LONDON (AFP) – Breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months is not necessarily best for a baby's health, British researchers said Friday, calling into question advice given to new mothers.
The team led by a paediatrician from University College London said babies fed only breast milk could suffer iron deficiency and may be more prone to allergies.
The study says babies could start to be weaned on to solids as early as four months, although other experts advised sticking to the existing guidelines.
Ten years ago, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended that infants should be exclusively breastfed for six months.
"Many Western countries, including 65 percent of European member states and the United States, elected not to follow this recommendation fully, or at all," the authors said, although Britain did.
The WHO recommendation "rested largely" on a review of 16 studies, including seven from developing countries.
It concluded that babies given only breast milk for six months had fewer infections and experienced no growth problems.
Answer by MrsMWF at 9:58 AM on Jan. 14, 2011
Answer by SpaceToast at 10:03 AM on Jan. 14, 2011
Answer by FelipesMom at 10:07 AM on Jan. 14, 2011
I find it hard to believe but okay. I still go with breast is best idea. I didn't breast feed, I adopted my child. But I have regrets I didn't try. I admire those that choose to BF and I find nothing wrong with moms who can't or choose not to. A personal decision. But it should be made from factual and up to date information. Information is power. The parent who has as much information as possible can make a more informed choice. That doesn't mean they will all choose the same thing because there is a more right path. It means they can decide what they can live with.
Answer by frogdawg at 10:21 AM on Jan. 14, 2011
Answer by VanessaMomof2 at 10:26 AM on Jan. 14, 2011
Answer by vicesix at 10:40 AM on Jan. 14, 2011
If babies are being fed I do not care if it is bbreast milk or formula. I am happy they are receiving nourishment. Be thankful we can feed our babies. There are countries struggling to help mothers feed their children.
Answer by zebbiebug at 10:47 AM on Jan. 14, 2011
I think there is a lot more than breast milk or formula that contributes to a baby's health. I have two kids both breastfed for 13 months. My first was never sick (I started her on solids at 4 months), has no allergies, is healthy except she is small but so am I. My second is constantly sick (probably because her sister is in preschool), had bad reflux and is allergic to dairy (she started solids at 6 months). Both of them got the same stuff and they are totally different. There are so many factors that go into a child's health such as family history, genetic makeup, and location, do you think these studies take all those factors or more into account. There is nothing wrong with formula feeding, it's not like formula fed babies are just dropping dead from not being breastfed. The argument is ridiculous, it is nobodies business how any feeds their baby.
Answer by lilysmom2607 at 11:01 AM on Jan. 14, 2011
Answer by JZ10FPM at 11:54 AM on Jan. 14, 2011