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Is breast best? new study calls current wisdom into question....thoughts?

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 Question

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 9:54 AM on Jan. 14, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 9:56 AM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • If you read this article it states 3 of the 4 authors work or have worked for the baby food industry. It's biased and doesn't hold much weight.

    Answer by MrsMWF at 9:58 AM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • *sigh*

    Answer by SpaceToast at 10:03 AM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • Bunch of crap, in my not so humble opinion. I wouldn't be surprised if MrsMWF's response is at the heart of this - biased researchers or some other such sullying of the study. There is simply no way that breast is less than optimal for babies. I, for one, trust nature and/or God over the efforts of man to imitate her/him!

    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

  • I didn't breast feed my children.... I know .... GASP! lol!
    I didn't produce enough milk to keep them alive and quite frankly it hurt and I didn't feel I was scarring them for life by not breastfeeding. I applaud women who can and do breastfeed, but I also believe to each his own and no one should be looked down upon for either...

    Answer by VanessaMomof2 at 10:26 AM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • Honestly, I don't know that there's a study out there that could convince me that breast is NOT best. I'm of the school of thinking that what nature intended is almost unfailingly what's best as opposed to processed, manmade solutions. I'm not saying that everyone who formula feeds is dooming their children to a life of problems, but I firmly believe that breastfeeding is what is best for babies.

    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

  • "could" and "may" aren't strong enough to convince ME.

    Answer by JZ10FPM at 11:54 AM on Jan. 14, 2011

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