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(45 Posts)
GrandmaLyn Sat 07-Jul-12 01:20:14

Midwives were given a remit to only promote breast feeding. They were not supposed to offer advice on bottle feeding. New borns were subjected to dehydration because of this. Has this caused a rise in autism and brain damage. My daughter was told that her baby could survive on a ml of fluid Could you?

GrandmaLyn Sat 07-Jul-12 01:30:02

Would appreciate any elderly midwives' comments.

Greatnan Sat 07-Jul-12 07:44:39

Surely that would have meant that when the huge bulk of children were breastfed there would have been many more cases of autism? Of course, it could be that there were, but they were just not labelled - we always had some 'weird' children but we just thought they were a bit eccentric.

JessM Sat 07-Jul-12 08:24:35

Do you have any scientific backing for this idea grandmalyn ?

Mishap Sat 07-Jul-12 10:45:57

This is complete nonsense.
Autism is not caused by "brain damage" or dehydration. There is no evidence for that link.
And I find it impossible to imagine generations of children being dehydrated through the fault of midwives giving bad advice to breastfeeding mums - there would be generations of mass autism!
The advice to give small amounts of liquid to breast fed babies was as a supplement if there was a genuine concern about poor milk supply - they were not being asked to survive on 1ml of liquid a day!!
Either your daughter misunderstood the instruction; or the babe was getting sufficient fluid through breast milk and just needed a bit of a top-up - no midwife wold possible suggest that a baby could survive on 1ml per day!
And even if one rogue midwife were to say such a thing there is no reason to extrapolate and assume that others might have done so and that it might be linked to autism or brain damage.
The apparent rise in the number of children with autism is generally acknowledged to be the result of better diagnosis and the broadening of the criteria for diagnosis to include autistic spectrum disorders.

j04 Sat 07-Jul-12 10:59:31

Perhaps the midwife meant a ml of fluid every half hour. While breastfeeding was getting established. It can be necessary for a mum to have to dedicate practically all her time to feeding for the first week or two.

I think midwives might have been a bit too ready to advise top ups, thus reducing the chances of successful breastfeeding.

j04 Sat 07-Jul-12 11:00:55

Wouldn't it have been ounces in those days? That's more like it.

nightowl Sat 07-Jul-12 11:22:50

I have read your post several times GrandmaLyn and I'm not sure I understand it. I can't work out whether your daughter was breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Do you mean the midwife suggested this amount of water for a breastfed baby? Or do you mean that because she wasn't supposed to give advice on bottle feeding she gave wrong advice thereby leading to potential dehydration in a bottle fed baby?

Whatever the situation, I have to say I agree with other posters that this would seem to be a very spurious link to autism.

jeni Sat 07-Jul-12 11:28:03


nightowl Sat 07-Jul-12 11:41:00

I love that very articulate medical opinion jeni grin

Mishap Sat 07-Jul-12 12:08:08

Yes - very neatly put!

harrigran Sat 07-Jul-12 18:05:41

Quite right jeni

jeni Sat 07-Jul-12 18:17:28

Thankyou fans!

Anagram Sat 07-Jul-12 19:03:20

And of course we couldn't survive on a ml of fluid - we're fully-grown adults!
Silly question.

nanaej Sun 08-Jul-12 13:52:47

In my experience and that of my DD there has not been over promotion of breastfeeding!! My experience as a new mum in the 70's was that the hospital gave DD a bottle because she was a big baby and I had had an anaesthetic after delivery! I struggled to BF after that . When midwife saw me feeding DD2 she said 'oh yes it's your'll know what to do' hmm
Both DDs keen to BF (4 Ch over the last 6 years) and did . Both experienced neutral attitude from midwives/HVs..not negative but not positive either!!

Am sure any serious research into autistic spectrum disorders will have looked in detail at diet , early experience etc so BF /Formula/dehydration would surely have been considered??

Hunt Sun 08-Jul-12 23:20:55

I can understand midwives being neither negative nor positive about breast feeding. It must be awful if you desperately want to breast feed your baby and you have great difficulty, to have a midwife banging on about how wonderful it is.

vampirequeen Mon 09-Jul-12 11:37:06

When I had my children in the eighties the ward was split into two halves....the good mums and the naughty mums. The good mums were breastfeeding and the naughty mums were bottle feeding and never the twain should meet.

Now it seems that bottle and breast are both acceptable. My GS is six months old and is bottle and breast fed so gets the best of both worlds.

JessM Mon 09-Jul-12 12:35:36

Well now, midwives and breastfeeding... When i had my DS1 we were in hospital a week, and the midwives had time to sit down with you and coach you while you tried to get the nack of feeding. Alas no more.

But my favourite all time bit of crazy midwife advice (and there are some dotty ones) was, to my breastfeeding Sis IL:
"don't drink fizzy drinks because you will give the baby wind."

And how, exactly were those bubbles supposed to accomplish that?

Anagram Mon 09-Jul-12 12:52:53

grin Visions of fizzy breast milk spouting forth like champagne!

jeni Mon 09-Jul-12 13:00:53

I was one of those who relly wanted to and couldn't. I still feel upse about it!

Butternut Mon 09-Jul-12 13:11:51

Me too, jeni

Greatnan Mon 09-Jul-12 15:24:38

I was fine with No. 1, but No.2 cried all the time and the Health Visitor said my milk was not sufficient and told me to put her on SMA - she did not suggest mixed feeding. No 2 still cried all the time and just put on too much weight, for which I was severely criticised by the clinic staff. They had told me to put Farex in her bottle from the age of two weeks.
I do wonder if the different personalities of my two daughters can be attributed to those early days.

Mishap Mon 09-Jul-12 15:41:32

I could not breastfeed my first child (forceps delivery; me having food poisoning during delivery and throwing up throughout;baby who refused to suck) but I tried jolly hard. Was deeply distressed when the midwife (very large and very Scots) arrived and swept my dear firstborn away, saying "Ye cannae feed the wee lass, ye have nae the boozoms for it!" Needless to say I burst into tears!

Same midwife used to arrive complete with her dogs in the car - she would go straight from stroking them and letting them slobber all over her to examining my very sore perineum - those were the days! Who needs hygiene!

I wish she had stayed on a few years to see me successfully feed my next two children to the age of a year.

JessM Mon 09-Jul-12 16:09:32

Yes some people have enough problem with squirting nipples, without bubbles being added to the mix!

I rest my case mishap - there have been some unusual ones. Specially "on the district" I suspect where their practice was not often observed by others.

Annobel Mon 09-Jul-12 17:06:15

When I got DS1 home from hospital, visiting midwife said he wasn't thriving and told me to supplement breast milk with formula. Sensible child wasn't having any of it, so I just force fed him ever three hours. The next time she saw him, she was flabbergasted at his weight gain. No2 was taken to SCBU and I was sent home. The sister asked if I wanted an injection to stop lactation which I refused and she was so pleased! I expressed milk until he came home nine days later. Then he was an enthusiastic, not to say demanding, feeder.