GPs urged to switch baby growth charts

GPs in England should switch to the WHO growth charts for measuring babies, in an attempt to boost breastfeeding rates, the DoH has announced.

The WHO charts are based on breastfed babies and will replace the current measures, from this month in England, which are based predominately on babies fed with formula milk.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will also introduce the charts in the coming months.

It is hoped that the WHO charts will play an important role in establishing breastfeeding as the norm and will be included in the personal child health records, given to parents of every newborn.

Currently, England has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Europe, with only a fifth of mothers still exclusively breastfeeding their babies at six months of age.

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