HVs...What is the most effective, yet kindest way to complain about a HV's shocking BFing advice?

(70 Posts)

She told me my 7 month old should be on 3 breastfeeds a day after solids and at no other time. If he is hungry in between to offer him yoghurt or a snack.

I asked if she was sure of this as I had read widely and quite differently and she told me that this was fact. She offered me a sleep/feeding talk that would support this.

inthewildernessbuild Fri 25-Jan-13 13:32:59

My babies were all on a routine of sorts for first two years, and from six months woke once in night between 7 and 7; had three meals a day. And I definitely breastfed them in the day at least five times a day! First thing in morning. Elevenses. After Lunch to put them down for a nap. When theyWoke frm the Nap at 3-4pm. And Of course, Bedtime Feed! And add in night feed that brings it to a grand total of three big feeds and three snack feeds. Why not? It is on tap? Why give a different kind of snack? I probably gave some snacks too. Who cares? What a control freak she sounds.

ellangirl Fri 25-Jan-13 08:29:33

In which case i might have thought her advice more appropriate grin

Mosman Fri 25-Jan-13 08:26:43

2-3 hours is nothing i thought you meant every 40 mins which is what my first was doing night and day.

ellangirl Fri 25-Jan-13 08:15:19

The thing is, she wasn't on me constantly, just feeding frequently I.e. every 2-3 hours in the day, less at night. Her weight has gone from 50th to just above 25th centile since birth, and she is now following a line of growth, so nothing to write home about. That's why I didn't understand how using a dummy would help, I thought if the baby needs to gain weight, they need to be feeding more often to promote more milk production? Obv effective latch crucial.

Mosman Fri 25-Jan-13 08:08:48

It worked for us, my DC is nearly three years old and still BF, we wouldn't have got past day three without CLB and given that for the first weeks it actively encourages waking the baby for a feed every couple of hours I can't see how that would damage breast feeding myself. The baby constantly wanting a boob in it's mouth would have pushed me over the edge. There was nothing wrong with my latch by DC number 4, I just didn't want it there night and day being used for comfort ie a dummy.

I'm sorry, but I disagree with Mosman. CLB has no research behind itand the advice is made up, worse it can damage breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding on demand does have increasing amounts of research to support it. There is no such think as a snacking baby, and if bfing hurts because you are feeding a lot then you need to check the latch. It shouldn't do.

'dummy' refers to 'dummy boob' so babies don't use mothers as dummys, but dummys as mothers iyswim.

Many of us don't go very long without a sip of water, cup of tea or snack, so why would a baby that is developing at a crazy rate?

Mosman Fri 25-Jan-13 06:59:38

Yes that's rubbish, she does need long decent feeds though so keep stroking her cheek and try and feed her when she isn't tired.
I know GF gets a lot of stick but I swear she is the reason my four all got BF'd until 2 years. The constant snacking does make you sore and you are not a dummy either, the boob needs to deliver a good meal and then get some time off.
I would try and have a read of the contented little baby book and make a note of the age appropriate routine, not just the feeding but what goes on before and afterwards if you can, it does work.

ellangirl Fri 25-Jan-13 06:54:21

HIV should read hv of course!!!!

ellangirl Fri 25-Jan-13 06:53:46

I've defended HIV in the past, but got annoyed this time when they were concerned about my 12 week old dd's weight gain I was told to get her to take a dummy to space out feeds. This was so she wouldn't snack and therefore get all the hind milk at next feed. That's bollocks right?

getoutofit Thu 24-Jan-13 17:39:00

I assumed everyone ignored health visitors as the ones I have had dealings with have all been morons. I was on my last breastfeeding legs last week and went to a drop in with health visitor and I ended up walking out. She manhandled me, told me totally the wrong thing, grabbed my screaming baby and at one point I thought she was going to stick her breast in his mouth then she told me my nipples were too small and I needed nipple shields as he couldn't get the milk out despite the fact he has gained loads of weight since birth. I left in tears but my anger made me carry on with the bf and has given me more crap health visitor stories. I have sooooo many.

CharlandOscar Wed 23-Jan-13 18:52:30

I mentioned to my hv that i was having difficulty breast feeding on demand as i was worn out and feeling blue.he was also very vomity and i had him checked out at the doctors.
I told her my ds was being fed every 3
.5 hours and i that i would react to growth spurts etc. She told me i wasnt on a routine
i was feeding on demand..

On my way home i looked in my red book and she'd written 'bottle feeding well'

Im so glad i go to a feeding support group

knackeredmother Tue 22-Jan-13 15:11:39

Sorry for terrible post- on my home with a breastfeeding child on me!

knackeredmother Tue 22-Jan-13 15:09:56

To all those suggesting just ignore poor HV advice
I have to disagree. These people are being paid a good wage to provide correct information and it shouldn't go unchallenged. I am currently challenging a health visitor in a
Professional capacity who has told one of my patients she Must do controlled crying as her 9 month old is breastfeeding in the night. Drives me mad and really dies have dtletrimental effects on the mother.

leedy Tue 22-Jan-13 14:59:15

nods My DS1 had minimal interest in solids (well, in swallowing them) until about 9 months, at which point I think it clicked with him that "hey, this stuff satisfies hunger, like milk!" and became a giant indiscriminate food hoover. Sadly he is a lot less indiscriminate these days.

RooneyMara Tue 22-Jan-13 10:19:31

Oh and fwiw mine hardly ate a thing till they were about 2. I still bf'd ds2 till he started school last year. He's fine.

Paediatricians and paediatric dieticians are not beyond giving woo, non-evidence based advice, so I'd still like to know what evidence they are basing the advice on as it doesn't correlate with the complementary feeding advice provided by the WHO via their online resources or the ISIS website. I'm an HCP and frequently have to mop up the damage left after the so-called experts give their advice which has been based on years of out-moded or blinkered practice. Breastfeeding is so relatively uncommon that paediatricians/dieticians will not necessarily have any more practical, as opposed to theoretical, experience than anybody else.

As a PP said, it needs to be presented in terms of normal baby behaviour so that parents are not left feeling inadequate. It's normal for some babies to feed this way/this frequently and international evidence supports this method of feeding. Here is something that you can try if you want to but the behaviour itself is biologically normal so may require time rather than effort to change, and give support accordingly. If the OP or I followed the advice given by our respective HVs, given as it was as patronising fact, we'd not only have distressed babies but mastitis as well. Good job we're healthy sceptics.

FreckledLeopard Tue 22-Jan-13 10:18:46

I used to quote the WHO guidelines at my health visitor (which, in 2001, was a fairly radical thing to do, as they were still advocating solids at 4 months back then). She would raise her eyebrows in a dismissive, 'what does the World Health Organisation know about it, anyway' way.

Good job I ignored her, since DD wasn't interested in eating solids until around 15 months. She'd have bits and pieces, but I was her main source of nutrition. Didn't seem to stop her following the 91st centile and now, aged nearly 12, being almost as tall as me with size 7 feet.....

RooneyMara Tue 22-Jan-13 10:18:40

Oh blinking HVs. I've only just met mine and already hate her.

Good luck Starlight, everything you're doing is fine and good. Your baby says so smile

Mine was pushing me to get a coil fitted. I'm not in a relationship nor do I intend to have one for some time hmm

She was like, Oh well it's always there in case. I said 'I'm not the sort of person who is going to have sex by accident'. Then she backed off.

DD didn't eat ANYTHING other than bm until at least 8 months. She had plenty of food to play with before then, just had no interest in doing much with it that wasn't throwing or squashing it.

DS this time DOES eat, but I just can't think of a single food that is BETTER for him, nutritionally, than BM. Why would you want to cut such a natural fortified food from a baby's diet? It just doesn't FEEL right to restrict it to 3 times a day.

CailinDana Tue 22-Jan-13 09:51:05

IME HVs very rarely understand the comfort element of bfing Llareggub - their attitude is just "they don't absolutely need it (nutritionally) so stop doing it." My life would have been a lot harder if I'd stopped or cut down bfing DS before a year - it's a great way to comfort a teething/ill/unhappy baby. But HVs seem to view it as terribly indulgent and over the top - it must be cut down as soon as humanly possible - what on earth for? Why deny the child something nutritious that they enjoy and that the mother can easily provide on tap for free??? It's mental.

TheCountessOlenska Tue 22-Jan-13 09:48:13

HV's are obsessed with weaning onto 3 meals a day at 6 months - I don't get it, DD breastfed through the night and had minimal solids till she was about 18 months. It didn't bother me that much as we co-slept anyway - she never dropped below her 50th percentile line (or whatever it was).

She's 2 now - not breastfed and eats brilliantly. Was slower than others to get there but I can't see it's done her any harm. She wanted breastmilk not food and that's what i gave her.

Don't think I will bother with baby clinic with next baby.

Llareggub Tue 22-Jan-13 09:44:14

My DS is 4 in April and still has more than 3 breastfeeds a day. It isn't just about nutrition, is it?

Gosh, she does sound useless set in her ways.

Again, I think mentioning it less formally through a better local HV or your GP, if they are good, would be less official if you don't want to make a massive fuss.

jaffacake2 Tue 22-Jan-13 09:30:26

Sorry spelling is crap advice,not advise,thank you !
I am better as an HV than a speller honestly ! smile

Oh yes. I was also told to go to him and pat him and cuddle him when he woke but NOT feed him.

Obviously, I have done this aplenty as with 2 other small children feeding on demand often has at least some periods of waiting. I told the HV that the poor baby would scream in distress having milk so close, signing away and being refused it.

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