to wonder why people are so offended by Dr Christian's comment about breastfeeding?

(252 Posts)
Justholdthesmile Thu 23-Jan-14 20:17:09

He basically says that breastfeeding is good for the first 6 months as it helps a babies immune system. However after 6 months it doesn't have an effect anymore, but as long as the baby is getting a healthy diet then it's fine to continue. He then says that breastfeeding older children may make them psychologically dependent on their mother ....

The last part I have no idea about. I suppose it might could potentially be true? But ultimately I believe it's yours and your childs choice and if you want to listen to expert advice then by all means go for it, if you don't then that's fine too.

It seems to have stirred quite a lot of anger. I'm not trying to get into a debate about ff and bf - each to their own 100%.

I'm asking more whether someone would find this doctors advice offensive?

RandyRudolf Thu 23-Jan-14 20:18:51

We ignore expert advice every day...don't smoke, don't drink,don't eat meat, exercise more. Like you say, it's down to personal choice.

gamerchick Thu 23-Jan-14 20:19:45

he didn't say that.. he was misquoted by closer.

But even his update was wrong. he clearly has issues about breastfeeding and especially about natural term breastfeeding.

He gave bad advice and needed to be slapped down for it.

his quote is extremely misleading and goes against nhs and who guidelines/research. actually its nit just misleading it is out right wrong - both the original quote in closer and the extended "explanation"

poopooheadwillyfatface Thu 23-Jan-14 20:21:40

Because it is factually incorrect.

That's why people have a problem with what he said.

There are lots of benefits to breastfeeding after 6m both for baby and child. And children with a strong attachment are often more independent not less. Tons of sound clinical evidence to back it up.

That's why lots of people have a problem with it.

TLDR - because he is talking out of his arse.

jellyandcake Thu 23-Jan-14 20:22:24

Aren't most small children fairly psychologically dependent on their mother regardless of breastfeeding? Is it a bad thing? My son was bf til 14 months. He was , and remains, dependent on me and dh because he is a toddler and they depend on their parents/main carers.

This doctor's comments sound ill-informed and unnecessary. Breastmilk is still nutritious and can form part of a healthy diet after 6 months. If you stop at 6 months you have to use formula and why switch if you don't want to?

poopooheadwillyfatface Thu 23-Jan-14 20:22:45

Oh that's the other thing - because he's a doctor it will be mistaken for expert advice by some.

He knows less about breastfeeding than my dead dog.

CrohnicallyFarting Thu 23-Jan-14 20:23:17

Yes, because he's wrong, what magically changes about breast milk so that it doesn't have an effect after 6 months? Nothing. The immune properties are still there.

Besides, at 6 months you're supposed to suddenly stick your baby on solids and stop breast feeding on the same day? Babies and toddlers still need milk while they wean, if they've been breast fed up till that point why would you change their milk?

And as for being psychologically dependent on their mother, aren't most children? I'd be more worried if a child wasn't dependent on their mother (even the most confident and independent of children will have a need for their mother when they are hurt, scared, ill, etc)

TeacupTempest Thu 23-Jan-14 20:23:23

Well if that is what he said/thinks he is ignorant and misinformed.

tolittletoolate Thu 23-Jan-14 20:24:07

I'm disturbed and offended by someone breastfeeding an 8 yr old!

gamerchick Thu 23-Jan-14 20:25:15

the child in the article wasn't 8

CrohnicallyFarting Thu 23-Jan-14 20:25:56

PS it's offensive because I already have to battle enough prejudice when people find out I'm still breast feeding DD (she's 15 months), a dr saying it's wrong just gives them more ammunition.

Osmiornica Thu 23-Jan-14 20:25:59

What does he think happens at 6 months? Does breastmilk suddenly become water? Of course it still has benefits to say otherwise is just daft.

ZingSweetApple Thu 23-Jan-14 20:27:14

after 6 months the iron intake from breastmilk changes significantly - at least that's what I remember.

don't know about the psychological effect - but I bf DD for a year, longer than the others and she is really clingy still (21 m).
I don't know or suggest there's a connection.

I'm not offended. I'm amused - men talking about bf is hilarious to me!grin

Justholdthesmile Thu 23-Jan-14 20:28:32

Sorry I didn't read the actual article (don't have Closer) and what I saw was just the quote and people reacting to that quote.

I don't know if he's wrong or misinformed, and that's not to say he's 100% factually correct. It's just people in the medical field will give out conflicting advice all the time and we learn new things every single day. Look at e-cigarettes, there is so much conflicting expert advice on them.

(Disclaimer not saying e-cigs are the same as breastfeeding, I'm just showing an example that even in this day and age we don't have all the answers)

CrohnicallyFarting Thu 23-Jan-14 20:28:53

Where I live, breastfeeding at all apart from the first few feeds is definitely against the norm. Even one of the drs at my surgery was shocked- DD was ill and I took her to the surgery. The dr asked how much she had eaten/drunk that day. I replied that I didn't know because she was EBF. He couldn't believe that she wasn't having any solids or water at all. She was 4 months at the time.

Meerka Thu 23-Jan-14 20:28:55

according to the world health organisation:

< Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.>

midn you my son needed, actively needed, pap from 5 months on, took me a while to figure out why the poor mite was so unhappy because it never occured to me (or the health visitor) what was wrong ... finally in desperation tried a mouthful of pap and he stopped grizzling immediately. And stopped loosing weight too <guilty>

still breastfed til 1 yo when he simply didn't want it any more.

This doctor seems to be simply wrong!

gamerchick Thu 23-Jan-14 20:29:32

the updated version

it's probably one of those situations that he just thought off the top of his head and didn't think he would get this backlash. I doubt that breastfeeding pops into head much when he's swabbing peoples bits.

poopooheadwillyfatface Thu 23-Jan-14 20:29:41

He is nowhere near 100% correct.

Not even close. He got his own name right, that's about it.

Whistleblower0 Thu 23-Jan-14 20:29:57

i'm disturbed and offended by someone breastfeeding an eight year old!

A two year old would do it for mesmile

Dorris83 Thu 23-Jan-14 20:30:37

Because he's peddling opinions as fact and using his status as a doctor to promote these opinions.
His extended explanations just further show that he doesn't know what he is talking about.
What a tosspot.

Bumpandkind Thu 23-Jan-14 20:30:39

Yy to all the comments above. To add another thing, I feel he is harming the huge and ongoing (not to mention costly) breastfeeding promotion drive by the NHS. He is misinformed and sadly people will latch onto his advice over, say a midwife on the frontline of breastfeeding (who will receive much more ongoing bf training and be kept up to date with the latest in Bf studies) simply because he bears a Dr before his name.

CrohnicallyFarting Thu 23-Jan-14 20:30:53

justhold as far as I know, there is no conflicting evidence though. His opinion that after 6 months there is no benefit is just that, his opinion. All the evidence points to breast feeding continuing to be beneficial after 6 months at least until 2 years. Unfortunately, as he is a dr, people will take what he says as fact.

Justholdthesmile Thu 23-Jan-14 20:31:14

a dr saying it's wrong just gives them more ammunition.

I don't think he's saying it's wrong, I think he's saying a baby doesn't necessarily need to still be breastfed after 6 months - but if you want to then you can.

He doesn't give an age as to what older children are. In my opinion he is referring to children who are perhaps in school.

yonisareforever Thu 23-Jan-14 20:31:49

meerka what is pap?

i really resent the inference that a small child age up to 2 shouldn't be dependant on the mother.

lets just rip them away at birth, shove them in a room by themselves far far away from any adult, let them cry it out, rip the dummy off them....force them to potty train at 1 day....


CrohnicallyFarting Thu 23-Jan-14 20:32:29

Exactly bump, not to mention the fact that he's on TV and some people will believe anything they see on TV over real life advice.

It really is a shame, because I really liked the guy before this, now I won't be able to see him in the same light again.

yonisareforever Thu 23-Jan-14 20:33:12

I guess what he may mean is the main huge percentage of benefits you will ever get from BF happen in the crucial first few weeks, and up to 6 months and beyond that the benfits remain but are never as needed as those first few days or months.

wishful75 Thu 23-Jan-14 20:34:55

I cant stand him.

He said some particularly nasty comments about diabetes once and how it was the one disease he prayed he would never get. Basically you were stuffed if you were diabetic. I watched the programme with a newly diagnosed 9 year old type 1 diabetic who was inconsolable and thought it meant she was going to die.

He's an irresponsible, ignorant arsehole.

CraftyBuddhist Thu 23-Jan-14 20:35:33

I agree with pp's.

The comments go against, for example, Nhs and WHO guidelines.

Ultimately our culture is so ignorant about natural practice bf. It is a shame that some women might feel undermined by his comments, others might be challenged by a well meaning sister/mother/friend who had read his comments. List goes on.

Oblomov Thu 23-Jan-14 20:35:37

Now you've linked to the article, everything he has said sounds completely reasonable.
He seems to have been very misquoted. Particularly on this thread.
Which bit exactly, are you objecting to?

WeddingComingUp Thu 23-Jan-14 20:36:26

I just read the link and I can't actually see anything wrong or incorrect about what he said.

justmethanks Thu 23-Jan-14 20:37:33

I've just read the link too. Can't see what all the fuss is about. He hasn't said anything to wind yourselves up over.

CrohnicallyFarting Thu 23-Jan-14 20:37:35

justhold but saying a baby doesn't need to be breast fed after 6 months implies that any need is on the mother's part.

So by breast feeding after 6 months you are not letting your baby grow up/getting some kind of sexual thrill out of it/going to give your baby a boob fetish. Though the most common comment I get is just that DD doesn't need it any more, at which point I say 'well, the WHO recommends continuing till age 2'. They can now counter with 'dr Christian says there's no need'

That's what I meant by ammunition.

hercules1 Thu 23-Jan-14 20:38:40

Ffs, I've read the link and he said nothing wrong. Several people have misunderstood what he said on this thread. I bf ds till 4 and dd till 3 and I'm not offended in the slightest.

lightningandthunder Thu 23-Jan-14 20:39:37

Some of the comments on this thread are exactly why I felt so terrible and as if I had failed when I couldn't feed my baby after 3 months. Fine - yes if you can feed do - but don't make people like me feel like failures. I still can't believe I took tablets which had a side effect of lactation - purely because I felt so guilty. Clearly it is a good idea - but please make sure you think about what you espouse. I nearly ruined my health because of it.

WeddingComingUp Thu 23-Jan-14 20:40:42

But a baby doesn't need to be bf.

If all baby's need to be bf, fuck knows how mine have survived this long.

formerdiva Thu 23-Jan-14 20:41:03

Yep - I was all ready to be offended as well until I actually read the article. He explicitly says there's no harm in breastfeeding a 4 year old.

Does anyone actually think that breastfeeding an 8 year old is to be encouraged?

dawntigga Thu 23-Jan-14 20:42:15

Because he's an MRA who is wrong, yet again.

He is, for example, a twunt.


Extended BFing was DD2's safe place, very much how she recharged her confidence stores to go off and present a very cool confident face to the world.

Meerka Thu 23-Jan-14 20:42:19

oh sorry yoni, it's the first solids (well, actually very runny) stuff you give a baby. Pap's the local name for it.

TheGreatHunt Thu 23-Jan-14 20:42:49

He talks nonsense. Shame as I like(d) him.

Children are dependant on their mothers regardless of BFing. confused

CrohnicallyFarting Thu 23-Jan-14 20:43:13

People saying they've read the link and he's said nothing wrong- it's a revised quote released after all the hoo-ha, with dr Christian trying to paint his comments in the best possible light.

And actually, google suggests it's not the first time he's dropped a clanged and given out bad breast feeding advice.

TheGreatHunt Thu 23-Jan-14 20:44:20

Actually lightningandthunder you chose to be offended. I don't get offended when I read comments about people feeding past 6 months or not using formula etc.

WeddingComingUp Thu 23-Jan-14 20:44:49

Could someone link to the original then?

justmethanks Thu 23-Jan-14 20:45:23

OK so can I see the original quote then i.e a link. I don't mean someone's interpretation of it... I'd like to see the actual original article quotes to make my mind up please

lightningandthunder Thu 23-Jan-14 20:46:00

TheGreatHunt - I suppose it is because I have felt very judged on this in past.

Formerdiva, it isn't something you encourage it happens by accident. In the great scheme of life it really doesn't matter.

At 12 & 15 my DDs get a reassuring hug, at 8 DD2, sometimes choose to have a slightly special hug, that's all.

Totally unimportant and didn't effect how she behaved the rest of the time.

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 23-Jan-14 20:48:37

If he said what you suggest in your OP then he will be being criticised for being wrong.
Maybe he's been to one too many formula company sponsored lunches. Very common among HCPs.

TheGreatHunt Thu 23-Jan-14 20:49:14

Yes I understand lightningandthunder

However you've done the best thing for you and your child and that's what should give you strength in your decision.

Oblomov Thu 23-Jan-14 20:49:25

Ok then.
Please stop mucking us around, and link the original article then.
Do that we can have an informed debate.

lightningandthunder Thu 23-Jan-14 20:49:27

The irony is I would have loved to have fed my child - unless you have been in this position, it is difficult to explain how terrible you fell that you cannot feed your child with a lot of people espousing breastfeeding around you

CrohnicallyFarting Thu 23-Jan-14 20:49:36

OK, babies don't ever need to be bf, and I'm sorry if we've made you feel bad lightning. I don't think anyone on here is trying to make any mother feel bad about ff. Though it's a shame we can't have a debate about the positives of bf without someone coming on and saying that we're making bf mothers feel bad.

I get that it's an emotive subject, I really do. Over a year after DD's birth and I still feel like a failure because I had a c section and couldn't birth her in the natural, better way. But I avoid any threads about pregnancy and birth because that's my problem. It wouldn't be right for me to come and post on a thread someone had started about a traumatic but natural birth saying 'just be grateful that you did it naturally!', or accusing someone on a home birth support thread of making c section mothers feel bad, would it?

Anyway, let's reword it as 'there is no benefit in breast feeding past 6 months' which is still at odds with the official nhs advice.

justmethanks Thu 23-Jan-14 20:50:36

Yes please, original article.
Any takers other than those who 'want' to be offended?

AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Thu 23-Jan-14 20:52:37

Because saying "Breast milk is beneficial to a baby's immune system for the first six months" and "but there is no harm in continuing to do it" creates the impression that it's not beneficial after the first six months (just not actually harmful). And that's just wrong; breastfeeding for longer than six months is still beneficial to the baby's immune system and many immune factors in breastmilk actually increase in the second year. There's plenty of evidence for that in proper research published in credible peer-reviewed journals.

Dr Christian is not an expert on breastfeeding. He's a private GP with a particular interest in sexual health and HIV. GPs receive virtually no training on breastfeeding and I strongly suspect that none at all of that minimal training is devoted to breastfeeding past 6 or 12 months (would be interested to be proved wrong). He's not an expert on breastfeeding. He knows he's not an expert on breastfeeding. Yet he accepted a platform to portray himself as an expert and used that platform to give out inaccurate and misleading advice, advice that will be used to berate natural term breastfeeders ("it's for your own benefit rather than the baby's past six months, Dr Christian said that it doesn't help their immune system after that").

I'm not offended, I'm pissed off. There's an important distinction there.

TheGreatHunt Thu 23-Jan-14 20:53:08

I had huge problems with bf but my two were not able to have formula and I had to struggle on. I felt like a failure every single day. It was horrible. Now I know more and would be more assertive with HCPs to get allergy formula if I had another child. Maybe because I did BF, I dont think much about it but I felt like I seriously let down my DCs when they were babies.

However noone is saying that you have done a bad job - its coming from you. You did the best for your child. Formula is pretty darn good stuff - amazing what science can achieve.

ikeaismylocal Thu 23-Jan-14 20:53:33

I do wish closer had put the "there is no problem feeding a 4 year old" into the article.

I am studying biology and my teacher recently spoke about how breastfeeding gives the baby antibodies up until 6 months, I asked her how and why breastmilk changes so there are no antiboodies after 6 months and she said it doesn't, babies are just strong enough not to need them after 6 months.

From personal experience of a 13 month old with d+v I am very glad I still breastfeed him as breastmilk was the only thing he could keep down. Not even water stayed down but breastmilk was just fine.

squoosh Thu 23-Jan-14 20:54:34

I cannot stand Dr Christian, he's a sexist twat, which he displays to full effect on Twitter.

CrohnicallyFarting Thu 23-Jan-14 20:54:55

Original article (well, a photo of it anyway)

AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Thu 23-Jan-14 20:56:43

(obviously some GPs -- those who have this as an area of interest -- will have extra optional training on breastfeeding)

justmethanks Thu 23-Jan-14 21:00:13

Thank you, at last.

AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Thu 23-Jan-14 21:00:19

(also, I based my previous post on his amended version. His original statement was not just misleading, it was actively wrong. Not "oh, we learn new things every single day" wrong, not "well, the research isn't clear on this" wrong, just plain wrong. As wrong as a very wrong thing that has just been awarded a Ph.D. in Wrongness from the University of Wrong.)

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 23-Jan-14 21:03:39

Zing at around 6 months the baby has often lost their iron stores IF the cord was cut before it stopped pulsating. Formula has more iron in it than BM BUT it is less able to be processed by the baby's body than iron in BM.

ZingSweetApple Thu 23-Jan-14 21:06:09


yep, that's the one - I knew there was something about iron, just couldn't remember.


ZingSweetApple Thu 23-Jan-14 21:08:18

although is that the reason why weaning is to start around 6 months - so baby gets iron from food?

(excuse pg brain, it's fried plus up since 4.45 am with Dear Daughterangry )

dementedma Thu 23-Jan-14 21:13:53

I bf all 3 Dcs to various degrees but pretty much hated it and then did mixed bf and ff. Interestingly, the one who took to it best and who bfd longest was dd2. She has had the most illnesses and broken bones and has the worst immune system of the three of them. Nor convinced that bfing raises the healthiest adults on my experiences!

AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Thu 23-Jan-14 21:14:50

Yes, if the baby has no underlying health condition and is eating a varied diet from 6mo as well as bf then there is no need for iron supplementation (this is quite possibly true even if the diet is less varied, because of the iron in breastmilk being more bioavailable, but that's a bit fuzzier).

AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Thu 23-Jan-14 21:16:16

"Nor convinced that bfing raises the healthiest adults on my experiences!"

That's why the research has been done on sample sizes greater than three.

PartPixie Thu 23-Jan-14 21:16:27

I find it offensive that a doctor can give such factually incorrect and misleading statements in such a public way. Even the revised statement is wrong- NHS guidance is exclusive bf for 6 months and then to continue along with solids. Saying it's not harmful massively underplays the huge amount of benefits from breastfeeding past 6 months. It adds to the stereotype that it is wrong or weird to feed past 6 months.

dementedma Thu 23-Jan-14 21:18:25

I did say based on my experiences!

Bumpandkind Thu 23-Jan-14 21:21:45

chrohnicallyfarting. You speak much sense! I was trying to think of a C/S analogy (as I had one too) but couldn't word it eloquently enough to post blush

NinjaPenguin Thu 23-Jan-14 21:23:50

I think a lot of people on the thread haven't read the article. They are talking about an eight year old. Being BFed. Not a toddler or a little baby. I BFed my eldest until he was 3, my second for two months, my third for six months btw. confused

Whistleblower0 Thu 23-Jan-14 21:34:43

Nothing objectionable in what he is saying in the slightest.

AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Thu 23-Jan-14 21:35:23


"Advice on breast feeding is always changing." -- no, it isn't. Current WHO recommendations have been in place since 2001 and current Department of Health/NHS guidelines since 2003.

"The World Health Organisation recommends breast feeding for up to two years" -- no, it doesn't. It recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and continued breastfeeding alongside other sources of nutrition for at least (not "up to") two years.

"while the NHS recommends breast feeding for the first six months." -- no, it doesn't. It recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and recommends "breastfeeding alongside solid food" after that point.

Bear in mind that this is the opening paragraph of his clarification after he'd been criticised for giving out inaccurate information. You'd think getting it right would be a priority for him at this point. He'd had plenty of chance to check what he was saying and still every single "fact" in the paragraph is inaccurate.

CrohnicallyFarting Thu 23-Jan-14 21:36:13

ninja that's not what we're objecting to. We're objecting to being told there is no benefit in continuing past 6 months when that is contrary to WHO and NHS guidelines and just plain wrong.

OxfordBags Thu 23-Jan-14 21:38:17

As a medical professional, and a famous one whose opinions many people will take as verbatim, it is disgraceful to basically spread lies about an important topic. Not only is he totally factually incorrect, he stated that he's quoting the NHS guidelines, which is not true, as they support longer BFing.

OP, this is not an issue where there's a clash of opinions or studies with wildly varying results. Every single study on breastfeeding and breastmilk delivers the same results, every time; that it is the optimal nutrition for babies, that the longer they are BFed the better, that longer-term BFing simply does not psychologicaly damage children, that BFing, esp. for longer, ultimately makes children more independent, and so on. These are the facts; anyone, including Dr Christian ShitHair, who claims differently, is either woefully misinformed and shouldn't be trying to pass themselves off as knowing about the subject, or they have their own weird, negative agenda.

BM also continues to change as the child grows and ages, to deliver what the child needs at each stage. No other foodstuff on Earth does that. The nutrients in milk from other creatures, and formula, will always be the same. BM is like tailored nutrition. The longer a mother BFs for, the more health benefits she garners for herself, also (lowered chance of certain cancers, etc.).

And for the poster who asked who on earth would want to Bf a child until they were 8, the answer is: Mongolians. BFing up to 10 isn't unknown, and they claim that their menfolk are the toughest on Earth precisely because they breastfeed for so long as children. Genghis Khan was said to have BFed until he was 8; I've heard he was fairly tough and independent.

As with all comments about BFing, I hasten to add that none of what I write implies any criticism of not breastfeeding, through choice or circumstance.

OxfordBags Thu 23-Jan-14 21:39:03

Psychologically, not psychologicaly, bloody sausage fingers, grrr.

AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Thu 23-Jan-14 21:39:10

They aren't, NinjaPenguin. He said (full quote)

"Breast milk boosts a baby's immune system, but only for the first six months. After that, it has no effect. As long as the child is having a healthy diet, there's no harm in breastfeeding. But breastfed older children risk becoming psychologically dependant on the mother. This could result in behavioural problems as they grow up."

He categorically states that breastfeeding has no effect on the baby's immune system after six months. Not after eight years.

redshifter Thu 23-Jan-14 21:40:25

It offends me a little.

But this quote from a previous poster offends me a whole lot more. - men talking about bf is hilarious to me!

Faithless12 Thu 23-Jan-14 21:46:59

It's factually inaccurate that's why people are annoyed at it. Also he says there is no harm in breastfeeding, of course there would be no harm in feeding your child naturally.

I don't know nationally but locally bf is certainly not common and is thought of as weird by several mums I know. By suggesting it has no benefit after 6 months just reinforces that you must be weird to fb after that time. I felt quite isolated being a bf mum and even if there was no nutritional value what about all the other benefits of bf?

And how many babies go from milk only to food only at 6 months? There is a weaning period and why would you stop doing what you and baby have been happy with for 6 months to give something different as milk of some kind is still a significant food source until 1 and beyond for lots of children.

Personally I didn't cosleep and rarely comfort fed my children but I was very sad to stop bf my boys ds1 at 14 months and ds2 at 30 months. Both are independant boys who are happy to go to school, with friends and family but love cuddles with mummy and why not?!?

I know lots of children who have bottles of milk at bedtime until they are 3-4 years, they don't need those and current advice is to remove all bottles at 1 but people don't comment on them making their children to dependant on mum.

I think he's well thought of by the public in general and has really given fb a negative image in a few sentences sad

Mmmbacon Thu 23-Jan-14 22:01:46

If that is what he said he should get a right blocking from someone in the nhs,. Some sort of financial penalty and re training, its disgraceful that a doctor can get away with spouting such inaccurate dribble

Professionals need to register to keep their credentials, and mistakes like this should be highlighted as incompatible to the standards they are supposed to hold,

Blu Thu 23-Jan-14 22:05:21

But he does not say that there is no benefit to breast feeding for longer than 6 months! His comment is solely about the benefits to the immune system being in the first 6 months.

And he doesn't say that bf 2 year olds will become dependent...

And there some posters earlier on the thread seriously misunderstanding the situation with iron. But not letting that stop their het getting up!

OxfordBags Thu 23-Jan-14 22:12:58

Blu, the benefits to the immune system do not stop after 6 months. He shouldn't be stating or implying that they do stop. It's a myth that far too many people bandy about and believe in.

randomAXEofkindness Thu 23-Jan-14 22:16:41

I can't stand him either, ever since I watched a bit of embarrassing bodies where he implied that having inner labia larger than outer labia should be a worrying state of affairs and warranted surgery confused. So many young people watch that show. I will try to fish it out for a link. NB THIS IS FROM MEMORY AND MAY NOT BE THE EXACT WORDS HE USED!!!

So eroding the importance of breastfeeding and recommending designer vagina's. What a joy.

TheFabulousIdiot Thu 23-Jan-14 22:17:10

M, because what he said is Olson andhe's a doctor and should know better. Plus he agreed with someone on twitter who said breastfeeding older children was 'weird'. His opinion is not backed up medically which is odd, given that he's a doctor. Then again there are loads of GPs out there who give out shot advice about breastfeeding.

You, OP, call it 'expert advice' but his advice wasn't that of an expert. That makes it dangerous and offensive.

Whistleblower0 Thu 23-Jan-14 22:17:41

How very dare he have an opinion, and one that is shared by many at that..
He should be publicly hung drawn and quartered. [shocked]

AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Thu 23-Jan-14 22:18:19

He doesn't say in so many words that there is no benefit, that's true.

He just
(a) categorically denies that one of the chief benefits exists at all,
(b) doesn't mention any other benefits and
(c) says that it "does no harm".

These are not the words of someone suggesting that there are any benefits to breastfeeding past 6 months.

Nor does he acknowledge in his clarification that there are or could be any benefits, and he actually adds in a misrepresentation of the NHS guidelines (actual NHS recommendation: breastfeed for more than six months; Dr Christian's version: breastfeed for six months).

FadBook Thu 23-Jan-14 22:19:56

Analytical Armadillo responds with a great blog

I also agree with AnAdventureInCakeAndWine that I too am not offended just pissed off that he thinks he can spout this shit.

The ir

randomAXEofkindness Thu 23-Jan-14 22:22:49

Genghis Khan was said to have BFed until he was 8; I've heard he was fairly tough and independent.


FadBook Thu 23-Jan-14 22:23:07

Pressed send to quickly...

The iron debate earlier up thread makes me think that formula and cereal <cough> nestle marketing their products with added iron or fortified with iron to convince us that we don't have enough iron unless we eat extra. Which isn't the case at all.

AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Thu 23-Jan-14 22:28:31

Whether there are benefits to a baby's immune system after six months isn't a matter of opinion, Whistleblower, it's a matter of fact backed up by research.

What the WHO guidelines on breastfeeding are isn't a matter of opinion, it's a matter of fact and public record.

What the NHS guidelines on breastfeeding are isn't a matter of opinion, it.s a matter of fact and public record.

When those guidelines last changed isn't a matter of opinion, it's a matter of fact and public record.

If he'd said that breastfeeding past six months was frankly a bit icky and creeped him out, that would be a matter of opinion, quite possibly shared by many. Saying that it has no immune benefits and isn't recommended by the NHS isn't. He can always hold a counterfactual opinion, I suppose - he can believe as a matter of opinion that the world is flat and the moon is made of green cheese, if he chooses, but doing so would make him a pretty scrappy man of science.

AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Thu 23-Jan-14 22:31:06

One might, of course, suggest that Genghis Khan did have some eensy weensy little behavioural problems...

Anonimity Thu 23-Jan-14 22:37:40

"He then says that breastfeeding older children may make them psychologically dependent on their mother .... "

He may be right. I bf a school-aged child. We are being treated because of it.

Caitlin17 Thu 23-Jan-14 22:48:10

Personally bf was possibly the single most unpleasant experience of my life. I hated it. I put up with it for about 3 months and was miserable throughout. Completely exhausted, son seemed to be permanently feeding and permanently hungry.

Toddlers breast feeding gives me the creeps.

NiceTabard Thu 23-Jan-14 23:00:30

At that point he is referring to older children in the "over 6 months" sense, clearly, having read the shot of the original piece.

I agree with others who say that he is putting forward inaccurate and false statements re BF, and doing so as a "trusted medical professional".

I wonder if he has any relationships with formula milk companies? They always bang on about 6 months in their ads too - "BF for the first 6 months is great <cheesy voice> but if you have any sense you will stoppit at 6 months on the dot and give them some proper scentifically proven cows milk with stuff in". I never get that - 6 months is when BF is getting easier and easier, and suddenly much easier than FF (speaking v generally of course). Why at just the moment BF becomes much much easier, people like this doc and unilever or whoever are pushing formula is anyone's guess. Hmm. Maybe because they aren't allowed to push formula before that?

FWIW I have no idea whetehr doctor whatsit is cosy with FF company inc, or has simply been taken in by too many cow and gate ads grin

5madthings Thu 23-Jan-14 23:01:18

The dr may not have links to formula comoanies, closer magazine does..

NiceTabard Thu 23-Jan-14 23:07:30


True, and interesting.

This "6 months" thing is from formula companies, and to do with the fact they can't market it to children younger than that, not before.

His statement "Breast milk is beneficial to a baby's immune system for the first six months, but there is no harm in continuing to do it as long as the child has a healthy diet." is STRAIGHT out of a cow and gate script.

NiceTabard Thu 23-Jan-14 23:14:04

Should say at this point that personally in the West I think it's much of a muchness ff v bf and also IMO and IME the angle taken on BF in the NHS is badly handled and offputting.

That's another convo - just sort of pinning my colours to the mast.

However - If you have managed to get on with BF (despite lack of support & blah etc) and you have gone through the every 2 hours bit and you have made it through any difficulties you might have had and you're just hitting the bit where it starts to pay off and as they start eating & taking water you drop down to say 3 feeds a day and it's quicker and it doesn't hurt and yes it makes sense as actually at this point sterilising bottles and stuff would be harder...

WHY at this point are so many people right then you've done that pack it in now and move to formula...?

I don't get it. My own bloody mother said it! And she was a doctor and well aware of the benefits of BF!!!

Where does it come from????

<fully aware that this doctor chaps comments will have further reinforced the 6 month "rule">

legoplayingmumsunite Thu 23-Jan-14 23:17:12

I wonder what he'd suggest for the 7% of infants that are allergic to cow's milk? Mean age for growing out of the allergy is 5. Are those mothers allowed to BF beyond 6 months Dr Christian?

The original quote is awful, not only for the 'advice' that contradicts the NHS and WHO advice but particularly for the suggestion that children BF beyond infancy are psychologically damaged and will have behavioural problems. Where is his evidence for that? Has there been a Cochrane Review?

AnyFucker Thu 23-Jan-14 23:17:26

I refuse to take seriously the attention-seeking comments of a doctor who wears such tight shirts and has such a ridiculously obvious hair transplant

I expect to see him on "Splash" sometime soon in a teeny tiny pair of speedos

BlueSkySunnyDay Thu 23-Jan-14 23:22:55

I'm not keen on him - I have a sneaking suspicion he doesn't actually know one end of a woman from the other.

I saw something years ago where a menopausal woman was concerned about her lack of sex drive. This appeared to be news to him and he said he could see no reason why it should be affected. [Hmm]

yorkie11 Thu 23-Jan-14 23:28:24

It worrying because its factually incorrect. However, people may be taken in as he is a doctor.

AnyFucker Thu 23-Jan-14 23:32:11

he passed some exams once. Doesn't change the fact he is a dick.

ouryve Thu 23-Jan-14 23:52:49

I know people are perfectly entitled to make personal choices about what milk they feed their babies and toddlers at what age, but I've never understood people being squicked out by human babies and toddlers drinking human milk until they no longer want it. Does it squick people out when kittens who can walk still drink cat milk or puppies who can walk still drink canine milk?

As for the idea of stopping at 6 months, that's when it finally becomes, relatively a doddle. Whipping a boob out for the boys was easier than making a cup of tea for myself. DS2 didn't accept solid food until 8 months (he was subsequently diagnosed with ASD) but we had nothing to worry about because he was breastfed and still gaining weight and healthy. And, like another poster in this thread, DS1 got D&V when he was about a year old and norovirus was doing the rounds and couldn't keep anything down except breastmilk. He pulled round remarkably quickly when others were unwell for days.

OxfordBags Fri 24-Jan-14 00:05:19

Whistleblower, opinions should not be passed off as facts, when every scrap of evidence undertaken on the research proves him wrong.

An example: There's plenty of people who have the opinion that black people are inferior to white people; this does not make it sail even in the vaguest vicinity of the truth and it certainly shouldn't be presented as fact as someone with authority on matters of race and genetics.

Obviously, racism is far, far worse than spreading lies about Bfing, but the exampls still stands.

Also: there's a lot of people with personal issues coming out with nonsense about toddlers Bfing freaking them out. Why aren't grown adults - parents, no less! - not ashamed enough to actually say those things out loud?! Seriously, you're humiliating yourselves.

The human race was designed to BF until the adult teeth come in - 5 at the earliest. Living in modern times doesn't alter certain biological requirements. Saying you're grossed out, or whatever, by a small child dling something totally natural, and what they're biologically intended to do, is as bizarre and silly as saying that you're offended by blinking.

rabbitlady Fri 24-Jan-14 00:16:26

i don't know who dr christian is but i wouldn't buy a used car from him. he talks drivel.
and oxfordbags above says it right about the human race.

stopgap Fri 24-Jan-14 00:24:13

I, too, find it bizarre that anyone would be offended by a toddler breastfeeding. I BF DS1 until he was 21 months, and he has only ever had two minor colds. No ear infections, no chest infections, no food allergies, and there must be something to the benefits of feeding after six months, considering that I'm a walking mess of autoimmunity and food allergies.

trixymalixy Fri 24-Jan-14 00:30:24

Just to counteract that bit of anecdata. I breast fed my DS until he was 2, he has multiple severe allergies and gas been hospitalised with asthma several times.

SomethingOnce Fri 24-Jan-14 01:41:39

Toddlers breast feeding gives me the creeps.

That's funny, because adults who are creeped out by perfectly normal things give me the creeps.

TheRealAmandaClarke Fri 24-Jan-14 06:13:30

Great post oxfordbags

I find it interesting that some ppl are creeped out by a breastfeeding toddler. Why?
It's an immature attitude that probably isn't helped by a telly doc talking nonsense about the subject.
Children (including those over six months) benefit from having human milk. I think it's a shame that people try to stop that from happening.

TheRealAmandaClarke Fri 24-Jan-14 06:15:24

offended by blinking grin

Strawberrykisses Fri 24-Jan-14 06:28:52

I went to school with a boy who was breastfed till age 7 or 8. It's a great big strapping bloke, and a royal marine. Never seemed any stranger or more dependant on his mother than anyone else.
I'm breastfeeding an almost 2 1/2 year old and she is fine. Doesn't seem scarred at all.

Whistleblower0 Fri 24-Jan-14 06:35:53

I breastfed my dd until she was 7 months or thereabouts before returnung to work.
I would say the average amonst my frends was probably a little less than that, maybe 5 months.
There was one friend who fed for 14 months. Her two children were the crankiest most miserable babies ever. One of them has severe allergies, and the other s autistic.
I think there is a lot of rubbish spouted about breasfeeding.

Whistleblower0 Fri 24-Jan-14 06:40:02

*i went to school with a boy who was breastfed till he was 7 or 8.*Christ, that's beyond hideous!

Strawberrykisses Fri 24-Jan-14 06:46:57

whistleblower hmm severe allergies are an excellent reason to continue breastfeeding, and frankly I'm not sure what your point is about autism. I'm also not sure what is hideous about a mother feeding her child but I do hope you manage to get some sort of counselling to deal with your issues surrounding perfectly natural monther/child relationships.

Whistleblower0 Fri 24-Jan-14 06:54:14

May come as a massive surprise to you strawberry but most normal people find brestfeeding an 8 year old hideous.
I'll leave the councilling to you lovesmile

CrohnicallyFarting Fri 24-Jan-14 06:57:14

whistleblower you're entitled to your opinion, of course.

However, the problem with looking at anecdotal evidence is that you don't know what the child would have been like had things been different. Maybe the breast fed child with asthma would have been even more severely affected without bf? Maybe your friend's child was miserable and cranky because of the allergies and would have been worse off if they were formula fed? (Also not sure what your point is re autism) Maybe they would have had other illnesses to contend with on top of their allergies etc, things like ear infections and d and v.

That is why we have scientific studies and research. Researchers have found that on average children are healthier if they have been breast fed, and the longer the bf, the more benefits. Of course there is always going to be a few children who appear to buck the trend. But that doesn't mean it's all a load of rubbish, just that children are complex creatures and their health is down to a multitude of factors and bf is just one influence.

StarlightMcKingsThree Fri 24-Jan-14 06:58:24

Breastfeeding causes autism innit!

Whistleblower0 Fri 24-Jan-14 07:08:02

Stop making up things starlight i never said autism is caused by breastfeeding and you know it!

most people find breasfeeding an 8 year old hideous

And repeat., That is all i have to say.

StarlightMcKingsThree Fri 24-Jan-14 07:12:09

I never said you did? Chip? Much?

CrohnicallyFarting Fri 24-Jan-14 07:13:07

whistleblower so why mention it? What relevance did your anecdote about your friend breast feeding a child who turned out to have autism, unless you were trying to imply the two things were linked?

Yes, most people do find breast feeding an 8 year old hideous (probably due to the way society as a whole views breast feeding, as 'A good thing' up until 6 months and after that it's 'bad' or 'unusual' as evidenced by dr Christian's comments). Doesn't mean they're right. Way back most (if not all) people thought the earth was flat, no evidence just a feeling. Same as you now.

BohemianGirl Fri 24-Jan-14 07:20:32

Did anyone bother to read or quote the article - I cant see so up the thread. I don't think any of what he has said is offensive or the ammunition to stir up a storm, what he said is perfectly sound.

“Advice on breast feeding is always changing. The World Health Organisation recommends breast feeding for up to two years, while the NHS recommends breast feeding for the first six months.

“Breast milk is beneficial to a baby's immune system for the first six months, but there is no harm in continuing to do it as long as the child has a healthy diet.

“If a child is being breast fed until eight, this may make them overly dependent on their mother. However if they are being breast-fed at four there is no harm in this.

“I support women who want to breastfeed and would never wish to discourage anyone from doing so.”

CrohnicallyFarting Fri 24-Jan-14 07:27:12

Yes I have read it. I will reiterate.

1. The WHO recommends breast feeding for at least 2 years, not up to.
2. The NHS recommends exclusive breast feeding for the first six months and then continuing alongside solids.
3. Breast milk is beneficial to a baby's immune system for as long as they are breastfed, not just the first six months.

Bearing in mind you are quoting the amended article, that came out after the shit storm surrounding his initial comments (which I have also read and linked to further up) you would think he would get his facts absolutely right.

His original article categorically stated there was no immune benefits after six months, and talked about 'older children' without quantifying the age he was referring to.

BohemianGirl Fri 24-Jan-14 07:35:03

I'm only going with what leaps to the top of google because no one on this thread linked to the offending one. So whats out there at the moment is perfectly reasonable reading to those who do the whole breastfeeding thing.

TheRealAmandaClarke Fri 24-Jan-14 07:39:35

Actually the NHS recommends breastfeeding beyond six months.

It recommends exclusive breastfeeding until six months.

RE: the anecdotal "data"
I know someone who smoked and drank up heavily and lived to the age of 90. If I took that to mean that the advice about smoking and health was a load of rubbish I would be an idiot.

Booboostoo Fri 24-Jan-14 08:03:16

I am not offended by the comments (I think some people are misusing the term 'offence') but I do think he should be ashamed of himself. As a doctor he has a moral obligation to only give well research, evidence based, impartial advice, especially when he is using public media to reach a wide audience. I suspect he knows very well what the benefits of bf are but was more interested in saying something controvercial and promoting his own interests than saying something true but possibly a bit boring.

Laurel1979 Fri 24-Jan-14 08:04:50

The only thing that offends me about him, is that he refers to himself as a GP and he is not actually on the GMC GP register, which you have to be in the UK, if you are practising as a GP.

ZingSweetApple Fri 24-Jan-14 08:06:16


spot on

(and what the heck - are you not revengeing anymore?)

BalloonSlayer Fri 24-Jan-14 08:19:59

"psychologically dependent on their mother "

And perish the thought that a 7 month old baby should be psychologically dependent on its bother.


gamerchick Fri 24-Jan-14 08:21:46

He wording of the original bit has been peppered throughout the thread and I'm pretty sure a link was provided as well.. but here you go.

itsbetterthanabox Fri 24-Jan-14 08:25:21

Why would anyone be disturbed and offended by a breasted 2 or 8 year old? How does it harm you or them?
Dr Christian often spouts bullshit and I think it's wrong how often he puts people forward for unnecessary cosmetic surgery on embarrassing bodies. He has a public, respected voice, he should be using it help not hurt.

PrincessChick Fri 24-Jan-14 08:51:22

oxfordbags great post.

Sigh just sigh at "Dr" Christians comments. It's annoying because there are people who will take his comments on board / use them to inform other people that bfing is unnecessary.

There are frankly far more things I find offensive than a mother feeding her child. 8 months or 8 years. And if others are offended that's their own problem, quite frankly.

The main issue with the articles is the wrong information. And as has been pointed out several times it is factually incorrect.

Can anyone tell me what Closer magazine's links are with formula companies? Because their articles just read like formula milk propaganda marketing (I've read through some of the others that are suggested at the bottom if this one eg Katie Price chooses to bottle feed and baby sleeps through hmm )

OxfordBags Fri 24-Jan-14 08:52:29

Whistleblower, there's a lot of people who are repulsed by the thought of black and white people having sex, or by gay or lesbian sex, or even just by disabled people being part of everyday society. Doesn't make them right, doesn't mean they're not fucking disgusting twats who need to get a grip and examine what is damaged or lacking within them psychologically and emotionally instead of trying to impress their weird, immature bullshit on others.

Repulsed by a child - of any age - breastfeeding, indeed. Misogyny sure is thorough. I wonder if women who buy into its lies actually realise it and are ashamed or are too mentally or morally weak to comprehend what's happened to them.

OxfordBags Fri 24-Jan-14 08:55:45

PS I am genuinely interested in how weirdos on this issue justify their bizarre thinking to themselves. I can't help wondering how people who are disgusted and offended by completely natural things, which don't affect them, their lives, or loves ones a) cope with everyday life and b) justify it to themselves. It must be so humiliating to be that way.

hackmum Fri 24-Jan-14 09:01:22

He says that breastfeeding an older child (doesn't specify how old) could cause the child to become psychologically dependent on the mother and could cause behavioural problems when the child is older. I'd love to know if he could cite a single piece of evidence in support of that assertion.

Faithless12 Fri 24-Jan-14 09:03:56

Just add more anecdotal data in there. I know someone who was BF until 5, he's tall, sporty, healthy and not dependent on his mother (never was tbh) and there's my DS. DS EBF for first 6-8months (didn't take to solids) and continued to be BF and we are waiting for a diagnosis on multiple allergies. He was cranky to begin with until we realised he was affected by dairy.

Meerka Fri 24-Jan-14 09:52:50

laurel, he does?

The only thing that offends me about him, is that he refers to himself as a GP and he is not actually on the GMC GP register, which you have to be in the UK, if you are practising as a GP.

I would have thought that is a prosecutable offense for anyone to do that, no matter their views! (not that I'm any sort of lawyer). At best it's a false description.

He's not claiming to be a doctor due to having a doctorate? its def that he's claiming to be a gp?

ZingSweetApple Fri 24-Jan-14 10:06:50


yeah, just what are these babies thinking?
I mean being dependent on adults in anyway.
boo to them


Whistleblower0 Fri 24-Jan-14 10:31:53

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

gamerchick Fri 24-Jan-14 10:36:33

meh a lot of people can't help being a bellend either... just pat them on the head, smile indulgently and let them get on with it I say.

itsbetterthanabox Fri 24-Jan-14 10:36:52

Whistleblower but WHY does it repulse you? I wouldn't do it myself but if other people want why should I care?

Whistleblower0 Fri 24-Jan-14 10:39:44

I cant stop thinking about the little Britian Bitty sketch now. I might have to have a watch latergrin

TheRealAmandaClarke Fri 24-Jan-14 10:47:54

i can't stop thinking about the little Britain Bitty sketch
I wasn't aware that involved the feeding of a toddler. I thought it was a fully grown adult man being breastfeed by his mother and grandmother. (little Britain always been a bit misogynist in it's humour IMO anyway)
Are you saying that a toddler is the same as an adult male? Because that's a bit worrying.

<waves to Zing> still revenging. It is good. grin

PicardyThird Fri 24-Jan-14 10:54:54

I have an 8yo whom I bf until he was 4 and a half. I wouldn't want to bf him now, but neither would he want to, tbh. The same (probably) goes for my 6yo whom I bf until he was 3.

I do think there is a shift from appropriate to inappropriate - for me that would presumably have been somewhere around 6-7, if I had gone on bf for so long, which we didn't as the time we stopped was the right one for both of us in both cases - and I think that, in reality, very very few 8yos are going to be breastfed - but I can't for the life of me work myself up to be 'repulsed' by it. And I find the revulsion expressed by people at the breastfeeding of 2, 3, 4, 5yos quite frankly odd. That Little Britain sketch has a lot to answer for - at the same time it has picked up on a societal distaste for breasts being depicted or (for want of a better word) used in anything but sexual/titillating contexts.

TulipOHare Fri 24-Jan-14 10:56:54

Way to miss the point there, Whistleblower hmm.

Round of applause Oxfordbags . Spectacular.

(Nailing my colours to the mast, I bf DD till almost two and only regret not continuing longer. DS till almost five. Anecdata: both unusually bright, both confident, happy, healthy etc grin )

Jessen is a twat. Not the first time he's flapped his foolish gums about breastfeeding. I think he's got some personal issues hmm

Seff Fri 24-Jan-14 11:05:56

I'm sure I read somewhere that David Walliams was bf into toddlerhood, and the bitty sketch is taking the piss out of attitudes against bf, rather than mocking it. I may be wrong, though.

An 8 yr old who is breastfed will be in the process of weaning, and will have stopped within a few months. AFAIK once children start losing their milk teeth (clue's in the name, people!) they will start to lose their latch. Nothing "hideous" about it.

I never thought I'd breastfeed to age two. I couldn't comprehend a large toddler attached to me. But they don't suddenly grow 2ft overnight. I now breastfeed a 3.5 yr old, and it feels no stranger to me than it did when she was a few months old. I can't imagine feeding her when she's 8, but again, at the moment I can't imagine her being that big!

IceBeing Fri 24-Jan-14 11:06:03

strange how much more socially acceptable it is to say you are repulsed by the sight of a toddler BFing than to say you are repulsed by the sight of a newborn with a bottle.

I suppose it mirrors the idea that its fine to slag people off for being too skinny and not a real woman but you cant tell people they are too fat.

Something, I suspect to do with the perceived inherent superiority of one of the two options.

Its okay to attack the Bffer / thin person because they have the NHS behind them or something...

Meerka Fri 24-Jan-14 11:43:14

I remember an emergency doctor, when I went to him with nipple thrush, telling me to stop bfing and start feeding him "normally" with formula.

I was speechless

Meerka Fri 24-Jan-14 11:43:34

emergency ie stand-in doctor sorry. Not an ER doc =)

yorkie11 Fri 24-Jan-14 12:50:24

The problem is that it is inaccurate. Plus people will believe him as a doctor.

Tailtwister Fri 24-Jan-14 13:01:24

I remember an emergency doctor, when I went to him with nipple thrush, telling me to stop bfing and start feeding him "normally" with formula.

That's not unusual ime. I've yet to come across a doctor (hospital or GP) who knows anything meaningful about breastfeeding, extended or otherwise. I remember my GP looking at me like I had 2 heads when I mentioned DS1 (then 9 months) was still breastfeeding.

Mim78 Fri 24-Jan-14 13:23:24

I wonder if maybe he was trying to give Mums a break by saying that breastfeeding was not really necessary after 6 months. There's a lot of pressure on Mums to bf and if so it's fair enough to try to make them feel OK about stopping at 6 months (hard enough to get to that stage).

Isn't WHO advice a world wide thing, and presumably there is some argument to say that it is better advice to people in developing countries where alternatives might not be so widely available to continue up to 2 years?

squoosh Fri 24-Jan-14 13:36:29

He really is a twat, I wouldn't listen to anything he says. He was spouting a lot of guff about page three models not along ago.

And Dr Christian if you're reading, your shirts are ridiculous. Yes you work out good for you, but maybe stop trying to emphasise this by wearing shirts made to fit a 12 year old boy. The Scandinavian Incredible Hulk look really isn't working.

OTheHugeManatee Fri 24-Jan-14 13:41:16

The WHO advice is worldwide, and as such takes into account people raising babies in far more inimical conditions than we have in the West, including unsafe water and unpredictable food supplies. In those circumstances the recommendation to BF for two years or more is eminently sensible. Effectively in those circumstances BF represents an infant food supply that's reliable, regular, tailored to the infant and (assuming a healthy mother) free of harmful bacteria, water-borne pests etc. You'd be mad not to.

In a country where fresh, clean water is available on tap, most people have central heating and a wide range of food is (for all but the very poorest) relatively cheap and plentiful it seems likely to me that the differences between BF and not BF beyond 6mo just aren't as stark or possibly even negligible. Obviously people should do what's right for them, but I do feel as though there's a lot of pressure on mothers to BF, that might be eased a bit by this perspective.

SomethingOnce Fri 24-Jan-14 13:42:32

^yeah, just what are these babies thinking?
I mean being dependent on adults in anyway.^

Yeah, the babies need to man up, tbh. And get a job instead of expecting all these handouts. Most of them are on child benefits and it sets them up for a lifetime of dependency on the state.

ZingSweetApple Fri 24-Jan-14 13:45:04

yeah! selfish little brats!wink

perfectstorm Fri 24-Jan-14 13:48:19

Well, I'd prefer to listen to the World Health Organisation than some bloke on Closer magazine, personally, and they recommend the age of two as a minimum. Immune system protection doesn't suddenly end when a baby is 6 months, and nor does nutritional benefit.

I say that as someone who went over exclusively to formula at 8 months and was happy with that decision. You have to weigh up what works best for your family as a whole, as well as your relationship with your baby (and a bad breastfeeding relationship, where feeding naturally really hurts, can damage that). But the fact is, from a nutrition and health perspective breastmilk is nothing but advantageous... and it avoids the risks of powdered formula milk being really rather unhygienic, and thus a faff to correctly prepare.

JuliaScurr Fri 24-Jan-14 13:51:13

yes hugemanatee

SuffolkNWhat Fri 24-Jan-14 13:53:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stickysausages Fri 24-Jan-14 13:59:02

My issue is that he is going against World Health Organisation guidelines, while being employed & practising as a doctor.

The fact he's a vain, smug knob head is besides the point

OxfordBags Fri 24-Jan-14 14:31:37

Whistleblower, at least in my parallel universe, people can spell.

Parallel universe, my fucking arse. You and the other people so immature and incapable of seeing or dealing with their own twisted issues on the subject are the ones living in a parallel universe, where something completely normal - the thing that ensured the fucking human race still exists, FFS - is seen as weird, objectionsble and disgusting. People who find basic biology offensive are the 'lunatic fringe'. You have to wonder what went wrong with people's lives that they would choose to be disgusted by natural things that they don't have to witness or participate in.

Comparing a toddler or even an older child to an adult breastfeeding in the Little Britain sketch reveals something truly disturbing in your attitude. You are equating something weird and probably sexual for an adult to do with the motives and so on, for a mother breastfeeding a child, or a child wanting to breastfeed. You are linking breastfeeding with sexuality and adult inappropriateness and taboo behaviour. That is sick. People like that ought to be seeking health for thinking like that, not spouting off crap on the internet. It's not really fair on you to be debating here when you have such glaringly obvious mental problems on the topic, when the rest of us don't suffer the same way.

And on the topic of comparison, do you need me to explain what my example of people finding inter-racial relationships actually meant? I was equating the finding of something totally natural and right disgusting with your finding Bfing offensive. That you claim you must be right, or the normal one because others shared your views. My comparison were to highlight that many people think those bigoted things but it doesn't make them right either. I should have realised that someone so taken in by such nonsense wouldn't be able to grasp the point I was trying to make.

It's so sad to see that some adults have been so brainwashed by damaging lies, myths and misogyny about topics like breastfeeding. It proves exactly why it was so bad of Dr Christian to say what he did, because there are so many gullible and unintelligent people who will fall for that crap without thinking logically, researching for themselves, etc.

justmethanks Fri 24-Jan-14 14:38:30

Just an observation.
There are some repeat offenders on these BF threads who seem to 'want' to be offended so they can wax lyrical. It's like some sort of perverse mumsnet sport.

OxfordBags Fri 24-Jan-14 14:41:49

Manatee, you'e mistaken. The WHO guidelines cover all babies from every country and possible background because breastmilk is best for them regardless of where and how they live. The nutrition it gives cannot be replicated by formula and a healthy, and possibly even a luxurious lifestyle. The other factors will affect other areas of their life and health, which you could argue affects whether they have BM or FM, but the fact is that BM is the optimal 'product'. As I said previously, BM changes with the child and changes what it delivers, etc. Formula will give the same things every time.

There are also the emotional effects of breastfeeding that have absolutely zero to do with where you live or how well-off you are. Those are still just the same as they were 1000s of years ago and always will be. People focus on the nutrition aspect, even though BM is nutritionally superior, but don't want to look at the emotional, comfort aspect, because it's very hard to argue those away. Of course FFing mothers are close to their babies, that isn't what I'm saying, but, until someone has BFed a child for auite a long time, you can't imagine the level of bonding and understanding and communication between the two of you it creates. The comfort and attachment that they know are there in a very real, physical way for them is wonderful. I'm not saying this makes BFing 'better' than FFing, far from it, I'm just saying that BFing over 1 yr, 2 yrs, etc., is very special and very positive and that has to be something that is allowed to be part of debate on the topic.

BettyBoo246 Fri 24-Jan-14 15:02:17

Did anyone actually hear him say it?
I tend not to believe everything I read in Closer magazine!

Whistleblower0 Fri 24-Jan-14 15:15:27

oxford you sound like a loon. You need to get a bit more methinksgrin

Whistleblower0 Fri 24-Jan-14 15:19:57

justme you are so right.

chocolatemartini Fri 24-Jan-14 15:21:39

It is a big deal because he is a medical professional in the media and he is WRONG.

From the NCT fact sheet:

For example, babies breastfed beyond six months have:
• less risk of eczema
• lower blood pressure as an adult
• lower risk of childhood leukemia
• less likelihood of being overweight
• less likelihood of developing childhood diabetes.
Some of the anti-infective factors in breastmilk increase as children grow older and take less milk – perhaps to protect them as they interact more with their surroundings.
Breastfeeding your toddler contributes to meeting her needs for energy, protein and vitamins. If you breastfeed for a year or more your toddler can bypass formula altogether.
Mothers who breastfeed longer have:
• a lower risk of ovarian cancer
• a lower risk of developing Type II diabetes
• a lower risk of breast cancer – on average, for every year spent breastfeeding, the risk of developing breast cancer drops by 4.3%.

TheFabulousIdiot Fri 24-Jan-14 15:22:42

I don't care if people think I 'want to be offended' - I am offended constantly by the misinformation that is given out by professionals who should know better and are getting paid shitloads to give the correct advice rather than scuppering women's efforts to feed their children in a way that is normal and natural.

TheFabulousIdiot Fri 24-Jan-14 15:23:51

"I am however, repulsed by an 8 year old breastfeeding, and so are the vast majority of people in this country.!! "

why do you find it repulsive?

Iamavapernow Fri 24-Jan-14 15:32:15

People are offended because what Closer printed quoting Dr Christian was extremely factually incorrect and damaging.

People are offended because when it was pointed out and people complained he didn't insist on a retraction, instead Closer printed a follow up of the 'twitter storm' printing what he actually said (also pretty incorrect) and didn't apologise for printing lies.

People are offended because instead of being pissed off with closer for totally misquoting him apparently, he was defensive and unapologetic for their actions, and was rude, unprofessional and treated it all like a joke. When it is a serious issue.

Whistleblower0 Fri 24-Jan-14 15:35:32


Iamavapernow Fri 24-Jan-14 15:42:20

If one is bored/tired perhaps they should go to bed or read some other threads where they could have an input which is useful.

AmberLeaf Fri 24-Jan-14 15:44:34

Oxfordbags that bit about 'until you have bf for 1-2 years, you can't possibly understand the level of bonding...etc', may well be one of the most smug and patronising things I've ever read on one of these threads.

AmberLeaf Fri 24-Jan-14 15:51:18

tbh it doesn't matter what any man, doctor or otherwise says about breastfeeding. Women, whatever their feeding choices, put so much energy into banging on and berating other women for their choices, its ridiculous.

Just do what works for you and don't worry about anyone else.

squoosh Fri 24-Jan-14 15:52:05

Amen AmberLeaf.

ZingSweetApple Fri 24-Jan-14 15:54:43

the level of bonding

are we talking about superglued together?hmm

fcukkedup Fri 24-Jan-14 16:00:46

I don't find feeding an 8 year old repulsive, there comes a point when their teeth change and they can no longer feed, if an 8 year old is feeding (and this child wasn't 8) it is because they haven't reached the biological point, where it is no longer necessary.

Natural term weaning brings health benefits to the mother and child. In these days of increasing obesity, cancer detection etc, I wonder why people don't realise that the more we play with mother nature, the more she comes and bites us on our proverbial arses.

UriGeller Fri 24-Jan-14 16:05:44

Is he being paid by nestle? What he is saying is that mothers should feed their babies formula after 6 months of breastfeeding .

As the guidelines say babies under 1 shouldn't have cows milk as a main drink, he is practically advising introducing formula over mothers milk. Despite the fact mothers milk is proven to be vastly superior to formula.

The mans an arse.

yorkie11 Fri 24-Jan-14 16:18:37

I am currently breastfeeding my 15 month old. I never expected to be doing that. My last child fed until 9 months.
When I told hv at 1 year check I was still breastfeeding she replied. Thats good.
Who agrees. Maybe feeding at 8 is abit weird but each to their own.

TheRealAmandaClarke Fri 24-Jan-14 16:23:22

Quite urigellar
To suggest that breastfeeding should stop at six months is to state that formula should be given at that stage.
I still agree with oxford a little flowery in parts for some. But not smug and not a loon.

Laurel1979 Fri 24-Jan-14 17:00:36

It surprises me how much media coverage he gets as a doctor who got his medical degree over 10 years ago and has not yet completed any specialist training. In my opinion, as he is neither a qualified GP nor a specialist, he had no place to be in the media giving out (often questionable) advice.

myrubberduck Fri 24-Jan-14 17:03:17

Sorry where does he say that bf should stop after 6 months?

As far as I can see all he says is there is no reason not to continue beyond 6 months if you want to...

AnyFucker Fri 24-Jan-14 17:17:21

agree, laurel

fucking telly "doctors" piss me off

media whores they are, just like any other Z list sleb

Iamavapernow Fri 24-Jan-14 17:19:01

Myrubberduck -

Here is what was printed in closer which is entirely incorrect and damaging -

Here is the article 'clarifying' what he said, note - no apology for printing lies or retracting what they printed anywhere. -

People are offended because instead of him being pissed off with closer for totally misquoting him apparently, he was defensive and unapologetic for their actions, and was rude, unprofessional and treated it all like a joke.

Iamavapernow Fri 24-Jan-14 17:26:42

Also myrubberduck

In the 2nd link - the article quoting what he actually said. He is still giving out incorrect information.

Also making claims about dependance on the mother of children breastfed natural term with absolutely no evidence whatsoever. There is none. Opinion is not fact, and as a medical professional, he should be advising based on fact.

I hate to use the word professional with regards to him

myrubberduck Fri 24-Jan-14 17:35:59

Yup that's what I thought he said.

Still done see that he is advising people to stop at 6 months. In fact he is saying there is no reason to stop as long as the baby's diet is balanced. This is I suspect that bm does not necessarily have the same amounts of vit D and iron as formula but if baby's diet is fine that should not matter . I'm pretty sure that's true !

Iamavapernow Fri 24-Jan-14 18:01:18

Glossing over the incorrect information and the appalling attitude and the offering of opinion as fact...

It's all in the wording. 'no need' 'no harm' etc...

I assume you're ignoring the obvious for arguments sake.

volume37number5 Fri 24-Jan-14 18:13:42

I understand this an emotive issue, but I'm pretty knowledgeable about this area, and Dr C actually has a point (and I'm certainly no fan). WHO guidance caters for 'worst case scenario' - it's takes a one size fits all approach because it has to - it wouldn't be feasible to offer separate advice depending on social class/geographical location/culture etc.

If one is being truly scientific about the benefits of breastfeeding i.e. considering only robust randomised controlled trials/meta-analyses, whilst there is some evidence that it can, for some infants, provide health benefits (help fight infection, reduce gastro problems, less chance of developing eczema) these are relatively short term benefits. There is very little convincing evidence that there are many (if any) long term health benefits i.e. into adulthood, and absolutely none to suggest benefits associated with IQ, emotional wellbeing and all the other presumed benefits of breastfeeding.

I truly wish the evidence was more convincing (breastfed both dc for over a year and loved it), but frustratingly it isn't. Yes you will always be able to find a study/studies that find breastfed babies are happier/have higher IQs than ff babies but this doesn't mean these effects are attributable to breastfeeding. There is a great deal of misinformation out there on both sides.

myrubberduck Fri 24-Jan-14 18:13:47

Nope - just giving the words their ordinary meaning

But of course I am forgetting that anyone who fails to extoll the enormous benefits of extended bf is of course in league with nestle

OTheHugeManatee Fri 24-Jan-14 18:16:11

OxfordBags I think you may have misread me. I never said that the difference for babies in the West was nonexistent, just that it's likely to be less stark and as such it might be sensible to be a bit less absolutist about the issue when living in a comparatively rich, well-nourished environment.

My point was not about contesting the guidelines, but about leaving mothers free to take other factors into account and apply a measure of judgement to them, thus perhaps fractionally reducing the general mummy-guilt payload and even taking the heat out of the BF debate a bit in the context of an average Western middle-class lifestyle. Seems that's not possible though grin

OTheHugeManatee Fri 24-Jan-14 18:19:10

I understand this an emotive issue, but I'm pretty knowledgeable about this area, and Dr C actually has a point (and I'm certainly no fan). WHO guidance caters for 'worst case scenario' - it's takes a one size fits all approach because it has to - it wouldn't be feasible to offer separate advice depending on social class/geographical location/culture etc.

^ Just this, really, was my point. Treating WHO guidelines like some kind of absolute standard is just a recipe for guilt and misery. And god knows enough of that gets directed at mothers.

Meerka Fri 24-Jan-14 19:05:16

treating WHO guidelines like some kind of absolute standard is just a recipe for guilt and misery

I'll admit after the experience with first son, I'll be more open minded that the guidelines don't suit all babies. Perhaps I should have been the first time, but it was all new to me and I wanted to do it the 'right' way ... it's just that no one told my son the guidelines :D and yes, i still feel guilty that the poor mite was simply hungry at 5 months and we didn't realise. Mind you, neither did the health visitor, but even so ...

did carry on bfíng til a year though and personally I think it did indeed help his very dry skin, inherited from both parents. Anecdata tho

OxfordBags Fri 24-Jan-14 19:08:18

Manatee, I think there is so much crap in our society that actively or indirectly makes women feel guilty/ashamed/like failures, that the issue of BFing has become some sort of whipping boy, because it's a controllable factor. And no-one wants to look at the guilt placed on BFers: sometimes, all it takes is the mere mention that you do, or have, BFed a child, and people presume you are saying it to make a point, or to make them feel inferior, or guilty. And heaven forfend you say anything positive about the bloody experience. BFers can't not Bf or not find it positive (if they do) just to manage other people's emotions and issues for them.

If women who want to Bf were given sufficient and correct breastfeeding advice and support, the amount of women who do so successfully would be astronomically higher, and would, I believe lead to many more women Bfing their Dc for longer durations. Instead of focusing on this shit situation, where mothers and babies are being let down, women are encouraged to in-fight, and accuse one another of trying to make others feel guilty.

Vidaloca Fri 24-Jan-14 19:15:06

"Treating WHO guidelines like some kind of absolute standard is just a recipe for guilt and misery"

You could say the same about WHO guidelines on obesity and healthy eating.

Our culture makes achieving a healthy BMI a massive challenge for a large proportion of women. Ditto breastfeeding. The main reason why most women in the uk don't breastfeed for more than a few weeks is because we are - basically - a bottle feeding culture.

But that's not a good enough reason to discard evidence based health information on weight management or breastfeeding.

OxfordBags Fri 24-Jan-14 19:15:50

Amberleaf, my comment about the bonding was not smug and patronising. How does my subjective experience offend you? If someone said that having 3 daughters was wonderful, I wouldn't think, as the mother of a son, that that was a smug or patronising thing to say, I'd just think "that's her opinion, I like having a son".

Are mothers who Bf for longer periods supposed to lie or stay silent about how bloody wonderful it is?! Perhaps if we weren't treated like freaks, or as though we're only doing it to guilt-trip or offend others, maybe more women would give it a try. My comment was intended to point out the other benefits and aspects to longer BFing, outside of looking purely at nutritional benefits, which is what was/is happening in this debate.

We are adults here: when are people going to get past the schoolgirl level of thinking that anyone else who is positive about a different experience or whatever, that they themselves haven't had, is having that experience, or discussing it, with the purpose of trying to make themselves appear superior, or to criticise any other choice? This bullshit spoils every bloody debate.

Onesie Fri 24-Jan-14 19:22:16

The WHO recommend 2 years of breast feeding. It's just the UK and some other westernised countries that have issues with feeding longer then a few months.

I would swap the words 'psychologically dependent' with 'well bonded'

TheRealAmandaClarke Fri 24-Jan-14 19:27:46

Inthink the emotional side of bfeeding has been of great value to me and my DCs. A way of calming/ soothing etc. it's definitely been about more than just nutrition for my DCs.
But I don't talk about it in RL because I know that some ppl will think I bfeed for my own benefit (coercing my poor dcs) or that ppl will become defensive about their feeding methods.
Or both.
I think it's a shame that someone of so little expertise has the ear of so many.
It really does babies a disservice to talk such rubbish.

CrohnicallyFarting Fri 24-Jan-14 19:30:07

I love the idea that you could force or coerce a child with teeth to breastfeed!

squoosh Fri 24-Jan-14 19:30:15

But Oxford what you said was 'until someone has BFed a child for quite a long time, you can't imagine the level of bonding and understanding and communication between the two of you it creates.'

And likewise you can't understand the extent of the bond between mothers who ff their children. Of course you are only relaying your own experiences but it reads as though you're implying only BF creates these strong levels of bonding, understanding and communication. And that simply isn't true.

mistermakersgloopyglue Fri 24-Jan-14 19:30:58

My mum is a HCP and has also said that the WHO guidelines are more geared towards mothers and babies in developing countries. So while the ideal is to breastfeed for as long as possible, in countries where there is clean water, plenty of suitable food for a baby to eat etc. the benefits of breastfeeding past 6 months are much smaller.

Onesie Fri 24-Jan-14 19:32:02

We are designed to feed babies by breast. Many moons ago we would have been living in caves, doing extended feeding and eating a very basic diet.

TheRealAmandaClarke Fri 24-Jan-14 19:32:43

Your mum is misinformed mrmakersgloopyglue

CrohnicallyFarting Fri 24-Jan-14 20:05:36

The benefits of breast feeding are exactly the same. The risks of formula feeding will be less in developed countries (due to sterilisation equipment, clean water, fridges, education on safe use of formula).

Whistleblower0 Fri 24-Jan-14 20:05:39

Thank fuck we've 've moved on *onesie.

StarlightMcKingsThree Fri 24-Jan-14 20:10:37

It's not that the benefits to the babies are reduced in the western world - they are the same for all babies regardless of where born,

- it's that the risks of not breastfeeding are reduced due to fast access to medicine and hygiene.

That is not a reason to encourage a belief that breastfeeding is unimportant past 6 months.

BrandNewIggi Fri 24-Jan-14 20:11:50

How many babies are still fb at 6 months? Or a year? I would imagine it is such a small percentage that it's a non-issue for this doctor to feel the need to put us over-attached mothers in our places.

Manatee, I think there is so much crap in our society that actively or indirectly makes women feel guilty/ashamed/like failures, that the issue of BFing has become some sort of whipping boy, because it's a controllable factor. And no-one wants to look at the guilt placed on BFers: sometimes, all it takes is the mere mention that you do, or have, BFed a child, and people presume you are saying it to make a point, or to make them feel inferior, or guilty. And heaven forfend you say anything positive about the bloody experience. BFers can't not Bf or not find it positive (if they do) just to manage other people's emotions and issues for them.

I totally agree with this! I always flinch when I say I fb my boys and wait for the response because I feel
I must apologise for it. And that is my issue with it, by saying there's no need to feed past 6 months it suggests that those doing it are doing do for their own 'weird' reasons.

I also never expected to bf a child who could talk to me but I fed him and he grew, he was still my baby and he'd always been doing it so it didn't become weird one day and make me shove him away we just carried on.

I was told by so many people 'they won't sleep through until you stop bf them' hmm. Well ds1 was 12 weeks when he slept through and ds2 7 months both bf way past that so they must be the exception to the rule wink

Bloody autocorrect keeps changing bf to fb!!

Meerka Fri 24-Jan-14 20:18:18

onesie an awful lot more babies died then. And wet nurses have been known through history exactly because some mothers can't bf.

Mind you really am in favour of bf'ing - if you can. Formula is brilliant, absolutely essential if you can't and it's a shame there's so much guilt about it. (and people ending up feeling guilty because they have had to have a C-section baffles me intensely ... if it's better for baby or mother, then go for it - it's a shit load better than risking death!)

But on the whole I think that the reason it's still so out of fashion and there is this enormous debate and high feelings in the first place is because it's been a really successful marketting campaign ( bfíng is the normal way of feeding?!) , and because sometimes formula is plain convenient.

NiceTabard Fri 24-Jan-14 20:19:13

Where does this 6 months thing come from?

Once you have done the often really tricky bit for the first few months, and assuming you aren't going back to work or really don't like it or something, why on earth stop at 6 months?

At 6 months they (generally) start getting some food and can have water, BF is well established and so is quick and due to the other stuff they can have the amount of times you have to feed drops right off.

I could understand if 12 months was the magic number - the child can then have cows milk and a general full diet and so can move from breast to just normal food and drink without having to arse around with formula.

Why, when BF from 6 months to 12 months is (for most women who have got that far) much cheaper and easier, is everyone like this doctor and some on this thread and people like my mum saying NO NO NO STOP IT and switch to formula and spend lots of money and go out and buy stuff to sterilise with and bottles and all the rest of it?

I really don;t get it.

Is it because of the formula companies aren't allowed to advertise before 6 months and so all their ads concentrate on a 6 month "switchover"?

Does anyone know why it is?

gamerchick Fri 24-Jan-14 20:25:11

There's no profit in breastfeeding.

Whistleblower0 Fri 24-Jan-14 20:25:38

I think we should all go back to the caves. Life was so much more wholesome then. grin

MammaTJ Fri 24-Jan-14 20:26:37

I BF my 1st for a month, my 2nd for a day and didn't even try with my 3rd. Reasons for all of this but these Drs who know nothing about us would not know about that. I do not feel guilty about any of them, as I had good reasons in all three cases!

hiddenhome Fri 24-Jan-14 20:27:17

He's just jealous 'cos he can't do it grin

squoosh Fri 24-Jan-14 20:29:59

'There's no profit in breastfeeding.'

That's it in a nutshell I'd say. Doubtless some pharmaceutical company somewhere is engineering a way to patent breast milk and charge women for the use of their own boobs.

NiceTabard Fri 24-Jan-14 20:31:21

It's not progress to feed infant humans with modified cows milk because people are squeamish about breasts though is it, surely.

[[ ]] progress grin

NiceTabard Fri 24-Jan-14 20:31:36
NiceTabard Fri 24-Jan-14 20:34:08

heh 1950s baby milk ads are super grin

carnation milk for crying out loud!!!

That's progress for you wink

TheRealAmandaClarke Fri 24-Jan-14 20:34:28

I think it's largely about misogyny, the medicalisation of infant care, successful ad campaigns by formula companies and the fact that images of breasts are so widely used in an entirely sexual context.

"Ok. You can do that for a bit, but as soon as you have to go back to work/ baby gets a tooth / baby can take solid food then they [your tits] need to go back to their "real" purpose."

NiceTabard Fri 24-Jan-14 20:37:23

AmandaClarke when you put it as succinctly as that it seems quite obvious!

StarlightMcKingsThree Fri 24-Jan-14 20:50:07

I dunno that formula is essential tbh. Wetnursing is better.

squoosh Fri 24-Jan-14 20:53:28

Do wet nurses still exist? Can people afford wet nurses? Would most people be ok with someone else breastfeeding their child?

StarlightMcKingsThree Fri 24-Jan-14 20:54:05

The answer is negative to both, because formula companies engineered it.

KingRollo Fri 24-Jan-14 21:01:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KingRollo Fri 24-Jan-14 21:04:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

perfectstorm Fri 24-Jan-14 21:17:22

So while the ideal is to breastfeed for as long as possible, in countries where there is clean water, plenty of suitable food for a baby to eat etc. the benefits of breastfeeding past 6 months are much smaller.

Nah. As has been said, the risks are smaller. The benefits are the same - illness without decent hospitals, easy access to boiling clean water, and cost on hugely restricted incomes, are risks we don't have to contend with. But the baby gets the same pluses.

I've just signed up to donate milk to the local SCBU. Because they need it to be from a mum within 6 months of birth, you can only donate that long... but that's because milk they want milk intended for small babies to feed very prem or sick ones. That interests me; if there are no continuing benefits, why would it matter? What changes occur to make milk intended for older babies less appropriate for smaller ones, and vice versa? Does anyone know?

CrohnicallyFarting Fri 24-Jan-14 21:17:26

Squoosh- I don't know about wet nursing, but mothers do donate bottled breast milk to other mothers or hospitals.

perfectstorm Fri 24-Jan-14 21:19:13

Sorry, that was garbled, it should be:

^ illness without decent hospitals, making up bottles without easy access to boiling clean water, and over-diluting formula due to the cost when on hugely restricted incomes, are risks we generally don't have to contend with. But the baby gets the same pluses.^

Anonimity Fri 24-Jan-14 22:44:03

There is a big downside to natural term breastfeeding. Most people assume a child will self-wean. But some don't or maybe they do eventually when they are eight but should I wait another two years to find out. I've already been told that I have to initiate the weaning at this stage.

And also if school find out, it will be a child protection issue.

5madthings Fri 24-Jan-14 22:47:23

who told you it would be a child protection issue?! what tosh.

Anonimity Fri 24-Jan-14 22:49:10

Apparently if schools find out that a school aged child is breastfeeding it is flagged up to SS. Maybe a teacher on here would clarify.

I can't go into too many details for a number of reasons.

5madthings Fri 24-Jan-14 22:57:11

i know a few childrenwho bfed at school age and it was not an issue.

i cant see ss being interested either!

no idea who told you this but they are spouting crap. my partner works in child protection and with childrens services. two of our boys bfed til almost four years old.

who is tellinf you to initiate weaning?

in countries such as mongolia bfeeding up to 7/8 is entirely normal and seen as agreat thing to do. their children dont have issues etc because of it. is someone tellingyou your chikd doeshave issues because of bfeeding?!

there are several posters on mnet who have fed til 8 or even older. i hooe one of them comes along to advise you.

5madthings Fri 24-Jan-14 22:58:10

one of my friends bfed her son til 5/6? she is a teacher!

Anonimity Fri 24-Jan-14 23:06:03

An expert.

Child does have emotional/attachment issues (and I sought help) and bf seen as part of the problem.

I do want to give up (as it happens).Was just a little concerned that CP was raised. I'm aware of people on here who bf older children but they seem to have well adjusted children.

I probably better not say anymore as I am getting great help in respect of above.

5madthings Fri 24-Jan-14 23:06:31

anonimityhave just sent you a pm xx

Midori1999 Fri 24-Jan-14 23:10:10

It's outrageous that anyone would tell someone breastfeeding a school aged child is a child protection issue. FFS! Imagine if someone was told giving their school aged child a bottle or dummy was a child protection issue? Except, that just wouldn't happen, would it? No matter how much someone thought school aged children shouldn't have bottles or dummies...

I have a DD who BF to 8, She's the only 'Normal' non eccentric member of the household.

Midori1999 Fri 24-Jan-14 23:16:14

Anonimity I hope 5madthings can offer you good advice/help, because although I don't know the details, it doesn't sound like that is what you are getting. According to the American Academy of Paediatrics, there should be no upper age limit on the duration of breastfeeding and there is absolutely no evidence of psychological harm from breastfeeding at any age.

Anonimity Fri 24-Jan-14 23:30:57

Well the bf isn't the main issue but alongside other factors.... I'm going to bow out for the moment but appreciate the support as it generated a lot of guilt at the time.

MrsMook Fri 24-Jan-14 23:57:49

When a mother has established for 6 months it makes sense to continue as long as it suits her and baby. DS1 was fed until 13m when I was ready to stop and he'd weaned down to just the bed time feed. He'd been covered in eczema and at 10m, it became apparent that he had a cows milk allergy. When we saw the paediatricians and dieticians it also became apparent that he had a soya intolerance. Breast milk had been considerably more beneficial than formula. From a superficial point of view, it was great that my bottle refuser could drink from a cup, and tbag there was no extra stage of weaning off bottles, so at 13m he was fuly weaned witn the support of the dieticans.

The irony of feeding choices beyond 6 months is that while a strong culture of unusualness remains regarding BFing, semi-skimmed formula is actively marketed for 2-3 year olds, when a balanced diet will do the job without. Dairy doesn't even have to feature strongly.

NiceTabard Sat 25-Jan-14 00:18:46

Semi-skimmed formula for 2-3yo?

What on earth?

2-3 they have standard diet unless allergies or other issues?


SomethingOnce Sat 25-Jan-14 00:38:42

Best wishes to you, Anonimity thanks

And great posts, Oxford smile

TruthSweet Sat 25-Jan-14 03:54:09

I have 4 DDS aged between nearly 8 and just over 1. Dds 1-3 have all self weaned in between 3y 1m and 4y 9m. None are especially dependent & all settled quickly into playschool despite never being in childcare before (2 were bf at the time of starting playschool).

Anecdata alert! - In fact the longest bf (dd2) didn't want/need me to take her into her class room after her 1st day at reception (she wasn't bf then as she had stopped in the July). I was left in the playground with a cheery wave goodbye!

For those who are saying the WHO guidance only applies to developing nations only really need to read their guidance on starting complementary foods as they actually have slightly different guidance for developing and developed nations. The 6 months is the same for both as is the recommendation to bf for 2y or beyond, it's just the balance of kcals from food vs. kcals from milk that differs. Document here - see pg 18

TheRealAmandaClarke Sat 25-Jan-14 05:39:12

Some people find that their children want to bf longer than they want to. There are ways of managing that.

"extended" breastfeeding is absolutely NOT a CP issue.

5madthings Sat 25-Jan-14 07:56:25

I am actually quite concerned that an 'expert'is saying that it is and it shows how woefully misinformed many hcps are about bfeeding.

jellyandcake Sat 25-Jan-14 09:25:06

People saying that maybe Dr C's advice will reduce the pressure on women regarding bf/ff are totally missing the point, I think. Pressure on women to breastfeed starts in pregnancy and is extreme for the early days/weeks. Women are absolutely made to feel guilty over the issue. This ridiculous pressure combined with the absolute and total lack of useful, well informed and constructive help to actually succeed in breastfeeding alienates women and leads to a lot of resentment and negative feelings to do with breastfeeding. It's a disgrace.

However, if miraculously you are able to access some decent help and support and establish breastfeeding - the pressure tips the other way. By 6 months, when breastfeeding has become easy and convenient, there is a storm of pressure to switch to formula and Dr C is feeding into this pressure. Women can't win whether they bf or ff. They face criticism and pressure from hcps, family and friends, the media, formula marketing, online forums like this...everyone has an opinion and to Hell with what the mother actually wants!

I was lucky to get amazing postnatal support from mws to bf. It was really hard work for the first few weeks, then it clicked into place and nothing would have convinced me to start messing around with bottles and sterilisers, not to mention spending money on expensive formula when I could feed my baby for free! I fed to 14 months and loved it. What I hated were the questions about when I was going to stop, how much was I still feeding him, blah blah. People need to stop with their rigid expectations of what mothers 'should' do with regard to bfing/ffing and just let them get on with it, offering support and not judgement! Dr C is offering judgement, that's why people are offended. He is a knob.

fcukkedup Sat 25-Jan-14 09:47:47

I breast fed a school aged child and my friend went in the national press breast feeding hers, no one thought it was a CP issue (--except some absolutely mad people in American when American press picked it up--)

fcukkedup Sat 25-Jan-14 09:48:53

also anonimity, there comes a point when a child CANT feed any longer, because their teeth and jaw changes shape and they lose the suckling ability - this for them us their natural weaning point.

TheRealAmandaClarke Sat 25-Jan-14 10:05:35

The pressure to wean was quite strong ime.
HCPs, friends (with absolutely no knowledge of infant feeding whatsoever), family all making comments/ giving the dd look when I was still feeding DS at 10 months. Definitely when I was pregnant again and still feeding him at 22 months. The trouble with such rubbish being spouted by egotistical celebrity docs is that it gives credence to the stupid and narrow minded ideas that ppl have.
It reminds me (as does every issue of "nuts" that I see in the petrol station) that our breast do not belong to us.
We should be pumping them up and showing them off until the point where no one wants to look any more, then covering them up.
Those demanding, dependent babies can have their 6 months max if they must.
I know some women talk about feeling pressured to bf. personally I have never seen or experienced this. I think confidence in breastfeeding is new to HCPs and still quite rare.
So thanks dr bloody Jensen. Maybe get back to exploiting people's wobbly bits on embarrassing bodies.

Fcukkedup I strongly suspect that's an old wives tale!
DD didn't give up because she found BFing any harder as she got older, she gave up because we decided it was time.

I'm absolutely certain that there are DPs who have tried a bit of breast milk. Mine hates milk and very deliberately kissed my breasts in way so as not to.

fcukkedup Sat 25-Jan-14 12:34:35

It is not an old wives tale, it is a biological fact. I still had milk teeth in my 20s - so in theory I could have still fed, there will always be anomalies from the norm. Jaw shape etc change as they grow.

fcukkedup Sat 25-Jan-14 12:39:06

Its been discussed on mumsnet before here

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