A YOUNG mother was shocked after a doctor insisted that her six-month-old baby needed to go on a diet.
Danielle Parker, 21, was instructed to stop giving any solid food to her daughter Grace and only give her water between breast feeds.
She says the advice came after she was warned that at 8,1kilograms, Grace was too fat – even though the reading falls within the NHS limits for a healthy weight.
Miss Parker claimed the doctor said: ‘You need to stop obesity before it begins.’
NHS guidelines state six-month-old girls should weigh between 5.8 kilograms and 8.6 kilograms.
Miss Parker said: ‘The doctor advised that I cut out all food and only offer water in between feeds, basically suggesting I put my baby on a diet.
‘I left the hospital feeling very upset and angry.
‘As a young mother, I feel like we already get a lot of judgment and criticism.
‘I was really taken aback by what she said. I couldn’t believe it. It made me feel really inadequate as a new mum.’ When she took Grace to the emergency department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead to be treated for constipation, she claimed that the doctor expressed surprise at her baby’s weight.
Miss Parker added: ‘The first thing they said to me was, “Oh my goodness, what are you feeding her?” – insinuating she was fat.
‘I would understand when she rudely asked what I was feeding my baby if I answered, “Chocolate pudding and huge portions of food with a lot of calories” – but I don’t.’
Miss Parker told the doctor that Grace – born a healthy 3.6 kilograms 3oz – was breastfed.
And she explained that for the past three weeks she had been weaned on to pureed fruit and vegetables, as advised by her GP.
Grace’s diet includes carrots, cauliflower and broccoli, as well as baby porridge, which is added to cooled boiled water to make it easy for her to eat. According to the NHS website, a baby’s first solid food can include mashed or soft-cooked fruit and vegetables, which should be cooled before eating.
Miss Parker, from Wrekenton, Gateshead, said: ‘I make my own foods, so I am aware of exactly what I am giving her and I get Grace weighed at the clinic locally every week, if not every two weeks.
‘I also chat to my health visitors to ensure I’m doing a good job and to make sure Grace is doing well.’
After leaving the hospital, the mother visited her local GP, who said he had no concerns about her daughter’s weight. As a result of the upsetting hospital consultation, Miss Parker and her partner, Matthew Fisher, have made a complaint to Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust.
Last night, a trust spokesman said: ‘We’re sorry to hear that a patient didn’t feel they had a good experience in our emergency department, and can confirm that an informal concern was raised with us.
‘However, it would not be appropriate to comment further until our patient advice and liaison team has had the opportunity to look into the issues mentioned.’
© Daily Mail