Will introducing the new World Health Organization growth reference to Australia reduce breastfeeding rates: why not a randomised controlled trial first?
Article first published online: 13 DEC 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2011 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume 48, Issue 4, pages 347–349, April 2012
How to Cite
Binns, C. and Lee, M. K. (2012), Will introducing the new World Health Organization growth reference to Australia reduce breastfeeding rates: why not a randomised controlled trial first?. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 48: 347–349. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2011.02239.x
- Issue published online: 9 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 13 DEC 2011
- Accepted for publication 25 April 2011.
- growth reference;
- randomised controlled trial
Aim: The aim is to review the implications of the introduction of new World Health Organisation (WHO) growth reference into Australia, and in particular its potential effects on breastfeeding rates in the first six months of life.
Methods: A review of the velocity and trajectory of growth in the new WHO Growth Reference compared to the growth references most commonly used in Australia.
Results: The World Health Organisation has recommended the universal use of its new growth reference. However, in the first 6 months of life, the critical period for the maintenance of breastfeeding, the new WHO reference is heavier than the reference previously used in Australia. This may mean that more infants will be classified as having poor growth. It is likely that these infants will be given additional feeds or even may cease being breastfed. Maintenance of breastfeeding is important for minimising short-, medium- and long-term risks.
Conclusions: Before the introduction of a new growth reference is contemplated, a randomised controlled trial should be conducted to be sure that there will be no adverse effect on breastfeeding.