Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Got Milk?

From time to time, the subject of cow's milk comes up with me. It came up again this weekend, which is prompting me to post this.

In our house, cow's milk is equated to soda. I buy it occasionally and drink it from time to time, but I do so knowing that it has little nutritional value for me and I'm better off with something else. I don't give it to my children. My husband has never liked it. I used to think he was missing out on something of great nutritional value. I now think he's probably just listening to his body.

But wait... you say. Milk? But milk is one of nature's most perfect, wholesome foods! 

Ah... but not so. When I first started having babies, I also started attending a breastfeeding support group and it was there I first started to understand that cow's milk does not always do well in human bodies. Time and again, breastfeeding problems were directly tied to dairy products. I can not say this clearly enough: a LOT of breastfeeding problems are directly tied to too much dairy in the mother's diet, and if you cut back or eliminate the dairy, the problems go away. This makes me sad because I think too many women are encouraged to switch to formula before they are asked about dairy, and it's just such a simple thing. Not to mention, if a baby is reacting to the amount of dairy it gets through breastmilk, how are they going to do on a product that is made from dairy by-products given to them directly? (Ever wonder why so many babies get put on soy formula?)

I've done a lot of research over the years on this subject, but I want to keep this post short.
In any case... one of the better resources I know regarding cow's milk and why it may not do a body good  is this letter. Here is another, and a bit shorter. Both are from doctors and both present well-reasoned thoughts. Take a few minutes and read them, I think you'll find it interesting.

They will literally turn everything you think you know about milk upside down.


*Jess* said...

I couldn't agree with you more on the subject of milk! My IRL friends thinks I'm nuts. One of my close friends said, "God wants us to drink milk from a cow. Its in the Bible."

love your blog!!

Shannon said...

thanks Jess!!!!

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the thoughtful post. I'm on the fence about the milk issue. I don't tend to drink it, ever, (not even with chocolate in it!) but do consume other cow's milk dairy products. What's your opinion of yogurt, cheese, etc? Do you avoid it since it's from cow's milk?

Shannon said...

Well, I know I should but to be honest I really don't. I know that yogurt and cheese are a bit different in that there is more processing involved and some of the undigestable proteins are at least broken down. Of course yogurt does have probiotics in it as well, which aid in digestion and keeping a balanced immune system. (This is somewhat offset however by the sugar that's in most yogurt, so I do keep it limited but not "off limits" for my children - and I don't buy any yogurt with artificial sweeteners)

In a perfect world, I would try to get my family off of all dairy. But then again, in a perfect world we would never eat at McDonald's either - so like most things, I try to stick to moderation and hope for the best!

Maria said...

Thank you! I have tried explaining this to countless people, and it is one of the reasons we continue to nurse-- because I refuse to believe that MUST give my son cow's milk!