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Breastmilk only a drink at 11 months??

(23 Posts)
choceyes Tue 19-Jul-11 16:24:39

Well my HV thinks so.

I took my 11 month old DD for her 8 months (!) checkup and was told that I was filling her up with milk throughout the day by breastfeeding her and leaving no appetite for food. (She does eat only little, but she hates being spoonfed and she finger feeds, but little, but is showing signs of real improvement in the last month or so)

OK, I get the idea of that. The purpose of weaning is to get them off milk and on to solids. But even the WHO says between 6-12 months they need at least 50% of their calories by milk. So it is not "just a drink" is it? How can it be?? It is nutrionally superior to most foods?
She could be filling up with things like rice, pasta and bread etc, which will reduce her appetite for milk whilst being nutrionally inferior to the milk they are replacing.
Isn't it the point that they need solids on top of the milk till they are about 1yr? Not necessarily replace milk feeds, which will happen when they start eating more anyway.

I just don't understand how the HV could say milk is "just a drink"...that really irritated me yesterday!

choceyes Tue 19-Jul-11 16:25:12

Like it is equivalent to water or something hmm

Sossiges Tue 19-Jul-11 16:28:25

You are right. Tell your HV to bugger off, like most of them she knows less than nothing.

organiccarrotcake Tue 19-Jul-11 16:30:21

You are right to be irritated. Your HV is simply wrong.

Babies need complimentary foods adding in at around 6 months+ to top up on a few things such as iron. Iron stores are naturally designed to be waning in a baby's body from around 6-12 months onwards (assuming the cord was clamped after it stopped pulsating). But the key is complimentary foods, not replacement foods.

I would recommend Gabrielle Palmer's new book www.pinterandmartin.com/product/Complementary_Feeding%3A_Nutrition,_Culture_and_Politics_978-1-905177-42-4 for an excellent explanation of it all. It's short and to the point and VERY informative (and all properly referenced). Pass a copy to your HV when you're done grin.

beanlet Tue 19-Jul-11 16:34:05

You are right, it's not just a drink before 12 months. I think you are, however, supposed to gradually replace many of the BM calories between 6-12 months, and by 11 months your DD should really be getting towards 3 solid meals a day plus BM on demand. If she isn't, you probably should be trying to head swiftly in that direction. I don't think your HV is being entirely unreasonable, though it was silly to say it's "just a drink".

beanlet Tue 19-Jul-11 16:34:53

(and of course I know the "food is for fun until she's 1" -- but 11 months is almost 1.)

TheWaterHorse Tue 19-Jul-11 17:15:59

I can empathise. My doctor looked horrified that I was still breastfeeding my 12m old and kept asking when I was going to stop on the basis that bm has no nutritional value and might lead to comfort sucking.

TittyBojangles Tue 19-Jul-11 17:39:52

shock TheWaterHorse.... Comfort sucking?! Surely not! That is the WORST kind of sucking! grin

My HV also refers to bm as 'just a drink' from 6mo onwards.... tbf I don't think she means it to sound so, err, derogatory, but when you are producing the milk and doing all the feeding yourself a comment like this is quite 'personal'. My HV is actually supportive of bf and probably more knowledgable than most I have met, just not good at putting her thoughts into words I don't think. Maybe I am being too kind hmm

jandmmum Tue 19-Jul-11 18:05:03

grr HVs! I was talking to not my usual one about DS's poor eating (3.8 yr) and should I be giving him supplements. I then happened to say "I don't need to give DD do I as she eats really well".
HV: "how old is she?"
me "11 months"
HV "well she's on formula"
me " no she's bf"
HV "well you'll want to knock that on the head soon. look at all those teeth!"
WTF?

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Tue 19-Jul-11 19:19:11

choceyes please complain.

I do wish one of these crap hv's would cross my path... grin

twinklegreen Tue 19-Jul-11 19:48:12

choceyes it sounds like you are doing everything right for your dd. You are quite entitled to feel irritated by the HV's remarks, she was probably trying to be helpful, unfortunately she obviously does not have sufficient training in breastfeeding (sadly, very common for HV's sad)

You are right and the HV's is wrong, breastfeeding is, for many reasons, much more than just a drink, whatever age your baby/child is. smile

RitaMorgan Tue 19-Jul-11 19:52:07

I was under the impression that at 6 months milk is 100% of intake, and by 12 months it was 50% - that's more than just a drink. And some children are bound to get there faster or slower than others.

I don't see the need to rush babies into 3 meals a day before they are ready, so long as they are getting plenty of milk and gaining weight, growing and developing. 3 meals is just a cultural thing anyway (my 11 month old has 4 blush - luckily I haven't seen an HV in 6 months so no one has told me I'm doing it wrong...)

beanlet Tue 19-Jul-11 20:18:26

Rita, the point is your DD is eating plenty of solids. It sounds like OP's baby is not.

IgnoringTheChildren Tue 19-Jul-11 20:35:06

Well my HV seems to think that BM is somehow deficient in calories once a baby is 6 months! And she didn't mean that BM alone can't provide enough calories for the baby's needs, she really does think that the nutritional quality of the milk a mum produces deteriorates as soon as the baby hits 6 months hmm So I guess she's in agreement with the whole "just a drink" thing (although possibly slightly more nutritious than water wink).

RitaMorgan Tue 19-Jul-11 20:49:36

Does it matter if the OP's 11 month old isn't eating plenty of solids though? As long as she has plenty of milk it won't do her any harm.

beanlet Tue 19-Jul-11 20:54:18

Sigh. After 6months, breastmilk alone is not sufficient to meet a baby's nutritional needs. I'm on my iPhone so can't link, but look up any decent guidlines on infant nutrition and they will say so. So yes, it could harm her baby if it's not getting enough nutrients via solids.

RitaMorgan Tue 19-Jul-11 20:57:20

She is eating some solids though. With some babies it takes a little longer to get going.

twinklegreen Tue 19-Jul-11 21:01:13

Breast milk is actually higher in calories that puree's. Food should be tastes and textures until 1 year ( ish). The only worry is the iron content, but iron doesn't just disappear from breast milk, it is still there beyond 6 months, plus the lactoferrin which aids the absorption of said iron.

alowVera Tue 19-Jul-11 21:03:04

Fore milk and hind milk. Fore milk is more watery (for want if a better word) and "just a drink" hind milk is more creamy(?)/ filling, so equivalent to food.
OP, do you give her a drink, then offer solid food, or offer the solid food first?

I bf both DD1 and DD2 for 18mths and 13mths respectively. When they both self weaned themselves of bf. Dd1 had solids introduced at 4 mths and ate a lot. With DD2 I used the baby lead weaning method, just using finger foods from 7 mths (she had poor head control), anyway she didn't eat much, and I did have to drop a daytime feed for her to eat more.

Personally I wouldn't listen to a HV, IMO they don't know what they are talking about. I'd suggest a bf support group; NCT, Kellymom, And lalechleche (sp?) would be able to give you better advice.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Tue 19-Jul-11 21:14:26

what rita said. Don't worry op. Babies have been making the transition from bm to solids for a long time. Longer than infant nutrition guidelines have been around. Keep offering bm. Keep offering solids. Your lo will get there. Oh, and complain about that hv. grin

choceyes Tue 19-Jul-11 22:14:41

organiccarrotcakes - yes i have read that book by Gabriel Palmer - saw it mentioned here on MN at ordered it as I loved the Politics of Bfing! very informative and I wish I had the book on me to show to the HV.

Yes DD is not a big eater, but she has been looked after by DH the last couple of days now and she's not breastfed as much during the day as I have been at work (Dh brought her in once to work for a bf). And she's eaten a bit more than usual. She made up for the breastfeeding when I got back home though!

She will be starting nursery when she will be nearly 13 months for 3 days a week and I'm hoping this is the change she needs to start eating gibber amounts on food and needing less milk during the day. So I am not worried about her intake of food at the moment.

I did BLW with my son too, and I feel confident in that method and I feel strongly that babies will continue to thrive on BM until they are ready to eat more solids and drop feeds themselves. I can't forcefeed DD, whatever the HV says. DD is in control of her solid/milk intake there is nothing much I can do.

I BF on demand, in reply to someone who asked whether I feed milk or food first. Sometimes I Bf an hour vefore solids, sometimes 5 minutes before, and sometimes after solids. It is all random! But after she turns 1yr I will be making more of a concious effort to prioritise food over milk, but hoping that will happen anyway when she goes to nursery.

I do want to complain about the advice gievn by the HV. Although I feel that as DD is nearly 1, like someone else said she should be starting to eat more now.
But I know they dish out this advice to anybody with a baby over 6 months. Infact I know of someone who had a 6.5month baby who was giving her baby expressed breastmilk (baby with cleft lip couldn't BF) and HV told her to dilute the BM so that baby would take more solids . Now that really is cause for complaint!

organiccarrotcake Tue 19-Jul-11 22:25:38

beanlet you are partly right, but the thing is that a healthy term baby whose cord is not cut early will have plenty of resources between 6 and 12 months and probably much longer. The amount of micronutrients needed to cover any shortfall is very small, so provided that the OP's baby is eating something - preferably including meat, she will be fine.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Wed 20-Jul-11 06:18:39

dilute bm shock

I really enjoyed reading your post choceyes. You have a sensible, refreshing attitude. smile

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