The musings of a juggling mother

Rants & raves about life as a woman today, juggling work, home, kids, family, life the universe & everything.

© Mrs Aginoth. The right of Mrs Aginoth to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents act 1988

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

About time too!

The WHO are finally going to revise their baby growth charts to include breastfed babies - about time too - they've been busy telling us all that breast is best for years, while simultaneously telling midwives & health visitors to shove a bottle into any baby that is breastfed for more than a day or two!

You think I'm over-stating the facts? Health visitors (like all of us nowadays) have little boxes to tick to prove they are doing their job. One of the main boxes they have to tick is that the baby is growing properly (which is how it should be). if the baby falls below a certain % they are told to "supplement" feeeding with fomula. ALL breastfed babies are smaller & lighter than fomula fed babies because breastmilk can be digested properly & does not encourage the growth of layers of fat. This is a good thing!

I have NEVER met a mother who exclusively breastfed their babies for more than a couple of months who wasn't told to give them a Top up bottle or two each day.

I had to physically restrain the nurses from doing this to Mstr A when he was 8 HOURS OLD!!!! it was only when i said I would be on the phone to my lawyers & the media that they agreed (against their better judgement) to leave it one more hour. If I hadn't managed to make him feed by then, i would have had to discharge myself against medical advice to keep the bottle out of his mouth, which would have put him on the "at risk" register. WTF?

I had him weighed every week because they made me so paranoid. despite the fact that he gained weight continuously after the first week, every single time I went, they suggested top up bottles. EVERY SINGLE TIME! Once a baby starts on formula, they will invariably swap over completely as it is both easier to suck & tastes much sweeter. So much for breast is best!

They did the same with LMB - i just stopped taking her to be weighed at 3 months, & I never bothered at all with LMD.

and that's just our rich western coiuntries. When I think of the damage Nescafe & such companies do in developing countries I'm amazed that formula is allowed to be sold for general use at all. I know there are some women who can not breastfeed, but they really are few & far between. Most women can, and would with just a little bit of help & encouragement. Lets hope this is the start of that encouragement.

OK rant over.


  • At Tuesday, April 25, 2006 2:04:00 pm, Blogger debambam said…

    Don't have that problem here in Aus...I was encouraged for breastfeeding to the point that every time a new nurse came on shift at the hospital they came round to EVERY mum and checked that BF was happening properly....Don't remember the growth charts having two different ones though....

  • At Tuesday, April 25, 2006 2:14:00 pm, Blogger Juggling Mother said…

    That's obviously why aussies are so healthy & athletic;-)

  • At Tuesday, April 25, 2006 2:51:00 pm, Blogger Sadie Lou said…

    What would happen if we had our babies out in the wilderness with nobody around?
    We would have to nurse our babies!
    These women that say their milk didn't come in or their milk was not "good" or their milk dried up are basically saying that if they were out in the wilderness--their baby wouldn't have survived.
    It happens, don't get me wrong--but I think some women make up stories just so they don't have to breastfeed.
    I'm too lazy not to. Who wants to make a bottle in the middle of the night?
    Who wants to carry all that formula and bottles around?
    Not me.
    Lazy Jane, here. I just plug Andy on and continue talking on the phone or close my eyes--until he's done and burped.
    I loved your rant. I'm 100% behind you. They tried to give Andy formula and I refused. I didn't want him to establish "nipple confusion".

  • At Tuesday, April 25, 2006 3:09:00 pm, Blogger Dave said…

    I completely agree, as if they are breast fed then Dad doesn't get involved! Though thinking about it I have horrifying memories of a 'medieval' contraption last used by the Spanish Inquisition called a 'breast pump', so that Mum could 'Express' (is that where the milk company got the name?) her milk! This has the terrible rsult of twp parents doing impressions of the walking dead through lack of sleep. Ah those were the days!

  • At Tuesday, April 25, 2006 3:53:00 pm, Blogger ivoryfrog said…

    Hi Mrs A!
    So glad they are revising the growth charts, I don't bother with them much fact I am not even sure where Teagan's book is right now. oops.

    I guess I am lucky cause my health visitors have never suggested a top up formula feed, and neither did anyone at the hospital when I had the kids. Teagan was breastfed exclusively for the 6 months then alongside solids till around 15 months, and Savannah prety much the same so far...exclusive till 6 months and going strong at 10 months. :-) So I guess now you have met a mummy that has breastfed exclusively without being pestered to bottlefeed. :-)

    Both of mine were large babies (10lbs 5.5oz and 9lbs 3oz) and so high in the percentiles....and both put on weight every week...just on mummy's milk. :-)

    I am really lucky though....most of the mums around here do bottlefeed sadly. Most without even trying to breastfeed :-(
    My GP was actually visably surprised when she saw us at 6 months and I was still feeding. LOL, at just 6 months.

    Last time Savannah was weighed was around 6 weeks ago for her 7-9 month check, otherwise I don't really bother about it too much. :-)

    I lost the point of my comment somewhere along the lines...jeez wish my brain would work occasionally...anyway you know I am pro breastfeeding and anything that encourages that is good with me. :-)

  • At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 1:24:00 am, Blogger mig bardsley said…

    When I was breast feeding they went the other way. And it was generally implied (and seemed to be true) that bottle fed babies were more likely to get too fat.
    Goodness, I wish these people wouldn't be so dogmatic. Babies grow if they're fed so for heaven's sake, just let their Mums feed them whichever way works best for them!

  • At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 7:14:00 am, Blogger Juggling Mother said…

    "Babies grow if they're fed so for heaven's sake, "

    Not necessarily true, and certainly not true that they grow as well or as healthily whatever they're fed! Go take a look at this picture from the anti-nescafe campaign.

    "These babies are twins - the baby feeding from the bottle is a girl, she died the next day, her brother was instead breast fed. Their Pakistani mother was incorrectly told that she would not have enough milk for both babies and so bottle fed her daughter while breast feeding her son"

    I would say that at least some of the facts are being witheld there - a bottle fed baby shouldn't die of starvation, but i guess it depnds how much you can afford to feed he doesn't it. Breast milk is free.

  • At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 1:55:00 pm, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said…

    When mine were babies I encountered similar problems. When I went to hospital for the first, I made it clear I wanted a natural birth with no drugs and was breastfeeding at every opportunity. They would come in regularly to see if my baby needed a bottle, um, NO, I'm breastfeeding. Before leaving the hospital, they gave me a bag of take home goodies, clearly marked "for the breastfeeding mom." What was in it among other things? Formula samples and coupons for more formula. Argh!! For the second one, I wanted a home birth (wonder why? that's another horror story) anyway, I ended up delivering in the hospital at which point they whisked my child away and stuck a bottle of sugar water in his mouth even though they knew I intended to breastfeed. These are also they same people who circumcised him without my permission. Okay, I feel a long rant coming on, so I'd better stop.

  • At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 8:14:00 pm, Blogger Mary P. said…

    When I taught prenatal classes (10+ years ago), we covered feeding baby. A solid 90% of my mums told me that they would breastfeed "if they had enough milk". To which I responded with "and will your baby walk 'if his muscles are strong enough'?"

    They were so willing to believe it was that chancey? Nurses like the ones you describe probably don't help!

    (About the Nestles and the bottled milk: the reason the bottle-fed child starved to death was probably that the family couldn't afford the formula, and so watered it down. There were documented cases of this. Additionally, it's possible that the water mixed with the formula wasn't as pure as it should be. Poor baby.)

  • At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 9:20:00 pm, Blogger Juggling Mother said…

    VV - I know the US is a long way behind even the UK on their post-natal care (I shudder every time I see those hospital nurseries on TV), but your story sounds horrendous!
    I did have to physically clutch Mstr A to me throughout the first night to keep them from shoving bottles into his mouth though:-(

    Mar - thanks for the explanation. I guessed it must have been something about not being able to afford enough formula - but how could it get to the stage that one baby died? Didn't anyone suggest "topping up" the bottle fed baby with the breast? At least after the boy had finished - she would have soon made enough milk for both of them!

    Grrrrrr. it just makes me so angry.

    IvoryFrog - we all know the Scottish authorities are well ahead of the English on this (and many other health) issues. It's good to hear it is actually working!


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