So, there’s a new service for breastfeeding mums – aren’t you lucky to have doctors testing your milk, just so you can make sure it is suitable for your baby! And, of course, if it is found to be deficient then you can just switch to trusty old formula because you will lose trust in your body so this must be better than the milk you make for your baby. I’m sorry there is a bit of a rant growing in me because DO WE REALLY NEED SOMETHING ELSE TO UNDERMINE THE BELIEF IN OUR WONDERFUL BODIES WHICH MAKES, GROWS AND FEEDS OUR BABIES?
By the way, this is not an anti formula feeding post it is a STOP THE NEGATIVITY post.
Advertised in Bounty packs – which are given to all new mums in this country – the My Milk Count service offers to test breastmilk for DHA, which is one of the long chain polyunsaturated omega 3 fatty acids (LCPUFA) that people commonly refer to as “good fats” (Analytical Armadillo). The My Milk Count website is currently suspended but reports about it have stated that, for a £99 fee a milk sample can be graded low, sub-optimal or optimal and if levels are sub-optimal, the breastfeeding mothers are advised to improve their diet and take another £99 test.
An article in The Guardian questions the ethics of such a service. I question how beneficial this service really is to anxious new parents who want to do everything they can to enable their baby to thrive.
Dr Jack Newman has criticised this service by stating that as “breastmilk varies during a single feed, from feeding to feeding, from day to day, from week to week and from month to month…it is pointless to analyse a single sample of breastmilk, therefore the test may not be accurate.”
As an parent practitioner who has worked with thousands of families I believe that parents need more positive information and support, not businesses preying on their vulnerability, anxiety and desire to get things right for their child. Parents do not need anything that questions and undermines their ability and their instincts. Instead, parents need more support and knowledge so they know what to expect, what is normal, what to look for so they know their baby is thriving and how to trust their instincts. And this is what drives me to do what I do.
Janine, Birth & Baby