Sunday, November 6, 2011

Why doctors say NO WATER for infants under 6 months

At our first doctors visit, my pediatrician specifically said not to give the babies water until they are at  least 6 months old. The same information was presented to me when I went to apply for W.I.C. I was even asked by several family members if I started giving the girls water. Immediately I repeated what the W.I.C. office and the pediatrician said to me. My family stared at me with confusion. I thought it was weird as well since  their formula was mixed with water, they were still having water in their system...kind of. My mother felt it was odd information as well. She called my godmother who is a pediatrician to ask, especially because Milani was constipated. My godmother chuckled at what my doctor had said and her words exactly, "they need to cut it out."

Why doctors say NO WATER for infants under 6 months

Years ago, mothers who were financially unable to afford formula would dilute it with more water than necessary in order to make it last. As a result, babies would start to get sick. Doctors concluded that babies were getting sick due to the excessive amounts of water in the formula. Today, more doctors are urging mothers to not give water until the babies are much older. 

That's one story. 

It takes a lot of energy to feed from a bottle. I learned that from when my girls were in the NICU and were not gaining enough weight because the nurses put them on the bottle too early. Just imagine having a tiny stomach and learning how to suck, swallow and breathe simultaneously all on your own because you were born early. When they reached a certain weight, they were able to feed from the bottle without loosing any ounces. Some mothers tend to give babies a full bottle of water twice a day. Water does not have any nutrients for an infant and so much water digested will cause weight lost. Feeding from a bottle already takes a lot of energy and then the infant is not getting the right amount of nutrients from water to gain back the energy that they are loosing; not a great combination. 

My godmother suggest (and we can agree to disagree) that although she does not agree that babies should not receive water, she thinks that they can have at least 2 ounces per day; the amount can be split up such as one ounce in the morning and one ounce at night. Water helps with constipation, which formula can cause. 

As of today, I have officially started to give my girls water. We will see how it goes. What are your thoughts about water?


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