Can you Give Water to a 6 week old, When you are EBF??

Louise - posted on 09/17/2009 ( 58 moms have responded )

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I'v asked 3 midwife's and my docter weather i can give water to my 6 week old breastfed baby, i am a EBF he's on it 24-7, he has bad intedigestion and throws up on every feed and when he dosnt... I'v tried every thing for that and give him meds for it but i would like to know if i can give him water and weather he needs it??

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Nicole - posted on 09/17/2009

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Oh my!!! I could write an entire article on this subject! And, yes, I guess I would be a "breastfeeding Nazi" or "nipple Nazi" (as we are referred to by the people who we work around... lol) and, therefore, I say NEVER give an infant water!



As to Jessica's doctor: I hate being the one to go behind and correct advice that a physician gives, but physicians are not "all-knowing" and alot of them are very misinformed when it comes to breastfeeding and what Jessica's physician is telling her is misinformation. There is something called "water intoxication" and it can be fatal. Water intoxication is very easy for infants 9 months and under to get because they tend to absorb water so easily. This is not a risk worth taking! And adding things to the water is just compounding an already serious risk.



Brown sugar is made using molasses, and honey and syrups have also been linked to infant botulism and, therefore, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that no child under the age of one be given these things.



And adding salt gives an infant sodium that they don't need.



About water and jaundice: There is no scientific reason to give a baby with jaundice water, sugar water, etc. It is empty calories and therefore ineffective. Babies with jaundice need to have bowel movements, therefore, they need calories and breastmilk is the best substance to provide both calories and good bowel movements.



I would much rather a mother give a pacifier to an infant anyday over a bottle of water!!! Please don't take the risk with the health of your baby.



About the stomach issues: Again, because alot of physicians don't know much about breastfeeding, alot of breastfeeding infants are diagnosed with reflux and put on medication, when it is just sometimes the mother's oversupply, how and when the baby is receiving hindmilk, etc. These are all problems that are very easy to fix or even correct themselves later. I am not saying that your child doesn't have a medical condition, but it is worth looking into. If your baby has that much coming back up because you have an abundance of milk, giving water isn't going to fix the problem. He's just going spit up the water, too.



Good luck and I hope that no one thinks I am stepping on any toes with what I have said, but I only know it because I have been counseling women with breastfeeding for over 5 years and as a requirement to keep my license, I have to stay up to date on all of these things. Not to mention, that I work with the WIC program and we are required to know about diet problems. I feel it important to pass on that info to you.



Again, good luck.



Nicole, CLC

Stacy - posted on 09/17/2009

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There is no reason to give a 6-week old water, which has no nutritional value. A 6-week old needs calories and ABSOLUTELY DO NOT give him water with brown sugar in it! I'm a pediatric nurse, please do not take advice such as this from people with medical knowledge. If you continue to have problems with reflux, call your doc. Baby may need a different med or a combination of two meds or even a swallow study to see why he has such bad reflux. Good luck!

Stacy - posted on 09/17/2009

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Quoting Nicole:

Oh my!!! I could write an entire article on this subject! And, yes, I guess I would be a "breastfeeding Nazi" or "nipple Nazi" (as we are referred to by the people who we work around... lol) and, therefore, I say NEVER give an infant water!

As to Jessica's doctor: I hate being the one to go behind and correct advice that a physician gives, but physicians are not "all-knowing" and alot of them are very misinformed when it comes to breastfeeding and what Jessica's physician is telling her is misinformation. There is something called "water intoxication" and it can be fatal. Water intoxication is very easy for infants 9 months and under to get because they tend to absorb water so easily. This is not a risk worth taking! And adding things to the water is just compounding an already serious risk.

Brown sugar is made using molasses, and honey and syrups have also been linked to infant botulism and, therefore, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that no child under the age of one be given these things.

And adding salt gives an infant sodium that they don't need.

About water and jaundice: There is no scientific reason to give a baby with jaundice water, sugar water, etc. It is empty calories and therefore ineffective. Babies with jaundice need to have bowel movements, therefore, they need calories and breastmilk is the best substance to provide both calories and good bowel movements.

I would much rather a mother give a pacifier to an infant anyday over a bottle of water!!! Please don't take the risk with the health of your baby.

About the stomach issues: Again, because alot of physicians don't know much about breastfeeding, alot of breastfeeding infants are diagnosed with reflux and put on medication, when it is just sometimes the mother's oversupply, how and when the baby is receiving hindmilk, etc. These are all problems that are very easy to fix or even correct themselves later. I am not saying that your child doesn't have a medical condition, but it is worth looking into. If your baby has that much coming back up because you have an abundance of milk, giving water isn't going to fix the problem. He's just going spit up the water, too.

Good luck and I hope that no one thinks I am stepping on any toes with what I have said, but I only know it because I have been counseling women with breastfeeding for over 5 years and as a requirement to keep my license, I have to stay up to date on all of these things. Not to mention, that I work with the WIC program and we are required to know about diet problems. I feel it important to pass on that info to you.

Again, good luck.

Nicole, CLC


FABULOUS advice from a MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL - couldn't have said it better! I find that too many people give advice on these posts about administering medications and other types of treatments without knowing any type of health history. Something that seems routine or harmless can cause serious HARM and people should be more careful when giving or taking this kind of advice, especially when it comes to your children. As a nurse I can definitely agree that doctors are not all-knowing and again, I cannot stress enough, that just because something is recommended for one child does not mean that it is appropriate for all children.

Julia - posted on 09/18/2009

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Louise, did he have reflux like this in the NICU? Was he on formula in the NICU or strictly breastmilk? Did they add human milk fortifier or formula to the breastmilk, if they were increasing his calories during his admission? What does his belly look like? Is the spit-up green in color? Are his stools typical breastmilk stools or diarrhea? Can you be sure that he is peeing with every diaper change? Do his eyes or fontanel appear sunken? Was he projectile vomiting prior to being discharged? I am assuming no, because projectile emesis is something that needs to be evaluated by a specialist not just a pediatrician/family practice doc. Which med is he on? Zantac, Reglan, something else? It sounds like he very much needs a swallow study. It also sounds like something in your diet may be a contributing factor. Never allow your child's doctor to diagnose him without first doing a head-to-toe evaluation. An assessment is not an interview with a parent. It involves objective and subjective observations meaning he needs to listen to you AND look at the kid himself. Do you have to get a referral to see a specialist with your insurance? If not, go to a pediatric gastroenterologist or ... if you have to have the referral, I would demand that he give you one. Good luck with this.

Nicole - posted on 09/17/2009

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Jessica, I do not think you are a bad person or trying to cause harm to another woman's child, I thought you were just misinformed and sadly misinformed by a medical professional. I think you had all the best intentions at giving Louise good advice and giving her something that would help her baby. I just wanted to make sure that I relayed what I know. I feel that is my obligation as a professional. I wanted my advice to also reach you, because what may not have harmed your precious baby thus far could create a health concern later. But, I didn't give my advice as just a professional, I gave it as a mother. I made a lot of mistakes with my first born due to misinformation of health professionals and feel angry now that I know the truth. Giving sugar water to my newborn because he had jaundice was one of those things. He was 5 days old when he was re-admitted to the hospital because his bilirubin levels (jaundice) were so high that we are lucky there was no permanent problems and it was because I was giving him sugar water and diluting the wonderful effects of my awesome breastmilk! And, my experience only got better from there! Now, granted, that was going on ten years ago and more information is out now, but sadly, there are still some health professionals giving not so good advice. Please don't take offense to anything I have said. I did not intend to say that you should know better, but your physician should and I hope that now you will research the things mentioned by the others on here and then decide if you want to still take your physician's advice. Personally, if it were my child, I wouldn't take the risk and my fourth is due any day now, so I truly mean that.



Continue being a great mom and continue posting advice! We don't all know everything and we use each other to educate each other. =)

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Mandy - posted on 09/22/2009

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Water is not needed!! I have breastfed 3 children and never once given water. They need the calories from breast milk and not water as an empty filler that could fill them and make it so they do not eat enough during feedings. And when a baby is only eating oz. of food an oz. or two of water is a big deal!

Jennifer - posted on 09/22/2009

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No... you sould never give a baby water. First, it can cause malnutrition. It has no nutritional value and their stomach's are small, so they need the breastmilk when they are hungry. You don't want to fill his stomach up with water when he needs food. Second, it can cause water toxicity. Babies' kidneys are still immature. When the kidneys get too much water, in addition to filtering out the excess water, the kidneys also flush out excess sodium. Babies can't handle water yet. Try changing your diet. Everytime I drink milk my little girl has an upset stomach, so it might be something in your diet. Good luck!

Lyndsay - posted on 09/21/2009

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Wow, the passion that people have regarding this topic is intense... I agree with Clara in that indigestion is what you need to be concentrating on and that water is not the answer. It turned out that my daughter, also EBF, was extremely sensitive to dairy in my diet. I cut out all dairy and it worked WONDERS! Also, I have continued giving her prescription Axid as recomended by her pediatrician. If the tummy troubles stop, he and you will sleep better too- when a baby is that uncomfortable, they tend to want to nurse quite often in search of comfort. Good Luck!

Gabrielle - posted on 09/21/2009

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I read alot about the issue and I know that some doctors say that an occassional ounce of water (I use baby water) is fine as long as you're not using to replace what they need nutritionally. (Which i'm sure you not) But I only give my son Logan water when he is constipated. Sometimes when he has the hiccups because he gets very agitated. Most babies aren't going to drink alot of water anyway. I have used sugar before in his water - for example when he went to the doctor for his 2 month shots, I have a paci dipped in sugar water. Accoring to an article I read in Parents magazine it can ease the discomfort of immunizations. (but that's another subject.)

So to answer your question - babies don't need water because they do get the nutrition they need from breast milk or formula. I don't know wheter water helps with spit up. I also read that spit up is pretty normal and that as long as it's not projectile throw up that you shouldn't be concerned. But it is a good idea to talk to your pediatrician about his reflux to see if you should be concerned. That's the best way to be sure. :) Good Luck!

Imelda - posted on 09/21/2009

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88% of your breast milk is water. You don't need to give water to your baby unless if he is dehydrated.

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young babies def dont neeed water it fills them before they get their nutrients for the day and breast fed babies are less likely to burp and some puke more often. But grow out of it

Dana - posted on 09/20/2009

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I was told to not give my baby water, but if it is hot who wants milk? My daughter is on a special formula and has to have a specific amount each day. As long as she is on target for getting all her formula down that day, if she is hot or thirsty but doesn't want her bottle or to nurse, I give her water. I even add ICE!

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Quoting Stacy:

There is no reason to give a 6-week old water, which has no nutritional value. A 6-week old needs calories and ABSOLUTELY DO NOT give him water with brown sugar in it! I'm a pediatric nurse, please do not take advice such as this from people with medical knowledge. If you continue to have problems with reflux, call your doc. Baby may need a different med or a combination of two meds or even a swallow study to see why he has such bad reflux. Good luck!



 



 



 



I totally agree with stacy. Really a doc will tell you that if the baby is still gaining weight it is A OK for them to be vomiting. My daughter vomited all the time. Never was on meds and is totally fine!!!!





 

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my daughter is one and I still nurse. really I would say no. My daujghter puked up what she did not want of the breast milk. I would say they are too young though for empty fluids like that.

Kathryn - posted on 09/20/2009

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Id also like to say that i was told my health visitor and my doctor to do this for my baby, im not just pulling it out of a hat. I thought id just add this after reading hte previous post before me. Also have you considered that your baby may just be sucking for comfert and that is why they are throwing up, Just a thought :) Again good luck and just follow what you think is best.

Kathryn - posted on 09/20/2009

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Midwifes will always tell you breastfed babys dont need water they get all the water they would need from your breast milk blah blah blah. Although they probably wont be thirsty its fine to give them water, just lukewarm water from the kettle. My daughter had really bad acid reflux and we gave her water and eventually gave her water with baby gaviscon in it. Ive found that different midwives will give you different infromation so just try to find one you trust and listen to them or just go with your own instincts. Good luck :)

Sarah - posted on 09/19/2009

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Oh my goodness! I read all the posts after I posted my last comment. I too am an pediatric nurse, and I have to say, please, please do not take medical advice from someone who is not a medical professional. Babies do not need additional water, it can be deadly. Do not add anything to that water, sugar, salt, or otherwise, it can cause deadly imbalances. Breastmilk is a complete and totally perfect nutrition for your baby. Your body will tailor your milk to what your child needs. You do not need to add formula. Follow the medical advice for reflux (most likely cause) as far as elevating the child, but please do not do in a carseat. Babies should not be in a carseat for more than 45min-1 hour at any given time. Carseats can compromise the baby's respiratory (breathing) system and no baby should be allowed to sleep in a carseat as per the risk of respiratory distress because they cannot move air properly in and out in that position. Babies need to be able to move and adjust position, they cannot do this in a carseat. Incline the bed if necessary, or cuddle the baby (even better) because then you get some beautiful mommy-baby time as well, plus you get the added benefit of sitting and resting too. If the vomit becomes projectile or the baby doesn't poop, definately seek the medical advice of a pediatrician, there is a surgical condition where the opening of the stomach to the intestines is narrowed and can cause projectile vomiting, This is rare, but can happen on occasion. 98% chance your baby has reflux (normal and common with all newborns, especially with prems). Remember, your body will provide the entirety of your baby's nutritional needs. You do not need to add anything else to his menu. And please don't take the advice of people who are not trained to give it on supplements as they can be dangerous for your baby's health.

Sarah - posted on 09/19/2009

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Water is not necessary that early. For the vomiting (most likely reflux), make sure you burp him midfeed and afterwards. Keep him upright for 30-60 minutes post feed. You can put some blankets under his mattress to raise the head up a bit so that he can sleep on a bit of an incline. Good luck!

Gwen - posted on 09/19/2009

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switching from breastmilk to formula does not solve anything, and i have read not good things about giving babies soy formulas. your milk is made specifically for your baby and it is not possible to be allergic to it - maybe allergic to something you are eating, but not allergic to your milk. contact la leche league for information - they are the world authority on breastfeeding.

Gwen - posted on 09/19/2009

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no, he doesn't need water. it probably wouldn't hurt to give it, but after you've had one child with nipple confusion, you don't want to take a chance of that happening again. throwing up after feeding is not necessarily something you need to give meds for. as long as he's gaining weight and having enough wet diapers - not dehydrated, i wouldn't give drugs. what i would do is find a good chiropractor and take him there regularly.

Rebecca - posted on 09/19/2009

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Quoting Andreina:

you can give him 2 ounces a day. don't give him any more than that. Also a thought on the throw up maybe he's allergic to your milk. Try soy formula for a little bit and see if it gets better. Don't forget to continue to pump. If the formula works you can stop breastfeeding. If not go right back to the breast and try something else. i hope it helps



Why would you tell her to stop breastfeeding???? If it is a milk allergy she can simply try removing Dairy products from her diet rather then removing the breastmilk all together. You would have to give the formula over at least a week to see if the baby even responds to it and then if the formula didnt resolve the throwing up the baby would more then likely refuse the breast after being on the bottle so long....I think that was just the wrong advice to give to a new mom that just needs some guidance.

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Quoting Rachel:

What I understand is this: Do they need water. No. Will water hurt them.. no. Think about it. When you make formula you make it with water. The issue is...they are so little and their stomachs can only hold so much so when they want something it needs to provide something. Water is just water. I do both breastfeeding and formula. Maybe that would help. Instead of water; try a little formula.


Again many professionals have explained that water can severely tax an infants kidneys and cause shock.  Although it sounds uneducated, giving an infant water can also cause dehydration because it can over stimulate the kidneys.  As for trying some formula i disagree, a breast fed child with reflux/throwing up problems can be made worse with formula because it can constipate and add gas into the mixture and not pretty.  I've worked with infants with severe reflux for over 10 years and the only thing that seems to help is keeping them upright after feeding as much as possible, for example in an infant seat.  (Also, change any wet clothes to avoid infection from yeast or bacteria around the neck.)  If it is cause my reflux he will continue to throw up until the closure in his esophagus is matured  and what he throws up will just need to be replaced with more breast milk (but smaller feeding more frequently seem to help).  Premature infants often have under developed esophagus, I've been instructed that Caucasian male preemies lead the pack, but i am unfamiliar with the facts this is based on.  Constipated babies with reflux throw up twice as much...as if you thought it was possible for them to throw up more!  Watch what you eat and count how many wet diapers he has and you will be fine!  Throwing up isn't the end of the world and often it looks like they throw up a lot more that they do.  I often suggest that mothers fill a table spoon of water and spill it on the counter and it looks like a lot more than a table spoon :)

Debra - posted on 09/19/2009

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my baby is 7 wks on monday and i was fully beastfeeding upto 3wks and i was so tired he was wanting fed all the time and he was throwing up after feeds i talked to my health visitor and he said he was throwing up because he was going onto the breast for comfort and taken more milk than he needed and suggested i make him wait longer between feeds so i aimed making him wait 3hrs between feeds u have to put up with the crying but it was the best thing ive done cause now he feeds every 4hrs and is a lot more settle and he is gaining weight i also started giving him one bottle of formula at 11pm and he sleeps for 7hrs solid i also give him water i think it keeps his bowels regular

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Water given (other than the normal amount to mix formula, which isn't an issue in EBF) to an infant under 6 months old can KILL them. Maybe it wouldn't, but it CAN, so why would any mother want to risk it? Seriously. Sorry to be blunt, but when a potential child's life is at stake I don't want to mess around.

Jessica - posted on 09/19/2009

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I was told by my doctor not to give water because it flushes out there Electrolytes and that they only need breastmilk.

Nicole - posted on 09/19/2009

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Quoting Rachel:

What I understand is this: Do they need water. No. Will water hurt them.. no. Think about it. When you make formula you make it with water. The issue is...they are so little and their stomachs can only hold so much so when they want something it needs to provide something. Water is just water. I do both breastfeeding and formula. Maybe that would help. Instead of water; try a little formula.



Rachel, I am sorry, but you are mistaken.  "Will water hurt them... no" is bad advice.  Water WILL hurt small babies.  Water is mixed with powder formula because it is in powder form and, therefore, has NO water.  So, when it is mixed, you are adding the water back into it.  Babies DO need water from breastmilk or formula, but that is ALL they need!  I think people are not realizing that it is not the water that is the problem, it is the amount!  Too much water (which in babies younger than 9 months can sometimes be as little as 2 ounces) can cause seizures and even death!  Babies are only supposed to drink milk and because of that their little bodies are VERY good at absorbing every little drop of water from the milk and that's where they can run into problems when more water is given to them.  Too much water in their system effects the functioning of the brain and, in the worst case scenario, causes the things I mentioned earlier.  It's not a risk worth taking.  Only when solid foods are introduced and their intake of milk (at about 6 months of age) is reduced, will they probably need more water.



Also, in this baby's case:  It was not mentioned in the original post by the mother, but was mentioned later, that her baby was premature.  So that puts her baby in a whole different category altogether and makes giving water to her baby all the more risky.  And second, her baby may have GER/GERD (reflux) and giving formula may only make her baby's sensitive system worse.  Switching from breastmilk to formula may cause no problems for some babies, but it does change the gut flora and in some can create serious gut irritability.  Since her baby already has irrtability issues, I wouldn't recommend giving anything other than breastmilk until her baby's system matures a little.



I am so glad that you have a healthy and happy baby and continue to keep up the good work.  I am not saying that you are trying to give bad advice, I just wanted the clarify a few things because it seems that alot of people (not JUST YOU, trust me) are confused about the fact that it is not WATER that is the problem, it is the AMOUNT. 



Nicole, CLC



 

Minnie - posted on 09/19/2009

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Quoting Rachel:

What I understand is this: Do they need water. No. Will water hurt them.. no. Think about it. When you make formula you make it with water. The issue is...they are so little and their stomachs can only hold so much so when they want something it needs to provide something. Water is just water. I do both breastfeeding and formula. Maybe that would help. Instead of water; try a little formula.



Breastmilk does not equal powdered formula.  Does the solids in your milk come out in powdered form?  No?   What you would be doing is adding additional water to the abundant amount already found in breastmilk. 



 



The projectile vomiting is more than likely a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance.  Most doctors have never heard of it, nor nurses.  They're all too quick to diagnose 'reflux' when it's a problem that is rectified easily.

Rachel - posted on 09/18/2009

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What I understand is this: Do they need water. No. Will water hurt them.. no. Think about it. When you make formula you make it with water. The issue is...they are so little and their stomachs can only hold so much so when they want something it needs to provide something. Water is just water. I do both breastfeeding and formula. Maybe that would help. Instead of water; try a little formula.

Shannon - posted on 09/18/2009

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I agree with Jessica. My little one had problems with constipation and I started giving her water to help. The doctors do say that babies don't need it that young because it may make them feel full when they need to eat but when I told her pediatrician I was doing this to help her constipation she agreed that in my case it may be a good idea. She also told me that if I had problems getting her to drink plain water to add a little of the dark Karo Syrup to it to help.

Andreina - posted on 09/18/2009

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you can give him 2 ounces a day. don't give him any more than that. Also a thought on the throw up maybe he's allergic to your milk. Try soy formula for a little bit and see if it gets better. Don't forget to continue to pump. If the formula works you can stop breastfeeding. If not go right back to the breast and try something else. i hope it helps

Paula - posted on 09/18/2009

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THe answer is a simple "no". Water has no nutritional value and the baby gets plenty of water from breast milk. Substituting water will decrease caloric intake that is crucial during this rapid stage of development. If your are in hot climates, YOU take in the extra water to assure your adequate milk supply.

Niki - posted on 09/18/2009

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the breastmilk starts off thin and watery and works to a thicker/more fatty density. there is no need to give your baby water. i am not a medical professional in that regard but to me it sounds like the reflux issues need to be investigated, especially with him getting sick after every feeding. it may be something physical going on and you may need to alter his position/hold him upright after eating, for example. it's possible it's maybe due to a reaction to something you are eating (for example, a friend just had to omit dairy from her diet because her baby is evidently lactose intolerant and she supplements with formula but had to omit the lactose kind from his diet as well).......i strongly encourage you to seek advice/treatment from his pediatrician on this because it seems to be far more than a water issue. if you are concerned about his hydration - keep track of the number of wet diapers. regardless, consult his doctor. GOOD LUCK!

Nicole - posted on 09/18/2009

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Quoting Louise:

oh yeah... he throws up all his feeds not just spit up has bad projectile spews doc didnt do any examination just said its reflux... i did like their answers i just wanted to know from more people about what they thought... he was also premie.


This makes sense!  =)  Preemies have an increased risk for reflux!  Now, it all comes together in my head!  lol!  But, in this case, all the more reason to AVOID giving water to your baby.  Preemies need every calorie they can get and you don't want to waste an opportunity to give your little one nutrition by giving water.



You could have a combination of things going on:  heavy let-down that your little one is having a hard time getting past his immature esophagus (common in preemies) and maybe some meds that are not quite doing the trick.  If your baby's current meds are not working, you and the pediatrician need to find some that will.  Until then, feed him very often, especially since he does have so much of the calories that he really needs, coming back up and by giving frequent small feedings may help to keep the volume of breastmilk down and help him keep it down.  Also, keep him as upright as you can during his feedings.  This may help the milk travel down into the stomach and not back up.  This may all seem exhausting, but it will get better as his system matures and DON'T GIVE UP ON BREASTFEEDING.  Studies show that reflux symptoms are less severe in breastfed infants, so what may seem bad now, may only get worse with artificial feeding.  Here are some sites with tips:



(This is a really good resource because it has so much on the one page.)  http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/ref...



http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVFeb...



I hope these things help.  Again, stay up to date with the pediatrician about proper meds and monitor your breastfeeding.  Frequent feedings may keep let-downs less forceful and that can be huge in helping your little one keep down his food.



Good job at breastfeeding!  Breastfeeding any baby can be difficult at times, but successfully breastfeeding a preemie can be harder, especially one with reflux problems.  You are awesome!  You can message me personally anytime if you ever need more help.



Nicole, CLC



 



 

Louise - posted on 09/18/2009

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oh yeah... he throws up all his feeds not just spit up has bad projectile spews doc didnt do any examination just said its reflux... i did like their answers i just wanted to know from more people about what they thought... he was also premie.

Louise - posted on 09/17/2009

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hey guys thanks for all the hel[p, id just like to add i dont do formula at all just breastmilk, i apriciate all the answers helps alot when im a teen mum and dont have much expirance up my sleave.. muchly apriciated xx ps. i got a male docter to so i dont trust every thing he says to me he's good at somethings bad at the other..

Nicole - posted on 09/17/2009

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Quoting Jessica:



Quoting Nicole:

Jessica, I do not think you are a bad person or trying to cause harm to another woman's child, I thought you were just misinformed and sadly misinformed by a medical professional. I think you had all the best intentions at giving Louise good advice and giving her something that would help her baby. I just wanted to make sure that I relayed what I know. I feel that is my obligation as a professional. I wanted my advice to also reach you, because what may not have harmed your precious baby thus far could create a health concern later. But, I didn't give my advice as just a professional, I gave it as a mother. I made a lot of mistakes with my first born due to misinformation of health professionals and feel angry now that I know the truth. Giving sugar water to my newborn because he had jaundice was one of those things. He was 5 days old when he was re-admitted to the hospital because his bilirubin levels (jaundice) were so high that we are lucky there was no permanent problems and it was because I was giving him sugar water and diluting the wonderful effects of my awesome breastmilk! And, my experience only got better from there! Now, granted, that was going on ten years ago and more information is out now, but sadly, there are still some health professionals giving not so good advice. Please don't take offense to anything I have said. I did not intend to say that you should know better, but your physician should and I hope that now you will research the things mentioned by the others on here and then decide if you want to still take your physician's advice. Personally, if it were my child, I wouldn't take the risk and my fourth is due any day now, so I truly mean that.

Continue being a great mom and continue posting advice! We don't all know everything and we use each other to educate each other. =)






thanks Nicole, I feel kind of confused at who to believe i mean you put your trust into your family doctor and to think they maybe giving you the wrong information is something that wouldnt occur to you. but now really scares me, i know my doctor has over 6 kids so i would have thought her advice as a health professional and a mother would be realiable. I know my mother gave me water as a baby too i dont think i have had any problems relating to that. Can you tell me what are the main risks then? and at what age is it supposed to be okay to give a baby water? my little guy is formula fed now as i had problems with my nipples 2 weeks after he was born.





I don't think your doctor is trying to put your baby at risk either, but they are only human, too.  She probably gave water to her children and they were fine.  I think my mother gave me water, too and I didn't die.  But, there is a risk.  It's kind of like the "back to sleep" compaign.  Not every baby who is put to sleep on their stomach is going to run into a problem but there is enough of a risk that we are always told to put our babies on their backs to sleep.  The same applies with giving infants water too early.  They may be fine, but they may not.



These are some sites that talk about the risks of water intoxication.



http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/2008...



http://chemistry.about.com/b/2006/01/17/...



http://www.associatedcontent.com/article...



 



About when to give water, it is usually supposed to be discussed with the pediatrician, but we already know her position.  So I will give you WIC's recommendations and these go hand in hand with the studies out there.  WIC says NO additional water until solids are introduced at 6 months.  And at times of illness, like fever and diarrhea, which can dehydrate a baby, an electrolyte (like Pedialyte) is still recommended over plain water.



I am sorry to hear that you had breastfeeding problems.  In the future, if you need anything, don't hesitate to ask.

Ashley - posted on 09/17/2009

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I was told not to give water to my son, who threw up (vomit, not just spit up) around ten times daily. We found out he had reflux, and is was on a liquid medicine (can't remember the name, I believe it is the baby equivlient to Zantac). He isn't on it now, but it did work.

There really is no reason to give babies water. It just fills them up with nothing. I breastfeed and supplement with formula, and my son gets everything he needs. Right now he is discovering his sippy cup (with a tiny amount of water), but he is also six months old!

Good luck to you, I know how it is with a poor sweet baby with tummy issues!

Rachel - posted on 09/17/2009

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Before six months of age, any baby is at high risk of water intoxication if extra water is given. For a breastfed baby, no water should be given. For a formula-fed baby, parents need to be careful not to dilute the formula by adding too much water. Johns Hopkins Children's Center has an article talking about the risk of seizures as well as some signs of water intoxication (http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/newsDeta...). The Children's Hospital of St Louis also has a page dedicated to water intoxication that has addition symptoms/side effects listed (http://www.stlouischildrens.org/content/...). The Akron Children's Hospital has some guidelines for children up to the age of one, including a table of the water content of foods so when you start solids you can keep an eye on water intake and not offer too much.

Jessica - posted on 09/17/2009

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Quoting Nicole:

Jessica, I do not think you are a bad person or trying to cause harm to another woman's child, I thought you were just misinformed and sadly misinformed by a medical professional. I think you had all the best intentions at giving Louise good advice and giving her something that would help her baby. I just wanted to make sure that I relayed what I know. I feel that is my obligation as a professional. I wanted my advice to also reach you, because what may not have harmed your precious baby thus far could create a health concern later. But, I didn't give my advice as just a professional, I gave it as a mother. I made a lot of mistakes with my first born due to misinformation of health professionals and feel angry now that I know the truth. Giving sugar water to my newborn because he had jaundice was one of those things. He was 5 days old when he was re-admitted to the hospital because his bilirubin levels (jaundice) were so high that we are lucky there was no permanent problems and it was because I was giving him sugar water and diluting the wonderful effects of my awesome breastmilk! And, my experience only got better from there! Now, granted, that was going on ten years ago and more information is out now, but sadly, there are still some health professionals giving not so good advice. Please don't take offense to anything I have said. I did not intend to say that you should know better, but your physician should and I hope that now you will research the things mentioned by the others on here and then decide if you want to still take your physician's advice. Personally, if it were my child, I wouldn't take the risk and my fourth is due any day now, so I truly mean that.

Continue being a great mom and continue posting advice! We don't all know everything and we use each other to educate each other. =)



thanks Nicole, I feel kind of confused at who to believe i mean you put your trust into your family doctor and to think they maybe giving you the wrong information is something that wouldnt occur to you. but now really scares me, i know my doctor has over 6 kids so i would have thought her advice as a health professional and a mother would be realiable. I know my mother gave me water as a baby too i dont think i have had any problems relating to that. Can you tell me what are the main risks then? and at what age is it supposed to be okay to give a baby water? my little guy is formula fed now as i had problems with my nipples 2 weeks after he was born.

Jessica - posted on 09/17/2009

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Quoting Stacy:



Quoting Nicole:

Oh my!!! I could write an entire article on this subject! And, yes, I guess I would be a "breastfeeding Nazi" or "nipple Nazi" (as we are referred to by the people who we work around... lol) and, therefore, I say NEVER give an infant water!

As to Jessica's doctor: I hate being the one to go behind and correct advice that a physician gives, but physicians are not "all-knowing" and alot of them are very misinformed when it comes to breastfeeding and what Jessica's physician is telling her is misinformation. There is something called "water intoxication" and it can be fatal. Water intoxication is very easy for infants 9 months and under to get because they tend to absorb water so easily. This is not a risk worth taking! And adding things to the water is just compounding an already serious risk.

Brown sugar is made using molasses, and honey and syrups have also been linked to infant botulism and, therefore, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that no child under the age of one be given these things.

And adding salt gives an infant sodium that they don't need.

About water and jaundice: There is no scientific reason to give a baby with jaundice water, sugar water, etc. It is empty calories and therefore ineffective. Babies with jaundice need to have bowel movements, therefore, they need calories and breastmilk is the best substance to provide both calories and good bowel movements.

I would much rather a mother give a pacifier to an infant anyday over a bottle of water!!! Please don't take the risk with the health of your baby.

About the stomach issues: Again, because alot of physicians don't know much about breastfeeding, alot of breastfeeding infants are diagnosed with reflux and put on medication, when it is just sometimes the mother's oversupply, how and when the baby is receiving hindmilk, etc. These are all problems that are very easy to fix or even correct themselves later. I am not saying that your child doesn't have a medical condition, but it is worth looking into. If your baby has that much coming back up because you have an abundance of milk, giving water isn't going to fix the problem. He's just going spit up the water, too.

Good luck and I hope that no one thinks I am stepping on any toes with what I have said, but I only know it because I have been counseling women with breastfeeding for over 5 years and as a requirement to keep my license, I have to stay up to date on all of these things. Not to mention, that I work with the WIC program and we are required to know about diet problems. I feel it important to pass on that info to you.

Again, good luck.

Nicole, CLC





FABULOUS advice from a MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL - couldn't have said it better! I find that too many people give advice on these posts about administering medications and other types of treatments without knowing any type of health history. Something that seems routine or harmless can cause serious HARM and people should be more careful when giving or taking this kind of advice, especially when it comes to your children. As a nurse I can definitely agree that doctors are not all-knowing and again, I cannot stress enough, that just because something is recommended for one child does not mean that it is appropriate for all children.






Again people should not waste their time asking other Mothers on a mothers site questions like this than and just consult a doctor first! but she did 3 midwifes and 1 doctor so obviously she didn't like their answer.



At the end of the day the responsibility lies with the mother. Mothers are asking questions on here to get others opinions and if they take someones advice on here its their responsibility to check it would not harm their baby and be okay to do. The same would go for just about every question asked on sites like these.  

Jessica - posted on 09/17/2009

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Quoting Stacy:



Quoting Jessica:

in reference to what Stacy has said regarding the brown sugar I was only told that by my prediatrician 2 days ago, i guess each doctor has their own opinion and if 1 doctor says its okay and another says it is not its not going to HARM the baby in anyway as all doctors have a duty of care and to give the wrong information regarding the health of a baby would be neglegent. So it is obviously a personal choice for the mother to decide.





What is "fine" for one baby may not be fine for another. It is not a good idea to advise people to give young babies anything outside of the "norm" without knowing their full medical history. In 8-years as a pediatric nurse, never have I heard of a pediatrician recommending brown sugar to be given to an infant - sounds like an antiquated practice to me and it is not necessary and can in fact be harmful especially, as I said, if you do not know this child's full history.






Thats fair enough to say that, but then why does anyone post anything on here than? everyone knows we are not all doctors, and if people want the RIGHT ADVICE and not other mothers opinions than they should be consulting doctors instead. I just gave my opinion based on her question and used the information i have been told. she never wrote about the babies history  so how are you supposed to comment having the babies history in mind?! 

Stacy - posted on 09/17/2009

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Quoting Jessica:

in reference to what Stacy has said regarding the brown sugar I was only told that by my prediatrician 2 days ago, i guess each doctor has their own opinion and if 1 doctor says its okay and another says it is not its not going to HARM the baby in anyway as all doctors have a duty of care and to give the wrong information regarding the health of a baby would be neglegent. So it is obviously a personal choice for the mother to decide.


What is "fine" for one baby may not be fine for another. It is not a good idea to advise people to give young babies anything outside of the "norm" without knowing their full medical history. In 8-years as a pediatric nurse, never have I heard of a pediatrician recommending brown sugar to be given to an infant - sounds like an antiquated practice to me and it is not necessary and can in fact be harmful especially, as I said, if you do not know this child's full history.

Jenn - posted on 09/17/2009

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I'm going to have to agree that baby does not need water. I EBF 3 kids and they did not get water. And I'm not sure what the sugar is supposed to be for, and while I wouldn't give it to my kids, I don't think that small of an amount would hurt them, I just don't know why you would give it to them? As for the throwing up - I think most baby's spit up after eating, whether it's breast or bottle - some more than others, but it's normal. Unless baby isn't gaining/growing, I don't think the spitting up would be an issue. If that's the case then ask your Dr/Paedeatrician what to do.

Wendi - posted on 09/17/2009

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What did your doctor and mid-wife say? Did they not have an answer, or do you just not like their answer? Babies need vitamins and calories. Water will not give them anything they need, it's just a wasted feeding. They need breast milk and that time with you!

Clara - posted on 09/17/2009

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It seems most replies have centered on water as hydration when your question was about indigestion. I'm not sure how water would help with indigestion, whether the baby is EBF or on formula, though. Maybe your little one is sensitive to something in your diet. Have you tried an elimination diet (you can read about it on kellymom.com--the coolest breastfeeding website I've ever visited!)? My daughter had massive spit-up problems in the beginning and we found out she's allergic to milk proteins. (She also had greener poop and we found out I had forceful letdown caused by overabundant supply and this made her get too much foremilk--like skim when you want whole milk, but that's almost another issue.) Once I dropped those from my diet, she was fine, no more spitting up, no more diaper rashes. But, then too, some little ones are just "happy spitters" (something to do with GERD, so ask the pediatrician very soon). Hope that helps and you find the root of the problem soon!



Clara

Christine - posted on 09/17/2009

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Breastmilk is all your baby needs. I know it is hard at first because they do feed so often. If you find that you really need a break, pump some milk and have someone else give a bottle. Water will not do any good, it could actually harm. Is your baby throwing up or spitting up? Have you checked what you are eating? Maybe your baby is sensitive to something you are ingesting. Try keeping a food diary and a log of feedings to see if something correlates. Check with your local LLL or their website www.llli.org, reference www.kellymom.com, also check out www.mothering.com.

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NEVER!!!!!!!!!! give a baby water! It can cause seizures, convulsions and death!!! The problem at that age is that their electrolytes get off balance and it can kill them! Your body regulates how much salt it needs and if it is out of whack, bad things can happen. It can happen to adults as well, just not nearly as likely! If you do not believe me:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article...

I do not know why people do not believe this! There is NO reason for any baby to have water, nonetheless a EBF baby! You need to speak with your pediatrician. Is it throw up? Or is it spit up??? If it is throw up then your child is sick, but most babies spit up at least once a feed! Most likely, you have a spitty baby and it's just something you deal with. My daughter spit up occasionally through about 9 months, my son now is 4.5 months and taking in sisters foot steps. GOOD LUCK. Just don't give water!!!!!!!!!!

Mandi - posted on 09/17/2009

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This post is disturbing to me. Everything I have read says that breastfed babies DO NOT NEED water and that it can actually be BAD to give them water. Breastmilk satiates their thirst and is different than formula. I have a developmental nurse come to my house each month and she said that breastfed babies do not need water, even on a hot day. the best thing to satiate their thirst is breastmilk. She also said mothers who give their babies water too early may cause their babies to suffer lack of nutrition because the baby gets full on water and therefore breast feeds less.

Think of it this way. Our bodies make breast milk specifically for our babies. Your breast milk is the perfect and only form of nutrition your baby will need for a long time.

If your baby really has reflux you should talk to a doctor who is a specialist in that area, most doctors are great, but if they do not have a lot of experience in that area they can give you misinformation.

Stefanie - posted on 09/17/2009

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Breastmilk is nearly 90% water. Your baby does not need more water. Giving water is NOT recommended because it can easily, very easily in fact, lead to water intoxication which is deadly. If you have too much water in your system, your body will have the incorrect balance of electrolytes and your brain can't function properly. This can be deadly.

As far as the spitting up, what other symptoms does he have? What color is his poop? Is he very colicky? It could be foremilk/hindmilk inbalance or it could be that he is allergic to something in your diet that is passing through your breastmilk. Check kellymom.com for info on both or post back here with the other symptoms. Something else is going on and water will not fix the problem, and if it is an allergy - formula won't either it could actually make it worse (since most babies with allergies are allergic to cow's milk and soy - which is what formula is made of).

Minnie - posted on 09/17/2009

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Quoting Jessica:

midwifes and breastfeeding nazi's will say no and that breast milk is all they need. but my doctor is for it, i look at it this way. the breastmilk/formula is their food and when we eat we get thirsty or on a hot day we have water to keep us hydrated and cool so why would a baby be any different?!? it makes sense and i give my 6 week old boiled water all the time as he gets the hicups alot and was spitting up alot after bottles. Also he seems to like to suck on a bottle to put him to sleep so instead of making up a bottle of formula for him to waste i give him a few sucks of the boiled water and he's happy.

All you can do is give it a try if your little one doesnt like it you will know, but if it helps, but he/she doesnt like it try to put a little brown sugar in it to sweeten it up. The other thing i could suggest aswell that worked for me cos my little one gags and throws up too and thinkening his bottles with food thinkner has done wonders for him. You can use it to thinken breast milk too. good luck



This is dangerous advice.  Breastmilk is mostly water.  It is not just 'food.'  Even on a sweltering hot humid day breastfed babies need nothing but mother's milk.Water fills an infant's very small stomach, and prevents the baby from getting what he really needs- breastmilk. 



Hiccups?  Normal from a developing respiratory system.  Spitting up after bottles?  Expected.  A bottle dumps milk into a baby's mouth and he takes more than his stomach can easily handle.



I think that you need to read up on this site and educate yourself about the process of lactation.  I mean no offence, but the information you are giving is incorrect.







http://www.kellymom.com/bf/index.html



I think that you should probably refer your pediatrician to the above site as well so that he can become informed too. It is maintained by an IBCLC.

Jessica - posted on 09/17/2009

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in reference to what Stacy has said regarding the brown sugar I was only told that by my prediatrician 2 days ago, i guess each doctor has their own opinion and if 1 doctor says its okay and another says it is not its not going to HARM the baby in anyway as all doctors have a duty of care and to give the wrong information regarding the health of a baby would be neglegent. So it is obviously a personal choice for the mother to decide.

Cherie - posted on 09/17/2009

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i breast fed my daughter for 3 and a half months. i started giving water at 4 days old, but that was because she needed the extra fluid because she battled with jaundice.
i did continue giving water after that, but the hydrate water, 1l of water with 4tsp sugar and 1tsp salt. . i gave it to her once a day though so she would not only want the bottle all the time. my doctor said it was good for her, and she is happy and healthy now.
i think if your baby needs it, there is no harm in giving it to him. use mineral water and boil it.

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