Offering Water to Breastfed Babies is Harmful to Their Health
by John Askelon
development, growth and survival.

Babies are provided the necessary nutrients and energy during breastfeeding. It also
reduces infant mortality caused by diarrhea, pneumonia and other sickness brought
about by contaminants in the baby's formula. Babies recover faster from diseases
when breastfed regularly and it helps families space their children.

To bring good health to newborn infants, they need regular intake of fluids. The
average daily water requirement of babies range from 80-100 ml/kg in the first week
of birth to 140-160 ml/kg between three to six months. A breastfed baby receives
these amounts if it is given exclusively and unrestricted for two reasons:

The water in a mother's breastmilk contains the necessary amount of water to
provide their baby's safety. Even if an infant gets a little water in the first milk
(colostrum), no additional water is needed because they are provided with extra
water by nature upon birth. More water is provided in the mother's milk on the third
or fourth day of breastfeeding.

Water is very important for babies to flush out solutes. These are substances such as
sodium, nitrogen, potassium and chloride. Since breastmilk is 88 percent water, it is
low in solutes. The kidneys of infants, although immature up to three months, are
able to expel these solutes in their urine to maintain a healthy and balanced body.

Why is water harmful to infants before the age of six months? It can cause significant
impact in the baby's survival, growth, and development. Even a small amount of
liquid can cause a baby to lose appetite for breastmilk. It can reduce breastmilk
intake by as much as 11 percent. Sugar water fed to babies cause greater weight
loss and decreases their immune system to fight common diseases . It also brings
about diarrhea causing organisms especially if the water used is not treated well.

What do children after six months need? Infants six to eleven months do not need
water if they continue to receive breastmilk. Other sources of water may come from
fruits, vegetables, or small amounts of boiled water fed after each meal. Mothers
should ensure that water or other fluids do not replace breastmilk, otherwise some
nutrients from vitamin rich foods will be diluted. Soups, broths and other watery
foods fed to babies fall below the required nutritional value to help maintain good

To guarantee a child's well being after the breastfeeding period, water fed to them
must be safe and clean. Although the quality of water in America is generally safe, it
is still contaminated with almost 2,100 various toxins. Drugs, pesticides, herbicides,
sex hormones, and other industrial wastes are found in the water supply of American
homes. The chemicals seep into old and corroded pipe installations before they enter
the households. So even if the water supply had been treated by municipal water
treatment facilities, the water that people drink is still unsafe. Bottled water is also
considered unsafe because chemicals in the plastic used in packaging contain
phthalate, a carcinogen that is very hazardous when used in the long run.

Water is vital to our health and especially to our babies. If we can provide them with
breastmilk for their first six months, please continue to do so for as long as you can.
But if you really need to use other milk products mixed with water, make sure the
water used is safe and clean. The quality of water in the U.S. today is not what it
used to be a decade ago. Know more about these in John's website and find out how
you can protect your baby from chemicals in your drinking water.

About The Author

John Askelon has studied issues against environmental pollution and its effects on
everyone's health. He has researched extensively on the deteriorating quality of
America's drinking water. He suggests ways on how to protect people from
thousands of contaminants that seep into the water system in their homes. Visit his
website - []
When babies are born, they are
properly hydrated and remain so if
their mother continues to breastfeed
them day and night, even if the
climate becomes dry. Offering water
to breastfed babies does more harm
than good. Yet, some mothers
persist in feeding their babies with
water and formula during the first six
months of recommended
breastfeeding. This occurs in many
countries which bring harmful effects
to the health of the baby. Experts
recommend that mothers breastfeed
their infants during the first six
months for their child's proper
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The content on
this website is for educational purposes only.  Please consult with your physician before using natural
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