Tuesday, February 28, 2012

AAP updates breastfeeding recomendation

In previous recommendations, The American Academy of Pediatrics (The AAP) recommended an infant be exclusively breastfed (meaning no solids.. and if can be helped no formula) for 4-6 months. However, they have now updated their own recommendation. They are now recommending "exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months." They continue to recommend that Mummies continue "breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant."

In the article, The AAP brings up weight and size for breastfed babies as well. I am so happy that they included this.... Because most Pediatricians use the wrong weight/growth chart for breastfed babies. Most breastfed babies are compared to formula fed babies and their growth rates.... but breastfed babies grow at a far different rate than formula fed babies. The AAP states "Infant growth should be monitored with the World Health Organization (WHO) Growth Curve Standards to avoid mislabeling infants as underweight or failing to thrive." This is super important to know and understand. The "normally used" growth chart has formula fed babies in mind. If you compare a 3 month old breastfed baby to a 3 month old formula fed baby..... their weight differences could potentially be massive. In a  3 month old 2-3 pounds can mean a whole lot! Since babies are monitored with percentages..... these percentages can be
Take Pooker for example (she had "weight gain" problems at a young age.) At three months old she weighed 11 lbs. So according to the formula fed growth chart she was in the 10% but for the breastfed growth chart she was in the 15%.  When you look at it, for a small baby, 5% can mean the difference in being labeled "Failure to Thrive" and being considered healthy-but small.

All in all.... I am super happy about the changes the AAP has made in their breastfeeding recommendation. BUT... do not be afraid to take a copy of the WHO growth chart with you, on your next Pediatrician visit. It might come in hand! Or just book mark your fav breastfeeding page (Mummie's Nummies!) for a reference!


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