Posts Tagged ‘baby formula’

Feeding a newborn after a disaster

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

newbornIn emergency situations, babies have an increased need for the disease-fighting factors and the comfort provided by breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is especially recommended during a disaster because it is naturally clean. Refrigeration, bottles, or water for preparing formula are not necessary.

Breast milk is the best food for a baby during the first year of life. In emergencies, it’s usually best for the baby if the mother can continue to breastfeed. If pre-prepared formula is unavailable or water supplies are unsafe, breastfeeding is especially wise. Breast milk can be especially good for premature babies.

While stress may affect milk supply, breastfeeding itself can help to reduce stress. When you breastfeed, your body creates hormones that are calming. Do your best to make breastfeeding time as relaxed as you can under the circumstances.

If breastfeeding has been interrupted, the La Leche League provides information to help you start again. The International Lactation Consultant Association also provides help with breastfeeding. Call (919) 787-5181.

Some women may find it impossible to continue to breastfeed. If this occurs, wean the baby as slowly as possible. This is important for both your health and the baby’s. Hold and cuddle your baby as much as possible to reduce your baby’s stress. In a disaster, pre-prepared formula is recommended because of concerns about water safety.

The La Leche League provides information about breastfeeding for women affected by disasters.

If you are staying in a shelter and need help with breastfeeding, ask the medical staff for assistance.

If breastfeeding is not possible, have a supply of single-serving, ready-to-feed formula. Ready-to-feed formula does not need mixing, and water should not be added to it. When using ready-to-feed formula, pour the needed amount into a bottle, and throw away the formula that the baby does not drink if you cannot refrigerate it. After it is opened, the formula must be refrigerated.

Regarding water for drinking, cooking and bathing, listen to and follow public announcements. Local authorities will tell you if tap water is safe to drink or to use for cooking or bathing. If the water is not safe to use, follow local instructions to use bottled water or to boil or disinfect tap water for cooking, cleaning or bathing.

If tap water is not safe, boiling is the preferred way to kill harmful bacteria and parasites. To kill most organisms, bring water to a rolling boil for 1 minute.

If you can’t boil unsafe tap water, you can treat it with chlorine tablets or iodine tablets. Follow the directions that come with the tablets. Keep treated water out of reach of children and toddlers.

If you have a baby and are not breastfeeding, ready-to-feed formula is recommended because of concerns about water safety. Do not use water treated with iodine or chlorine tablets to prepare powdered formulas.

Moms should do their best to drink at least six to eight glasses (eight-ounce servings) of water, juice or milk every day.

For more information about caring for a newborn after a disaster, read this article.

Arsenic found in some organic baby formulas

Friday, February 17th, 2012

A recent study by Dartmouth College found that some organic foods that have brown rice syrup may have high levels of arsenic.

Brown rice syrup is used to sweeten some organic foods like some baby formulas and cereal bars.  It’s used in place of high-fructose corn syrup, another kind of sweetener. Arsenic is a natural element found in soil and minerals. High levels of arsenic may cause health problems. The study found that some organic baby formulas and cereal bars with brown rice syrup had higher levels of arsenic than the levels the government OK’s for bottled water.

While more research needs to be done, talk to your baby’s health care provider if you’re concerned about your child’s baby formula. Learn more about organic foods.

Should I give water to my baby?

Monday, May 16th, 2011

sippy-cupWe have all heard the importance of drinking enough water everyday. We hear it on the news, see it in health magazines, and hear it from our doctors. However, when it comes to newborn babies, we hear the opposite. Most health experts say that newborn babies should not be given water – at all! Why?

The American Academy of Pediatrics says “Until your baby starts eating solid foods, he’ll get all the water he needs from breastmilk or formula.” If a baby is given water in addition to breastmilk or formula, he may not have the appetite he needs to feed when he should. The water may temporarily make him feel like he is full, so he won’t eat as well at the next feeding. This would mean that he would be missing out on vital nutrients. It is very important that he get all the calories and nutrients he needs in order to grow and be healthy.

It is not necessary to supplement your newborn’s diet with water since breastmilk and formula already contain water. So, your baby is already getting all the water his little body needs. In fact, giving a baby too much water can even lead to certain health problems.

So, when is the right time to give your baby water?

Once your baby is eating solid food (at around 6 months of age), it’s a good idea to give him some water in between feedings. In fact, giving water instead of juice at that point is helpful so that your baby learns to adapt to the plain taste of water (instead of the surgery taste of juice). For more information on how and when to give your baby water or juice, read this article from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

As always, if you have questions, we suggest you speak with your baby’s health care provider.


Updated: October 2015.