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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?

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

Its been discussed on mumsnet before here

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.

Starballbunny Sat 25-Jan-14 10:13:29

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.

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 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.

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--)

OrangeMochaFrappucino 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.

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.

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.

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

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

Best wishes to you, Anonimity thanks

And great posts, Oxford smile

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?


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.

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.

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.

Starballbunny Fri 24-Jan-14 23:11:07

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

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

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...

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

anonimityhave just sent you a pm xx

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 22:58:10

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

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.

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 22:47:23

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

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.

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.^

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