How Long Before Infant Feeding Research Has to Conclude that Fed is Best? (The RCT Edition)

We all know that breastfeeding is supposed to have a gazillion health benefits and will save the world from certain disaster. So, it is perplexing that recent trials looking at the effect of interventions to increase exclusive breastfeeding in Uganda and Guinea-Bissau found not only an increase in exclusive breastfeeding, but also an increase in severe growth stunting and wasting.

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Breastmilk is Sufficient…But Babies Might Become Dehydrated

‘Exclusive breastfeeding is endorsed for the initial six months in newborns. It is sufficient for every nutritional need…such that there is no need to give anything above breastfeeding.’

So begins a study looking at dehydration in breastfed newborns.

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Prejudice Masquerading as Science and the Mothers (and Grandmother) Fighting Back

A government-funded research team recently investigated whether the packaging of formula milk complies with certain regulations. They undertook the task of inspecting every single formula product on the UK market. Boring, yes, but bear with us, because what transpires is a lesson in absurdity.

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Preventing Newborn Hospital Admissions for Jaundice and Feeding Complications: a Formula

The government recently announced an inquiry into prevention in health. The Health and Social Care Committee asked for submissions from organisations and individuals to highlight issues the government should be looking at. We submitted a proposal for how to reverse the alarming rise in newborn admissions to hospital for jaundice and other feeding complications in the early days of life. This is what we wrote:

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If You Think George Eustice MP is Sexist, Wait Till You Hear About NHS Infant Feeding Policy

There has been understandable outrage about MP George Eustice’s comments that women are ‘biologically hardwired’ to stay at home and nurture babies and children. But sexist ideas like this aren’t just the purview of the odd Tory MP who is stuck in the past. They are embedded in NHS infant feeding policy and postnatal care!

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Who is the Monster Here?

Have you ever wondered why those who wish to promote breastfeeding spend so much energy on the formula industry?

Breastfeeding advocates tell us that all women really want to breastfeed. They tell us that breastfeeding is so beneficial it will address health inequalities, it will foster beautiful mother-baby bonding, it can tackle racism and environmental concerns and it will even create a more peaceful society. It’s so good! Why, oh why, don’t more women do it?

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Rooming-in: Where is the Outrage in the UK?

A newborn baby has suffocated to death under his mother, who fell asleep while breastfeeding in a hospital in Rome. The exhausted mother had continually begged for her baby to be taken to the newborn nursery so that she could sleep. The tragic case of baby Carlo has caused an outcry in Italy and has been widely reported in the press there.

The story has also been picked up by some UK newspapers. However, reporting has failed to point out that there are no newborn nurseries at all in the NHS and that similar tragedies have happened in the UK.

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Skin-to-Skin: The Baby isn’t The Only One in Their Birthday Suit!

As parent advocates highlighting the obvious problems, inaccuracies and outright untruths in infant feeding policy, we often feel like the little boy in the crowd pointing out that the emperor has no clothes on. This is never more the case than when confronted with the idea of ‘skin-to-skin’.

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We Write to UKHSA, NHS England and the Health Secretary

We have written to UKHSA and NHS England, as well as to the new Health Secretary, to raise our concerns about exclusive breastfeeding promotion and the Baby Friendly Initiative. We highlighted a paper commissioned by UKHSA (when it was known as Public Health England) to review the evidence for Baby Friendly. Published last year, this paper showed there was no evidence Baby Friendly improves any health outcomes.

This is what we wrote to UKHSA:

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