No, This Time We Mean it: Really Really REALLY Close to Mother's Milk
For some time now, breastfeeding advocates have noted that whenever formula companies release a new product, much of the marketing focuses on insinuating that this new recipe makes their variation closer than ever before to human milk, typically by featuring synthetic versions of various ingredients found naturally in mother's milk (i.e. the essential fatty acids DHA and ARA, vital for brain development, with particularly disastrous results in artificial form).
Other concerns aside from attempts to replicate specific components of human milk include the protein content of the formula, based in cow's milk. These proteins are significantly different than those found in human milk, due to the fact that they are designed for a large ruminant, the offspring of which will be walking almost immediately after birth, in contrast to the needs of the human infant. Dr. Nils Bergman groups mammals into four types with regard to the nutritional needs of their young: Cache mammals, follow mammals, nest mammals, and carry mammals.
That last category is us. In "Breastfeeding Made Simple", Bergman describes it like so:
Carry mammals: This group includes the apes and marsupials, such as the kangaroo. The carry animals are the most immature at birth, need the warmth of the mother's body, and are carried constantly. Their milk has low levels of fat and protein, and they are fed often around the clock. Humans are most definitely carry mammals. Human milk has the lowest fat and protein of all mammalian milks. That, and our immaturity at birth, means human infants need to feed often and are meant to be carried and held.Breastfeeding advocates and many health professionals have long recognized that cow's milk, and thus cow's milk-based formula, is therefore not biologically appropriate for human infants. This manifests in a number of ways, including the way the proteins are broken down in the baby's stomach, forming tough, rubbery curds that are difficult to digest. Yet aside from turning to soy formula -which introduces a host of other issues - there seemed to be no other real alternative source for the times when breastfeeding is not possible. Chemically enhanced and artificially fortified cow's milk it was . . .
. . . until now.
Abbot Laboratories introduces an exciting new choice in infant formula. Their scientists have been paying attention to these breastfeeding advocates, and conceding their point in at least one argument. "The illogical practice of using milk from a completely different type of mammal with vastly different nutritional needs has been a concern of ours for some time," says Dr. Jane Fossey, a head researcher in Abbot product development. "We have finally found a way to deliver the closest approximation possible to human milk. Rather than using ruminant livestock, simply out of cultural habit and convenience, we decided to try turning instead to another member of the primate order."
Simianlac, available in powder and ready-made varieties, is manufactured in the first chimpanzee dairy in North America. Dr. Fossey emphasizes that the chimps are free-range and fed an organic diet, being rounded up only every three hours to be milked. "We're also proud to announce our partnership with Medella, and use only the comfortable, convenient Pumping Style model on our chimps."
At long last, human babies in need of supplementation will have a product that really, truly, seriously, for real now, comes as close as possible to their own developmental needs. Simianlac will hit the market in April. Look for samples in your hospital bag!
Simianlac. Don't monkey around with your baby's milk.
No chimps were harmed in the making of this post. Nor were any real people or companies. There's no such thing as Simianlac. Pure April Fool's silliness.
OR IS IT???
Yes, it is.