The Honest Company has big news: it will now be selling infant formula. Surprised? So were we! Known for its commitment to natural, organic baby products, we assumed the lifestyle brand would have a firm pro-breastfeeding stance, but its newly launched suite of feeding products aims to support every mom in her attempt to provide the very best for her child, whether through formula, breast milk, or both.
"When you're trying to feed your baby, you're riddled with emotion, shame, judgement . . . all these extra layers," Christopher Gavigan, the company's cofounder and the creator of the formula, told us. "We acknowledge that breast milk is the most nutritious form of food on Earth, but if you look at the research, the majority of moms will end up doing some combination of feeding, whether it's a choice or because they have to. It's a growing reality around the world. And in that reality, parents have to be able to choose something."
In fact, Gavigan was one such parent. In 2007, his wife gave birth to their first son. Four days later, he was colicky and fussy. "He wasn't feeding well, so we met with multiple lactation consultants. By Day 6, our doctor told us he was experiencing 'failure to thrive.' Our baby was essentially starving."
With his background in environmental science, he quickly began to research their options. "It didn't lead me to a place I was excited about," he says. "A lot of what's in the marketplace today doesn't meet my standards, so I began a quest to create a next-generation formula."
What he came up with was a formula carefully modeled after breast milk, nutritionally complete, easy to digest, and meticulously blended using ingredients sourced from trusted organic farms. It's free of gluten, GMOs, flavorings, steroids, growth hormones, and pesticides. And it's the only formula on the market that has chosen to leave out hexane-extracted DHA (while the fatty acid is known to help with baby's brain development, the synthetic forms don't meet safety standards).
But because it's new to a marketplace with many household names, they "spent hundreds of thousands of hours with health professionals, pediatricians, and midwives to help with the early questions moms might have," he tells us of the exhaustive seven-year period of research and development.
"We know we'll hear that people are surprised the Honest Company is doing this," he admits. "It can be really polarizing, but we need to create a platform of support and acceptance. We are a brand for every parent, for every baby. We believe every baby deserves the best start, and this is creating our version of what that best start is."
Get a first look at the complete feeding line, which launches tomorrow at honest.com, below.