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Giving a BF baby water? Is my doc way wrong?

(27 Posts)
laumiere Sat 30-May-09 09:34:07

I took my 3 month-old virtually excl BF DS2 (he has formula if I go out) to the doctor's yesterday after he became distressed and threw up a couple of feeds. The doc diagnosed a viral infection and said I was to give DS2 Calpol, but also that I was to give him water to drink.

I'm sure you aren't supposed to give water to BF babies, right? Why is this, and should I because the doctor said so?

Mind you he also claimed that wet nappies were the cause of eczema on my DS1's upper back, so what does he know?

Ready4anotherdecaffcoffee Sat 30-May-09 09:36:23

Babies get thirsty too, just offer cooled boiled water little and often. in this weather they need it so they don't become dehydrated, mine would feed and then throw up as they were too full, but water quenched their thirst.

ronshar Sat 30-May-09 09:36:51

I would perhaps suggest that you only BF while baby is poorly. A breast fed baby shouldn't need extra fluids.
Urine can cause skin to get inflammed but ? if on upper back!

mears Sat 30-May-09 09:37:17

Definitely wrong. If it is a viral infection then it is even more important he gets antibodies from breastmilk to fight it off.

HullabaLuLu Sat 30-May-09 09:39:10

AFAIK you don't need to do this, breastmilk is all baby needs but someone more knowledgeable will come along and confirm this. When DD had an upset tummy the HV asked if I was giving her boiled water. I said I wasn't and asked if I should be and she said "It's up to you really". So I decided not to bother. She's been fine since.

flamingobingo Sat 30-May-09 09:39:41

No, they do not need water. Sorry ready but you are completely wrong. It will stop their mouths feeling dry but they can't actually absorb water very well when they're young so will get more fluids from bmilk than they will from water, as well as all the other good stuff that water is lacking.

It is such a long-standing misunderstanding about breastmilk, which is why your doctor said it, Laumiere

laumiere Sat 30-May-09 09:40:42

I'd rather not give water as he HATES any bottles, and BF really calms and soothes him. DH of course think the doc is completely right (he trust HCPs, I don't).

flamingobingo Sat 30-May-09 09:42:17

Call the NCT BF Helpline and speak to some real experts. GPs, sadly and shockingly, are very rarely experts in breastfeeding and the properties of breastmilk.

laumiere Sat 30-May-09 09:42:25

ronshar I know! DH is using it as a reason to make me give up using cloth nappies (DS1 is 3 and trying to start toilet training)as Pampers keep him drier. However the eczema is all over so how it's the nappy I don't know!

HullabaLuLu Sat 30-May-09 09:43:11

Besides, how would I know if DD was thirsty or hungry? I didn't want to fill her up with water which has no calories/nutritional value. Too confusing, stick with breastmilk!

ronshar Sat 30-May-09 09:44:52

If your instinct tells you that BF is better then go with it. Some babies dont like water at such a young age.
Feed little and often. Your baby will tell you when.
I hope baby feels better soon.

WinkyWinkola Sat 30-May-09 09:46:56

It's my understanding that exclusively BF babies don't need water. But if your DS has formula too, I don't know the position on that.

You could also call La Leche La Lache for more advice.

Good luck! It's a hot day today so perhaps your DS will be feeding a lot more than usual because your bm will be adjusting to give him more watery milk.

ronshar Sat 30-May-09 09:49:20

I would most def crack on with getting DS1 dry as that will save any argumentssmile At 3 he should be ready for it. Lots of naked time for your DS. Lovely in this weather. Perfect timing.

DH sounds a little like he could do with getting past conventional medicine and perhaps look at other solutions. Is DS1 excema caused by dairy? Have you swapped washing products etc? I'm sure I am repeating stuff you have already been through.

flamingobingo Sat 30-May-09 09:49:38

Yes, formula fed babies do need water because their milk can't change constituents to meet a baby's needs, like breastmilk can.

IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Sat 30-May-09 09:51:52

When my ds was 8 months old he had a horrid vomiting bug and ended up at out of hours GP and he was delighted I was bf as that was apparently the best thing for him when he was vomiting to both keep him dehydrated but still keep calories in him. He said FF babies are different and in that sitauion would recommend water as fomrula and milk are classed in vmoiting bugs as a solid food where breast milk isn't.

He also said that if dd (3 at the time) caught the bug to express if I was able and offer her some of my milk for the same reasons.

flamingobingo Sat 30-May-09 09:53:14

Wow! You have a fantastic GP, Ineedacleaner - where are you? I want him grin

belgo Sat 30-May-09 09:56:19

When my 16 month old was in hospital with severe vomiting and diarrhea, the doctors were very happy she was still being breastfed and told me to bf her as much as possible. The nurses weren't quite as supportivehmm

tiktok Sat 30-May-09 12:51:44 water for bf babies (and only very rarely for ff babies) and especially not for poorly bf babies

This should be well-known among HCPs.

Ready - where did you hear babies need cooled boiled water 'little and often'?

IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Sat 30-May-09 15:23:17

flamingobingo that was at Raigmore hospital out of hours in Inverness. He actually got really excited when he asked if ds was ff or bf as he was soooo pasionate about it being the best thing for a vomiting baby grin I neraly hugged him blush

laumiere Sat 30-May-09 17:22:09

Cheers tiktok, was sure I was right. DS2 literally has one formula feed every month when I go into work as I cannot express (psych issues on this one), so hence why I say 'virtually' excl BF.

DitaVonCheese Sat 30-May-09 17:42:06

Am I wrong to be giving (8 mo) DD water with meals?

hercules1 Sat 30-May-09 17:43:01

No, it's fine to give an 8 month old water with meals. I would give in a beaker thing and not worry about how much is drunken.

tiktok Sat 30-May-09 17:44:17

I agree with herc - babies of that age can usefully start to have water from a beaker, with meals or between them.

DitaVonCheese Sat 30-May-09 17:47:28

Thanks - I thought it was okay but had a sudden panic! She absolutely loves sucking on her sippy cup but I'm not convinced very much actually goes in

TeaOneSugar Sat 30-May-09 17:51:38

My mil recommended water for my bf DD, in between feeds, I ignored her - definately an old wives tale.

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