What Do Women Really Think of the Baby Friendly Initiative?

Are you ready to hear what women really think about breastfeeding and pumping in the context of a so-called ‘Baby Friendly’ setting? This recently published paper in the journal Breastfeeding Medicine gives some very interesting insight.

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We Say a Farewell and Seasons Greetings to All

At the end of this year, we said farewell to Dr Heather Ryan. Heather is going to work for Nestlé and has left IFA, since she will now have a conflict of interest. We wish her very well in her new role and we thank her for her contributions to our work.

We wish all of our members, followers and friends seasons greetings and best wishes for the new year. We hope that 2022 will see a renewed focus on compassion, autonomy and safety in infant feeding policy and practice. We will continue to shine a light on harmful effects of current infant feeding policy and practice on UK families. Onwards and upwards!

Whose Guilt is it Anyway?

Roll up, roll up! This evening we review another paper looking at guilt and shame in infant feeding by researchers at Liverpool University.

The paper starts, as most papers in this field do, with a recitation of the WHO creed that breastfeeding has, like, a million health benefits, and six months of exclusive breastfeeding is recommended and then breastfeeding for two years alongside other foods… Fear not: this paper will commit no heresy!

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RCM Ignores Feedback and the Evidence

Last week, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) was accused of two crimes, when it published new guidance on safer sleeping.

Crime 1: Making no mention of women or mothers in these guidelines. Is RCM guilty of this crime? No. The guidance mentions the word ‘women’ or ‘woman’ four times and the word ‘mother’ or ‘mothers’ twice. Despite this, RCM confessed to the crime, apologised profusely, took the guidance down and are revising the language used.

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We Discuss a New Paper on Experiences of Breastfeeding Pain

We are going to look at a recent study of women’s perceptions of breastfeeding pain using online forums. It starts, as almost all papers about infant feeding do, with a recitation and affirmation of the creed that breastfeeding has many benefits. Oh boy…

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Breastfeeding Insufficiencies: A New Review of the Evidence

We would like to draw your attention to this review of the literature on breastmilk insufficiencies. It was written by a fellow mother, Dr Vera Wilde, whose baby suffered excessive weight loss as a result of insufficient milk intake, while exclusively breastfeeding.

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Our Comment on ‘Reluctant Feeder’ Guidelines

It’s likely that anyone following us will have seen recent news articles about failings at a Nottingham NHS Trust that led to avoidable deaths in their maternity unit. We were alarmed to hear of a baby who died after his parents raised concerns about his poor feeding.  Continue reading “Our Comment on ‘Reluctant Feeder’ Guidelines”

Designing a New Strategy for Women’s Healthcare? Rethink Infant Feeding Policy!

We responded to a recent call for evidence from the government to inform a new women’s health strategy. The public consultation was promoted as an opportunity to ‘shape the future of women’s healthcare’. This is what we said:

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From Claims About Formula Feeding and Obesity to the National Trust: All in a Weekend’s Work!

It has been an eventful weekend in the world of infant feeding. First off, the new president of the RCPCH (the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health), Dr Camilla Kingdon, used the Daily Mail to pronounce that formula fed babies are more likely to grow up to be obese. She also said that formula companies pursue stressed out parents and that the fall in health visiting numbers means parents aren’t getting the support they need to breastfeed.

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