I hate the media (breastfeeding in the press)

In January of this year, Mary Fewtrell & co published an opinion piece in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) questing the evidence behind the WHO’s recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months. This caused newspapers and online news sites to come out with headlines like:

Six months of breastmilk alone is too long and could harm babies, scientists now say — The Guardian

Too much breastfeeding ‘puts children off greens’ — The Independent

Weaning before six months ‘may help breastfed babies’ — BBC News

Parenting forums everywhere rapidly filled with threads, everything from “omg am I killing my baby by exclusive breastfeeding?!” to smug “I told you to start on purees at 8 weeks” from a generation of older parents. Suddenly people were telling all and sundry that the Government guidelines on weaning were changing and that mums should take note. A cursory glance at mumsnet just now and I count 2 references to the BBC article in one topic (posted on this weekend… not an old thread by any stretch of the imagination) to support early weaning.

The piece was heavily criticised by doctors, midwives and professors in the rapid response section of BMJ; by Baby Milk Action; by LLL GB (La Leche League GB); by lactivists and breastfeeding supporters everywhere. (There are some fantastic responses on the rapid response from people much smarter than me. Definitely worth a read.)

So why is it that, 6 months on, when an actual study featuring our controversial friend Fewtrell was published in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (and elsewhere) confirming the adequacy of breast milk and exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months (emphasis my own):

Results of this prospective study reveal that when mothers are well supported and follow the World Health Organization recommendation on breastfeeding, milk intakes are high and increase over time, and there is adequate energy intake, normal infant growth, and no marked changes in breastfeeding practices. This new empirical evidence on adaptations during exclusive breastfeeding should help health professionals promote the initiation, duration, and exclusivity of breastfeeding.

…it gets nary a mention in the media? This is an actual study, using actual sciencey bits, and isn’t just the opinion of a baby-food industry puppets. And yet, no BBC telling us that in reality, breastfed babies are ok on just breast milk; no Guardian telling us that actually, 6 months of breastfeeding is just bloody fine.

Oh yes, that’s right, because telling mums they’re doing well (instead of admonishing them for yet another failure) wouldn’t boost sales, would it?

Dear Skechers

Hello there, my name is Jem. About 6 years ago I bought my first pair of Skechers. They were amazingly comfortable. I’d never before had a shoe (trainer/sneaker/whatever) which had been such a great fit straight from the box. This was the beginning of what I hoped to be a lasting, fulfilling relationship with your… read full entry »

Hungry? Cookbook Winner

The results for The Great Hungry? Cookbook Giveaway are in… 30 people entered, with 70 entries in total (tweets, comments, likes etc). Out of 70, random.org gives me a number of: …which gives the winner: Jennifer! The girl with the most entries, heh. Just goes to show that making the extra effort pays off :D… read full entry »

Ironbridge Photography Project

I have the privilege of living in the most beautiful county in the UK: Shropshire. (Not that I’m biased or anything.) This is highlighted in the towns surrounding my own; Ironbridge, Coalbrookdale and the like. Steeped in history, full of landmarks like The Iron Bridge… on their own, they are fairly interesting, but a recent… read full entry »

The Great Hungry? Cookbook Giveaway

Remember how the other day I was all “ooh, I love the Hungry? cookbook too much to give it away“? Problem solved! I pulled some strings asked nicely and have secured a second copy of the innocent cookbook to give to one of you lovely people. How do I enter the great ‘Hungry?’ giveaway, Jem?… read full entry »

The Driving Test

Whilst bathing Isabel last week, Karl and I were playing the “what noise does … make?” game. Lions say rawr, monkeys say “ooh ooh” etc etc. Karl then asks “what noise does mummy’s driving make?” Isabel replies: nee-naw-nee-naw Thanks kid. Anyway, this seemed like an appropriate way to lead into the results of my driving… read full entry »


At the end of last month I decided to try a meal-plan month. Plan your family meals for a set timespan, buy the necessary foods and don’t waste money on food that won’t get eaten because you’ve changed your mind when you get home from work. I’m surprised by how well it’s working; I expected… read full entry »


I got called a mommy blogger yesterday. Ouch. It was a harmless remark, included in an otherwise genuine question, not intended to offend. And yet nearly 24 hours later I’m still thinking about it. I guess what bothers me the most, aside from my distaste for the “PPP” / sponsored posts crap that most ‘mommy… read full entry »

Life. Oh, Life. Toddler taming & more.

(This post has been constructed over a period of several days, snatching minutes here and there. If it seems choppy / all over the place, it’s because it is.) Struggling to find the time to write at the minute.. life busy passing me by undocumented. It’s not like I don’t HAVE the time, it’s just… read full entry »

Amazing Mama / Midwifery Blog

I wasn’t originally going to post this link, and settled for sharing it privately with a couple of friends. However, after having spent several hours immersed in it this evening I can’t NOT share it: “Navelgazing Midwife” It’s not often I enjoy reading a blog as much as I have this one, particularly ones about… read full entry »

Sat in the car…

…next to Izz, who’s fast asleep in her car seat. Typing feels weird, because the skin on my fingers has been shredded from shovelling gravel and lifting concrete. We went out to try and buy Isabel a slide yesterday, and while we couldn’t find one (end of season, all shops seem to be swapping garden… read full entry »

Useful (cool) icon finding site

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to find some obscure UK debit card icon, or a certain size of twitter icon (whatever) for work… I have an Icons folder for saving sets that I probably wouldn’t be able to find easily again: (Like my desktop wallpaper? It’s from vladstudio) And yet all… read full entry »