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Infant Feeding Guidelines for Health Workers submission

B. Please provide contact details
Personal information provided, e.g. contact details, will only be used for the purposes of developing resources relevant to this consultation document and will not be disclosed outside of members of NHMRC staff and NHMRC Committees. Such Information will not be used or disclosed for any other purpose, without prior written consent.
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E. Submission

I feel it is important for the document to be modified so that health workers are provided with information about the implications of introducing infant formula to the diet of a baby.  As the document stands, there is a lot of information on the "benefits" of breastfeeding but nothing that links formula to poor health and although a lot of babies start breastfeeding in Australia we have a problem with the excessive use and introduction of infant formula soon after.  I feel the information in the document should therefore concentrate more on increasing the knowledge of health workers on the associated risks of using formula and how to minimise usage.

While the document overall, is sound and appropriate, there are a number of omissions and watered down recommendations..
1. There is no mention of the importance of rooming ­ keeping mothers and babies together during the postnatal stay.

2. There are no Targets as in previous versions... why arenĀ¹t we working towards a goal of at least 80% of Australianbabies being exclusively breastfed to 6 months?

3. nonsense recommendation of 22 ­ 26 weeks... where is the recommendation, solidly backed by WHO and UNICEF of exclusive breastfeeding to around 6 months...

4. Why is BFHI not Government policy??? all our maternity services, both hospital and community based should meet BFHI requirements...

5. No mention of skin to skin even though there is growing evidence that this meets a biological need in our babies and optimises the first breastfeed

6. The Informed Consent form that has been in the previous version is no longer there... why not? it acts as template for others to use

7. Where is the MAIF Agreement ­

8. As there is no clear evidence on the introduction of solids from 4-6 months for prevention of allergies, this should not be in there

9. Where is the information about the known risks of using AF... why is this document continuing to spout the benefits of breastfeeding when everyone else has changed their language to recognise the risks of not breastfeeding?

The Adult Dietary Guidelines draft will be out in March.. this will include a section of infant feeding.. there will also be a consumer pamphlet that goes with it which apparently is going to say breastfeed for 12 months... again flies in the face of WHO of bf to 2 years and beyond!!!


The section on formula feeding is written by the formula manufacturers, even to the extent of going against the WHO guidelines on formula prep.... this should not be allowed.


Page reviewed: 14 December, 2012