BREASTFEEDING: ADVICE AND COUNTER-ADVICEBefore the 20th century – alternatives to breast milk were rare. Infant formulas appeared in the mid-19th century but had very limited reach and were considered only for women unable to feed naturally.

1950s – Formula took off during the post-war baby boom as milk prices went down and US studies claimed it was as good as breast milk.
Whatever’s breast: Some breastfeeding specialists welcomed the ‘common sense’ findings that many mothers instinctively follow despite feeling guilty about ignoring official advice

1975 – Breastfeeding at lowest ever level with half of UK babies bottle fed from birth as more women entered the workplace and formula was widely advertised.

The ‘Breast is best’ message makes a comeback after new studies and scandal of powdered milk in developing world where mothers were encouraged to used questionable water supplies to dilute milk powder.

– The World Health Organization suggests breastfeeding for at least three months.

2001 – After research overwhelming backs its health benefits, the WHO recommends it for the first six months.

– Britain takes their advice and the Department of Health released guidelines recommending women breastfeed their babies for six months, after it emerged just half of women breast fed after 6 weeks – the lowest rate in Europe.

The guidelines said ‘ Breastfeeding is the best form of nutrition for infants. Exclusive breast- feeding is recommended for the first six months (26 weeks) of an infant’s life as it provides all the nutrients a baby needs.’

Breastfeeding rates rise to 77 per cent.

– Advertising of formula milk for babies under six months is banned. (

So what should you do when a good friend gives you the cold shoulder?

So what should you do when a good friend gives you the cold shoulder?

Avoid knee-jerk reactions

‘Give yourself time to think about the situation clearly before you get upset or angry with her,’ says expert Irene Levine.

‘Ask yourself if you are upset because she has dumped you, and if this is a ­relationship really worth saving?”
Brutal reality: The romanticised notion of best friends forever really is a myth

Apologise if necessary

According to the experts, if you know you’ve done something wrong, you should apologise swiftly. If you leave it too long, her negative feelings about you are likely to amplify and become entrenched.

Don’t try to be a mind-reader

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you know or understand your friend’s motives. You need to speak to her if you are to find out what is going on.

And if she just does not want to know?

‘If you have begged and cajoled and she won’t be moved, you need to respect the boundaries she has set and move on. It may have less to do with you than other things going on in her life,’ says Levine.

You will feel ­embarrassment, shock, anger and even grief at first – but the worst thing you can do is go around bad-mouthing your ex-friend.

Levine advises talking the ­experience out with one friend or ­family member – and accepting you may never get an explanation.

‘It will take time – but remember, these kind of episodes happen to ­everybody,’ she adds.

‘Try not to brood. Keep yourself busy and you are likely to find that some of your ­”backseat” friends start to become more ­important in your life and fill the gaps.’

Look back and see what you got out of the friendship. There may be lots of ­positives you can take from having been her friend – or not.

‘Many women say they feel a sense of relief after being dumped,’ says Levine. ‘They realise the friendship was more taxing than it was worth.