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Thread: Article: Breastfeeding Mums Given Wrong Advice Last 40 Years

  1. #1

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    Default Article: Breastfeeding Mums Given Wrong Advice Last 40 Years

    Mothers Got Wrong Advice For 40 Years
    Sarah-Kate Templeton, Medical Correspondent

    BREAST-FEEDING mothers have been given potentially harmful advice on infant nutrition for the past 40 years, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has admitted.

    Charts used in Britain for decades to advise mothers on a baby's optimum size have been based on the growth rates of infants fed on formula milk.

    The organisation now says the advice given to millions of breast-feeding mothers was distorted because babies fed on formula milk put on weight far faster.

    These breast-feeding mothers were wrongly told that their babies were underweight and were advised, or felt pressured, to fatten them up by giving them formula milk or extra solids.

    Health experts believe the growth charts may have contributed to childhood obesity and associated problems such as diabetes and heart disease in later life. A government study has found that more than a quarter of children in English secondary schools are clinically obese, almost double the proportion a decade ago.

    This week, the WHO will publish new growth standards based on a study of more than 8,000 breast-fed babies from six countries around the world. They will say the optimum size is that of a breast-fed baby.

    The move will put pressure on British doctors to replace charts which, for the last four decades, have taken into account the growth patterns of bottle-fed babies.

    Professor Tim Cole, of the Institute of Child Health at University College London, said: "We should change to a growth chart based on breast-fed babies. During their first year they do not put on as much weight as those fed on formula milk. Breast-fed babies are less likely to be fat later in life and to develop complications such as diabetes and heart disease."

    Six years ago, Cole developed an alternative chart based on breast-fed babies but it has never been endorsed by the British medical establishment. The Child Growth Foundation, a UK charity, campaigns for the adoption of Cole's chart.

    The foundation claims breast-fed babies are, on average, at 22lb at 12 months, about 1lb lighter than those fed solely on formula milk. It is thought that breast-fed babies grow more slowly in the first year because they control the rate at which they feed, rather than being tied to their parents' notion of meal times.

    Mercedes de Onis, who co-ordinates WHO child growth standards, said: "Breast-fed babies appear to self-regulate their energy intake to lower
    levels. Breast-fed babies have different metabolic rates and different sleeping patterns. Formula-fed babies seem to have higher intakes of energy and, as a result, are heavier."



    The American Academy of Pediatrics has warned that being overweight as a baby is a key early risk factor for heart disease and diabetes.

    The babies who were the models for the new WHO standards were selected for good health. They were all breast-fed, their mothers did not smoke and they received good health care.

    The WHO says babies should be fed solely on breast milk for up to six months. In Britain, fewer than 10% of babies are getting only breast milk by this age.

    The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health is to meet this summer to discuss the new WHO standards.

    The Department of Health said: "Once WHO publishes the new growth charts we will assess the need for revisions to the UK growth charts."
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children

    BellyBelly Birth & Early Parenting Immersion - Find out how to have a BETTER, more confident birth experience... guaranteed!
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    =D> =D> =D> =D> That's a great step in the right direction!!!!

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    Lets hope Australia follows suit... *praying*
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children

    BellyBelly Birth & Early Parenting Immersion - Find out how to have a BETTER, more confident birth experience... guaranteed!
    Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know

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    Oh wow geez..... [-o< [-o< [-o< praying along with you.

    Jo

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    GUESS WHAT GUESS WHAT GUESS WHAT?!?!?!?

    ---- it doesn't take much to get me excited!!!!!!!!!!

    Well that..... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND...........

    I have just found out that the charts should be available from the 27th April, this year, in Australia.

    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!

    All women having babies from this date truly are blessed. Here's to a less stressful relationship with your MCHN's, less unnecessary formula feeding and pushing and no guilt that your milk isn't enough for your baby when it's perfectly normal.

    Gees, breakthroughs like this rock. \/ \/ \/
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children

    BellyBelly Birth & Early Parenting Immersion - Find out how to have a BETTER, more confident birth experience... guaranteed!
    Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know

  6. #6

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    Thank god for that!!!
    I was told to put Nick on formula because he wasn't gaining enough weight, now i know it was a crock :fuming:

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    YAY YAY YAY! My MCHN mentioned they were waiting on confirmation of the new charts for when they were coming out! That is SO great to hear as she had been telling me that even though Maddy is 'only' on the 50th percentile for her age/gender; she is just perfect the way she is because the charts were based upon formula fed babies and Maddy is a booby-baby! hehe

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    Excellent news! Louis is only on the 25th percentile but he is just perfectly in proportion and has a fat little belly and legs....

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    great news thanks for sharing =D>

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    yeah we were told in our antenatal classes in Dec/Jan that new charts were coming out as they were not correct, glad its happening so soon!

  11. #11

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    Oooh, very interesting! I was just at the MCHN getting Bonnie weighed. She's been weigfhted weeklty for the last 5 weeks, as she hasnt been putting much on, and is having feeding issues, so I'll have to ask about the new charts, as it will give me a boost that I need. Looking at the charts now, she's heading below the 50th percentile

    Thanks for posting!

    Would love to see a link to the new charts when available if possible?!

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    I am SO SO relieved to see this news.

    I was lucky in Darwin as, without exception the MCHNs were fantastic, and never made me feel guilty at all ever about Olivia's weight (or lack of it: she is a tiny titch: 5th percentile).

    However, now we are back in Adelaide the MCHN here have always made me feel uncomfortable about both her slight frame and believe it or not, have even been doubtful over Charlie's weight! (He is a very sturdy little baby, solidly in the 50th percentile, but if you could see him you would NEVER think he was underweight......he has lovely chunky rolls!) So I have simply stopped going to the clinic.

    Hopefully these new charts will give the MCHN a kick up the bum to get into the new millenium and my B3 will stand a good chance of not being critisized!!

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    Can I just ask why are people worried about "only being in the 50th percentile"? I thought 50th was about average, so what is wrong with average? Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Whilst it is fantastic that new charts are finally coming out, I still wonder what good they will do if worry about a child being average.

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    I'm certainly not concerned over 50th percentile: not at all! I love the fact that Charlie is "average"!

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    id just like to say that i simply cannot wait to be able to breastfeed

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    My MHN has been worried about my #3 and #4 ( 1 & 2 were prem so they were happy with any weight gain) BUT I HAVE THE BEST PAED

    He has his OWN charts that he says are better and more acurate for BB Babies, and on HIS charts my kids are FINE, Dr's etc were talking "failure to thrive" as they were 50th percentile and under, and some months did not put on any or much weight, ( they had been unwell in those months)
    IT will be nice for you girls to have these charts in society, so the MHN stop making you feel bad ( IS MY MILK NOT GOOD ENOUGH???)

  17. #17

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    were talking "failure to thrive" as they were 50th percentile and under
    Ok, now I am really confused. Does each Doctor and MCHN have their own interpretation of the charts. I have heard others say that less 3rd percentile is the bad area. I know one mother in my group her baby was -17th percentile and her paed gets really worried at -15th.

    So what is the go??? If professionals are getting worried at less than 50, then most of us are in trouble.

  18. #18

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    My bubba is on the 25th percentile, but he's gaining each month and growing well. He just may be a little boy! I mean we don't all grow up to be 6 foot do we???

    He was only born 5lb 14 or 2.67kg he had huge weight gain in the first month to jump to 50th and then settled back down at 25th. I'm not worried at all as he is a healthy, happy bubba.

    (who is also now sleeping through without a feed pretty much from 7-7!!! yeah - sorry just had to throw that in! hehe)

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