Is It Safe To Give Raw Milk To Babies?

Can You Give Your Baby Raw Milk?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Mahesh Patil (Paediatrician)
View more Paediatrician Our Panel of Experts

Raw milk is not pasteurised or heated to a specific temperature to kill harmful germs that may be present in it. Pasteurisation is the best way to ensure that milk is safe for babies to drink. You should avoid giving raw milk to babies, as it could be harmful for your child.

What is Raw Milk?

Unpasteurised milk is raw milk, as the fluid that comes out of the body of an animal needs to be treated before giving it to babies. It is said that the process of sterilisation destroys key elements like immune factors and robs the milk of its nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and proteins. However, it is better to drink only pasteurised milk.

What is Raw Milk?

Nutritional Value of Raw Milk

The composition of milk varies based on the breed, the species, the stage of lactation, and the animal’s food. The nutritional value of cow milk can be seen in the table given below.

Nutrient Amount
Calories 67 g
Water 87.5%
Protein 3.2g
Carbs 4.4g
Sugar 5.1g
Fat 4.1g
Omega3 0.08g
Omega 6 0.12g


What Are the Benefits of Raw Milk for Babies?

Raw milk is predicted to be helpful in many health conditions as it has a wealth of nutrients. However, most of these claims are not verified, despite scientific studies conducted all over the world.

  • Raw milk helps in maintaining skin health and prevents allergies.
  • Raw milk is better for indviduals with lactose intolerance.
  • It boosts the immunity.
  • Provides vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes that support body growth and aid digestion.

What Are the Risks Associated With Drinking Raw Milk for Babies?

As much as it has benefits, the risks of drinking raw milk outweigh the pros any day.

  • Raw milk contains bacteria such as Listeria, Salmonella, and E.coli, which are potentially dangerous and can adversely affect young children with a weak immune system.
  • Sometimes, outbreaks occur due to the consumption of raw milk.
  • It can lead to health risks by causing serious foodborne illness.
  • Cow milk allergy is seen in small number of children.

Can You Make Homemade Formula Using Raw milk?

Raw milk formula for infants is required when moms aren’t able to produce enough breastmilk to satiate the baby’s demands. A nutrient-dense formula can be made using unpasteurised milk and other ingredients such as lactose, homemade whey, healthy oils, and gelatin. If you want a variation, then goat milk is the next option. Is goat milk safe for babies? It is rich in fat but lacks folate, and is low in Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and iron which are essential for growth in infants. But as much as it is possible to make formula, it is definitely not advisable as it could pose dangerous side-effects to the baby.

Can You Make Homemade Formula Using Raw milk?

Feeding raw milk to babies is a major concern for parents. Pasteurised milk is safest to use for babies. Raw milk harbours bacteria which is harmful to infants. Ensure that the milk fed to your baby is procured from healthy cows and has been stored and handled carefully.

Also Read:  Milk Allergy In Babies

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