Are there growth charts available that reflect typical growth patterns of breastfed infants?
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued new Child Growth Standards, using a world-wide sample of over 8,000 children in April of 2006. To view the report and charts, visit http://www.who.int/nutrition/media_page/en/index.html -- the links to the charts are near the bottom of the page.
The new charts will be an invaluable tool for parents and healthcare providers as a way of detecting under-nutrition, overweight and obesity, and other growth and nutrition-related conditions at an early stage in a child's life. The premise of the study is that the gold standard in infant nutrition is exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continued breastfeeding after the introduction of appropriate complementary foods. In research for the new WHO Child Growth Standards, mothers from Brazil, Ghana, India, Norway, Oman and the United States were given the encouragement and education they needed to breastfeed.
To learn more, read the LLLI Media Release on the new standards, upon which this FAQ is based.
Our FAQs present information from La Leche League International on topics of interest to parents of breastfed children. Not all of the information may be pertinent to your family's lifestyle. This information is general in nature and not intended to be advice, medical or otherwise. If you have a serious breastfeeding problem or concern, you are strongly encouraged to talk directly to a La Leche League Leader. Please consult health care professionals on any medical issue, as La Leche League Leaders are not medical practitioners.