I want to complain about the advice I heard a HV giving to the parents of another 10 m.o. when I took DS for his 10 month check today.
The baby was bf fairly often (including at night) and wasn't very interested in solids.
The HV said they should go 'cold turkey' on bf, and stop offering it even if the baby was asking for it. The LO shouldn't have more than one feed a day by this age, and definitely not at night. By this age milk should hardly form any part of their diet at all. She told the mother that when the baby was whingey and grumpy, she was probably 'giving in' and bf'ing the baby - which needed to stop.
The HV said it would be hard because the LO was in the habit of having milk instead of food. She said that after a few days of mum refusing bf, the baby would start eating more as he wouldn't starve himself.
She said that bm is good nutrition for a baby under six months but 'the moment they hit 6 months' they can't get the vitamins or iron they need (she even said they can't get iron from bm after 6 months at all).
I was so angry to hear such wrong advice given by a HCP to parents who were clearly wanting to know how to do the best for their baby. Even aside from the misinformation about feeding, she was setting up the family for parent-baby conflict.
I'm going to contact PALS (the Patient Advice & Liason Service) to lodge a complaint, but I wondered whether anyone could give me the 'standard line' on the nutrition that babies older than 6 months get from bm.
I've got the document 'guiding principles for complementary feeding of the breastfed child' by the WHO which says 'continue frequent, on-demand breastfeeding until 2 years of age or beyond'.
Any other 'official' info I can add to my complaint?
On a lighter note, the HV I spoke to didn't seem fazed when I said DS bfs 6 or 7 times a day (I didn't mention the 2-4 times a night! ) Then she asked:
HV: Does he eat solids? Me: Yes, we did baby led weaning and he eats the same as us. HV: Does he eat lumps? Me: Er... (No, DH and I live off purees rather than normal food )
I do remember I was told to offer a breastfeed after meals rather than before from 6months, the reasoning being that milk while an important part should not be the ONLY food. Presumably this baby was not taking enough solids and was hooked on milk, so HV was trying to encourage mother to give more variety. A baby at that age which was not getting solid food (whether milky solid food like cereal, cheese, yoghurt) would need to bfd very often to get enough calories. Perhaps the mother didn't want to feed so often, and HV was tailoring advice to fit that particular situation.
There is presumably a middle way. HV was obviously being too draconian and plain misleading, but perhaps that's what the mother needed to hear to encourage her child to take more solids.