A storm of controversy surrounds the magazine Closers latest issue. A huge swell of outrage has started after Dr Christian Jessen who is famously known for the grotesque programme ‘Embarrassing Bodies’ on channel 4. Was quoted to have taken quite an opinionated stance regarding breastfeeding.
In the interview Dr Christian was quoted as saying:
“Milk boosts a babies immune system, but only for the first 6 months. After that, it has no effect. As long as the child has a healthy diet, there is no harm in breastfeeding. But breastfeeding older children risks becoming psychologically dependant on their mother.”
These quotes directly contradict the Unichef and WHO guidelines and has caused backlash for the celeb GP. Citing that he was misquoted and talking about a case of a lady – Michelle Atkins who is currently breastfeeding her 4 yr old and her want to feed her son til he is 8. An amazing lady and amazing breastfeeding job (in our opinion).
However the unthought out answer from Dr Christian has caused irritation and upset to those who are following the current guidelines. Dr Christian has not helped himself any further by taking to twitter to justify his actions and outlines the NHS guidelines for breastfeeding are until 6 months. In a further statement from Closer Online Dr Christian says,
“Breast milk is beneficial to a baby’s immune system for the first six months, but there is no harm in continuing to do it as long as the child has a healthy diet.”
A slight contradiction to his first quoted piece, so was he mis-quoted or is the venereal disease doc just yet another mis-informed GP who does not understand, nor care of the dynamics of a breastfeeding mother and child’s relationship? – Who knows?
In my experience GP’s generally do not support nor understand breastfeeding beyond 6 months and many longer term feeding mothers (myself included) have being subjected to unprofessional responses to choosing longer term breastfeeding. Despite the fact that in many countries this is commonplace.
My question is, if breastfeeding offers no benefits to children beyond 6 months, why then do humans continue to produce milk after this time? And why is it my almost 3 yr old (out of all my children) is the healthiest and least ill? Could it be due to the fact he is still breastfed? Not being a qualified doctor i can’t be sure, but it does seem to me with all that breastmilk provides; antibodies and other immune boosting compounds, doesn’t suddenly become ineffective at 6 months, and my son’s health is definitely proof of that!
If you would like to complain to the GMC about Dr Christian follow the highlighted link using the GMC number 6028241- GMC Complaints
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