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To think the formula and breastfeeding guidelines don't match up?

(51 Posts)
Shiggle Sat 02-Dec-17 09:33:48

I inadvertently managed to start a conversation about when to transition from formula to cows milk and it got me thinking that actually the guidelines don't match up.

WHO says breast milk is nutritionally important for a child until 2 years. But for formula fed babies they can transition to cows milk at 12 months. Cows milk is quite clearly worlds apart from human breast milk or we wouldn't bother with formula. Formula is much closer to mimicking the nutritional content of breast milk. So if breastfed babies need breast milk to 2 years why don't formula fed babies also need it to 2 years?

Triplesalchow Sat 02-Dec-17 09:40:12

They don't NEED it til two but continue to get some benefits from breastmilk. I guess stuff like antibodies etc that formula doesn't give anyway.
Cows milk is fine for stomachs from 1 year so no need to continue formula. There wouldn't be any benefit except maybe vitamins but can give separately as drops anyway.

TabbyMumz Sat 02-Dec-17 09:48:36

I don't think that many people are breastfeeding up to age two anyway. You are right, it doesn't add up.

Camomila Sat 02-Dec-17 09:49:51

I think it’s more that breastfeeding to age 2 plus would be ideal but breastfed babies can also switch to cows milk at age one.

The main extra benefit of breastfeeding is I guess the immunological stuff which you don’t get with formula which is why once they are one toddlers might as well have cows milk plus food plus multivitamins.

Sometimes babies stay on formula till older than one too, my friends DD was a little premature and not a good eater and the HV advised keeping her on formula till she got a bit bigger and her eating improved for all the extra vitamins.

Plus breastmilk milk is free and you don’t have to faff about boiling water and stuff...not so much a consideration in the West but definitely more important in other countries.

Osolea Sat 02-Dec-17 09:51:33

Breastfed babies can move to cows milk at 12 months as well, they don't need to stay on BM for two years. But the WHO has to take into account the whole world when giving its advice, it is not only aimed at those of us in the western world who are lucky enough to have safe access to pasteurised cows milk, hygienic kitchens and safe water.

NewStartAgainReallyThisTime Sat 02-Dec-17 09:53:38

Formula provides adequate nutrition but nothing more.

Breast milk provides a whole host of other benefits, not least antibodies.

There's no point to use formula once eating foods as there's no other benefit. You continue with breast milk alongside food to reap the other benefits.

Many people do breastfeed until two and beyond.

Crunchymum Sat 02-Dec-17 09:58:36

I think the statistic is something like on a minute % still breastfeed beyond 6 months?

To be honest I'm led by my kids. DC1 was FF from 8 weeks in. DC2 was breastfed until she was 2y 7m.

It's what suited them and their needs.

I'll be aiming to do the same with DC3 (ie whatever works best for the baby, and myself)

Pengggwn Sat 02-Dec-17 09:59:31

They don't need breastmilk until 2. It is nutritionally important in parts of the world where a balanced solid diet is harder to achieve.

Pengggwn Sat 02-Dec-17 10:00:10

And where clean water isn't a given.

Mumteadumpty Sat 02-Dec-17 10:00:18

Older babies are on solids, so can get their vitamins and iron from food. Why would you spend money on expensive formula? As PP has said, breast fed babies can have ordinary cows milk too.

Okkitokkiunga Sat 02-Dec-17 10:05:31

I think it was Which who published a study a couple of years ago that showed that after 1 year old, if a child was eating a balanced diet, cows milk was better than formula. And the follow on milks (last time I looked) had loads of sugar and stuff in.

Camomila Sat 02-Dec-17 10:10:16

It’s a fairly tiny % in the UK after 6 months, but not everywhere in the world, or even in Europe/America.

HousefulOfBoysAndMe Sat 02-Dec-17 10:12:13

I agree op and I've thought the same myself.

Formula provides adequate nutrition but nothing more. Breast milk provides a whole host of other benefits, not least antibodies

I have to ask - what? I know breastfeeding carries a whole load of benefits. But other than adequate nutrition and antibodies, what are the 'whole host' of other benefits of breast milk?

Marcine Sat 02-Dec-17 10:16:35

Breastfed babies can have cows milk after 1 too.

Human milk is always going to be better for human babies than animal milk, but after 1 cows milk is perfectly adequate if they eat a good diet.

AmaDablam Sat 02-Dec-17 10:16:56

I bf until 14 months but started giving dd cows milk as a drink from a year, especially as her interest in bf stated waning. It doesn't have to be an either/or, they can have both, just as many babies are mix fed bf and formula when under 1 smile

PotteringAlong Sat 02-Dec-17 10:18:39

it’s not all or nothing. Mine have had both cows milk and breastmilk after the age of one. You’re allowed to mix and match!

Iggi999 Sat 02-Dec-17 10:21:00

It is not that the WHO say bf babies should keep having bm till 2, and ff ones can have cows milk. The WHO are saying that it is optimal for all infants to have bm until 2.
And their guidelines apply to the world as a whole not just the developing world, I don’t know why people keep saying that.

YouCantArgueWithStupid Sat 02-Dec-17 10:21:03

You're right it doesn't match up and it's annoying to hear some HCPs say there's no benefit in bfing til 2

Iggi999 Sat 02-Dec-17 10:21:50

(Actually it’s not until 2 it’s for a minimum of 2 years)

Newmanwannabe Sat 02-Dec-17 10:28:33

Formula is cows milk in a more sterile form with additional nutrients. After one babies are having solids. As babies are getting a lot of nutrients from food they do not need the more costly formula. Cows milk is enough. There is no comparison between the guidelines because they are completely different, as breastfeeding is more than just nutrition

WHO recommend breastfeeding to two years AND beyond.

LouHotel Sat 02-Dec-17 11:09:57

Im breastfeeding my 18 month and will continue to do so until after her 2nd birthday (but not that much after)

The immune boosting effect of breastmilk has been apparent to me, she's avoided bouts of sickness with just some funny poos whilst the rest of house got hit etc..

She had had cows milk as well. I wouldnt touch follow on milk with a barge poll - nothing against actual formula but more the PR machine behind it that have now convinced parents to give their child a sugar increased nonsense product.

Shiggle Sat 02-Dec-17 12:08:46

It's NOT true that all follow-on mills contain sugar. Hipp Organic stage 2 from six months does not contain sugar. I wish people would fact check a bit before making sweeping statements with such assuredness.

Marcine Sat 02-Dec-17 12:41:31

Of course it contains sugar, the box says 7.6g sugar per 100ml.

Marcine Sat 02-Dec-17 12:46:49

First milk is 7.2g per 100ml, follow on is 7.6g, so marginally more sugar.

The 12 month + Hipp milk has 7.8g sugar, whereas whole cows milk only has 4.7g.

kaytee87 Sat 02-Dec-17 12:47:00

Well breastmilk and formula aren't the same are they?
As far as I understanding it they're saying ideally a baby should be bf until 2 (and beyond if both want to) but if you're formula feeding then the baby only needs formula until they're 1 as at that age they should be eating a variety of foods.
I'm not sure what's confusing about the guidelines at all. They're to make sure people don't give small babies cows milk instead of formula or breastmilk.

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