What does exclusive mean?
- Exclusive breastfeeding means giving only breastmilk. This means no water, liquids, teas, herbal preparations or food through the first six months of life.
- Colostrum is the welcoming food for newborns. It is also the first immunization, protecting a baby from illness.
Colostrum cleans the newborn’s stomach. Sugar water is not needed. Exclusively breastfed babies do not need water.
- Breastmilk is 88 percent water.
- Every time a mother breastfeeds, she gives her baby water through her breastmilk.
- Breastmilk has everything a baby needs to quench thirst and satisfy hunger. It is the best possible food and drink that can be offered a baby so the baby will grow to be strong and healthy.
The risks of giving water.
- Giving water to babies can be harmful and cause diarrhea and illness.
- Breastmilk is clean and pure and protects against disease.
- An infant’s stomach is small. When the baby drinks water, there is less room left for the nourishing breastmilk that is necessary for the infant to grow strong and healthy.
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Reference: Linkages Academy for Educational Development
Submitted by Patricia Drazin, Lactation Support Group