Weaning training from cow and gate? Hmmm…

Got sent an interesting email recently by Cow & Gate. I have tried repeatedly to leave their list but they are persistent spammers so can’t help but get their messages.

Anyway, they are setting up a network of mums who are paid to talk to other mums about weaning. They say…

The Cow & Gate feeding club sessions will be ‘in home’ and you’d be teaching new mums things like how to know when it’s the right time to start introducing food, what to feed for the first spoonfuls, and how to make it, giving mums the confidence to go away and do it for themselves.

I have really mixed feelings about this initiative. Clearly this is a confusing time and anything where mums talk to and hear from other mums has to be good. But I’m inherently distrustful of the big baby food/formula companies*. I really hope the ubiquitous ‘follow-on milk’ isn’t a key part of the message. Also I hope they respect the WHO and UK recommendations to delay weaning till baby is around six months and showing signs of readiness. (See my previous post on this here.) My heart sinks a little when I think of the big sack of goodies they’ll give to each mum, including of course some formula, baby rice and a spoon!

Again, I am in two minds as I do think hearing from mums is the best way to learn. And if this gets more mums’ voices out there that’s fab. But if the underlying messages are wholly aimed at a quick transition from breast to bottle plus processed mush then I’m not impressed.

* That’s not to say I don’t buy their products. Bub is now wholly formula fed and we frequently use commercial baby food, albeit in a baby led weaning way. I’m just pretty distrustful of big business and think I have every right, as does everyone else, of calling their motives into question from time to time.


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3 Responses to “Weaning training from cow and gate? Hmmm…”

  1. eliminationcommunication Says:

    It’s a conflict of interest for certain.

  2. Emma Says:

    I also got this email from cow and gate and have Infact signed up to be one of the teacher mums. I bf my daughter fully til 6 months then mixed breast and bottle and weaned her. I for one will not be telling mums to buy processed food and formula but just pointing them in the right direction with recipes etc. It is a very confusing time and I think these classes could be invaluable.

  3. Mummytolots Says:

    I have also signed up to be a “teacher mum” I am looking forward to giving my own personal take on things, I am a mum to four, have bf, bottle fed, tried baby led weaning, home made food, baby jars, everything! It’s up to the individual how they decide and what they decide to feed their babies. Cow and gate are the only company I know to offer inpartial advice that I would have been glad of when I had my first child – and subsequent children, such as when to start weaning, as this has changed in the past 12 years since I had my first child. Mums often get advice from their mums but back in the day it was ok to start feeding your baby from 4 months which is now outdated advice. I think it will be invaluable advice to first time mums.

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