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Baby Formula Almost Kills Infant

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When diluted, it poses a hidden danger for babies.

When money's tight, moms try anything to make ends meet. But this nearly cost Jeri Moss the life of her 5-month-old son La'Damian.

La'Damian's father had been out of work for months, so Jeri tried to make do with feeding her son eight to 10 cans of formula a month when he needed 15. She added water to the formula to do so. But this triggered a near-fatal effect in La'Damian. Check out the video from Today:

"Sadly, this is not a new story," says momlogic pediatrician Dr. Cara Natterson. "When budgets are tight, parents trying to do the best for their children may think about diluting formula. The problem is that baby kidneys don't know how to handle free water -- or the extra water that's being added. The baby's body doesn't get rid of the extra water. Rather, the water stays in the bloodstream and dilutes out some of its most important components. This can ultimately be life-threatening."

Dr. Cara says this story is a good reminder that parents need to be educated about how to take care of their children when they are on a budget -- where corners can be cut and where they cannot. "Most parents who dilute formula have no idea that they could cause their child to become seriously ill, or worse," she explains. "It is important to spread this story so that other parents do not make the same mistake that this one did."

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6 comments so far | Post a comment now
emily December 3, 2008, 8:37 PM

Why is it that the poorest people won’t breastfeed? It’s free!! Not to mention it’s the perfect food for babies….

Anonymous December 3, 2008, 11:01 PM

Let’s not make generalizations about poor people. It is not fair.

L December 3, 2008, 11:45 PM

First of all I am not poor, and you shouldn’t be so judgemental. Second I do breastfeed when my children are young. Some people cannot breastfeed though. I have a friend that tried to breastfeed her daughter but her baby wasn’t gaining any weight. So she has had to put her onto formula. Also there are babies that acctually have an allergy to breast milk. But I do promote breast feeding to everyone that I know who become pregnant. I have fought with my mother in law since I had my first child over giving them bottles of water. I never have, but she insists that babies need to have more than just breastmilk or formula. I dont give anything extra until they are ready to get started on more solid food (usually around 3-5 months)and it’s not more than .5 oz of diluted apple juice a day. The thing that I dont get is that when my children got formula from WIC they got enough for the whole month. So with that being said I am wondering, Why dosen’t this baby get enough formula for the month from WIC???

Anonymous December 4, 2008, 11:04 AM

I agree with L that some mothers have problems breastfeeding, but with what emily said, every low-income mother I’ve come across refuses to even try. I know it’s not everyone, but it’s a large part of the population.

I’m Glad there are programs like WIC to assist parents with the expenses of formula when they need it, but I think there needs to be a bigger push at the hospitals and support areas to get the mother’s to at least try breastfeeding, and give them access to lactation consultants. It’d be cheaper for the parent and for the WIC program in the long run. Not to mention healthier for the babies.

BTW I am a breastfeeding mother myself, so I know the dedication it can take to breast feed

JustMe December 5, 2008, 9:49 AM

“Baby Formula Almost Kills Infant”?

It wasn’t the baby formuula that almost killed the infant, it was his mother’s actions.

Don’t feed into the alarmist nature of the media and scare people with such a claim!

Winford Defreitas March 28, 2011, 11:17 AM

Wow! Thank you! I continuously needed to write on my site something like that. Can I include a portion of your post to my website?

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