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22 week exclusively bf dd - HV said she should be on solids- I'm confused

(35 Posts)
whelk Fri 18-Sep-09 11:07:37

And there was me thinking I was doing the right thing exclusivley bfing to 22 weeks. dd's weight has dropped from just above to just below 50th centile and is v tall (95th centile I think). HV said she wouldn't be robust enough to fight off winter bugs and that she should be eating what we are eating.

Im so shocked! Im exclusively bfing and not loving it tbh but doing it really as dd1 has lots of food allergies and really want to avoid this with dd2.

HV implied I was depriving her and tbh I feel pretty rubbish esp as exclusively bfing has been tough especially with a 2.5 year old.

Bucharest Fri 18-Sep-09 11:10:19

Dd was exclusively bf until 25 weeks and was on the 3rd centile for weight. She was lively, healthy, never sick, slept well. I used that as a yardstick not some % table...

I'm no expert either on bf or weaning, but to me what you are doing sounds just fine.

Littledawley Fri 18-Sep-09 11:12:06

I think that your health visitor is talking crap confused. You are doing brilliantly and should be aiming to keep her off solids until 26 weeks.

charleymouse Fri 18-Sep-09 11:13:27

HV is talking tosh, especially given your DD1 allergy history. You have done a brilliant job and should continue to do so. grin

Just perfect the smile for idiots and ignore her. Or you could complain and say that is a load of rubbish. What benefit is a mashed up carrot or stewed apple going to add to DD2s diet. Nothing, it will just fill her tummy up and give her less room for your lovely calorific; nutritious; full of antibodies breast milk.

tiktok Fri 18-Sep-09 11:14:04

Unless there are some health and well-being issues with your daughter that only solid food could fix, then the reason for your HV's advice is unclear.

If there are concerns about her growth - and while her weight could be perfectly physiological for her, I agree the info you give about her weight dropping and the divergence with her length mean the HV is justified in treating it as a concern - then this would be best addressed by breastfeeding her more often.

Was this given as an option for you?

whingeomatic Fri 18-Sep-09 11:14:10

Sorry, but your HV is talking a load of old cobblers!

The centile thing is misleading - they are weighted towards FF babies not BF babies.

The WHO recommends starting solids no earlier that 6mths, and then only when baby is showing signs of readiness (sitting unaided, when the tongue push reflex has gone etc - there are more knowledgeable people than me around who can clarify).

To get to 22 weeks exclusively is fantastic - your dd is getting everything she needs from you (including your antibodies) which will stand her in good stead for the winter months.

Carry on with what you are doing and stick to your guns!!

ShowOfHands Fri 18-Sep-09 11:15:02

Oh right, a bit of banana and some pasta going to ward off winter bugs? Or is it specific foods that have this magic property. Has she marketed this to the makers of Lemsip and the like so they can makes some money out of it? I suspect you know this is buggery bollocks don't you? Exclusively bfed babies weight gain slows down a wee bit at this point so the slight centile drop is expected.

Be led by your baby, you're doing really well. Ask your hv if she's aware of current guidelines and where her revised opinion actually comes from.

My exclusively bfed baby didn't have her first tastes of a negligible amount of solids until well into the winter. She had not a cold, nowt. Was healthy and robust on milk alone.

FaintlyMacabre Fri 18-Sep-09 11:15:07

As far as I know, one of the reasons that 6 months ex bf is recommended is that ex bf babies have fewer episodes of infections (not just tummy bugs but chest infections as well). So suggesting that you introduce solids in order to prevent bugs sounds particularly daft.

KirstyJC Fri 18-Sep-09 11:15:54

You are not supposed to wean until around 6 months / 26 weeks. You are doing the right thing - stupid health visitor is talking out of her arse.

Being able to fight off bugs is one of the main reasons to breastfeed fgs - you pass on your immunity to her! As for centiles, it is perfectly normal for babies to move around a bit, especially as they get more active and alert. Moving from just above to just below is nothing, really, not worth worrying about.

Ignore her and speak to someone who knows what they are talking about. She is contradicting the Dept of Health's own advice www.dh.gov.uk/en/Healthcare/Children/Maternity/Maternalandinfantnutrition/index.htm.

whelk Fri 18-Sep-09 11:18:07

dd is so happy and sleeps well and is really active. (But HV said did her being placid 'worry me').
Im tall and slim (not at mo- Im v lumpy and bumpy at moment) so I figure she has probably got my body shape so haven't been at all worried, in fact Ive just really really enjoyed her.
HV has told me to come back next week with my weight and height and my husbands weight and height. This seems absolutely ridiculous to me so I said that I wouldn't be doing this.

tiktok Fri 18-Sep-09 11:20:20

Listen, people - we simply don't know enough to know if whelk's HV is talking rubbish or is confused or whatever.

The weight divergence is unusual - and the drop down the centiles would be clear on the newer charts, too, at this age. Charts would make no difference. Any HV worth her salt is going to at least explore why this baby is showing these results when weighed and measured - that is a good, professional, response.

The baby may look skinny and behaviour, responses may be concern-causing, too....whelk does not say. Maybe whelk is not feeding very often and has told the HV she cannot feed more often than she is....we don't know.

I know HVs are often useless at supporting breastfeeding and often advise solids as a knee jerk reaction, but we don't know if this is the case here. That's why whelk's best plan is to ask for more info from her HV and discuss with her what she should do.

In my opinion, natch

whelk Fri 18-Sep-09 11:22:40

Tik tok - I don't have a feeding routine really for her apart from not letting her go more than 3 hours in the day. She is demand fed. She does to be at 7.0 and sleeps til 7.0am with either one or two feeds betwen. How would I feed her more? The dream feed hasn't really worked as it just seems to mean she wakes more often,
Would really welcome your help - thanks

tiktok Fri 18-Sep-09 11:23:38

On re-reading, I see whelk's baby has dropped not from 95th but from 'just above' to 'just below' 50th....less of a concern, but the divergence between weight and height is still worth exploring. HV is checking that this may be physiologcal - asking about family size, for instance. That's a bit intrusive, but professionally justified, I think.

KirstyJC Fri 18-Sep-09 11:25:49

Hhmm, well OK Tiktok I suppose we don't really know enough about the centiles part.....but what about the comment that she needs to eat solids to beat the winter bugs? That's not right - breastmilk is better for her immune system than solids at this age, surely?!?

What made me cross reading this is that the hv seems to have made a couple of statements, not explained them fully and just left the OP feeling awful....how professional of her.sad

FaintlyMacabre Fri 18-Sep-09 11:26:17

I see what you mean, Tiktok- it could potentially be dangerous to dismiss a HV's (who has actually seen the baby) concerns with a 'well what do HVs know anyway' etc. But the reasons given for introducing solids do seem a little odd.

I also find it interesting how different the HV responses to to baby weight are in different places. DS spent ages on the 9th centile for weight and the 91st for height, and nobody seemed to care. This was in a rather notorious London borough though...

KirstyJC Fri 18-Sep-09 11:26:36

x posts! smile

tiktok Fri 18-Sep-09 11:29:00

whelk - the chances are your baby's weight and height are normal for her...even when babies are fully investigated for underweight, this is what is usually found. That's just the way they are, often because of genetic factors placing them on the skinny end of the scale

I don't know if breastfeeding more often would benefit her or not - but the HV should have discussed this with you, as well as the other stuff she said.

One way of getting more breastmilk into a baby is to offer more 'sides' per feed...if she usu. has 2, offer her a third and even a fourth.

I dunno, truly, if she needs it or not. But if she needs more calories, it's an easier (and healthier and actually more effective) way to do it than early solids

whelk Fri 18-Sep-09 11:29:03

Her weight has dropped from just above to below 50th over the 22 weeks. She has been just below 50th since 12 weeks and the drop since last time she was weighed at 17 weeks is less than a mm. She doesn't look skinny really.
I don't really have any concerns about her (although I have been looking at her differently since then iyswim) - she is rolling, trying to crawl, shes very smiley, responsive, reasonably close to sitting up. Is there anything else I should look out for?

LuluMaman Fri 18-Sep-09 11:30:45

breastfeeding is going to protect her more from bugs than some mashed carrot!!

you should feel really proud of yourself!

if your DD is showing any signs of readiness for solids: i.e sitting unaided, good head control, loss of tongue thrust reflex,and can pick up a piece of food, chew and swallow, then yes, offer her some food.

oterhwise, carry on what you are doing, weaning is supposed to begin around 26 weeks, and even when you start weaning, milk is still going to be the main source of nutrition for a good while yet

if there is a history of food allergies, then holding off weaning until you are sure your DD is pyhsically ready is proably a much better idea than trying her now, to build up her immunity hmm

tiktok Fri 18-Sep-09 11:32:08

I seriously doubt that an HV thinks solids in themselves will 'beat winter bugs'....but babies who are underweight are more vulnerable to infection and the results of infection can be weight loss, and skinny minnies can't really cope with weight loss....so I think this is the reasoning behind what she said.

I agree that leaving a mother feeling upset and cross is not a good result of a consultation

whelk Fri 18-Sep-09 11:34:33

Thanks tiktok I'll try that. I have tried a bit of that and it has worked. What about formula? Im keen to stay off because of allergies

Oh just as an aside HV said most Mums make up allergies (I really can't imagine this as its really not something I would wish on any child!)anyway enough about her, more on dd.

dd1 is small and chubby-ish but dd2 is totally different

tiktok Fri 18-Sep-09 11:35:17

Everything you've said subsequent to your first post paints a picture of a baby who is fine, whelk, and the fact she does not look skinny is a good bit of reassurance

Her development sounds spot on.

I think your HV needs the chance to explain herself more - you can show her the guidance on weaning ages and ask why she is not following it.

ShowOfHands Fri 18-Sep-09 11:35:44

It's not just the implication that she should have started trying food either but the line that she should be eating what you are eating already. Really? At 22 weeks with a family history of allergies?

I utterly agree with tiktok about the hv being able to see the baby and flagging concerns but what you describe (happy, rolling, trying to crawl, sleeping and feeding well, staying around the same weight centile over a period of months) doesn't corellate with a baby that should be 'eating what you eat' and 'isn't robust enough to fight off infections'.

whelk Fri 18-Sep-09 11:36:50

Sorry dd1 just had wee on the floor then flipped round and pressed 'send'on here.

Juts going to say dd2 is tall and slim (but I am reasonably so myself)

Should prob give dd1 some attention to save my floor
Thanks tiktok and everyone

greygirl Fri 18-Sep-09 11:40:14

my only comment would be to ask HV if her chart is a breastfeeding weight chart or a formula fed chart. The chart in the red book in cheshire is for formula babies, so would be utterly irrelevent to your situation.

of course if it is a breastfeeding chart she is sensible to check everything is ok.

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