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Since their birth last February, our twin boys, H and H, have consumed breast milk to their little hearts’ content. As many of you know, I’m an exclusive pumper and have been fortunate enough to keep a generous milk supply for almost a year. What you may not have known, is that they consumed formula to supplement their feedings during their NICU stay. This was to assist our little preemies with weight gain, as well as provide them with food while my milk was coming in. After a month, we were SO happy that they reached their 5lb weight requirement to be released. Although we had two very healthy babies, we were encouraged to continue to supplement at home. Derrick and I were determined to abide by our doctor’s recommendations, but were still nervous about what we put into their bodies. That is when Plum Organics® Grow Well® Infant Formula came into our lives.
Just to fill you in, Plum Organics is the nation’s leading organic baby food brand. If you’ve been down the baby aisle in your grocery store, you’ve probably seen their products. It should come as no surprise then, that they were one of the first to come to mind when making a decision. We still wanted to do our research first though, because we desired something that was as natural as possible. When you have NICU babies, it puts you into a mind set that your little ones are extra delicate, and you want to be very aware of everything you feed them or expose them to.
Our goal was to find a product free of genetically engineered ingredients (non-GMO), that was ACTUAL food. We were thrilled to find out that Plum Organics Grow Well Infant Formula contains carbohydrates only from the lactose of cow’s milk, with no corn syrup solids added. Lactose is the most abundant source of carbohydrates in breast milk as well , and babies need those carbs for 40-45% of their daily energy . Since the formula is certified organic, that signifies that the cow’s milk only comes from cows whose diets are free of pesticides, fertilizers, or the hormone rBST (although, no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST-treated cows, we err on the side of caution). Basically, if my husband and I wouldn’t have it in our own milk, then we weren’t so keen on it being in fed to our babies.
It has now been 10 months since the day H and H were released to us from their tiny little hospital beds last March. Although there has been enough milk to go around, we have continued to supplement. Why? Well, after being on a set schedule in the NICU, we wanted to continue that schedule in our home. Their routine worked well, so why mess with it? A larger meal at night was part of their routine, and usually included a bottle of supplemented formula. Plum Organics Grow Well Infant Formula did not upset their stomachs and they seemed to enjoy it, so we kept up it as part of their nightly feedings (and are currently still including it!).
In addition to that, we did a lot of traveling in Europe, followed by a relocation from Germany to the United States. During our travels, we occasionally got caught without breast milk on hand, or without my pump nearby (plus those times I spilled my milk while in a hurry!). If you’ve ever tried tandem nursing, it doesn’t go so well on a plane! Our answer, was to reach into the diaper bag and mix up a couple of emergency bottles. As I mentioned, their routine was important, so it was great to be able to feed them and not get thrown off schedule, no matter what we were going through.
It was always a relief to know that our boys would not miss a meal and that we could still be confident in what we were feeding them. Whether you are breastfeeding, pumping, or formula feeding, it’s great to know that your children are well fed. Our journey has been long from the NICU, to our big move, to now dealing with two almost-toddlers. Worrying about what kind of formula to supplement with was not something we had time for. We are so thankful that we tried Plum Organics, and that we could be satisfied in knowing that our twins were consuming quality food that would help them thrive.
If you’re thinking about formula feeding, or supplementing like we did, visit the Plum Organics website to learn more about their products. You can also find them in your local Jewel-Osco, or respective grocery store. Bonus! If you decide to make the purchase, you are welcome to use the coupon at the end of this post. (You will have to log in to your Jewel-Osco, Safeway, or Albertson’s account to view the coupon. If you don’t have an account, you can create one!)
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-  Mepham TB. Physiology of Lactation. Milton Heynes. UK Open University Press; 1987.
-  Kalhan SC, Kilic L. Carbohydrate as a nutrient in the infant and child: range of acceptable intake. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1999;53(Suppl 11):S94-S100