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to be gobsmacked by stupid NHS / government meaningless guidelines?

(40 Posts)
alice298 Tue 26-Apr-16 22:44:59

You know how one gets no end of shit if your baby is on the lower end of the weight scale ...? Well, my daughter (3m) is on the 9th centile. She is EBF which I am really chuffed with. Sleeps very well, always happy and calm, rarely cries, meeting milestones etc. STILL I get tsk tsk about her being on 9th centile. Fine, she is my 3rd and I know enough to ignore this sort of thing because I have knowledge and confidence (but if I was first time mother i would be freaked out and panicked). ANYWAY, out of interest I compared the red book chart of the 3m old to my 4 year old daughter. And with the older chart, the weight my 3m old is would be on the 25th centile! Not the 9th! Isn't that absurd? Bloody pen pushers.

So you're saying the centipede ranges have been changed since 4 years ago? No wonder they're on about a childhood obesity crisis! On the 25th centile they wouldn't be concerned but on the 9th I daresay they're throwing around phrases like "formula top ups". As you say, for a first time mum that could be frightening, and ultimately affect bf.

JuxtapositionRecords Tue 26-Apr-16 23:40:28

Who is tutting at you? If it's the HV at the weigh in clinics, just stop getting her weighed there and do it yourself at home.

Birdsgottafly Tue 26-Apr-16 23:45:21

My GD was born last year, she was smaller than average, which is usual in my family. We range from 4"9'-5"4' (at the tallest).

She was EBF and very 'bright', but my DD was persecuted by her HV over her supposedly not gaining enough weight, quickly enough. My GD was heavier than I can remember my DDs being.

She's still small, but now carrying enough weight. They need to bare in mind that babies and children also come in different sizes.

nocoolnamesleft Wed 27-Apr-16 01:09:28

The WHO (World Health Organisation - neither the NHS, nor the UK government) introduced new centile charts to reflect growth patterns in breastfed babies, as the old ones were based on artificial feeding.

alice298 Wed 27-Apr-16 06:52:38

Nocoolnamesleft - thank you for clarification re WHO. But it's other way round, the chart has been updated to reflect formula fed babies not breastfed because now heavier babies are lower on centile chart iykwim.

Sirzy Wed 27-Apr-16 06:56:03

Ds was on 9th centiles as a baby and nobody batted an eye. Unless height was a much higher centile than weight, or they are dropping lots of centiles why would anyone care?

lougle Wed 27-Apr-16 07:29:38

That's interesting. Your other daughter should have had the new charts, too, because they were brought in for all births from 2009 onwards.

Gatehouse77 Wed 27-Apr-16 07:37:03

I had similar with one of mine. I told the HV that to have an average you have to have people on either side, clearly mine was on the lower side. I also told her that I saw what went in/out of her, her energy levels and had no concerns. She shut up.

But, I do agree that a new mum or someone (through no fault and am not casting blame) who is less informed/confident could be left feeling inadequate and panicked.

Musicaltheatremum Wed 27-Apr-16 07:42:04

Lol at "centipede" ranges in first reply.

(Goes off to be more mature and sensible)

OP it is ridiculous and as long as you are following a centile and not crossing them rapidly it's fine.

icclemunchy Wed 27-Apr-16 07:47:02

I had an "interesting" conversation with my HV about this. My DD wavered between the 2nd & 9th percentile. She was prem peads delighted with how she was doing but HV insisting on weekly weigh ins because "every baby should be on the 50th percentile"

When I pointed out that it was impossible for every baby to be on the 50th and it would defeat the object of the chart any way and the range would just become smaller she got really confused and just kept repeating they have to be on the 50th.

Jacked in the HV weigh in with with support of her consultant and she's still on the 9th at 16months. She's just petite like me (under 5ft and a size 8)

NameAgeLocation Wed 27-Apr-16 07:52:31

Ah iccle my DP also had an 'interesting' discussion about this. Our HV thought that the 50th percentile was what 50% of babies were (IYSWIM).hmm

I think a lot of the problem comes from basic lack of understanding of charts and statistics.

RancidOldHag Wed 27-Apr-16 07:59:19

here's the guidance that came out when they stopped over the charts


I really thought it moved babies up the centiles for weight, not downwards.

lastnightiwenttomanderley Wed 27-Apr-16 08:20:07

I'm a ftm and DS wavers around the 2nd centile. Perhaps unsurprisingly as, after much anxiety, I looked at the charts for 20yr olds and plotted DH and I. 9th and 0.4th respectively.

However, the HVs have been bad but worst was the 'breastapo' at hospital. I had multiple organ failure and was semi conscious for the first three days. Unsurprisingly, at his first weigh in, he had dropped 13% and got that delightful title 'failure to thrive'. How to make me feel even worse! The BF gang appeared at my bed insisting on the importance of feeding him. Yes, I know, I'm 31 and have a brain. They were horrible to me and if it wasn't for my own stubbornness, I probably would have given up BF there and then, not exactly the desired outcome of their visit. As it is, I'm bloody chuffed that we were able to establish BF full stop.

Out of EVERYTHING I went through, the weight/feeding anxiety was by far the worst and carries on even now. It's worrying thst the HVs seem to have such a limited understanding of the charts and the impact of their words.

Ahappynewmummy Wed 27-Apr-16 08:32:05

I always had it in my head (being a first time mum) that 50th was best so when I saw my ds was following 75th I was like I'm feeding my baby way too much. but my HV was saying he's tall for his age and all that trying to reassure me.

I then found out my brother was the same when he was younger. same weight and height at the age my ds is at. looks like he's going to be 6ft when he's 16 xD

wigglybeezer Wed 27-Apr-16 08:55:43

The charts have been altered to reflect weight gain of breastfed babies, They often tend to put weight on more quickly than formula fed babies if demand fed, ie. Formula fed babies weight gain chart is a nice steady slope but breastfed babies gain faster and then plateau. Mine certainly turned into little Buddhas and were too near the top of the old charts for a few months and then slowly moved down as they got older. I am pretty sure I read an article somewhere to this effect but will go and check to be sure.

wigglybeezer Wed 27-Apr-16 09:02:54

I have just checked on the WHO website and the new charts are based on Breastfed babies growth rates ( wonders if DS3 would not have been over the 95% centile in the newer ones).

middlings Wed 27-Apr-16 09:08:32

It's used so badly. Thankfully I have the most sensible HV in the world. I love her.

Both my DDs were born between the 50th and 75th (weirdly they had the same birth weight). Both were EBF until 6 months.

DD1 made her way rapidly to between the 2nd and the 9th having lost 6% of her birth weight at the beginning but never actually lost weight and was healthy and well.

DD2 didn't lose any of her birth weight but still ended up on the 25th. Again, she never lost weight and apart from the poor love having inherited her mother's sinuses has always been well.

No-one batted an eyelid at the fact that they didn't track their birth centiles. I think my lovely HV just rightly assumed that I'd treated myself to all the pies in the latter part of pregnancy grin.

Oh, and I think DD2 was weighed about three times and at least two of those were just for the sake of the outing.

splendide Wed 27-Apr-16 09:10:36

I had an awful time with this. DS was born on the 9th then slipped off the chart for a bit and I was really pushed into formula feeding. He's 18 months now and a chubby wee cherub. I wish I'd known not to panic at the time.

TheCatsMeow Wed 27-Apr-16 09:11:18

Stop taking her to get weighed.

Healty visitors are useless

Cabrinha Wed 27-Apr-16 09:13:02

I ordered the BF charts online back when my child was born and replaced them in the red book myself.

I had a 9th centile child - I'm short, her dad's short.

I would pull your HV up on every comment, for the sport of it. Lots of faux innocent questions about different heights wink

TeenAndTween Wed 27-Apr-16 09:19:58

9% of babies should be on or below the 9th percentile.

Surely the sensible questions are
- are length/height and weight in balance with each other
- has there been any major drop or gain in percentiles that isn't explainable

MoonriseKingdom Wed 27-Apr-16 09:58:03

Iccle your HV sounds like she needs retraining!

My DD followed the 9th centile for the first year and the HV in my area were fine. Hearing some of the stories on here HV seem really variable.

mayhew Wed 27-Apr-16 10:10:20

I had a baby on the 98th centile at birth. Very long rather than broad.

She then kept growing! exclusvely breastfed and I would be repeatedly asked what else I was feeding her......I tell you I was back in my jeans pdq, it was like lipo through the nipples, i felt that i was being hollowed out!. As a midwife, I was impressed by human physiology.

Did the HVs expect me to feed her less? I was a similarly chunky infant but have always had a normal BMI.

Anyhoo, she's now a slim 6 footer. A big change when we used to call her "half baby, half bollard"..

mayhew Wed 27-Apr-16 10:13:37

And dont get me started on "they say my baby's small...." no kidding, you're 5 feet tall in shoes! An "average" baby would be huge for you! 6lbs would be perfect.

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