Revised growth charts to promote breastfeeding

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, based on breastfed babies, will replace the current measures in England from this month, which are based predominantly on babies fed with formula milk.

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

The DoH hopes that the charts will help to establish breastfeeding as the norm. The new measures will be included in personal child health records.

England has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Europe.

Speaking at the launch of the charts in central London last week, Dr Sheila Shribman, clinical director for children, young people and maternity at the DoH, said: 'The charts will not only provide more accurate measurements for infant growth of breastfed babies, but will also help healthcare professionals and parents to identify early signs of overweight or obesity and provide support.'

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