A breastfeeding specialist has slammed Good Morning Britain’s Dr Hilary Jones for saying breastfed babies need extra water in 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 stay cool in the heat, Dr Jones suggested that babies get extra water if they are breastfeeding.
He said: ‘Babies in particular, their heat regulation mechanisms don’t work as efficiently and so babies should be kept in the shade at all times at this time.
“They need extra water if they are breastfed.”
Ruddle, from West Dorset, was quick to hit out at the 69-year-old GP on social media saying breastfed babies don’t need water and that displaces nutrition.
She said: ‘When one of the UK’s best-known doctors takes part in one of the most popular breakfast TV programs and says that breastfed babies need water between feedings in bad weather hot.
“Yet another example of why the UK has such low breastfeeding rates – the information we access from a ‘professional’ over breakfast is incorrect and dangerous.
“Here’s a recap if you need it – exclusively breastfed babies don’t need water.
“Giving them water displaces nutrition and increases the risk of electrolyte problems. You should feed them more often.
“Each time, they even ask if it’s a lot. Combination fed babies may also be offered more breast feeding.
Ruddle added: “According to the NHS, exclusively formula-fed babies may receive small amounts of water between feedings.
“If your baby is on solid foods, continue to offer milk accordingly. You can offer water next to food.
“Finally, that’s why I wrote Breastfeeding Myths. That exact reason. When experts on national TV don’t know their basic lactation education, we need to empower parents to find information correct.
“I emailed GMB to complain.”
The post received over 2,100 likes and hundreds of comments from social media users in support of Ruddle’s comments.
Angela May said: “It’s so disappointing. Has it been corrected? The show should now do a correction live on air.
Jessica Harris said: ‘Simply my biggest frustration is the conflicting and incorrect feeding advice medical professionals give 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 refused to take a bottle and rarely drank anything from a cup, so giving her water would have been next to impossible.”
Katarzyna Miernik said, “The lack of education regarding infant feeding, which is a determining factor in the short and long term health and development of humans, is frightening.”
Veronica Hardwick said: “When I breastfed all my children, they always told us that a baby only needs mother’s milk, nothing else, because it has all the goodness and nourishment that the baby needs. I’m glad I listened to them.