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Are there any bf experts out there?

(9 Posts)
bumpsnowjustplump Fri 31-Jul-09 09:40:35

DS is just over 5 months old. He has struggled with his weight as he has reflux but is on medication to help with the pain so although he is still very sick he is not crying anymore....

Anyway we were under Paediatrician but he has been signed off back to HV care now with instructions to wean him. I am weaning him now but only tiny bits as normal...

My problem is that i stupicly took dp with me when we went for ds's weigh in at clinic and helpful HV said I NEED to put ds onto formula now as he isn't feeding enough and there isn't enough iron in my breast milk to substain him.....

Please help me counteract this comment to dp (who belives anything that anyone tells him) as i want to carry on bf until he is a year. He will not take a bottle anyway we have tried with EBM but dp thinks we should try other bottles and get formula in as hv told us too...... Helpful family members are also piping up that bm is not enough... arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

tiktok Fri 31-Jul-09 11:32:43

The HV said this? angry

That's preposterous. Not only is it not true, it's distressing and undermining. Did she actually say 'not enough iron to sustain him' ? What does she think is going to happen?

Of course breastfeeding is enough - unless you have been told for medical reasons he needs something more, and the paed has said 'start to give small amounts of solids now' from what you say - not 'add formula and stop breastfeeding.'

Breastmilk has the amount of iron in it that's physiologically normal. Only severely, chronically anaemic mothers struggle with this - not an issue for you, or you would have said. If your baby needs to feed more, and to have more calories, then it makes sense to breastfeed him more often. The iron in breastmilk is well-absorbed by the baby and babies get the extra iron they start to need from about six months by having solids - just as you are arranging.

To give formula instead of breastmilk makes no sense at all - there is virtually no calorie difference, and the iron in formula is not well-absorbed, so what on earth could be the advantage?

If you or your dp feel uncertain about this, then speak to another HV in the hope you will get one who is better informed, or ring the paed who has just discharged you and speak to him on the phone for clarification.

If you need actual medical and academic references for any of this, just say, and I can fish them out.

Hope his helps

bumpsnowjustplump Fri 31-Jul-09 11:47:22

HV actually said that my breast milk doesnt contain enough iron for me and ds and now that his reserves have run out, I should think about formula!! When i said that I want to carry on BF she said i would have to give ds vitamin drops then. She wasn't the normal HV we see at the clinic but as DP is normally working he thinks we should do as she says. (he doesnt have MN to fall back on to after all grin)

Great idea about contacting the paed because he was very supportive of me bf. He didn't even mention formula when he asked me to start weaning. I wouldnt have even though of that.

I might even complain to my usual HV next month at ds's next weigh in!

tiktok Fri 31-Jul-09 12:23:47

bumps, she is shockingly ignorant....babies are born with iron stores which have been 'accumulated' in utero. These are sufficient to meet all their needs, alongside the iron in breastmilk, for at least the first six months - after that time, the baby starts to need more iron from his diet, but it's not a question of 'oops he has no iron any more'. A gradual introduction to solid foods - inc cereals and other foods that have iron - alongside continued bf is fine.

Vitamin drops after about 6 mths are really to plug a vitamin D gap in modern lifestyles - the Vitamin D is added artificially to formula so ff babies don't need them. Breastfed babies who are indoors a lot may not get the sunlight they need to make Vitamin D. If you and your baby are white, and get outside on most days it's generally thought this is fine. If you are black or Asian, you and your baby might benefit because you both prob need more sunlight than is available in the UK. Diet can supply Vit D as well of course.

Best to phone the paed and tell him the rubbish your HV has been sharing with you

bumpsnowjustplump Fri 31-Jul-09 12:41:30

I am going to call him at 4 o clock. I have spoken to his pa this morning and this is when he is back in his office... We are always outside so vit d is not an issue.. I am also going to show dp this thread so he can see what you have said...

Thank you again tiktok you have been a fantistic help and have put my mind at ease that I am infact right grin.. And I now have a good reason to go and steal all my dads spinach that he is growing in his garden grin.

tiktok Fri 31-Jul-09 13:49:41

www.dh.gov.uk/en/Healthcare/Children/Maternity/Maternalandinfantnutrition/index.htm is the UK feeding guidance which specifically says breastfeeding should continue beyond 6 mths, alongside solid foods.

If your dp needs more reassurance, just ask

Please post what the paed says, and whether you were cheeky enough to spill the story about the HV...

bumpsnowjustplump Fri 31-Jul-09 14:02:48

Thanks for that it is really helpful and i will report back as later.

bumpsnowjustplump Fri 31-Jul-09 16:27:14

TIKTOK I have just got off the phone. I did tell paed about my visit to the hv today. He was very annoyed and confirmed that I should continue to bf while weaing ds. He
said if he had thought I needed to use formula he would have said so!! He was astounded by the advice I had been given and has advised me that if i feel that i have been ill advised then I should
complain to the practise manager, although he said that it may not progress as there was nothing put down in writting in my book).. I kind of got the feeling that he thought I had misunderstood but I asure you that is what she said.

I have spoken to dp and he is very angry as well as he belives that people rely on the advise of hv and to be so badly adviced is not right and yet next month I have to go to the same clinic again for his weigh in... I hope I get another hv this time though...

tiktok Fri 31-Jul-09 16:45:28

I'm glad the paed has reassured you and your dp - it is a disgrace that you have been so badly misled, and I can well believe you did not misunderstand 'cos I hear loads of daft stuff like this all the time angry

Might be an idea to take it further, though....

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