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to think the NHS should get its story straight on breastfeeding vs formula?

(14 Posts)
afussyphase Tue 21-Jun-11 20:54:12

I mean, the midwives are all BREAST IS BEST!!! BEST!! BEST!! Then as soon as your baby slips a little on the centile charts, for example going from 75th to 50th (a friend) or just under 25th to just above 9th (my DD2), the health visitors turn around and advise you to top up with formula! Now my friend tells me there is a huge financial incentive, via the CQUIN framework, for NHS trusts to get people still BF at 6 weeks. I understand that BF is probably best, and is best if it works and all goes well and everybody's happy. But really, all the guilt they put people through by pushing BF so hard and then turning around after 6 weeks and having health visitors advising formula. Honestly. And as an aside to all this: here, at least, no one at NHS pays the least attention to what you feed your kids after that. It's not like the entirety of good nutrition and good health happens when your kid's a baby after all. Hmph.

GruffalosGirl Tue 21-Jun-11 21:04:15

Have to say that my DS dropped from the 91st to the 50th centile at four months and the HV told me not to worry about it and never mentioned formula once. The midwives in the hospital however were the most pro formula I've ever met, constantly pushing formula.

afussyphase Tue 21-Jun-11 21:10:39

Hmm maybe this really differs by which NHS trust you're in -- but in that case, if it's that uncertain what the Truth Of The Matter is, they shouldn't be pushing anything either way, especially as new mums tend to worry, feel guilty, feel anxious, etc.

DuelingFanjo Tue 21-Jun-11 21:14:15

No one as ever pushed me to breastfeed, or maybe because I wanted to anyway I didn't feel like anyone was pushing anything. Surely you only feel pushed if you don't want to breastfeed in the first place?

RitaMorgan Tue 21-Jun-11 21:14:32

I think it really depends on where you are - MWs/HVs where I am never mention formula.

But I think you're right that there's lots of promotion before the birth, and then very little support once you have the baby.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 21-Jun-11 21:16:51

Reaches for another biscuit

DogsBestFriend Tue 21-Jun-11 21:18:10

Your OP is a bit of a generalisation, surely? SOME MW's might advise formula top-ups but surely by no means all.

I wasn't aware of the financial incentives for getting women to BF until at least 6 weeks into the baby's life though and can't say I'm impressed with it, not being a fan of any financial incentives to get folk to follow any state approved theory of this kind (immunisation comes to mind here).

WRT attention being paid to what a child eats after 6 weeks in age, where the NHS tails off the state education system carries on with its healthy eating programme.

I feel that folk will come along and say that BF should be pushed but disagree with that view. Supported for those who want to do it, yes, very much so, pushed, no.

GruffalosGirl Tue 21-Jun-11 21:30:09

I'm pretty sure that the pct's are financially penalised for the reduction in number of breastfeeding mothers at 6 weeks compared to the record of breastfeeding mothers at discharge. It is not supposed to be a financial incentive as such but more a punishment for providing insufficient support to enable a mother to continue in the method of feeding she initially chose.

Fernier Tue 21-Jun-11 21:34:00

I have to say after 4 babies, 3 bottlefed from birth the fourth breastfed from birth and still going I have felt no pressure either way and I have lived in three different areas for the pregnancies. They HAVE mentioned it but once I have told them my choice they have just recorded it and left it. The only time I have been a bit hmm is one gp recently who told me that i would never get ill because I am breastfeeding at nearly a year - i wasnt surprised in an upset way just surprised in a "what a wierdo" way.

I always wonder if i just dont listen hard enough to find this pressure about baby feeding methods!

DogsBestFriend Tue 21-Jun-11 21:34:33

Hmmm... I suppose that it depends on how you interpret the intentions of the 6 week scheme, Gruffalo, doesn't it? smile

Fernier Tue 21-Jun-11 21:36:06

oh and my 4th baby went down the charts quite heavily at the start from 50th to 9th but no one ever even mentioned it. Im not sure what I have done to deserve this extreme lack of interest!

DogsBestFriend Tue 21-Jun-11 21:36:50

Sorry, I meant to add that if it's as you define it then it's no bad thing - unless of course the money isn't ring-fenced for BF support and it could mean that those PCTs which don't meet the target lose out on money which they would have spent on, say, cancer treatment.

clitorisorclitoraint Tue 21-Jun-11 21:42:42

I too have experienced the opposite. I was in hospital for a week after the birth of DD and saw many new mums come and go. Only one of them attempted bf and the others wanted to ff from the start. None of the MWs argued with this or 'pushed' bf and free formula was given no questions asked.

DD was on the 4th centile for donkeys and gained about 2oz per week for months. None of the HVs suggested a switch to formula, which is just as well as she is now a 50th centile 16month old who still loves bf smile

AuntiePickleBottom Tue 21-Jun-11 21:49:49

breast is best, but one statement doesn't fit all.

my sister had a choice to either top up with nutraprem or the baby would have to go onto medication and seen every week for weighing, he was born 8 weeks prem

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