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Hypernatraemic dehydration and breast feeding: a population study
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  • Published on:
    Re: hypernatremic dehydration not hard to prevent
    • Laurie Wheeler, Lactation consultant / registered nurse
    • Other Contributors:
      • MN IBCLC

    Dear Editor

    This paper leads one to believe that breastfeeding somehow can cause hypernatremic dehydration and so requiring breastfed babies to be watched. This seems to miss the point that babies who become dehydrated and hypernatremic are really not breastfeeding, so breastfeeding needs to be watched. More to the point, these babies are not breastfeeding EFFECTIVELY. It is possible too that a mother may have insuf...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Hypernatraemic dehydration is not a negligible problem
    • David Harding, Lecturer in Neonatology
    • Other Contributors:
      • Pamela Cairns

    Dear Editor

    Oddie et al [1]suggest that neonatal hypernatraemic dehydration is uncommon, occuring with an incidence of "at least 2.5 per 10,000 live births". We recently described 5 infants re-admitted with hypernatraemic dehydration secondary to failure of lactation and its support [2]. During the six months of our study a pair of 36 week gestation twins were also readmitted with hypernatraemic dehydration seconda...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    High sodium concentrations in breast milk in hypernatremic dehydration
    Dear Editor,

    We read with interest the article by Oddie et al. titled ‘Hypernatraemic Dehydration and Breast Feeding: a population Study’ in your journal (Arch Dis Child 2001;85:318-320).

    We followed 16 breast-fed newborns with hypernatraemic dehydration in our NICU between 1994-1999. The mean age of the babies was 5.3 (3-16) days on admission and all but one were term. Gestational age of one baby was 34.5 week...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    How can we know that extra weighings will help?
    • Heather Neil, Volunteer Breastfeeding Counsellor; Writer and Health Journalist

    Dear Editor,

    Oddie et al. [1] highlight the issue of dehydration in exclusively breastfed babies. However, they give no practical guidance for preventing it apart from more frequent weighing of infants in the first week of life, as suggested (they point out) by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

    While it is of course essential that dehydration is avoided, together with the resulting distress f...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Re: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure AND Hypernatraemic dehydration eLetter

    Dear Editor,

    We thank Oudesluys-Murphy and Sachs, for their interest in our paper. We are grateful for their recognition that professionals' understanding of the normal physiology of breastfeeding is inadequate (although we would not agree that the causation of this problem is in keeping with the usual meaning of the word iatrogenesis). The poor professional knowledge and practice that allowed these cases to happen w...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
    • Magda Sachs, MPhil/PhD Student, Dept of MIdwifery Studies, University of Central Lancashire

    Dear Editor

    Oddie et al [1] present cases of hypernatraemic dehydration in babies due to ‘unsuccessful breastfeeding’. They fail to highlight that these cases are likely to be "essentially an iatrogenic problem" [2], due to inadequate understanding of the normal physiological process of breastfeeding by health professionals and the mothers who relied on their care. These babies are described as being exclusively...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Hypernatraemic dehydration a rare but preventable occurrence with breast feeding

    Dear Editor

    I read the paper “Hypernatraemic dehydration and breast feeding: a population study” by Oddie et al. [1] with great interest. Even though this paper may appear sombre in drawing attention to hypernatraemic dehydration as one of the few negative effects of breast feeding, I feel that the extremely low prevalence reported is an encouragement to those who attempt to promote breast feeding. This prevalenc...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.