Being a mum can sometimes make you feel scrutinised at every turn – and what (and even how) you feed your baby can be a real hot potato.
Of course, though, at the end of the day we’re all doing our best, so we can totally empathise with new mum Danielle Parker, who said she felt completely ‘taken aback’ and ‘inadequate’ when a doctor at her local hospital told her that she should consider putting her baby daughter on a diet, telling her, she says, ‘you need to stop obesity before it happens’.
Danielle took Grace to hospital as she had constipation, and during the consultation they weighed Grace, who is 18lbs (guidelines suggest a healthy weight for her age, 6 months, is between 12.9lbs and 19lbs).
Danielle says she was asked by the doctor, ‘Oh my goodness, what are you feeding her?’ to which she replied that Grace eats lots of veggies, and baby rice.
“I would understand when she rudely asked what I was feeding my baby if I answered with chocolate pudding and huge portions of food with a lot of calories, but I don’t,” Danielle told Newcastle’s Chronicle Live.
“The doctor advised that I cut out all food and only offer water in between feeds, basically suggesting I put my baby on a diet.
“I was really taken aback by what she said – I couldn’t believe it. It made me feel really inadequate as a new mum.
“I left the hospital feeling very upset and angry. As a young mother, I feel like we already get a lot of judgement and criticism.
“I make my own foods so I am aware of exactly what is in the food I am giving her and I get Grace weighed at the clinics locally every week, if not every two weeks.
“I also chat to my health visitors to ensure I’m doing a good job and to make sure Grace is doing well.”
After Danielle made a complaint to her local NHS foundation trust, officials have promised to look into the issue, and have said they’re sorry that Danielle and her family were so upset by their experience.
Now, of course, we don’t have the doctor’s side of the story here. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, some of our team wondered if the advice about water between feeds could have been to do with Grace’s constipation rather than about her weight.
But we really can’t understand why there would be talk about obesity when this little girl is clearly in a healthy weight bracket by the NHS’s own standards.
What do you think?
Hmmmm. We can only say it serves as a bit of a warning that if you do take your little one to the doc for anything, you could well be put under scrutiny for their weight (or something else) when you weren’t expecting it.
Do you think that’s fair? Tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook.
Image: Newcastle Chronicle