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Friday 29 Aug 2014

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Bringing Up Britain

Cherry Healey

Cherry Healey Investigates – Is Breast Best?

Leading the season, refreshingly honest BBC Three presenter Cherry Healey (Cherry Goes Dating, Cherry Gets Married) presents a revealing and compelling film that explores both sides of the breastfeeding debate – for some a taboo subject that can provoke controversy.

The World Health Organisation advises that all mothers breast feed their children for at least the first six months after birth, but it's not for everyone. Cherry herself found the experience painful and traumatic and eventually gave up. Even now, over a year later, she is still plagued by feelings of guilt for not trying harder and is on a mission to find out how other new Mums really feel about breastfeeding.

In Cherry Healey Investigates – Is Breast Best? she meets a variety of mums who are at the frontline of both sides of the debate; from a group of "Lactivists" who strongly believe that breastfeeding is the only option for a new mum, to teen mum Jess, who has formula fed all the way, and pro-bottle advocates – Cherry will hear the personal stories from women from all walks of life.

But what happens, if like Cherry, despite your best efforts you find it too physically painful to breastfeed? Cherry faces her own demons head on with a story that mirrors her own. She meets 19-year-old Emma who is struggling to breastfeed baby Olivia. Through her own "night cam" filming, she witnesses the gruelling four hourly feeds, the sleep deprivation and anguish of this brave young Mum, who is battling to do the best for her baby. With Cherry's guidance, and practical advice from experts Emma soon turns the painful experience into a successful bonding experience with her daughter.

During her investigation, Cherry also meets one of the country's leading paediatricians; questions why the UK has got such low breastfeeding rates; and finds out what happens when breastfeeding mums go back to work.

What If My Baby Is Born Like Me?

Deciding to become a parent can be a huge decision for any young person, but if you also had a genetic condition that you could pass down to your kids, it can become an agonising dilemma with potentially serious consequences.

Jono Lancaster (Love Me, Love My Face, BBC Three) was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, a rare genetic condition that has affected every aspect of his life – from being given up for adoption at birth, to being bullied at school and undergoing serious operations.

Now 26, Jono and his long-term girlfriend Laura have bought a house together and are now contemplating the idea of marriage and children. But Jono is still unsure whether he can bring a child into the world knowing it may have to go through the same things that he did, and possibly much worse.

Treacher Collins syndrome affects the way the bones and tissues in the face develop and can mean babies are born without ears, have vision problems and, in some cases, involve 24-hour care. Any child Jono fathered would have a 50/50 chance of inheriting the condition.

What If My Baby Is Born Like Me? follows Jono and Laura as they explore the science, ethics, history and very human stories behind the decisions faced by other people with genetic conditions. As they try to decide if, and how, they will ever have children, they'll meet potential parents who have one of a range of genetic conditions and explore the science currently on offer to potential parents such as IVF, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and genetic testing.

Fast Food Baby

Babies and toddlers up and down the country are eating a diet of cheap, sugary and fattening junk food. These are the shocking diets of the super young; babies fed on burgers, chips and takeaways whilst still in their high chairs.

In this arresting documentary, parents are forced to face up to how their bad habits are impacting their children and the nation's future health. Whilst exploring the deep-seated reasons as to why parents resort to junk food feeding, the film follows three families as they desperately try to get back on the right nutritional track.

Harley is a hyperactive toddler reared on chicken nuggets and sweets by mum Taylah. At just 19, Taylah herself had a heart attack, but unbelievably still eats the equivalent of half a kilo of sugar a day, and what she feeds to herself she feeds to her baby.

Then there is pepperami addict Cuba and Michael, who loves a certain fast-food chain, both just 18 months old. Cuba's parents compensate the lack of time they have to spend with their children by "treating" them to five takeaways a week; Michael's mother Cara dreams of being a "carrot stick mum", but just can't break the junk food habit.

Whether they're terrified of upsetting their children or can't cope with the discipline of traditional meal times, the parents realise they are feeding a future of bad teeth and medical problems to their offspring. But breaking these habits can be difficult. From gentle food play to cold turkey, the parents are mentored through the latest food weaning techniques by dietician Hayley. Will the families ditch the junk or fall at the first hurdle?

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