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hello, I am doing the child health and well being module (BA)and I have decided to do weaning for my 4,000 word essay.

The essay should critically discuss policies in relation to weaning!!!Any thoughts, ideas would be greatly appreciated,thankyou,

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Hi unsworth, I wondered who's policies you are referring to?

 

Some of the things that come to mind include changes in when is appropriate to begin and how this has changed over time.

Consideration of cultural views on this.

Consideration of cultural practices in terms of suitable first foods.

 

I dont know if that kick starts you or not?

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Weaning advice has changed with each child I've had. In my limited view, advise is give so that the most poorly resourced mother will reach a standard that won't kill her baby. So, 'Breast feeding exclusively for first six months' is right for mothers living in areas where water quality is poor, access to food or formula is limited or facilities for sterilising equipment are inadequate.

 

I think that babies sometimes need solids earlier according to their individual growth or developmental needs.

 

Then there are lots of cultural issues to consider.

 

Be interested in your conclusions.

 

Honey

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Currently Department of Health guidlines echo the World Health Organisation guidelines of exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months - this is true in developed world too as it is not just about access to clean water, but other issues such as the development of the gut.

 

Definitely the age guidlines need to be balanced with looking at whether children can sit up, whether they show an interest in food, whether they have lost the toungue thrust reflex.

 

There was a recent BMJ article which drew on several pieces of research raising the question of whether the 6 month guideline is appropriate - this was an opinion piece rather than research, and I understand teh methodology of the resource articles may have been poor. But I also understand the WHO research is not perfect either. Problem is that you can't do proper randomised controlled trials as this would be unethical!

 

I guess you have your own interest in this area. Certainly the cultural aspects are very interesting in terms of the rituals around first foods. What is it that draws you to this topic?

 

In terms of your title, you will find you are better able to structure your assignment if you have a specific question to answer.

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Thank you so much Mundia,honey,lolo, Some very interesting ideas for me to follow. I had thought of some already but you each gave me other things I had not thought of. Cheers to you all

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hi Mundia-I meant to say to you- I am thinking of the governments policy, WHO policy and my local authority policy. Plus any other that may be relevant!!!

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I don't know if you are aware of a recent article on 'Daybreak' or how relevant it would be but apparently there has been some research conducted which suggests that exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months is not in the best interests of the child. Not sure how relevant this could be, but it might be worth doing a Google search and seeing if it throws anything up?

 

Also, could you look at some of the parenting websites and see if you can get an idea as to the feelings of parents going through weaning, for example, some parents are going down the puree route and others advocate 'baby led weaning' which is essentially feeding finger foods straight away although there are developmental considerations for individual children.

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:o ha ha. I posted before I actually read what others have said! Sorry! Sounds interesting though. I weaned exactly the same for my older two children, but for the youngest, I waited until the 6 month guideline but that was purely because we were trying to push for an allergy diagnosis. Turns out that my youngest daughter is allergic to both dairy and soya so I was pleased we waited this time.
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