The big news this weekend is the controversial new study on weaning that produced headlines such as Breast is not best, Exclusively breast-feeding for six months 'causes allergies'', and 'Mother's milk 'may do more harm than good'',which is, of course, not what the study was saying, exactly.
The researchers made it very clear that breastfeeding is best yet they found that in developed countries, babies may need more than just breastmilk and could lack in iron (which has been found to be due to clamping the umbilical cord too soon.)
There has been a massive backlash against this from all sides. What with Analytical Armadillo listing the errors in the report, along with studies that counter many of the points – and the fact that three of the researchers have declared ties with the baby food industry - while on the other end of the scale, Barbara Ellen from the Guardian is saying breastfeeders need to take a step back from their “Mafia” tactics due to all this 'evidence'.
Ironically, when you see how both breast and formula feeders have had plenty to say on the study, it, for once, isn't actually about breast vs bottle, but is simply about weaning on to solids rather than off of milk, since being on solids does not have to be at the exclusion of milk feeds as most mothers will attest.
UNICEF and the NHS still believe that solids should not be introduced before six months, and definitely no earlier than four months, since the digestive system is not ready for it. The fear in lowering the limit to four months is that parents will then introduce solids at an even earlier age, when there is a wealth of evidence about the problems this can cause a child.
Dispelling Breastfeeding Myths wrote a very interesting article where she discussed the media's involvement in this study:
The important point is this: the media created the most sensationalist headlines they possibly could in order to sell papers and increase viewing figures. They bore NO consideration for the true health realities of what they were saying.
What do you think? Are these just sensationalist headlines, fanning flames in an already contentious war or is there merit to the study?