Diluted breast milk kills baby

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Find out what made this irresponsible couple lose their baby daughter

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The couple from Georgia, USA, fed breastmilk mixed with water to their infant

A couple from Georgia, USA  have been charged with killing their infant daughter by diluting breastmilk with water.

According to USA Today, Herbert George Landell, 26, and Lauren Heather Fristed, 25, of Duluth, were arrested about a month after they brought their undernourished daughter to Gwinnett Medical Center. The baby, Nevaeh Marie Landell, 10 weeks old, was already dead, according to arrest warrants.

The Daily Mail report states that Fristed had become concerned that she wasn’t producing enough milk, so the couple diluted it with water as they claimed they could not afford formula.

The excessive water led to the infant’s electrolyte and sodium levels to drop and made her brain swell, the USA Today report states.

According to the John Hopkins Children’s Center, too much water dilutes sodium in the blood and flushes it out of the body thus altering brain activity, which can lead to a seizure.

Infants under one year of age may be more prone to these types of seizures than older children because an infant’s diet does not contain enough food sources to replenish the lost sodium.

Click on Continue Reading to know more about the dos & don’ts of breast milk!

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When and how to give water

Breast milk is nature’s perfect food for babies. It is sufficient by itself in all means and needs supplementation only after the baby becomes six months old.

“Breastmilk contains enough water to cater to an infants needs,” says Dr Shrikant Jagtap, consulting paediatrician, Dr Shrikant Jagtap’s Clinic, Navi Mumbai.

He advises parents to make note of the following precautions:

  • Breastfeeding mums must make sure to empty each breast to ensure that both foremilk and hindmilk reaches the baby. This provides the baby with a balance of water and nutrients.
  • Monitoring your child’s urine output is vital. A healthy infant passes urine about 10-12 times in a day. Water should be given only if this number drops considerably.
  • During summers, a little amount of water may be given to the baby in addition to breastmilk or formula, but it must be boiled and cooled packaged drinking water or RO purified water.
  • A little quantity of this boiled water can be given to a baby at intervals, as much as he desires.
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