April and I saw this on BBC Breakfast this morning (Weaning before six months ‘may help breastfed babies’):
In the British Medical Journal, the team said breastfed babies may benefit from being given solid food earlier.
Current advice suggests weaning should occur at six months, but the UCL team say it could happen as early as four.
They suggest later weaning may increase food allergies and iron deficiency levels, but other experts backed the existing guidance.
April began feeding Caedmon baby cereal not long after we got back from the United States (when he was around 4-5 months) and when the Health Visitor came by April said she got her ‘wrist slapped’. The NHS and the Royal College of Midwives have been adamant about the 6 month rule, which the article states is based on research primarily aimed at developing countries where water is polluted and food resources questionable. The United States decided not to follow the advice (and the UK didn’t until 2003).
April and I both welcome the report because of the ridiculous attitude that the NHS has taken. If you choose not to breastfeed, you are treated as some kind of second-class citizens. Midwives refuse to answer questions about bottle-feeding in pre-natal classes and told them they would only do it after class and after all other questions had been answered. If that isn’t enough, they send in the Little Angels who put on the guilt trip and tell you, ‘keep at it’.
April struggled with Savannah to produce enough, and the ‘breast-feeding’ mantra was very unhelpful. Finally, one midwife stepped in and helped us by telling us to do what we need to with Savannah. The next time around we were upfront and told the midwives we were going to try to breastfeed, but if it didn’t happen, we were going to do what was right for Caedmon.
N.B. I should make clear that all other aspects of the care from the NHS and the midwives was excellent. Just this one issue where we had a problem.