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Or are HVs stuck in the 1970s?

(44 Posts)
juneau Sun 16-Oct-11 13:57:16

Mine told me I could wean DS2 "from 18 weeks" and my friend is now weaning her DS, who isn't yet 5 months old, on her HV's advice. Now, obviously it's up to her if she wants to wean her child early, but when I look a bit hmm when she told me she blithely announced that "the advice has changed". Has it? If so, I haven't seen anything in the media about the advice on weaning having changed. I thought you BF or formula fed until six months and then started to wean, which is what I did with DS1 and what I intend to do this time.

BlueKangaroo22 Sun 16-Oct-11 13:59:03

your point is unclear, what are you on about

neverbeenproudertobewelsh Sun 16-Oct-11 14:00:05

<yawn>

ScaredBear Sun 16-Oct-11 14:03:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BlueKangaroo22 Sun 16-Oct-11 14:05:54

oh and before anyone cracks off about EW. If i wish to wean my child at 16wks, and she seems ready, i bloody will, alright?

manicbmc Sun 16-Oct-11 14:08:53

It amazes me how people managed to bring up babies at all when there were no HVs and was no media to tell us how to do it. hmm

I weaned both of mine at 15 weeks because that's what was right for them, not because someone told me to in a book or in a baby clinic. How they've both managed to grow into strapping 16 year olds I don't know - and without any allergies or health problems. I'm surprised I didn't kill them both and have myself carted off by the mummy mafia.

So yes, yabu. It's her baby, and her choice.

scarevola Sun 16-Oct-11 14:15:20

I don't see what the 1970s have to do with it. The UK guideline was 4 months (usually then expressed as 16 weeks) until about 2003. I don't think children over 8 were that different from their younger brothers and sisters!

Even now, the nuanced advice (rather than headline) is 4-6months (with 4 months now being expressed usually as 17 weeks).

A lay person interpreting the very youngest age of those guidelines might lay themselves open to criticism. But a trained HCP, whose advice is within the broader version? Total non-issue.

coccyx Sun 16-Oct-11 14:22:08

YABU and rather silly

Jojay Sun 16-Oct-11 14:33:47

OP, I know exactly what you mean, yanbu.

Presumably you mean, why is she not following the current NHS and WHO recommendations when advising people?

The advice of weaning at 6 months hasn't changed. A study was published a few months ago that put forward a case for earlier weaning. It got a lot of publicity but the NHS and WHO have not changed their stance of 6 months.

What reasons did she give you when she said to start weaning your ds at 18 weeks?

RitaMorgan Sun 16-Oct-11 14:42:00

Actually I agree with you - HVs should be up to date with guidelines and giving the latest advice, which is 26 weeks.

One of the reasons that the weaning guidelines were changed from 4-6 months (which it had been since 1994) to 6 months was that HCPs were "interpreting" 4-6 months as 16 weeks hmm

There is evidence that early weaning is harmful, so while of course individual parents are free to take any risks with their babies that they want to, HVs should be giving them current, evidence-based advice. Otherwise what's the point?

CustardCake Sun 16-Oct-11 14:44:51

Firstly the guidelines that state wait until 6 months sis not exist until quite recently. It wasn't the advice even around 10 years ago!! It is all new and may yet change again. The "Eat Study" has started as many experts now think early exposure = less allergies and late weaning = more food allergies and intolerances. The results from other areas support this but the UK tests won't be finished for a couple of years. Babies on the study are right now being weaned on peanuts and fish from 3 or 4 months old which to modern ears is unthinkable but whose to say they won't prove it is the new "right thing to do"?

And once you get past the whole idea that the current advice is not set in stone and has not been around forever and is so new that most people whose youngest child is at secondary school will never have heard of it then you are left with what most parents are left with - doing the best thing for their own child with all the competing advice and statistics on offer.

New parents think that the advice they know about must be the correct advice forgetting that the advice we were given 10 years ago or will be given in 3 more years is likely to differ and yet will all be considered "right" at that time.

pommedechocolat Sun 16-Oct-11 14:45:52

YABU and a bit of a sheep. You obviously haven't done any research on the subject.

Stop judging your poor friend.

manicbmc Sun 16-Oct-11 14:49:50

Oh the horror! I gave my two smooth peanut butter occasionally from about 6 months. Neither has a peanut allergy. In fact, I had never heard of so many peanut allergies as I have in the past few years.

It's advice. It's not the law. Choose the bits that suit your child.

LadyEvilEyes Sun 16-Oct-11 14:51:14

I can't for the life of me remember what age I weaned my son, he was born in 1995, so probably earlier rather than later.
Does everyone with teens remember this stuff or is it just me?
Ds looks fine to me though, so I must have got something right. smile

hardboiledpossum Sun 16-Oct-11 14:51:20

I don't think the advice is completely clear. 17 weeks is the earliest you should wean from, 26 is the ideal but lots of babies will need weaning between 17 and 2 weeks. I weaned at 20 weeks on the advice of my health visitor. DS could sit unsupported (just) could feed himself finger foods and was getting through over a litre of formula and just as much breast milk in a day, so about 2litres of milk a day.

hardboiledpossum Sun 16-Oct-11 14:53:40

manicbmc, the advice states that smooth peanut butter is absoloutely fine from 6 months. Not whole nuts because of the choking risk.

RitaMorgan Sun 16-Oct-11 14:59:06

I think the point is though, HVs shouldn't just be spouting their personal opinion or giving advice from 10 or 20 years ago. They should be giving advice based on the latest research and guidelines.

If that research changes our understanding later, then HVs should keep their advice up to date.

juneau Sun 16-Oct-11 14:59:22

I did say in my OP that it was up to her when she weaned - personally I couldn't give a toss when she weans her child. It was more that she was telling me that the advice had changed (subtext being that I should also be weaning my child).

My point is what Jojay and RitaMorgan both understood - which is that I'm a bit confused at the advice being given by HVs in this area, which seems contrary to the advice given by the WHO and Unicef to wean from around 6 months.

I see that weaning attracts the same hair-trigger brigade as anything mentioning bottle vs. breast!

TalcAndTurnips Sun 16-Oct-11 15:04:13

Damn. Thought this was a thread about Health Visitors wearing purple crimplene loons, bri-nylon blouses, white platform boots, pink frosted lipstick and half a can of Harmony hairspray to keep their flicks in place.

LadyEvilEyes - I remember the advice for the early to mid-nineties was to wean at around four months. Of course this meant inevitably that the mavericks were shovelling baby rice and mashed rusk into six-week olds, because that was often growth spurt time and they assumed that their babies needed fortifying to sleep through the night.

AnaisB Sun 16-Oct-11 15:07:42

Yeah, it's different to the WHO advice, but all the articles I've read suggest that introducing potential allergens between 4 and 6 months is important (ie after 4 months but before 6 months).

There is a bit of controversy around the WHO guidelines. Lots of other countries haven't adopted them.

OldGreyWassailTest Sun 16-Oct-11 15:21:10

Oh FFS - just give them a rusk the day they are born! I weaned my son when he was ready - there were no guidlines. And I probably wouldn't have followed them if there were. Just do what you want!

PomBearAtTheGatesOfDoom Sun 16-Oct-11 15:29:38

In 1990 when my pfb was born, the HV had me put baby rice in his bottle (and Farley's Rusks) from 6 weeks old to "get him to sleep through" and the midwives in the hospital laid him on his front, with the cot propped at an angle to sleep, because he used to throw up a lot (projectile) and they "hadn't time to clean after every feed" so he always slept on his front. Oddly enough, he is still alive.
They also told me to on no account take paracetamol while I was pregnant, but to only take aspiring.
By the time my youngest was born in 2006, every piece of this informative advice had become the work of the devil and would cause me to be castigated roundly with many hmm faces and made to feel like a bad useless wicked person who shouldn't be allowed to even peep into a pram...

PomBearAtTheGatesOfDoom Sun 16-Oct-11 15:30:10

aspiring? is that posh aspirin? grin

PomBearAtTheGatesOfDoom Sun 16-Oct-11 15:31:17

Come to think of it, the paracetamol and aspirin thing might have been the pther way round from pfb to plb - I know it went from one to the other though, with both being dreadful at one time and the done thing at the other...

Birdsgottafly Sun 16-Oct-11 15:32:58

THe research findings are there to take notice if you want to. On top of that are family illnessess and conditions to think about.

So if your family is prone to certain cancers the advice is to try to BF for as long as possible and even if FF, leave weaning until you have to.

Unless you know someone who is weaning stupidly early -16 weeks, you probably shouldn't bother giving an opinion until asked to.

I was told off by my HV in 1986 for BFing and not weaning at 12 weeks, mums cannot win.

Oh and i would co-sleep regardless of what anyone told me (the advice from a MW is not to).

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