A flock of sheep from a Sussex farm have come to the rescue of a baby struggling to feed properly since she was born.
Little Mia Fowler suffered nutritionally when breastfeeding proved unsuccessful after her birth in December last year.
Baby milk powder left her unsettled and vomiting between every feed and a soya-based prescription milk made matters worse.
She suffered from colic and failed to gain weight even after doctors put her on a prescription milk with reduced amino acids.
Specialists failed to get to the bottom of the problem and Mia’s grandmother - Alison Barraclough - launched her own research to find yet more food options with Mia’s mum Becky, who lives in Hailsham.
And it was then that sheep from Matt and Becky van der Borgh’s farm - Top Paddock Sheep Dairy at Bulls Farm, Horsham - stepped in to help.
Mia was fed with milk from the sheep - and three weeks later she was ‘loving her sheep juice’ and has had no more artificial milk or medication since.
Mia’s grandmother Alison Barraclough said: “For months Mia’s vomiting and discomfort was just getting steadily worse.
“Whilst her consultant couldn’t tell us whether she was lactose or dairy intolerant, dieticians were prescribing one thing, GPs another but unfortunately nothing was making a difference for our Mia.
“In fact every change was making matters worse. We had to look for natural alternatives as, in our case, the medical profession was not able to alleviate the suffering affecting our poor granddaughter.”
She added: “Top Paddock sheep milk has been a life saver. Mia is now a happy, contented, thriving little baby. I cannot believe the difference – she has gone from being a baby that would cry and moan all day and night in pain to a baby who is so happy and contented.”
Milk formulas typically contain a large number of ingredients including whey protein concentrate and demineralised whey from cow’s milk.
For the past four years Top Paddock Sheep Dairy owners Matt and Becky van der Borgh have been producing sheep milk daily from their flock of nearly 200 ewes.
They say that grass-fed sheep milk is one of the most nutritious milks available. “It is extremely gentle on the digestive system and packs double the amount of protein, healthy fats, and many vitamins than cow’s milk.
“The healthy milk from pasture-raised sheep is rich in calcium and protein.”