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Thread: Dr. Newman on solids?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    312

    Default Dr. Newman on solids?

    I was reading Dr. Newman's face book page, and looked at his info on solids. He makes a few statements, like that nursing 4x per day along with a variety of foods is probably fine and that baby should not be limited to 1 tsp and should be able to eat whatever amount they want of solids. This is 6 months and up, my baby is 8 months.

    This seems to be in great contradiction to all the advice I commonly see here. Thoughts? For example, last night my baby was wolfing down the solids, and I stopped because she hadn't nursed and she is super distractable. She clearly wanted more food but had refused to nurse. What should I have done? I did not give her more food, but his advice makes it sounds like I shouldn't limit her. Sometimes I feel like he underestimates distractability among other issues...any thoughts? Thanks

    We are doing 100% BLS by the way, she refuses spoons.
    and Mama to two little girls

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,944

    Default Re: Dr. Newman on solids?

    Yeah, that strikes me as very odd! Most exclusively breastfed babies require at least 8 nursing sessions per day in order to get their needs met- at least according to the American Academy of Pediatrics breastfeeding policy statement. It makes sense: if the average feeding is 2-4 oz, then 8 feedings per day will get baby somewhere between 16 and 32 oz of milk per day, and most babies require 20-30 oz of milk per day. 4 nursing sessions per day would be just 8-16 oz per day, which is clearly not enough for an exclusively breastfed baby. And since babies who are just starting with solids remain dependent on mom's milk for the majority of their calories, 8-16 oz of milk per day isn't likely to be enough unless the baby is eating a LOT of solids to make up for the shortfall in milk intake.

    I think Newman's guidelines are directed more towards the average mom- the one who, by 6 months, may already be using formula and who is more concerned about getting her baby weaned from the breast than about getting her baby to continue nursing. Remember, it's unusual for American moms to make it to 6 months of breastfeeding, let alone beyond that. For a lot of women, nursing 4 times per day in the second half of the first year is as much or more than they feel they can do.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: Dr. Newman on solids?

    It sounds like mommal is on point about Dr. Newman trying to promote a culture of partial breastfeeding over just succumbing to formula by default.

    I believe the advice you're reading relates to a situation where a mother is unable for whatever reason to meet her child's full demand for breastmilk and is facing marginal supplementation with formula. Dr. Newman appears to be advocating that formula introduction isn't necessary, per se, and that the nutritional needs of young children who are interested in and able to consume a variety of healthy solids can be met by whole foods in conjunction with breastmilk.

    I think the key is that the shortfall between *optimal* and actual breastmilk intake be marginal. I don't believe he's advocating a reduction in breastmilk intake just because it could be nutritionally sustainable.

    From my personal experience as his patient, he is a strong proponent of BLS and is not in a hurry to push solids. Quite the contrary; he reassured me that DS was still thriving as EBF with effectively no solids at 13 months when I was concerned about slow solids uptake.
    Last edited by @llli*alphawoman; August 17th, 2013 at 10:03 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Dr. Newman on solids?

    I don’t know what is on facebook, but here is Dr. Newman on solid introduction from his website: http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...gename=doc-SSF

    As pp suggest, the idea that 'early' solids are ok is not a general recommendation from Newman. It is for when a baby is not gaining normally on breastmilk alone, and is suggested as the next step after all attempts at increasing milk production and improving milk transfer have been exhausted.

    In the first paragraph, Newman echoes precisely what LLL has been saying for many decades: “However, most babies do fine with exclusive breastfeeding to six months of age or even a little longer. You should start your baby on solids when s/he shows signs of being ready for solids, not by the calendar. See below.”

    I would also like to point out that while Dr. Newman is certainly considered a world renowned breastfeeding expert and ardent advocate, LLL does not specifically use only his recommendations as a template for solid introduction suggestions or for anything, really. The primary source of information LLL suggest to mothers (and used by LLL Leaders when talking to mothers) is The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (which draws from many sources including Dr. Newman.)

    What the research actually says about starting solids is contradictory, etc. The reccomendations from different health organizations agree on some points but not on others. Plus these are all very general guidelines meant to cover a very wide and diverse populace which leads to the promotion of misleading ideas.

    There are studies, but they are often old, flawed, or did not ask the right questions in the first place. What I think LLL and Dr. Newman provide is an alternative to rigid “introduce this food like this but never this food like this at this many months or all is lost” type recommendations that are either not based on science at all or are based on faulty science. For more on this subject (the checkered history of 'solid' food introduction recommendations) I suggest the book “My Child Won’t Eat” by Carlos Gonzalez.

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