If I am unable to breastfeed and I want to avoid dairy-based products, what are my options for formula?
There are soy formulas that are suitable for infants from birth. For example, SMA Wysoy Soya Infant formula
However, soy formulas are reinforced with vitamins and minerals and some of these (vitamin D) contain animal derivatives (lanolin, sheep's wool) which make them not vegan.
There are breastmilk banks where lactating women donate their breast milk for mothers who are struggling to produce their own. It would be worth searching for that in your area.
There is now a vegan infant formula made by French company Prémibio. The product is rice-based and is called Prémiriz. There are three stages available:
- stage 1 - 0-6 months
- stage 2 - 6-12 months
- stage 3 - 12-36 months
Prémiriz covers all your baby's needs, including proteins and essential amino acids. Similarly, Prémiriz ensures an intake of calcium and vitamin D3 exclusively from plant origin sources. Prémiriz is a certified vegan formula and thus does not contain any animal product or by-product.
Prémiriz is suitable for vegan babies.
Prémiriz supply of nutrients is identical to regular infant milk based on cow's or goat's milk protein.
The sites mentioned above ship to the UK and most European countries. This site based in Hong Kong also carries it.
Obtaining this product in other countries seems to be challenging at present, but demand is growing and supply ought to follow...
I will try to update this post when I find more information.
According to the article The Alterna-milks: Cow’s Milk Alternatives for Toddlers, there are multiple options (the alternate options are treated as "alterna-milks"):
Soy milk is the most commonly available and popular of the alterna-milks. Soy milk has about the same amount of protein as cow’s milk and some iron, but little calcium unless fortified. Soybean crops are often heavily treated with pesticides, so an organic product may be preferred.
Nut-based milks like coconut milk:
Nut beverages are created by grounding nuts, straining, then liquifying the final product. The products are deficient in Vitamin B12 and have very little protein compared to soy.
Almond milk and coconut milk are mentioned within this article as well under this section. Almond milk should be very common and should be found at your nearest superstore.
Grain milks are created from fermented grain or flour. These products offer the natural benefit of fiber from the grain, however have very little protein.