk is best. It's kept her relatively healthy through her babyhood. The part where I try to work hard to keep nursing and pumping regularly to keep my supply up all this while is because honestly I did not know what milk to give her after she's weaned. I really didn't. When I started researching about milk, the pros and cons of raw milk, formula, pasteurized milk, ultra pasteurized milk, homogenized milk, soy based milk, not to mention the source of the milk, whether the cows and goats are grain-fed or grass-fed, I was overwhelmed and at a loss! So I hope this post will shed some light to those who are interested in this subject.

Different Options of Milk

There are generally two kinds of milk available in the supermarket: Powdered milk and fresh milk. Within each kind, you can find cow milk, goat milk, or soy based, in addition to nut (fresh) milk. I know soy is not an option and I read too many articles where giving soy-based formula to children is like giving them an equivalent of x number of birth control pills a day. The risks of consuming soy is something I would rather avoid. I also do not prefer powdered formula, be it from cow or goat milk. I haven't done much research on the pros and cons of infant formula but if I can choose a more natural alternative, I would. So that leaves me with fresh milk: cow, goat, or nut-based. Nut milk is a good alternative if your child is allergic to cow or goat's milk. Making homemade nut milk ensures that you know everything that you put in and don't have to worry about any ingredients that come with store-bought nut milk. Since my baby hasn't shown that she's allergic to cow's milk, I'm now down to cow or goat's milk.

- Goat's Milk. There is a local farm in Singapore which sells fresh goat's milk, called Hay Dairies. However, their goats are not grass-fed and they don't get much direct sunlight. They are fed alfalfa hay and live under sheltered roof. I believe in the superior nutritional quality of milk which comes from grass-fed animals, which automatically means they get direct sunlight most of the time, and for these two reasons, this goat milk is not my top choice, although it is probably the freshest milk I can get in Singapore.

- Cow's Milk. Most brands of cow's milk you see in the supermarket aisles are all grain-fed. The most important factor for me personally would be that the milk comes from grass-fed cows. In my original post about milk, I explained the differences between the different types of milk processing and listed a few brands that are grass-fed. And given that raw milk is not available in Singapore, the next best thing would be pasteurized and non-homogenized milk from grass-fed cows. Here are my reviews on the three brands available in Singapore that I know of are grass-fed:

1. Organic Valley - I must say that this milk taste good. However, I've only seen the ultra-pasteurized ones. So it is not ideal. You can find this in Cold Storage and Market Place for about $16 per 2 liters.

2. Straus Super Nature carries Straus's pasteurized, non-homogenized milk. I've bought from them a few times, but it's not been a pleasant experience taste-wise. Since the first bottle we purchased, the taste has always been sour, much like expired milk. Since then I've ordered it again at different times hoping that it was just an anomaly, but the milk has been consistently sour and I really didn't like it. A 2-liter bottle costs $12.

3. B.-d. Farm Paris Creek - I have been buying B.-d. Farm Paris Creek butter for a while and I love the fact that it is pastured butter. I recently saw that Nature's Glory carries this brand's pasteurized, non-homogenized milk, which is air-flown from Australia to Singapore every biweekly. I pre-ordered two 2-liter bottles, which costs $16.40 per bottle and I think I found the milk I am looking for. For now, this is the milk that I am giving my little one. I love that it's grass-fed and it's air-flown fresh every biweekly. I love that the milk doesn't sit on the shelves for long so it is as fresh as I can get, considering it's not locally produced. Yes it's the most expensive one compared to the others, but I believe if I were to calculate the cost per nutrient, it's worth it. Just as with anything, we get what we pay for.

I would add that I would only give whole milk, not reduced-fat or fat-free milk to children. Growing children needs all the nutrients from pastured whole milk. Good fats from good sources don't make us fat. You can read more about it on our series on fats here.

Is there any grass-fed milk in Singapore that you know of that is not listed here?


  1. Thanks for sharing, Vicky. My little ones are all rather intolerant of lactose although Vera (now 5) is able to take some cow's milk. Will consider paris creek once Javier is able to take cow's milk too!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and congratulations on your newborn! :)

  2. Hi Victoria! Came across your blog.. I'm a working mom with a 13mo son. He's been on tbf so far and there are times when I'm struggling to keep up with his daily feeds. I'm looking for alternatives to top up and am not inclined to give formula. I'm trying to give him fresh milk too, brand Greenfields. Any advice for me to go along on this journey..?