By now you've seen talk about the British Medical Journal's analysis that questioned the World Health Organization's recommendation for waiting until 6 months to start solids. Headlines popped up suggesting breast milk wasn't perfect, that waiting to introduce solids wasn't healthy, that breastfed babies will suffer from anemia. The problem is, the whole analysis was faulty. All of this came from a non-scientifically-evidenced published piece with seriously questionable authors and motives.
This was seriously BAD "science," and when the media gets their hands on something like this, it's dangerous. Many moms got scared for no reason (and will continue to get wrong info because it's still out there!), and it's things like this that can hurt breastfeeding rates. Many question if BMJ was trying to pretend something was wrong with breast milk, and it appears that there might be a motive.
The lead researcher used her own past and questionable research to prove points, and purportedly used outdated Cochrane study excerpts, knowing that the more recent studies, the ones the World Health Organization's recommendations are based on, negate the issues quoted. The authors all have ties to baby food and formula manufacturing companies, currently or within the last three years ... a major conflict of interest.
UNICEF scolded the media for sensationalist headlines and articles that wrongly suggested that the recommendations HAD changed, stating, "It is unfortunate that the BMJ press office and the UK media have focused on a single piece of comment which has resulted in sensational headlines and risks misleading parents and damaging infant health."
And misleading it was ....
In BMJ's analysis, it was implied that breastfed babies who don't get iron supplementation before 6 months will end up anemic or brain-damaged. They totally ignore the fact that the body processes iron from different things in different ways -- 80 percent of iron in breast milk is usable to the baby's body. Also, the large groups of babies they mentioned are still mainly formula fed, so to point a finger at breast milk when the majority of babies in consideration are formula fed? Doesn't make much sense either.
They even mention but totally ignore the fact that iron taken by mom in the third trimester and delayed cord clamping help prevent anemia -- but for some reason (lack of profit?) they don't recommend those ... and they should, as they help prevent problems without damaging the infant's intestinal flora and creating a host of problems.
They also say that breastfed babies are more likely to be obese because they're fatter. We know that's wrong since breastfed babies gain quickly and then slow down and thin out, which is why we have to use the proper charts to measure their growth. Breastfeeding is linked to a major decrease in childhood obesity.
NOTHING has changed. BMJ's analysis is just wrong. You are still strongly advised to avoid solid food introduction before 6 months, period.
Did you have people tell you the recommendations had changed?