The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding until about six months of age and continuing breastfeeding with other foods to at least two years.I seem to recall being advised by several health professionals that it was ok to give Wriggly some teaspoons of cooled boiled water when it was really really hot, not long after he was born. He was breastfeeding and taking everything I had, and then still hungry, so until my milk supply came up enough we would top him up with some formula when he needed it. I felt pretty awful that I didn't have enough milk, but I got over it when it became apparent he was thriving anyway. I would have thought dehydration was pretty uncommon in breast fed babies, because they are pretty assertive about wanting more!
In England, it was reported that the push to exclusively breastfeed in the early months could increase the number of dehydrated babies because people were hesitant about criticising the practice.
Dr Sam Richmond, a consultant neonatologist at Sunderland Royal Hospital, said there had become something of a "religious affiliation" to breastfeeding,
Otago University Associate Professor of Human Nutrition Winsome Parnell said past research had suggested topping up with water in hot climates.
"New Zealand is temperate, so it's not the usual route. If a mother doesn't have enough breastmilk then formula must be given because giving water does not solve the energy problem."
Saturday, 21 February 2009
at 4:11 pm by Julie
Here's a snippet from a lengthier article on Stuff today: