This latest anecdote comes from a mom of an “obese” exclusively breast-fed four-month-old. The child was experiencing “rapid” weight acceleration, which concerned the child’s doctor. Child’s Doctor gave stern warnings about obesity, diabetes, and said baby was gaining weight too fast. His answer? Stop breast-feeding at night.
The result? Loss of milk flow and having to switch to formula, a terribly upset mom, child and dad. This is not the first time I’ve heard this…
Here’s what other parents of “overweight” or even “normal weight” (50% but increased from 10%) exclusively breast-fed under 6 months-olds were told:
“Skip one breastfeeding a day,” or “Make your baby wait an extra half hour when she seems hungry which will mean one or two less feedings a day.”
Aside from the sheer misery for mom and baby of making a hungry baby wait, that advice is horrible, messes with milk supply, makes parents view infants as flawed, voracious, and needing intervention. It makes parents mistrust their own feeding instincts and the baby’s cues, and ironically restriction tends to make infants and children gain more weight (not less) and become more food-preoccupied.
Also, breast-fed babies tend to have different growth trajectories (there are specific growth charts, and it is felt that the standard chart might not be best for exclusively breast fed babies who tend to have more rapid early growth but slower by later infancy.) In any situation, the growth chart is the beginning, not the end of determining if a child is thriving in terms of growth, feeding practices, sleep, emotional, physical development…
Breastfeeding moms? Have you gotten wacky advice from a health care provider?