A parenting expert, understanding child development and needs and who is also aware of the risks of formula feeding and early weaning, should be sought for advice. Having accurate scientific data available regarding health risks of formula and early weaning  is essential. See slides 28,30. The responsibility of ensuring the baby does not suffer from the deficiencies of formula or early-weaning is paramount. The gift of evolutionary advantage should be universal.

Breastfeeding is the standard for normal outcome. It does not have benefits.  DO  NOT refer to the ‘benefits’ of breastfeeding as this may lead to its depreciation by a society, often guided by commercial interests, propaganda and personal bias, that downplayed the risks of tobacco 60 years ago.  Formula  and early weaning are the deficits of concern. The WHO states that breastfeeding  should be exclusive in the first 6 months of life and continue with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age and beyond (slides 27 and 28 give overview).

Refer to previous slides (40-42) for guidance in giving weight to the need to ensure the mother’s long-term risk of breast, ovarian cancer and metabolic disorder is not increased. Also see Melissa Bartick DOI:10.1111/mcn.12366 (good statistics)

Some helpful sources of information:

1.Australian Breastfeeding Association. https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/breastfeeding-and-law

2.La Leche League http://www.llli.org/law/lawus.html

3.Kathryn Dettwyler  Anthropologist and world authority on age of weaning and author of helpful Court letter.

4.American Academy of Pediatrics  Pediatrics vol. 115 no 2, February 2005 pp496-506

5.Leaky Boob blog  http://theleakyboob.com/2011/02/a-journey-through-breastfeeding-and-visitation

6. Kellymom Parenting and Breastfeeding resource