A new study published in the BMJ,suggests that it might be a good idea to supplement breastfeeding with food at four months. This is pretty common advice from pediatricians anyway.
Sierra, over at Babble's blog strollerderby is appalled. She almost sounds like an anti-vax person about vaccines when it comes to, wait for it...FEEDING YOUR BABY - Food.
First what the study does NOT say: Stop breastfeeding at 4 months. You MUST feed solids to your child at 4 months. Breastmilk is bad.
What it DOES say:
The official policy in the UK to advise mothers to breastfeed exclusively for six months may have been entered into too quickly and should be reconsidered in light of some new evidence. Iron is crucial to brain development and we should ensure that children are getting enough. Also, it calls into question the idea that breast milk prevents allergies (which has NEVER been proven by the way).
I remember the day my pediatrician told me to buy baby vitamins because breast milk probably wan't giving my daughter enough iron (I think, I was too sleep deprived and furious with the evil lactation consultant who made me feel like a failure and a bad person). It was one of the most eye-opening moments of my short time as a parent.
Furthermore, I take issue with the way Sienna interprets weaning. It has a very clear meaning to her - ceasing to breastfeed altogether. In the study, it means adding solid foods regardless of continuing to breastfeed. She claims this is wrong. I claim that the UK often has words with different meanings in the US (even "pants"). Her complaint is a rather US centric viewpoint and raises an eyebrow given her progressive views about breastfeeding. Actually, views about breastfeeding that are unwilling to consider new evidence is as closed minded as the anti-vax , junk science folks are.
What kills me is the vitriol with which the Breast is Best crowd is pouring over this thing. Food isn't poison. It's food. Big deal if some of the research was funded with food company money, maybe they want to know if the breastfeeding propaganda is all true.