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To think that growth charts should not be in the little red book

(15 Posts)
Reallytired Mon 08-Jun-09 16:06:46

I went to an aqua exercise class today and I met a first time mum who was tearful because her baby weight had fallen from the 98 percentile at birth to the 50th percentile at 6 months old. She is really worried although her baby is bright and alert. The reason the baby's weight has not followed the growth curve is that its 100% breastfed and physically more advanced than average.

I know there are breastfed charts now. But surely having those in the red book would just upset bottlefeeding mothers.

Would it be better if women only saw growth charts if they specifically asked the health visitor who could then hand them the right chart and explain any deviation.

susiey Mon 08-Jun-09 16:09:57

but the I would have to go and see the health visitor where as now I can weigh and measure my 1 + year olds at home if I get the inclanation.

maybe they should have both types of feeding charts in them?

littlelamb Mon 08-Jun-09 16:11:36

The exact same thing happened with my ds. He started very high on the chart but had dropped by 6 months, as he started crawling at 5 months and hasn't sat still since. The charts are a pile of poo tbh, but as a first time (hell, even second time) mum it can be easy to worry if the HVs point it out to you. With ds, the fact was the entire family on his dasd's side are all increibly tall and slim, so it was neveranything to worry about. Our charts are the bottle feeding ones and he is fully bf, but it is only through MN that I know that shock if the must include a chart at all, I think they should do charts for both- lets face it the rest of the pages aren't exactly bursting with mind blowing info, so one more page would hardly make a difference. YANBU

katiestar Mon 08-Jun-09 16:15:25

I think that it is a bit patroniseing to suggest that parents can't handle seeing growth charts.
A massive drop down the centiles could indicate a problem ,being bright and alert doesn't necessarily mean there isn't one.

Sazisi Mon 08-Jun-09 16:16:38

I agree.
Growth charts are bolleaux.
And averages and centiles...
They all serve to make parents worry about perfectly healthy babies.

EyeballshasBackBoobs Mon 08-Jun-09 16:16:47

Worryingly, I found myself being dissapointed if dd was over the 50th but happy if she was on or under it. Absolutely f-ing stupid. Made me realise that my lifelong obsession with my weight was in danger of being passed on. Have to really give myself a slap now and I gave up getting her weighed more than once every six months.

PuppyMonkey Mon 08-Jun-09 16:20:15

I never understood all that about centiles and stuff. Still don't get it. Both dds are still alive.

AMumInScotland Mon 08-Jun-09 16:20:52

The height and weight charts were about the only things I found interesting in the entire red book, so i'm glad they were there. But maybe some parents need a bit more explanation about what they mean, and what they should or should not worry about in their child's growth and development.

I think people who are going to worry would worry whether or not they could see a chart.

If that mother is tearful, she should be asking the doctor or clinic for explanations, not just crying and fretting about it.

crokky Mon 08-Jun-09 16:21:33

There should be an explation by the growth charts saying something like:

the growth of a baby in utero depends on the conditions in the mother's womb

the growth of a baby once born will then start to be determined by the genetic makeup of the baby

my kids started on a low centile because they had to be born at 37 weeks. They were measured alongside babies who had been inside their mums for another 3-5 weeks because they had just made "term" by a few hours! Conditions in utero were not good, hence they had to be born. Once they were out, they turned into giants - DD jumped up a centile curve every time she was weighed after birth. This is because me and DH are giants. Conversely for someone of average size, if they have lovely conditions in utero, they may well grow a big baby, but then that baby once born might tend towards an "average" 50 centile position, following his genetic makeup.

katiestar Wed 10-Jun-09 10:39:19

the growth of a baby in utero depends on the conditions in the mother's womb

Bugger ! So it's my fault I had small babies sad

Kayteee Wed 10-Jun-09 10:43:03

I threw my little red books away blush

Tis all bolleaux imo.

cory Wed 10-Jun-09 10:45:27

as someone whose baby did go rapidly downhill, I think the growth chart was useful

she was bright and alert (or seemed so to me) but there was a genuine underlying problem

we ended up in hospital

basically, I should have stressed earlier

could those of you with healthy babies who don't want to get stressed spare a thought for those of us who only thought we had healthy babies

Gorionine Wed 10-Jun-09 10:45:37

Growth charts are my pet hate. If you were just looking at them without seing my DCs you would think they are freeks as they were all in the red zone for wheight (underweight) , have a tiny head circumference and are all above average in heigth! When you actually see them they are quite normal reallygrin!

TheCrackFox Wed 10-Jun-09 10:55:46

Never bothered having my DCs weighed after their 6 weeks check. Pointless waste of time.

They are 7 and 4 now and seem unaffected by not being weighed every week. grin

ohdearwhatamess Wed 10-Jun-09 11:04:54

I think they're vaguely useful. I can measure and weigh my dcs at home, if I'm so inclined, and not have the hassle of queueing up for hours to have them weighed at a clinic (and avoid given lots of dodgy advice by the hvs there). I do it once in a blue moon more out of idle curiousity than anything else.

I know from the red book charts that both my dcs have big heads and that ds1 is ridiculously short for his age (below 2nd centile), but I don't lose any sleep over it.

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