Baby growth chart switch closer

Title: Baby growth chart switch closer


New child growth charts which reflect the slower weight gain associated with breastfeeding could be soon be adopted in England.


New child growth charts which reflect the slower weight gain associated with breastfeeding could be soon be adopted in England. Current UK growth charts are based on predominantly formula-fed babies, which tend to grow more quickly.  The new charts have been drawn up by the World Health Organization.  They have been backed in a report by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.  It is hoped that adopting the new standards could stop breastfeeding mothers being worried about their babies apparently failing to put on weight fast enough.  ‘These new standards will help alleviate mothers’ concerns regarding the difference in growth patterns often observed between breastfed and formula fed babies’ Dawn Primarolo – Public Health Minister. The expert report recommends that the WHO charts are used for babies aged two weeks to 24 months.  Although the charts are based on breastfed babies, they are designed to assess and monitor the growth of all babies.  Most experts agree that breast milk is the best source of nutrition for babies and the Department of Health recommends exclusive breastfeeding up to the age of six months. Different growth patterns. The WHO charts aim to show how breastfed babies “should grow” – rather than how most babies do grow. hey are based on a select group of 8,000 babies from six cities around the world, who were entirely breastfed for six months, with continued breastfeeding into their second year, and where none of the families smoked. Babies who are breastfed gain weight at a slower rate than their formula-fed peers. In turn, that could reduce the risk of children becoming overweight and developing life-threatening disease in later life.  Currently, only about 20% of mothers in the UK breastfeed their babies, and many of these also give their babies some formula.  A spokesman for the Welsh Assembly Government said had worked closely with the Department of Health on its expert report, but no decision had yet been taken on how to proceed.



Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent those of The Federation of Antenatal Educators (FEDANT) unless specifically stated.

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