So apparently, breastfeeding makes babies obese. Bottle-feeding makes babies obese too.
Well now what!?
A closer read of the HuffPost article discussing this, and it makes a little more sense – The Mirror reported that breastmilk contains two sugary carbs that have been linked to an increased risk of babies being obese at six months. The Daily Mail reported that bottle-feeding mums overfeed their babies because they’re focusing more on their phones.
First of all, I’m offended by that insinuation. Secondly, how else was I meant to pass forty-five minute bottle feeding sessions if not by watching video clips of grown women shrieking and tearing each other to shreds over sequins and pirouettes?*
Of course, the maternity experts HuffPost interviewed pointed out that it’s all a load of – well, bollocks, really. Babies won’t eat if they’re not hungry, so you can’t overfeed them. And it’s widely accepted that medically, breast milk is healthier for babies, so if a baby – either breastfed or formula fed – is classed as ‘obese’ at six months (what a ridiculous idea anyway; are we now supposed to be putting our newborns on a diet?), it’s down to their genetics and their build, rather than being overfed or getting too many sugary carbs.
Let’s get real – as long as you’re not feeding your baby chicken nuggets (at least wait until six months to introduce them to the Nug Life, people) or actual literal shit, you’re probably doing fine. Let me rephrase that, in case you read that and think “Aha! She said nothing about feeding them cake” – as long as you’re giving them milk, whether it’s from a breast or from a bottle, you’re doing fine, and you’re not going to make them obese.
SB is fairly small for her age – 22lb at 18 months – and she is a literal hoover. We have yet to find any food she will actually refuse, other than broccoli, which is a vegetable so it doesn’t count as actual food (really winning Mum Points here, Maddy), but she’s small. She just is. Chances are, it’s genetics – she’s going to be average height, like me, and slim like Daf. We certainly haven’t underfed her. Equally, I know of babies whose parents affectionately describe them as ‘chunks’, who probably would be classed as ‘obese’ if we get into the ridiculous practice of finding out a one-year-old’s BMI, who are stocky and chunky because their parents are both hulking rugby players or wrestlers or otherwise Bad Ass Boss Bitches who you wouldn’t want to mess with (and you certainly wouldn’t want to be the health visitor who tells them “Sorry, your one-year-old is fat”).
Maybe if we focus a little less on how much these babies are weighing, and a little more on making sure that ALL babies are eating healthily and that parents have the money, knowledge and skills to buy and make healthy food choices for their children, things would be better.
Alternatively, if we restricted access to computers for stupid arsebadgers, we might not have so many batshit-crazy articles flying around the internet, telling us that however we feed our baby, we’re condemning them to a life of diabetes, heart attacks and ‘character-building’ bullying.
Either way, it’s a victory for common sense.
(* YouTube has a variety of Dance Moms clips, perfect for long feeding sessions).