Baby dies after drinking watered-down breast milk: Why breastfed babies don’t need water

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Baby Nevaeh's unfortunate and unnecessary death raises question around the topic of breast milk and water. Should you give an exclusively breastfed infant water? What are the consequences if you do? Find out in this article...

In March 2015, a 10-week-old American baby girl – Nevaeh Marie Landell – died of water intoxication according to news reports. Her parents have been charged with killing her by diluting her breast milk with water.

Herbert George Landell and Lauren Heather Fristed gave their baby breast milk and water mixed together, robbing the breast milk off its nutrients, claim prosecutors.

Nevaeh’s parents allegedly also refused to get her medical treatment when she got sick, citing their religious beliefs. By the time they finally took their little girl to hospital, it was too late.

breast milk and water

Lauren Heather Fristed (left) and Herbert George Landell (right) were charged with killing their baby by diluting her breast milk with water.
Image: YouTube screen shot

According to the warrants, watering down the breast milk resulted in a drop in Nevaeh’s electrolyte and sodium levels and made her brain swell.

Landell has been charged with felony murder and aggravated battery by depriving. Fristed was charged with aggravated battery by depriving, first degree cruelty to children, and second degree cruelty to children. US news reports state that both are in jail without bond.

It is always tragic to hear of such stories, especially when it’s quite obvious that Nevaeh would still have been alive had her parents been more educated about looking after and feeding a young infant.

What are the rules when it comes to giving water to a breastfed baby under six months? Does a baby this young need breast milk and water? Or does breast milk provide adequate hydration?

Read about some crucial information on giving breast milk and water to your baby on the next page.

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