Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The heavy NYC pressure to breastfeed reaches a tragic conclusion

It's heavily promoted in NYC and has become an obsession among correctness-hungry middle-class NYC mothers: So much so that any woman who doesn't go along with it can be vilified. Questioning it is even worse than questioning global warming. So one can understand how all that would have had a powerful effect on an outsider seeking acceptance

A British mother plunged to her death from her New York apartment block after she became depressed about her baby not breastfeeding properly. Katy Isden fell from the top of the 300ft, 20-floor building just four months after becoming a mother for the first time, an inquest heard. The 29-year-old teacher had struggled to get baby Benjamin to feed from her and had been due to see a lactation nurse on the day of her death last November.

Husband James, an actuary, said in a statement at the inquest that he had called the 911 emergency number after discovering his wife's body at around 7.30am on a neighbour's patio outside the building where they lived in the smart Upper West Side of Manhattan. In the statement, read out by Worcestershire coroner Geraint Williams, Mr Isden, 30, said he had last seen his wife at 6.30 that morning. Mr Williams said: 'He said she was upset nursing the child and had an appointment to see the lactation nurse that morning. She had seemed depressed about the feeding difficulties but had sought no help about that.’

The couple, who married in August 2006 and lived in Bristol, moved to New York in January 2007 when Mr Isden secured a job in the city. His wife, a primary school teacher, found work teaching English to foreign students. CCTV footage taken in the building showed Mrs Isden, who lived on the 14th floor with her family, taking a lift alone to the roof on November 3. Mr Williams said that another camera captured her fall.

The building’s superintendent said a door to the roof had been unlocked and was open because of renovations. The apartment block, on West 94th Street, lies in a family-friendly neighbourhood. It is just three blocks from the mansion of Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger.

Mrs Isden’s father, Cavin O’Keeffe, 56, told the inquest at Worcestershire coroner’s court there had been ‘no indication’ of any problems in the months beforehand but recalled a conversation her daughter had had with her mother in which she seemed ‘in distress, upset and unhappy’.

More here

New rules label a quarter of British one-year-olds as 'too heavy'

The food Fascists have turned what once would have been regarded as a thriving infant into a problem. Note the very correct cloth diaper below

He's a great baby above, red hair and all. I would be delighted if he were mine -- JR

The new guidelines for feeding babies are an effort to curb Britain's obesity problem. Parents will be told to feed their babies less under new guidance to stem Britain's growing obesity crisis. Growth charts that have been used for 20 years are to be ripped up in an effort to stop children being overfed. But experts said last night the revised advice could see one in four one-year-olds re-classified as 'too heavy'.

The charts - devised by the World Health Organisation - are intended to reflect the slower weight-gain of breastfeeding babies, rather than the faster growth of those fed on formula milk. They replace measures used since 1990, which contributed to the obesity crisis because they were based on the growth of babies predominantly fed with formula milk. Infants given the high-protein bottled milk tend to be larger and gain weight more rapidly.

Health visitors using the out-of-date charts may have told some mothers to top up breast milk with the bottle - or even to stop breastfeeding altogether, it is claimed.

The new charts are backed by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and cover children up to the age of four. They state that in the first year of life, the 'ideal' weight will be around a pound (half a kilo) lighter, compared to the previous model, meaning that around a quarter of babies will be classified as too heavy.

Tam Fry, chairman of the Child Growth Foundation, which has been campaigning for the charts to be adopted, said it would make a big difference in the first year. Up to a quarter will 'shift up a level' on the adapted graph, he said. 'More children will be classified as overweight and obese in the early years of life based on weight gain in the first year, which is a real marker for future health.' He added: 'Our concern is, the training of health professionals is way behind schedule, with the first courses not due until next month, which will leave many mothers without the advice they need.'

Most experts agree breast milk is the best source of nutrition for babies, and the Department of Health recommends exclusive breastfeeding up to the age of six months. At present, only 25 per cent of mothers in the UK breastfeed their babies at least some of the time for the first six months, and many of these also give their babies some formula.

The WHO charts are based on records of 8,000 babies from six cities around the world, who were exclusively breastfed for at least four months, with continued breastfeeding into their second year. None of the children in the study was from smoking households.

In the UK, more than a quarter of five to 12-year-olds are overweight or obese, due partly to overfeeding in their infancy, research shows. Belinda Phipps, of the National Childbirth Trust, said: 'Health visitors have given misleading advice because the charts are based on formula-fed babies. 'Breastfed babies tend to be lighter but we have a cultural belief that heavier is better.

'Mothers have been worried and health visitors have been worried about babies being too light, when that should be normal. As a result mothers were encouraged to overfeed their babies, by giving them formula milk unnecessarily. 'This either replaced breastfeeding or was given as a topup, which actually interrupted breastfeeding and often brought it to an end. 'We're now dealing with the long-term health implications for mother and baby, which include overweight children, simply because we've been using the wrong charts.'

A Department of Health spokesman said: 'The new UK-WHO growth charts will not only provide more accurate measurements for infant growth of breastfed babies, but will also help healthcare professionals and parents to identify early signs of overweight or obesity and provide support.'

Charts are used to assess a child's progress based on weight and length/height, in bands according to age in weeks or months. Existing measures say a healthy one-year-old weighs between 22.5lb and 28.5lb. But the new version says the ideal range is between 21lb and 26lb. The range of 'healthy' weights for all ages will be narrower, with slightly fewer deemed underweight.

Rapid weight-gain is regarded as most hazardous in the first year. It has been linked [speculatively] to obesity and increased risk of cancer and heart disease in later life.


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