A LACTATION specialist has hit out at Good Morning Britain’s Dr Hilary Jones for saying that breastfed babies need extra water during hot weather.
Lucy Ruddle, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), said the advice given by the TV doctor on yesterday’s show was incorrect and dangerous.
During a segment on how to keep cool in the heat, Dr Jones suggested that babies should be given extra water if they are breastfeeding.
He said: “Babies particularly, their heat regulation mechanisms don’t work as effectively and so babies need to be kept in the shade at all times at the moment.
“They need extra water if they are being breastfed.”
Ruddle, from West Dorset, quickly hit out at the 69-year-old GP on social media saying that breastfed babies don’t need water and that doing so displaces nutrition.
She said: “When one of the UK’s best known Dr’s goes on one of the most popular breakfast TV programmes and declares that breastfed babies need water between feeds in the hot weather.
“Yet another example of why the UK has such low breastfeeding rates – the information we access from a ‘professional’ over our breakfast is incorrect and dangerous.
“Here’s a recap if you need it – exclusively breastfed babies do not need water.
“Giving them water displaces nutrition and increases the risk of electrolyte problems. You should feed them more often.
“Every time they ask even if that’s a lot. Combi fed babies can be offered the breast more as well.”
Ruddle added: “Exclusively formula fed babies may be given small amounts of water between feeds according to the NHS.
“If your baby is taking solids, continue to offer milk responsively. You can offer water alongside food.
“Finally, this is why I wrote Breastfeeding Myths. This exact reason. When the experts wheeled out on national TV don’t know their basic lactation education we need to give the power to find correct information back to parents.
“I’ve emailed GMB to complain.”
The post has received over 2,100 likes and hundreds of comments from social media users in support of Ruddle’s comments.
Angela May said: “This is so disappointing. Was it corrected? The show should now do a correction live on air.”
Jessica Harris said: “Simply my biggest frustration, the conflicting, incorrect feeding advice from health professionals given daily to new parents who don’t know who or what to believe.”
Miranda Latham-Jackson said: “What a way to put extra pressure on exclusively breastfeeding parents.
“My daughter always point blank refused to take a bottle and would rarely drink anything from a cup, so giving her water would have been almost impossible.”
Katarzyna Miernik said: “The lack of education regarding infant feeding, which is a factor that determines short and long term health and development of humans, is scary.”
Veronica Hardwick said: “When I breast fed all my children, they always told us, a baby only needs its mother’s milk, nothing else, as it has all the goodness and nourishment the baby needs. Glad I listened to them.”