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Old 04-06-2018, 04:04 PM
 
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Let's make it a best-possible-case scenario and say the mother has had a double mastectomy and is therefore unable to produce any milk whatsoever.

It seems clear that the next best way to feed the baby would be with donated human breast milk. But this is not available everywhere and I think it would be very hard to obtain enough to feed the baby for an entire year.

Would a vegan mother choose a vegan milk substitute (e.g., soy formula) as the next best substitute? Or would the milk from another nursing mammal be considered acceptable in this case, as more natural/healthful for an infant than food made from plants?

Of course I know that vegan adults do not consume dairy products.

No judgment either way, I'm just curious what the vegan consensus (if any) would be.
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Old 04-06-2018, 04:12 PM
 
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That's an interesting question.

I think a vegan with true ethics would just not have the baby to begin with. Ergo, no milk of any kind needed, and no pressure placed on the earth's already fragile ecosystems.
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arctic_gardener View Post
That's an interesting question.

I think a vegan with true ethics would just not have the baby to begin with. Ergo, no milk of any kind needed, and no pressure placed on the earth's already fragile ecosystems.
I understand what you're saying, but that is sometimes not possible. I am not a vegan and am not having any more babies, but I have had a double mastectomy and that is what got me thinking about this question. When I had chemo (9 years ago), I got to know a woman who found out that she had a fairly large breast turmor when she was seven months pregnant. They postponed treatment until after the baby was born, but she was not able to breastfeed (for more than a very short time, a matter of days) because as soon as possible, they got her in for surgery and chemo.

So there are times, even though they are rare, when a woman may not know she won't be able to breastfeed until it is too late to decide not to have a baby.

Thanks for your reply.
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
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Knowing what I know now about how unnatural it is to consume milk from non-humans, and how plant nutrition is sufficient, I'd feed my baby plant-based milk. Probably something with higher fat content, which would be in human milk. So, probably soy, maybe coconut. I'd do research to see which had the best nutrients for a baby. Maybe a combo formula of plant based milks.
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Old 04-07-2018, 12:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
Knowing what I know now about how unnatural it is to consume milk from non-humans, and how plant nutrition is sufficient, I'd feed my baby plant-based milk. Probably something with higher fat content, which would be in human milk. So, probably soy, maybe coconut. I'd do research to see which had the best nutrients for a baby. Maybe a combo formula of plant based milks.
Thanks, that is what I was wondering.
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Old 04-07-2018, 12:47 PM
 
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I am not vegan, but I do move in some circles of "natural mamas,"and hemp milk is often touted as a good alternative to mammal milks when human milk is not available.
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Old 04-07-2018, 07:11 PM
 
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That would be a tough situation. First, I would try to find human breast milk that people could donate or that I could purchase.
I've heard goat's milk is close in composition to human milk. If I could find that, and have some reassurance the milk is from goats that are treated well (preferably local), I'd be okay with that. I'd probably find some quality plant-based formula to keep on hand in case the other two options fell through.

For the record, I eat a plant-based diet, and currently breastfeed.
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Old 04-07-2018, 07:18 PM
 
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For anyone who may actually be in this situation...

If there aren't any local breast milk banks nearby, I'd start posting the situation in all kinds of mom/birth groups on Facebook/other social media forums, craigslist, etc. Also, start going to la leche league meetings before the baby arrives, and ask those moms (ideally, who have a similar due date) if they'd be willing to sell their extra milk. Many do.
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Old 04-11-2018, 05:22 PM
Status: "Good to be home!" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
24,155 posts, read 32,602,244 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by English Ivy View Post
For anyone who may actually be in this situation...

If there aren't any local breast milk banks nearby, I'd start posting the situation in all kinds of mom/birth groups on Facebook/other social media forums, craigslist, etc. Also, start going to la leche league meetings before the baby arrives, and ask those moms (ideally, who have a similar due date) if they'd be willing to sell their extra milk. Many do.
What I would do.

Does the OP realize that this particular situation does not occur very often at all?

Sounds like the hypothetical question that my militant meat eating sister posed to me right after giving birth - "If you were in a burning building and you could only save (name of baby) or (name of dog) - who would you save?"

I refused to answer.
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Old 04-11-2018, 05:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
What I would do.

Does the OP realize that this particular situation does not occur very often at all?

Sounds like the hypothetical question that my militant meat eating sister posed to me right after giving birth - "If you were in a burning building and you could only save (name of baby) or (name of dog) - who would you save?"

I refused to answer.
My question was sincere and much more likely to happen than a hypothetical choice of saving a human or saving an animal from a burning building.

As I stated, I have had a double mastectomy (due to breast cancer). While I don't intend to have more babies, I am still at an age when I technically could. As I imagined, I know at least one other woman of childbearing age who has had a mastectomy. Surely there are more of us.

Since I strongly support breastfeeding, I have given some thought to the problem of how I would feed a baby under these circumstances. It is not ideal. But is it "not ideal" enough for a woman to decide not to have a much-wanted baby, because she can't supply a baby's natural food? I imagine some women struggle with that.

I asked for a vegan perspective because I imagined that, more so than the average person, some vegans might feel conflicted--as I do--about feeding a new baby a purely plant-based formula (e.g., soy). And feel equally conflicted--as I do--about feeding a new baby the milk of another species. I thought the other replies I've had so far were thoughtful and I appreciated them. I'm sorry you're unwilling to add anything to the thread.
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