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

  1. #19

    Join Date
    Mar 2005


    I would love to see a copy of the new charts too. Luckily we've had great weight gains from birth and now exist on the charts!

  2. #20

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Cairns QLD


    There has been talk of this for quite awhile amoung ABA so I'm not surprised it has finally happened.

    About time thats for sure!

  3. #21

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia


    And here's the press release!!! The charts are apparently here:

    WHO replaces existing baby weight charts which undermine breastfeeding

    The Australian Breastfeeding Association (formerly Nursing Mothers') warmly welcomes new baby growth charts released by the World Health Organisation today, urging all Australian government and health professionals to adopt them immediately. Existing charts have undermined breastfeeding because they are based on growth patterns of formula fed babies. Health experts believe the old growth charts have contributed to childhood obesity and associated problems like heart disease or diabetes later in life.

    Charts used in Australia for decades to advise mothers on optimal size have been biased by the inappropriate growth patterns of formula fed infants, meaning that breastfed infants could be shown as underweight. Research since the 1990s has shown that formula fed babies gain excessive weight, because of their higher energy intake.

    Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) President Margaret Grove says the new WHO charts were a historic change for mothers and babies. "We have known for over a decade that current weight charts mislead mothers and their health advisors about normal growth. Many mothers were wrongly told their breastfed babies were underweight, and to introduce formula or solids before 6 months." "Finding out that the current weight charts set excessive growth standards for breastfed babies is small comfort to past generations of mothers - and many who weaned needlessly may feel sad or even angry that they were misled - but now at least they may let go of the guilt", Ms Grove says.

    The new WHO charts are based on data from exclusively breastfed babies, which shows what is biologically normal. WHO research involved over 8000 children from 6 countries, brought up in environments where breastfeeding, good diet, and prevention and control of infection prevailed. International infant nutrition researcher Professor Tim Cole of the UK Institute of Child Health at University College in London says the new charts are urgently needed. "During their first year, breastfed babies do not put on as much weight as those fed on formula milk. Breastfed babies are less likely to be fat later in life and to develop complications such as diabetes and heart disease".

    This is because breastfed babies self-regulate their energy intake to lower levels and have different metabolic rates and sleeping patterns. The WHO recommends babies be fed solely on breastmilk up to 6 months of age, with introduction of appropriate complementary foods and continued breastfeeding to 2 years and beyond.

    "Latest Australian statistics show only around one in ten babies are getting just breastmilk at 6 months", says Ms Grove. Australian breastfeeding management expert and historian Virginia Thorley says "the new weight charts are long overdue because of the unnecessary distress caused to many breastfeeding mothers for years. Because of bad science in the compiling of the old charts mothers were told their normal babies where not thriving when the charts were the problem."

    For well known author and lactation consultant Maureen Minchin, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. In her 1985 book Breastfeeding Matters she warned that artificial feeding of infants was the biggest uncontrolled experiment in human history. "As the research results from these sort of studies come in", she says, "we can begin to see the harmful effects of this regrettable experiment on mothers and babies. These new WHO charts are long overdue".
    Kelly xx

    Creator of, 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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  4. #22

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Bonnie Doon


    Thanks heaps Kelly!

    It's interesting it shows Louis' weight as more "average" but his height is actually a bit lower on the scale.

    I'm not worried at all - he's just going to be a little shorty, hehe. He's actually in the middle of my dh and I based on length in our baby books for the same age.

  5. #23
    cazoraz Guest


    Thats fantastic! I cant believe its taken them this long to bring them out!

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