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Raw Milk & infants...

5122 Views 26 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Halo-M Nubians
Hey, I've looked around cause I thought we talked about this recently but couldn't find anything. I have a neighbor I will be giving GM to as her source has dried up. She is feeding it to her 6 month old baby. I asked her if she was getting pasturized or raw and she just shrugged her shoulders. She does not seem to be the type to research (like me :lol) and doesn't seemed consernced so I feel I should do some research myself. I know listerosis is a concern I have read a "little". I grew up on raw milk (cow) and it is the "Norm" for me. Store milk being the concern usually ;). I personally feel that raw is better for little tummies, I have never hesitated to give it to my own daughter-but she was 2 yr. when we started milking again. I will not take a chance with someone elses baby however, if it is truly dangerous. My understanding is that a sick goat (listerosis) could get by you and the milk be consumed before the problem was realized. I have milk that has been in the freezer for 1 month+ would that be a safe way for a baby to consume raw milk?
I'd like to hear from some of you mom's who have fed the milk to babies. Not to sound snotty :blush but I don't need the liability speech. I know all that. This is a need I am going to fill...but I'd like to be informed. Any online resourses to research listerosis? I will look on my own but any links would be appreciated :biggrin
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Great topic.

A cousin came over yesterday with his SIL and asked for goat milk for the grandbaby who had narrowed upper and lower stomach sphincters causing vomiting and such. I assume the GM would help because of the smaller curd formation.

However, I pretended not to have any. Actually, we barely have enough to make it through the winter, not milking now. Our cousins do not know much about germs, diseases, raw vs pasteurized. I was very concerned that my milk could be some how harmful...just not worth the off chance. I do not even want my own grandbaby to have it untuil he is older.

So what is a general rule of thumb?
I don't want to open a can of worms-I'm sure their are a hundred opinions on this. but anyones personal experience would be nice to hear.

My FIL was put on cows milk at 3 months old-no supplements-we all "GASP" when we hear that but he is in his late 50's and healthy as a horse. I don't suppose Similac or Nestle was making formula back then... well, maybe they were..
Well, check out some of the comments on the most recent blog entry on David's Gumperts' The Complete Patient http://www.thecompletepatient.com which is called "For the Sake of the Children". There's a comment on feeding raw milk to infants that talks about some of the long-term benefits coming from it being fed very young. Again, assumes the raw milk is good quality.
u know I just now remembered this my sis was born with rickets and couldn't keep any milk down not my moms or any formulas or cows milk but they after a month started her on goats milk raw from a farm Now without it she wouldn't have lived I am sure OH she was born in 52 so goes to show you
WELL... thats how I got started in drinking milk !

CASE 1----My gson was a failure to thrive baby, he was small and underweight and couldn't tolerate formula at 4 mo. old , not the milk blend stuff or soy base stuff, he threw up his milk that he did get down and cried a lot. SOooo one day as he was crying his head off and his stomach was hurting,I told my son to go get the goat that had milk and we would try it as I had read up on goat milk before we got some goats for clearing brush. I washed the Nubian does udder and milked out a pan full,I just strained it and poured it in his bottle .... we sat eagerly to see what would happen..... HE LOVED IT !!!!!! he quit crying and he sucked it all !! NO PUCKING !! .... from then on he drank raw unpasteurized goat milk . He was taken to the Pedi Dr. in Tyler and she did not like that we wasnt pasteurizing the milk and she said he needed (I believe) folic acid as it's lower in goat milk than what fortified formula is so my ddinlaw got some liquid vitamin drops like PolyViSol and gave him, anyway the pedi Dr. said to keep up what she was doing as the baby was progressing GREAT !!

CASE 2..... I was in Sam's hunting a ham and my hubby was talking about hams with this man,his wife came up with her basket and she had 2 cute twin boys about 2 yrs.old ,so I was talking to her and she said she was waiting to get her medicine for the twins as they had just got out of the hospital , she said the twins couldn't digest milk or soy and that the Dr. now had put them on a tube feeding type of formula milk,she opened a can of grey-brown looking milk that stunk horrid and she started crying and said the twins refused to drink it and that she felt like she was watching her kids die right in front her ... I asked her if she had tried goat milk and she said no, we did more talking and she got her meds BUT she was at my house the next morning bright and early for raw goat milk ,the twins tried it with some coaching as they thought it was the nasty stuff from the Dr.. One of the little boys couldn't even walk out to see the goats as he was too weak and his mom had to carry him back,their little skinny arms were black and blue from needle pokes and IV's, anyway the twins tried the milk and loved it,it stayed down helped them with their pooping and the Pedi Dr. was sooo surprised !! I didn't have anymore milk tho as I gave her every bit of frozen milk I had and also a friend that had some fresh still but her Pedi.Dr. talked to my gsons Pedi Dr. and since we didn't have fresh the Dr. told her to put the twins on store bought goat milk !!!! The twins grew and are now normal healthy little boys !!! The boys also took chewable vitamins.

ANY raw milk product has to be VERY clean !! Clean when the goat is milked and CLEAN when the milk is handled as it cant be put in a bottle and set around for hours in a crib or left over half drank milk put in fridge for later as bacteria can be inside the bottle from mouth saliva and also on the nipple from sucking... to me all undranked milk needs to be threw out if not drank... so if you think this lady is serious and wont just shrug her shoulders .. then her baby should do fine on the raw CLEAN milk along with liquid vitamins given.

I do have my dairy goats that I milk .... tested yearly for everything I can get tested for drinking the milk ... like Q fever, CAE, CL, TB, Brucellosis and ? as we all here... drink raw milk and my gkids are age 3yrs. to 11 yrs. now and I have 5 gkids and I only milk for home use as I dont sell milk but I will always help somebody out :)
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I have a grandson, two years old now that could not keep anything down, he puked all day long.. Doctors said it was acid reflux and gave him prescription meds, and he still puked all day long..(Have you all noticed that hundreds of babies now are born with acid reflux) yeah right... I finally talked his mother into trying raw goat milk, he loved it and from day one he kept his food down and she took him off the scrip for acid reflux.. He drank raw goat milk for the first year of his life, he is healthy and well and while she has moved away and I cannot get milk to her anymore. She does buy organic cows milk and he does well on that.
Have any of you ever read the ingredients on a can of formula, it is scary what we are putting into our babies and expecting them to be well.
My husband has Crohns disease and loves his raw goat milk and does very well on it, he claims that if he does not have his milk to drink that his crohns gets worse and flares up..
Although I do not believe it is a miracle cure, I do know if done cleanly, that it is very good for people and healthy.. I personally love my Kefir and would feed that to any sick child or person.
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I love it when we hear these testimonials of the benefits of raw goats milk.
For me, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the raw goats milk is making the quality of life better for me. Many of you know that I am about 8 years post Lyme's decease, and suffer from the effects of this dreaded stuff, and also the side effects of all the meds that I have taken over the years. I have been taking in raw goats milk, and yogurt's made from raw goats milk for over a year now. All cooking is done with the milk also........now I'm not near %100 healthy, nor can I really expect to be for the rest of my life. There was too much permanent damage done to my bone joints and nervous system that I've been told is irreversible. Here is the bright side; since going on the raw goats milk, I have been able to just about cut my meds out all together. My joints have improve by at least 50%. I have fewer miss fires in my nervous system that were causing terrable muscle spasms. The best improvement has been in my digestive system, as I no longer have to eat anti acids and such by the hand fulls.......now that may be more to do with the fact that I'm taking fewer meds that were upsetting my rumen.
For me, the gains out weigh the risk by 2 to 1....but I'm 45 years old, and if I kill myself with raw goats milk, then so what. Just drag me over the hill and throw me in a stump hole.
I think the mothers of these very young, sick children should have benefit of the doubt, the rights, and the privacy to do so, when it comes to making decisions like this regarding the health and feeding of their child. With that said, if I were providing raw milk to be given to a young child like this, I would have the mother sign a waiver that I would keep on file, that states that she acknowledges the risk involve with such a feeding program, and that you take no responsibility for the health of that child whether it be good or bad. To help you decrease your liability, it may be necessary to provide them risk info with raw milk, and have them sign a form stating that they have read and understand the risk at hand.
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My cousin's baby has a lot of stomach issues, and last weekend the baby just wouldn't eat (breast milk from mom). She had lost a little weight. She was just crying and crying. They gave her some goat milk I had brought to give to my aunt and the baby ate 2 ounces and kept it down. Just burped up a little. You'd think she'd like her mom's milk better. I don't know if her mom is eating something that is bothering the baby, but that baby sure likes goat milk. Being nubian it ought to help her put on some weight.

She said the baby will nurse in the morning, but won't in the evening lately. But I guesss she'll eat goat milk anytime.
I hate to be the voice of dissent, but...

I sell raw milk. I drink it and I feed it to all of my children.

I do not drink it raw while pregnant nor do I feed it raw to a baby under the age of a year and I would not in general feed raw milk to a child under the age of 5 years unless it came from my farm or the farm of someone that I knew intimately to the point that I knew their animals and their management like I know my own.

The reason is listeriosis.

***YES*** I know that you have to have a goat sick with listeriosis to have it in the milk. ***YES*** I know that to a very large degree it can be prevented by carefully controlling feed quality. ***YES*** I know that it does cut down on the healthy facets of milk to pasteurize it.

You get no argument from me on any of this. I agree with all of it.

I also know that millions have safely drunk it with absolutely no problems, the world over.


Listeriosis is a disease that can come on quickly enough that it is possible for a doe to have it and pass it in her milk prior to there being overt enough symptoms for it to be caught. Given that those most at risk for listeriosis are the very young, the pregnant , the elderly and the immunocompromised I feel that it is prudent to be especially cautious with those segments of the population. Listeriosis is not just a disease that gives you a tummy ache. (Though it certainly does that) It is also a disease with a prediliction for brain tissue and can cause significant neurologic damage. Also, if a pregnant woman contracts listeria, the pregnancy is OVER. If she is 8 weeks she will miscarry, 18 weeks she will miscarry, 28 weeks the baby will be born, maybe dead, maybe alive, but ill itself...no matter how pregnant the woman is she will deliver, and the baby will be very very, life threateningly ill, and that is in addition to the fact that it runs a great chance of being born grossly premature.

For *ME*, though I take what I feel is as close to impeccable care as one can get of my goats and I feel I have a good handle on their health, I will not take that chance. Yes, the milk may not be as nutritious, but I feel that I have a reasonable chance of compensating for the nutritional lack with other foods. I cannot compensate for contracting listeria. Yes, I know that the odds are very low indeed of contracting listeria, but the odds are low that I will be in a car accident but I still buckle myself in and my children in to their seatbelts.
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My little cousin (almost 2 yrs old) and my twin brother/sister (almost 3 yrs old) drink raw milk all of the time. They have drank it ever since they were maybe a little under a year. Here's a website that has a lot of info on raw milk - http://www.westonaprice.org/

So as far as Listerosis goes. Wouldn't the frozen milk be safe? It has been in the freezer for over a month...No sick goats...Seems like that would work...just wondering.
We fed my grandbaby raw milk at the age of 3 months. We asked the doctor about it and all she was concerned about was where we got the goats milk from. We told her our own goats. She said that was great. She never asked if it was raw or pasturized. Her concern was that the milk would be full of antioboictics (crap I can't spell worth a darn). We told her that if our goats were on antib....blah blah, that we would not use that milk. She said she thought it was a great idea. This baby just turned 4 the saturday after thanksgiving. She is almost 4 feet tall. She is way taller than she should be. We've never had ear infections, strep throat none of those problems. Just the run of the mill colds and stuff. She's healthy as a horse. My daughter is on wick and they wanted her to feed the soy milk formula and she didn't want to feed that so just as soon as she was 3 months old we put her on the goat milk. She loved it. To this day she loves any milk. I did usually pasturize it just to be safe, but there were times when she drank so much that we ran out, and I would just go out a milk one of the girls, strain through a milk filter make sure udders and such were clean all that good stuff, pour up n a bottle and let her have at it. Not ever a problem.
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Theoretically yes, frozen milk would be safe. Not because freezing kills the bacteria but because it would give you the time to ensure that none of the does had anything brewing. This is what I do when I am transitioning a toddler from pasteurized to raw.

This is something that each individual will have to decide for themselves. I simply felt that it would be prudent to introduce the other side of the topic. As a midwife I tend to not sell raw milk to someone who I know will be using it to feed a very young baby without discussing with them pasteurizing pros and cons. I have taught several customers how to pasteurize. I do NOT pasteurize for them for I do not want the liability of the process on my head. I try to approach it as I do my midwifery practice, seeing my role as one of educator and advocate for their right to make informed decisions. I do see a tendency to neglect looking at the fact that there are certain risks associated in the drinking of raw milk, especially if one does not have control over the handling of the animals and the milk. Yes raw milk is wonderful, but to ignore the risks is no better than those who tout the benefits of pasteurized without acknowledging that there is a downside to this as well.
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LeeAnne -- A question maybe related to this? Several time at my farmers' market, I've met pregnant women who've been advised by their physician not to eat goat cheese (cheeses from cows' milk are apparently okay). Is this because of concern that young cheeses would not be correctly pasteurized milk or is there some other issue?
LeeAnne i sure respect your opinion about using raw goats milk, and the risk that comes with it.
Coming from medical background myself, I am very aware of the risk. On the other hand, I have to weight the risks against the benefits. In my opinion the benefits by far over weight the risk getting sick. Children raised on raw goats milk are much healthier with stronger bones, with less asthma and allergies.
We could compare raw milk with traditional medicine. We all know, that there are a lot of side effects and some of them can be deadly or lead to abortion. We still take the meds, viagra, or the pill to prevent pregnancy, even with all the risk, because for some people the benefits are greater than the risk, getting sick from side effect or get killed from heart attack, or pulmonary embolism caused by the pill. ( i lost a very good friend when she died 27 years old, because of pulmonary embolism, and she was a non smoker)
I would educate the soon to be mother, or the mother of the infant and let her decide, because I assume she is a grown up person. ;)
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Tricia I would send his lady back to her physician, ad have her ask what is bad about goat cheese. I would be very interested in the answer. :)
From what I've heard about pregnancy and goat cheese they recommend against it because the doctors are assuming the cheese came from unpasteurized milk. But, if you are drinking raw milk, then raw cheese (is that even a phrase?) should be just fine!
They advise this for any soft cheese, feta, chevre, etc. If it is sufficiently heated it is considered safe. Most doctors will say that if it is made from pasteurized milk then it is likely alright.

The same recommendations also go for luncheon meats, actually. That turkey on rye is supposed to be heated or not eaten.
Thanks! The advice on luncheon meats seems really sound. I would also add pre-bagged salad mixes to my own list, too, if I were pregnant.
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