Before the age of six months, the best and only food that human babies need is human breastmilk. Yes, human beings are animals too but so far as veganism is concerned, human breastmilk is the exception that proves the rule. Humans are mammals, and mammals suckle their young – feeding your baby is what your breasts are for. Breastfeeding is a perfectly honed delivery system for the most perfectly adapted food for human babies – human breastmilk.
What you might not know is that not only is human breastmilk in general adapted for human babies in general, but the content of breastmilk changes over time, so that a mother’s milk is always perfectly adapted to the specific needs of her baby on any given day.
Physiologically, almost all mothers can breastfeed, but many who want to breastfeed end up stopping sooner than they’d like due to inadequate support and misinformation. If you’re expecting a baby, find out all you can about breastfeeding before your baby comes as knowing how it works and what to expect will help get breastfeeding off to a good start – and help you recognize any problems early so that you know to ask for help when you need it.
If you’ve been unable to breastfeed there are soya formulas on the market, although I understand that the Vitamin D these contain may be derived from animal sources and there is a question mark over giving soya to baby boys – I will look into this properly soon. Other soya milks on the market are not suitable for children under two years old.
Don’t take risks with your baby’s health, speak to your health professional about the options available to you.
If you find yourself wishing you had tried/hadn’t stopped breastfeeding, bear in mind that relactation (starting your milk supply up again after it has dried up) is possible – contact your local breastfeeding support group for guidance.