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Can you help me compose a complaint letter? need help finding all the facts.

(20 Posts)
Jenkeylovesdazzy Sat 28-Jul-07 13:58:26

There is an article in my 'Green Parent' magazine this month that has some very dubious advice about breastfeeding and weaning. It is normally a great magazine and very supportive of breastfeeding but this article has some bits in it that are not current thinking and really shocked me.

Here is the bit in question, it's taken from a column written by a mum of a 5 month old baby:
"Babies cannot continue to live on milk alone. And here's the science bit: the iron stores babies have at birth are gradually depleted and breast milk alone is unlikely to supply their increasing need for iron and a number of other nutrients after around 6 months of age. Iron deficiency can make a baby more susceptible to infections and can lead to faltering growth and poor physical developement. And solids are key players in teeth and jaw development. The world health orginastion explains that babies need to have gained some mastery of the neuromuscular system - head control and back support - before they can ingest and swallow solids.

Solids should not be introduced before 20 weeks , and after that, only as a complentary feeding, along with milk feeds. When baby starts putting things in their mouth it is a sign that are ready to try solids of the mashed up kind. And if they're still hungry after a milk feed or have started to wake up at night when they didn't previously it's time for some solid nourishment"

To me this article says: if you don't start solids by 20 weeks (or at least before 6 months) your baby will be a slack-jawed iron deficient weakling who will not sleep through the night! - it's all rubbish isn't it? But I can't just write 'hey green parent magazine, your article is pants' - so need some hard facts to back it all up.

Sorry it's a long one.

cornsilk Sat 28-Jul-07 14:00:25

I have no idea but will watch with interest to see what the consensus is!

callmeovercautious Sat 28-Jul-07 14:03:39

Will have a think but I think you should definately include the WHO recommendation for exclusive BF to 6m. Babies who put things in their mouths are exploring their world not telling you they are hungry.

Kellymom.com has some good research to back up their statements perhaps you can find research articles through links on there and quote from them.

These things make me so cross!!!!

vonsudenfed Sat 28-Jul-07 14:17:38

Blimey that's severely off the mark.

I second the recommendation to Kellymom - at the bottom of all of their articles, they have references, and often links to the online articles, so you should be able to get all of the facts and backup you need there.

Other than that, you could try ringing the press offices of the La Leche League and NCT on Monday, they should have some breastfeeding facts to hand.

mush4brains Sat 28-Jul-07 14:47:23

I have read the article too with some . meant to get round to complaining but havent as yet- maybe I should. I thought it may be a good parenting mag but am to be convinced.

mush4brains Sat 28-Jul-07 14:50:38

seema the author is a music journalist, so while the article is written as a diary I feel that maybe the mag or author should have checked their facts.

kiskidee Sat 28-Jul-07 14:59:19

sigh. does this magazine have ads for 'green' baby foods? it sounds like the research came straight from the C&G website.

here is some links to good ole kellymom.
is iron supplementation necessary?

is my baby ready for solids?

breastfeeding and speech development

and

The Influence of Breastfeeding on the Development of the Oral Cavity

cornflakegirl Sat 28-Jul-07 15:06:06

According to Gill Rapley's (BLW) research, babies will put food in their mouths and maybe even chew it, but they won't swallow it until they're ready for solids - around 6 months.

Aitch's site http://www.babyledweaning.com has lots of useful stuff on it.

mush4brains Sat 28-Jul-07 15:06:26

only for organix if I am looking properly & its just theor finger food so havent seen any of the purees or things for thoses between 4-6 months. Think thats what you where asking kisidee?

kiskidee Sat 28-Jul-07 15:11:11

i think organix also says 4-6 mo on the packets. think they all fecking do. it's called business.

JeremyVile Sat 28-Jul-07 15:17:55

I dont see anything wrong with the information.

Iron stores do start to deplete from around 6 months, also they seem just to be stating some of the signs when a baby is ready to start solids with the proviso that it should not be before 20 weeks.

Have i missed something?

detoxdiva Sat 28-Jul-07 15:34:52

I agree with jeremy - the info about iron is true, and I didn't read it thinking it sounded like you MUST start introducing solids from 20 weeks, rather than you can if it is necessary and combine with milk if yu choose to do so. Dd was ready for something more than milk at 20 weeks (consistent lack of weight gain) and thrived with the introduction of basic 'solid' foods - as always, a common sense approach must prevail...whats right for one will not nececessarily be right for another.

lulumama Sat 28-Jul-07 15:36:57

babies can continue to live on milk alone, and milk should be the main source of nutrition for the first year.....

iron stores start to deplete, so that bit is right....but the way it is written is a teeny bit scaremongery..

article should say 26 weeks, in line with WHO guidelines...and waking in the night is not neccc a sign of needing solids..can be a growth spurt

kiskidee Sat 28-Jul-07 15:45:33

saying iron stores begin to deplete after 6 mo but it is a relatively slow process as long as the baby is still having unrestricted milk feeds.

Closely following it with starting solids at 20 wks, I find very misleading as it makes it sound like you ought to be in a hurry to get onto meat and 2 veg or your baby will turn to skin and bones.

And the jaw development thing is just awful.

JeremyVile Sat 28-Jul-07 15:55:55

Eating solids is widely linked to speech.

Personally, at this stage i cant see it would make that much difference but the article isn't claiming anything out of the ordinary.

Jenkeylovesdazzy Sat 28-Jul-07 16:01:50

Thanks for the input. I think I agree with kiskidee that the way it is written does suggest that the iron disappears so quickly that you need to hurry on to solids or you'll have an ill baby.

Thanks for the links, I will look at all of them when I get a chance. Am I imagining it but did I read something about the iron starts to deplete at 6 months but isn't really a problem until much later on. My dd didn't touch solids until nearly a year and whilst the hv mentioned iron supplements a few times I declined and my dd has lovely teeth, is talking well and is a bundle of rolly polly babyness!

kiskidee Sat 28-Jul-07 16:02:09

does 'solids' include the mush and then lumpy mush that most spoonfed babies get for quite a while?

my dd found chewing on a shoe very good for her oral-facial development.

kiskidee Sat 28-Jul-07 16:04:37

my dd took solids at 13 months. grabbed a piece of paprika flavoured smoked german salami straight off my breakfast plate. Before that it was just mushy weetabix, readybrek or yoghurt. she gagged on everything. even the teeniest bit of ham hidden inside a potato croquette just before her 1st birthday.

Jenkeylovesdazzy Sat 28-Jul-07 16:06:15

she does go on to talk about all her lovely lentil purees so I guess it does include the lovely lumpy stuff! I'm sure someone here said that grabbing stuff and putting in it their mouth means nothing, after all a baby would grab a bowl of cigarette butts and chew them given half a chance and it does not mean they are ready to eat (or smoke).

I read in '3 in a bed' that even when babies start solids they continue to take the same amount of milk at night times and I haven't met anyone who says that starting solids helps babies to sleep.

Got to go out know and visit Grandad so will catch up later. Thanks.

callmeovercautious Sat 28-Jul-07 18:53:38

I think the point here is that the staements were made in that particular magazine. If it had been Womans Own no one would have been as shocked. Perhaps you should point that out to them, i.e the green parent should be pushing for the best and most up to date in health advice for babies not trotting out the same old advice given 10 years ago.

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