Massage Therapy for Infants
Dr. Tiffany Field at the Touch Research Institute, University of Miami,
Department of Medicine pioneered research in massage therapy for infants,
children and adolescents. She discovered that neonates receiving regular
massage gained 47% more weight than those receiving no massage.
(Both groups were fed the same amount of formula.) Also, the ones receiving
massage were discharged from the hospital an average of six days earlier.
Remarkable results were also found with normal infants. Massaged infants
showed less stress, were more alert, were easier to soothe and had better
sleep patterns. Stress hormones cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine
significantly decreased. Serotonin (a neurotransmitter that regulates mood,
sleep and appetite) significantly increased with massage therapy. (Low
levels of serotonin are associated with many disorders including depression,
anxiety, bipolar disorder and sudden infant death syndrome. Cortisol, epinephrine,
norepinephrine and serotonin are often targeted in drug therapy.)
Statistics for children and adolescents were equally compelling. Symptoms
of ADD and ADHD (a frequently diagnosed disorder in school-age children)
significantly diminished. After receiving a 15 minute massage for 10 consecutive
school days, the percentage of time on task increased from 43% to 77%.
Scores on the Conner’s Scale (a frequently used assessment for diagnosis)
decreased from 28.0 to 11.3. Dr. Field remarked, “…adolescents were less
depressed and less anxious than they had been and their stress hormones
(cortisol and norepinephrine) had decreased. They also developed better
organized sleep patterns and showed more appropriate behavior after massage
therapy. Long term effects reported by teachers included more time on task
and lower Conners Hyperactivity scores.
In another study, computation time and accuracy were positively effected
by therapeutic massage. After only one 15 minute massage, student’s accuracy
increased from an average of 69% to 89% and time of completion decreased
from 250 seconds to 234 seconds. Cortisol and state anxiety levels significantly
dropped. Depressed children showed short-term and long-term gains from
massage therapy. They were observed as more cooperative, less depressed
and less anxious. In addition, sleep patterns significantly improved; time
asleep increased from 79.7% to 91.3%. Children with PTSD showed a significant
reduction in depression; from 28 to 16 on the CESD Depression scale.
Therapeutic massage also works for immune disorders. Children with
cancer showed significant improvement on all blood count measures including
white and red blood count, platelet count and hemoglobin level. Also, they
were found to be significantly less tactile defensive and less depressed.
Many other conditions were positively effected my massage therapy including
juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, asthma, migraine headaches, dermatitis,
bulimia, anorexia, and more.
Therapeutic massage for infants, children and adolescents differs
from adult therapy in many ways: Infant massage is usually taught to parents/guardians
and is easy to learn. Massage offers a natural way to connect and bond.
Infant massage is taught as an art that comes from the heart and is simply
administered with hands. The most important lesson is how to connect, be
aware and present through all states (crying, quiet alert, active alert,
drowsy and sleeping) and stages of growth.
With children and adolescents, direct instruction may be given to the
parent or guardian; however, the older the child, the more common it is
to have the therapist perform the massage. The parent/guardian is present
at all times and serves a vital role. Through observation and/or participation
they learn new ways to connect, communicate and assist their child in the
future. Children should always feel empowered telling them that they are
in charge. Parents, guardians and therapist are in control; their role
is to guide and assure that the child feels safe and comfortable at all
times. The founding principle of HPMT is: feeling comfort, peace
and ease eliminates dis-ease; quieting the mind to a state of stillness
heals illness. Perhaps the greatest benefit of HPMT is that it presents
a unique opportunity for children, parents and guardians to feel empowered
and confident while learning about safe and nurturing touch.
A variety of techniques may be used for children and adolescents. Reflexology
is often a good starting point for many. Pressing and rubbing areas on
the feet and hands elicits a healing response which reflexes to specific
areas of the body. This technique may feel safer for shy clients. It can
also be a useful method of assessment. Emotions such as fear, anxiety and
anger are reflected throughout the body as tight muscles and are sometimes
stored there as knots. NMT – neuromuscular technique employs light, sustained
pressure with thumb or finger which reduces built-up knots and relieves
the symptoms of stress. Compression resets spindle fibers and effects pressure
receptors which has a positive neurological effect. It is administered
with a flat hand or fist and is applied with medium pressure in a rhythmical
way. Kneading relaxes muscles and takes pressure off nerves. It involves
lifting, grasping and releasing muscles. Percussion is stimulating at first;
however, over time it can have a soothing effect. Using brief, rapid, rhythmic
strokes increases circulation and tones the muscles.
At the end of the session, children often report feeling a sense of
peace and ease. For some this is a first! They usually feel safer, more
grounded and more in touch with themselves and their environment. Parents
also report experiencing these same feelings. As the child heals, the family
Other holistic techniques other than massage therapy may be included
to enhance each session or they may be used exclusively. Clients can be
taught many of these techniques to use between sessions to bring back feelings
of peace when needed. Some of these techniques may include: Reiki is a
simple, yet powerful form of healing which means Universal Life Energy.
During a session the Reiki practitioner simply sends healing energy by
putting his/her hands on or slightly above the client’s body. Reiki is
easy to learn especially for children who have an innate sense of healing
energy. Reiki may be administered to ones self or others. Polarity Therapy
is a more precise form of energy healing that balances and revitalizes
ones energy field. It was developed by Dr. Randolph Stone, a chiropractor
who combined the wisdom of acupressure, chiropractic, Ayurvedic and Chinese
systems of healing.
The practitioner uses light pressure on meridian points to open and
clear energy pathways, gently massages shoulders and feet, and clears chakras
and auras through Intention using crystals. EFT- Emotional Freedom Technique
combines techniques used in hypnotherapy and acupressure. It works with
the body’s bioenergy systems. While reciting positive affirmations, the
client is taught to tap certain meridian points which alleviates, and sometimes
eliminates, emotional distress. Aromatherapy uses essential oils to improve
client’s psychological and physical well-being. The essence of these healing
oils easily penetrates the olfactory membranes in the nose sending nerve
impulses to the brain which ultimately affects the amygdala, the memory
center for fear and trauma. Music is typically played during sessions.
It is soothing and healing during therapy and can played between sessions
which elicit the same effect. Yoga helps align the body, focus the mind
and renew the spirit. Sometimes children like to get into child’s pose
or other poses while receiving massage therapy to enhance its effect. Creative
visualization creates healthy thoughts and in turn, healthy emotions. Creative
visualization along with breathing and centering exercises is fundamental
for teaching a child how to take “Time-In.” This helps them alleviate the
need for a “time out.” Time In empowers; time out alienates.
Choosing a Practitioner
The first thing to look for in a Holistic Pediatric Massage Therapist
is completion of a reputable program and license to practice in the state
where service is provided. Of equal importance, though, is specialized
training along with extensive and successful experience working with children.
The ability to communicate with children is key. In this respect, someone
with a background in childcare, education, special education and/or crisis
intervention is ideal. The qualifying opinion that matters most, though,
is your child’s. For this reason, an initial consultation that is child-centered
and child-directed is critical. Children have an innate sense about who
and what feels right and may help them. The interview process is usually
brief. More often than not, children will ask to preview a session by “sampling”
various techniques. The child has final approval on whether or not to book
a future session.
Parents, caregivers, therapists and doctors have seen the benefits of
Holistic Pediatric Massage Therapy. It is safe, effective and educates
for a lifetime. Parent comments include…
“I have never seen him so calm. After only 15 minutes he almost fell
“For the first time he has been able to face his nightmares… He really
looks forward to (his sessions).”
“She is doing better in school and feels better about herself.”
Cote is a licensed massage therapist who specializes in Holistic Pediatric
Massage Therapy. He is trained in Touch and Massage for Children with Special
Needs, Neonatal Massage, Infant Massage and Therapeutic Crisis Intervention.
His is a certified K-8 Classroom Teacher, Polarity Practitioner, Yoga Ed.
Instructor and Reiki Master. He offers Holistic Pediatric Massage Therapy,
teaches classes in Holistic Healing for Children and Families, and offers
training in HPMT for parents, caregivers and massage therapists. For more
information call 207 522-7257, e-mail email@example.com or visit
Water: How important
is it for infants?
For some readers the very idea of giving water to their nursing babies
may be choking. Learn why some experts urge that breasted or bottle fed
infants drink water in in our chemically polluted environment
Often, when there are controversial subjects, wherein so called experts
disagree, I will give information about opposing points of view. In this
way I feel that you can then make your own decision and choices.
Do babies need water to drink? A 1997 study at the Center for Disease
Control and Prevention in Atlanta found that about 25 percent of new mothers
gave their babies water at least three times per week in the first month
of life. The researchers felt this was a significant problem.As Toronto
lactation consultant Anne Kirkham explains, "Giving water to young babies
can make some undesirable things happen and can suppress other good things."
For example, in the first days after birth, drinking water has been found
to increase the severity of newborn jaundice. "Babies who are breastfeeding
well don't have much problem with jaundice," says Kirkham, "but those who
are given water as well will become more jaundiced, and this makes them
sleepy and lethargic." Giving water in the early weeks can also interfere
with breastfeeding. The infant who has a tummy full of water will drink
less milk at his feedings, and his mother's breasts will decrease milk
production in response. The result: The baby gets less milk, and may not
grow as well. One study in Australia found that newborns who were given
water with sugar after each feeding at the breast lost more weight than
babies who were breastfed exclusively. In addition, if the water is given
in a bottle, the baby's sucking technique may become confused."
India and in some other countries, mothers of new born babies are being
given the dangerous advice that the baby must not be given any water for
the first 6 months. This can result in irreparable damage to the
baby's kidneys." Sai Sanjeevini Foundation
Water - A must for new born babies produced
by the Sai Sanjeevini Foundation Not
everyone agrees with the following article. Please read the other
points of view from readers' emails
Breast milk has many benefits for babies that are superior to formula.
Babies who are breastfed are reportedly less likely to get sick (with diarrhea,
gastrointestinal illness, urinary-tract infections, respiratory disease,
pneumonia or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), less likely to have allergies,
less likely to have later weight problems, less likely to have ear infections,
and -- according to a study published in the May
8, 2002, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association --
likely to be more intelligent. --- Breast-Feeding
Best Bet for Babies from the FDA website
Danger of infant soy formula.
When my son, Sterling,
was born in 1979,
I was a member of the LLL and was taught that babies did not need water
or anything else, other than mother's milk. So, I exclusively breadfed
my son for 3 years (he is brain-injured) and I never gave him a drop of
water. I'm from Belgium, I was bottle-fed and never got a drop of water
while on fomulas. My husband on the other hand, born to African-American/Native
American parents in Arkansas (homebirth) was breastfed and he remembers
that it was common practice to give water with a spoon or a cup to breastfed
infants..When I read "Water- a must for new born babies", I thought
that this was important information to share with others and decided to
publish it on my site. Had I known about this information 20 years ago,
I would have certainly given water to my son. Occasionally I receive emails
from breastfeeding mothers or members of LLL who strongly disagree with
giving water to infants. I have published their emails
in this page to share their opininion with you. At the bottom of this page,
you will also find a very interesting article Miracles
of Water Medical Report: A New Medical Discovery by F. Batmanghelidj,
M.D which I urge you to read. - Shirley
The following article "Water - A must for new born babies"was produced
by the Sai Sanjeevini Foundation (SSF) and copied on this site with SSF's
permission. Sai Sanjeevini Foundation is a public
charitable trust engaged in community service activities related to health
and healing - of human beings, animals and the environment. SSF is committed
to contributing to the spiritual, mental and physical upliftment of society.
The Foundation's health and healing activities are centred around Santhana
Sai Sanjeevini a spiritual healing system to awaken the body's own healing
Note: Not everyone agrees with the
following article. Please read the other points of view
Water - A must for new born babies
Produced by the Sai Sanjeevini Foundation
In India and in some other countries, mothers of new born babies are
being given the dangerous advice that the baby must not be given any water
for the first 6 months. This can result in irreparable damage to
the baby's kidneys.
To live, 3 things are essential :
Air and water are absolutely essential. Only Rishis and Yogis can do without
these. Mother's milk is a complete FOOD but it cannot be a substitute for
water and air.
Our mothers gave us water - that's why we are alive today.
The baby cries in atleast 4 distinct ways when it wants to tell the
mother what it needs:
1. Crying for food (milk)
2. Crying for sleep or carrying
3. Crying in pain
4. Crying for WATER.
Every grandmother KNOWS and most mothers soon get to know these 4 ways
of crying. The baby has no other way of communicating with you except by
crying. God made it so. Human knowledge - even that of doctors - cannot
replace what God made.
Please use your own common sense and your instinct to decide
what is good for your baby.
Remember : There are millions of cells that die every
day in the body and millions of new cells are born to replace the dead
ones each day. This is true of all living creatures including little babies.
These dead cells have to be flushed out by the body EVERY DAY. If they
remain in the body they produce TOXINS i.e. POISONS.
The only way these dead cells or toxins can be flushed out of the body
is if the baby drinks adequate water.
Source of this dangerous"advice" and the reasons behind it.
When asked, most doctors are very vague as to the source of this "advice"
being given to mothers of newborns. Most are equally vague about the reasons
for this "advice". However we understand that two reasons are most often
given both of which, as we explain below, do not make any sense:
Yes - mother's milk is a complete FOOD but it cannot substitute water and
air. Besides, mother's milk also contains toxins passed on by the mother
and only water can wash these out of the baby's body. (In very much the
same way that cow's milk contains DDT and other pesticides that the cow
takes in, the toxins that the mother takes in and also those which her
own body produces, are passed on to the baby in the milk)
that mother's milk is complete - no water is therefore needed.
This is a most ridiculous reason since bacteria is every where! The baby
puts its own hands and fingers into the mouth and these are LOADED with
bacteria picked up by the baby from the environment.
that water is often contaminated and can cause "infection" in the baby.
What happens when there is lack of water in the body?
Our body is made up of 80% water. Every few hours our body throws out
poisons from the body in the form of urine. If there is insufficient water,
the toxins become concentrated and can result in severe "clogging" of the
kidneys, resulting in dangerous kidney disorders AND EVEN KIDNEY FAILURE.
It is a frightening thought that vested interests are behind this move
to make kidneys fail. We hope and pray that that is not so - that this
"advice" is at best a mistake and a misunderstanding.
How much water does a baby need?
There is no standard quantity. When the baby needs water it cries for
it in a particular way - from the throat - you hear a sort of double sound
indicating a cracking of the voice due to dryness. The baby will only drink
as much as it needs - no more.
How to give water to a baby?
If your baby is a new-born, boil the water with a few grains of sauf
(fennel seeds) and one or two whole pepper balls. Strain,
cool and give to the baby in a baby bottle. Some babies prefer a few drops
at a time given from a silver spoon. (For breastfeeding mothers it is
best to avoid using a baby bottle because of the possibility of nipple
confusion resulting unwanted weaning. Instead use a regular household or
medicine spoon. Shirley)
Silver has traditionally been used in India for feeding the baby. There
is good scientific reasoning behind this. Silver inhibits the survival
and growth of all kinds of germs. If your baby is over 3 weeks old and
you have so far not given any water, then try the above method - if the
baby rejects it (since it is an unfamiliar texture and taste), then add
a touch of honey. ( NOTE: Be careful
about giving honey to infants because honey is known to cause botulism
in babies. I would never give honey to an infant. Shirley)
Not everyone agrees with the following article.
Please read the other points of view from readers'
Juices cannot replace water - there is no replacement
for water. If you wish your baby's well-being - PLEASE
GIVE HIM OR HER WATER.
Let us tune in to Mother Nature - all our answers and doubts will be
cleared from THAT - the Resident Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent Supreme
Consciousness within us.
Please read Miracles of Water Medical
Report: A New Medical Discovery .
Sai Sanjeevini Foundation:
Address : 108/39 Silver Oaks Aptts DLF Phase 1 Gurgaon 122 002 Haryana
Phone: From Overseas ; 91-124-351030 / From Delhi : 8-351030 / From
rest of India: 0124-351030
Fax : From Overseas : 91-124-351430 From Delhi : 8-351430 From rest
of India: 0124-351430
E- Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
"Every function inside the body is regulated by and depends on water.
Water must be available to carry vital elements, oxygen, hormones, and
chemical messengers to all parts of the body. Without sufficient water
to wet all parts equally, some more remote parts of the body will not receive
the vital elements that water supplies. Water is also needed to carry toxic
waste away from the cells. In fact, there are at least 50 reasons why the
body needs sufficient water on a regular, everyday basis. Without sufficient
water to constantly wet all parts, your body's drought-management system
kicks into action. The histamine-directed chemical messenger systems are
activated to arrange a new, lower quota of water for the drought-stricken
areas. When histamine and its subordinate "drought managers" come across
pain-sensing nerves, they cause pain. This is what I discovered in my research
that I mentioned earlier. This is why dehydration produces pain as its
first alarm signal. If the dehydration persists and is not corrected naturally
with water, it becomes symptom-producing and, in time, develops into a
disease condition. This is why people who take antacids to silence their
bodies’ thirst pain become more vulnerable and eventually develop other
serious complications of dehydration. Medical professionals have been educated
to treat pain and disease with medications. They do not understand the
problems associated with dehydration. Nowhere in their training as doctors
are they taught what happens if one does not drink an adequate amount of
water every day. " F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. Learn
about the Miracles of Water
Body's Many Cries for Water: You Are Not Sick, You Are Thirsty!
As a result
of extensive research into the role of water in the body, the author, a
medical doctor, believes that he has found chronic dehydration to be the
cause of many conditions including asthma, allergies, arthritis, angina,
migraine headaches, hypertension, raised cholesterol, chronic fatigue syndrome,
multiple sclerosis, depression, and diabetes in the elderly. According
to Dr. Batmanghelidj, the body possesses many different thirst signals.
A dry mouth is not a reliable indicator of your body's water needs. He
describes a variety of more reliable ones, and helps you learn to understand
when your body is calling for water. In this way, he claims you can prevent,
treat, and cure a variety of conditions of ill health, at no cost, with
what he calls nature's miracle medicine: Water. The author explains how
much water one needs to drink a day to stay healthy, and why tea, coffee,
and sodas are not good substitutes for water. This book explains
a new discovery that lack of water in the body--chronic dehydration--is
the root cause of many painful degenerative diseases, asthma, allergies,
hypertension, excss body weight, andsome emotional problems including depression.
The book explains the damaging effects of dehydration in the fourth dimension
children don't drink enough water because they were raised on sugared beverages
and juices." Donald K. Brown, M.D.
According to Pediatrics magazine, many children don't drink enough water
because they were raised on sugared beverages and juices. Substituting
juices and sodas for water may subject children to potential obesity because
kids become accustomed to sweet flavor. Unfortunately, this is not surprising.
New soft drinks, sports drinks and powdered mixes that are targeted to
children are frequently introduced.
These drinks are not a healthy source of hydration and can cause damage
to proper development. A 50-pound, active child, for example, needs about
a quart of water each day to stay hydrated. Even infants are at risk. Babies
often cry when they are thirsty more...
Are you aware of the long-term
health damage caused by NutraSweet in your kid's diet soft drink and food?
H. J. Roberts, M.D.: "I have observed severe intellectual deterioration
associated with the use of aspartame products (NutraSweet/Equal/Spoonful/Canderal/Benevia,
etc.) It was usually manifest as great difficulty in reading and
writing, obvious problems with memory and grossly impaired orientation
to time, place and person. " Learn about the Legal class
action against aspartame.
James Bowen, M.D. told the FDA years ago "Every known metabolite
of aspartame is of marked or questionable toxicity and patently unsafe
for human use." In Aspartame Murders Infants he said: "At every point in
the fertility process aspartame (NutraSweet/Equal/Spoonful/Canderal/Benevia,
etc.) destroys. ....It ruins female sexual response and induces male
sexual dysfunction. Beyond this, aspartame disrupts fetal development by
aborting it or inducing defects. And if a live child is born aspartame
may have heinously damaged the DNA of the baby cursing future generation."
See his paper on Sperm Warfare. We are now taking case histories for class
action on aspartame starting with seizures, brain tumors, eye deterioration
and blindness, etc. Learn about the Legal class action against
aspartame learn more
From the mailbag: other opinion from readers
in response the above article
Name: Arly Helm
Location: Nevada City CA
Date: June 10, 2004
Dear Shirley: Your article addressing the so-called "need" for
water is based on a religious text. You should preface your article
with this information for your readers, so they will know this is a religious
belief, rather than a scientifically based article.
The first clue is the statement, "Air and water are absolutely essential.
Only Rishis and Yogis can do without these." This is a religious belief,
as is the belief that breastmilk does not supply sufficient and adequate
fluid for the newborn. Of course, breastmilk supplies all the fluid
a newborn needs, and adding water only throws the system out of balance.
Parents following yogi teachings need to make their own compromises between
their child's health and their religious beliefs. I am glad at least
they are not advocating denying the child air or food, as some unfortunatel
belief systems do.
Arly Helm, MS, IBCLC
Name: Winnie Mading, BSN, IBCLC
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Date: June 10, 2004
Regarding water for breastfeeding infants:
1-If the water in breastmilk isn't sufficient, why do women from tropical
climates make milk with a higher water content? Same for women in climates
that change with the seasons who have more water in their milk during the
2-If it is necessary to have water that is not part of another "food",
does that mean that adults shouldn't drink water with meals or that water
drunk with other foods doesn't "count"?
3-As far as comparing with animals whose young drink water soon (as
was stated in one response from the original writer)-remember that different
mammals make different composition milks based on the needs of that species.
Human babies don't walk to the waterhole soon after birth! Human
milk is much closer in composition to that of other animals whose young
are born immature and totally dependent for nutrition (meaning both food
and water). It is also closer in content to mammals who nurse very
frequently such as kangaroos whose young do not get seaprate water.
Even the rabbit who only nurses a couple times in 24 hours does not leave
the nest to get water.
I can't help but wonder if the infants cited who seemed to be short
on water were not being nursed physiologically-in other words were being
made to adhere to an arbitrary schedule rather than according to baby's
I doubt that there has been any scientific evidence of a different cry
for water, especially in the early weeks and months. If babies "knew"
the difference, would they be content to nurse if they truly wanted water
instead of mommy's milk?
I'll put my 35+ years of experience working with nursing mothers over
this article any day.
Subject: Water for new born babies
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 10:16:09 -0500
From: Heidi Armstrong <email@example.com>
You have a lot of wonderful information on the Natural Health For Children
page. But I am disturbed by the article stating that babies need water
from a bottle. First of all, babies need nothing from a bottle, or God
would've equipped us with bottles and breasts. Second, a woman's breasts
produce the perfect food and drink for her baby. The first few minutes
of each feeding consist of "foremilk" which contains much of the proteins,
vitamins, and lactose. It quenches the baby's thirst. After that comes
the thicker "hindmilk" which provides the baby with the fat he needs. This
hindmilk is what satisfies his appetite. This is why babies are more likely
to be satisfied after a complete feeding on at least one breast rather
than a few minutes on each breast. He does not come away hungry if he's
gotten the milk that comes down after several minutes of feeding.
By promoting bottle-given water for babies, you are also promoting potential
nipple confusion. This is a very real problem for some babies.
I hope you have carefully considered various angles before posting that
article on your web page. If you have, well, I still disagree. <g> I
would be interested to know how you came to support the view shared in
Email Heidi Heidi Armstrong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Web site: Labor of Love Childbirth
In response to Heidi's email, please read the comments below
From the mailbag: other opinion
from readers in response the above article
Response from Sai Sanjeevini Foundation to the above email
Subject: Re: Water for new born babies
Date: Sun, 26 Jul 1998 00:09:32 -0700
From: Sai Sanjeevini
We have heard this argument from some quarters before (about giving
water to babies) and it would be justified perhaps if all mothers everywhere
were eating only natural, organic, uncooked food and not ingesting any
pesticides, DDT, chemical fertilizers from any source whatsoever. Now we
know that this is not at all possible and we also know that mother's milk
is a big source of such chemicals and poisons getting to the baby. However,
in spite of all this mother's milk is absolutely the ideal food. The person
who is writing to you has shifted the emphasis from "water" to "bottle".
In India we actually do not use bottles for babies. We use pure silver
bowls with silver spoons and we give the water a few drops at a time and
very soon the baby wants the silver glass which is the next step. However
I do not want to get into a discussion about containers. The question is
of water. If there are toxins from the mother going into the baby - then
the baby needs water to wash these out.
In my experience, the bottom line is the way the baby cries. If there
are mothers whose children do not cry for water - well then, their milk
must be so pure that they truly do not need it. But I have yet to come
across such a baby. There is a typical dry hoarse cry for water which all
grandmothers recognise and crying in different ways is the only way a child
can communicate with the mother.
The argument that animals do not bottle feed their young with water
does not hold water because within a few days the animal baby in most cases
can walk to the water - which the human baby cannot do. The animal baby
almost from day one crawls to the mother's breast - the human baby has
to be carried and physically put to the breast. So comparisons are not
Each child is different and we as mothers have to "listen" well to the
baby's needs. If our extreme and fanatical outlooks (however much towards
nature they may tend) prevent us from this listening we would have harmed
our babies more by being "natural". There cannot be absolutes in this -
we cannot say "never" give water and we cannot say "so much water must
be given". Each baby will take only how much he or she needs. Try it out
- watch the difference in the baby's happiness.
There are some mothers who at an early age give a lot of fruit to their
babies. This contains a lot of water and such children may require very
little or no water - I find such children having very little of the hoarse
As to nipple confusion - well I have seen babies in the thick of their
feed when the hind milk is coming - actually stop the feed, ask for water
and then go back to the feed - almost exactly as adults tend to ask for
water in the middle of a meal (considered by some to be an unhealthy practice
- but that is another story) when the food is particularly dry. I think
most babies also know when they want to change the breast - it is not the
mother but the baby which usually asks for a breast change.
I hope this clarifies to some extent your dilemma in understanding why
we recommend water.
Upto now we have talked of mothers who are feeding their babies exclusively
with breast milk and sometimes fruits. The truth is that 99.9999% of babies
arefed formula and/or cows milk in addition to breast milk. What then?
Our site also caters to these women and so does your site. There may be
ideallyc situations but how many mothers are able to follow it - water
is something that a mother wants to give instinctively - its doctors orders
that say no water. The doctor also (sometimes) says give exclusively breast
milk. They end up following all the advice that is convenient to them -
they end up giving the formula and cows milk for their convenience and
abstaining from the wter also since it is convenient not to have to worry
about one more thing.
You need to see the situation in India and other third world countries
where advice that you and I have to give does not reach the common man.
They are illiterate but they can hear the govt advertisement to go to the
nearest medical centre if they are pregnant. The doctors actually end up
selling Nestles milk powder (other brands too) to the mother - the money
involved in this scandal is too large for words.
Our Sanjeevini book is a handbook for healers - healers deal with these
people and if they tell the mother to give water atleast some of the damage
will be undone. They will not listen to anyone that breast milk is better
than tinned milk - because the doctor saheb has told them so.
Feel free to ask any more questions. Love and Light to you and yours,
Poonam, from the Sanjeevini Foundation
Email Poonam at Sai Sanjeevini
Web site: Sai Sanjeevini Foundation
is a public charitable trust engaged in community service activities related
to health and healing - of human beings, animals and the environment. SSF
is committed to contributing to the spiritual, mental and physical upliftment
of society. The Foundation's health and healing activities are centred
around Santhana Sai Sanjeevini a spiritual healing system to awaken the
body's own healing power.
(The Sanjeevini Handbook for Healing is available for free at theSai
Subject: about the article saying that newborns need water...
Date: Sat, 20 Nov 1999 02:27:58 -0800
From: "Jeri" <email@example.com
Hi! Well, I don't agree that exclusively breastfed babies need water.
The article says that "that water is often contaminated and can cause
'infectiion' in the baby. This is a most ridiculous reason since bacteria
is every where! The baby puts its own hands and fingers into the mouth
and these are LOADED with bacteria picked up by the baby from the environment."
I've read that many babies die because they get sick from mothers using
contaminated water to mix their formula. Is this not true? The Baby Milk
Action website at http://www.gn.apc.org/babymilk/
that "Where water is unsafe a bottle-fed child is up to 25 times more likely
to die as a result of diarrhoea than a breastfed child." This Baby Food
Action site http://www.anatomy.usyd.edu.au/danny/BFAG/
puts it this way, "The water mixed with the formula is often contaminated.
This leads to diarhhoea, malnutrition and often death." The page called
"McSpotlight on the Baby Milk Industry" claims that "Every 30 seconds,
a baby dies from unsafe bottle feeding. . . . The risk of contracting serious
diseases from bottle feeding is therefore high, but it is further compounded
by the fact that, in the Third World, many people don't have access to
a clean water supply with which to make up the formula, and poverty can
lead to mothers over-diluting the formula to make it go further. Waterborne
diseases fed straight to vulnerable babies causes what is now a common
condition in many parts of the world - diarrhoea, vomiting, respiratory
infections, malnutrition, dehydration and commonly death - known as Bottle-Baby
Also see The Dialogue on Diaharroea website at http://www.rehydrate.org/dd/html/dd49.htm#page2.
It has some interesting articles. Here is a quote from one of them... "Giving
extra liquids is not only unnecessary, but may also be harmful because:
The baby may spend less time breastfeeding, which means that the mother's
breasts are less stimulated to produce breastmilk. A Brazilian study showed
that breastfed infants, who received teas or water in the first days of
life, did not breastfeed for as long as those who were exclusively breastfed
during their first week (2). The extra fluids may be made with unsafe water
and given in feeding bottles which are contaminated. In Peru, babies who
received water and teas in addition to breastmilk had twice as many days
with diarrhoea in any given month as those receiving only breastmilk (3).
These findings were confirmed by recent research from the Philippines (4).
Another Brazilian study showed that each additional daily 'feed' with teas
or water was associated with a 40 per cent increase in diarrhoea mortality.
An infant receiving three feedings of extra fluids a day was almost three
times more likely to die than an exclusively breastfed infant'."
Here's an interesting quote from an article about the "WHO Code"
on the La Leche League website : "LLL Leaders know that six months of exclusive
breastfeeding is recommended. Any other food or drink introduced during
that time will replace breast milk, therefore the marketing of cereals,
teas, juices or water for children under six months can be interpreted
intending to replace breast milk and undermine breastfeeding."
Other articles of possible interest: Pesticides and Breastfeeding http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVMayJun94p37.html
A Myth: Breast-fed infants need water supplement http://members.aol.com/tireswing/oldmyths.html#art3
Also, I have concerns about the suggestion in the article to add honey
to the water. Please check out this article by Dr. Greene. http://www.drgreene.com/970602.html
He says that honey is an unsafe food for any infant and should not be given
to children younger than 12 months old. He says, "The concern is with infant
botulism. Botulinum spores are found widely in soil, dust, and honey. Adults
who swallow botulinum spores are almost never affected. When infants swallow
the spores, however, the spores can germinate in their immature gastrointestinal
tracts and begin producing botulinum toxin. This has occurred even when
the honey was only used to sweeten a pacifier (European Journal of Epidemiology,
Okay, I've got to go breastfeed my baby now!! Talk to you later. :)
Danger of infant
Premature, early puberty related to soy products
Elaine Hollingsworth, director of the Hippocrates Health Center of
Australia and author of Take Control of Your Health and Escape the Sickness
Industry, writes about the terrible effects of soy products on children:
am not exaggerating when I say that HUNDREDS of people have rung me during
the past year to tell me about dreadful health problems that started after
taking up the soy habit. Serious thyroid malfunctioning is one of the most
common complaints. This is not surprising, since it has been known
for years that isoflavones in soy can depress thyroid function, causing
autoimmune thyroid disease and even cancer. It is a medically recognised
fact that our body absorbs significant amounts of what we put on our skin.
With Certified Organic food rapidly becoming the nutrition of choice by
the health conscious amongst us, why would you accept any less for your
skin? of the thyroid. By far the worst calls are from women whose children
have been fed soy formula. They tell me heartbreaking stories about
baby girls who show signs of early maturation, such as underarm odour,
breast development, body hair and even menstruation as early as two, three
and four years of age! The risk appears to be greatest in girls who ingest
soy formula for nine months or more. In baby boys, 12 months of soy
feeding can lead to gross effects by the age of 11 or 12. Breasts
can appear and testicles do not develop. Several women have rung
asking what to do for these pathetic boys, who refuse to participate in
sports, fearing shower-room ridicule, and who will be dependent upon thyroid
drugs for life. I can't help, and I don't think anyone can. Nature
did not intend infants to be fed hormones, and life-threatening consequences
occur when they are. Of course, these horrible problems do not occur with
every soy-fed baby, but is it worth taking such a chance? Your child
will not thank you, and you may never have grandchildren. Drinking soymilk
during pregnancy can cause a failure to produce breast milk, which can
lead to feeding the baby soy formula. By far the worst cases of soy
damage are reported to us by women who have drunk soy milk while pregnant,
and then fed their babies soy formula. This is a deadly combination.
These women cannot restrain their tears when describing the dreadful health
problems their children have. They keep repeating to me, "I didn't
know, I just didn't know, the doctor told me to drink it for my bones and
give him soy formula."
Ever since mass vaccination of infants began, reports of serious brain,
cardiovascular, metabolic and other injuries started filling pages of medical
journals." Viera Scheibner, PhD
Viera Scheibner, PhD: "A great number of babies now die within days
or within two to four weeks of birth after
B vaccination, as documented by the records of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in the USA So, the baby stops progressing, starts
deteriorating, and usually develops signs of respiratory tract infection.
Then comes the second and third injections, and tragedy strikes: the child
may cry intensely and inconsolably, may stop feeding properly, vomit, have
difficulty swallowing, become irritable, stop sleeping, and may develop
convulsions with accelerating progressive deterioration of its condition
and mainly its brain function.
This deterioration may be fast, or may slowly inch in until the parents
notice that something is very wrong with their child and then rush it to
the doctor or hospital. Interestingly, they are invariably asked when the
baby was immunised. On learning that the baby was indeed "immunised", the
parents may be reassured that its symptoms will all clear up. They are
sent home with the advice, "Give your baby Panadol". If they persist in
considering the baby's reaction serious, they may be labelled as anxious
parents or trouble-makers. So the parents go home, and the child remains
in a serious condition or dies.
Until recently, the vaccine death would have just been labelled "sudden
infant death", particularly if the symptoms and pathological findings were
minimal. However, nowadays, with an alarmingly increasing frequency, the
parents (or at least one of them, usually the father) may be accused of
shaking the baby to death" Viera Scheibner, PhD.
Alan Yurko was charged with aggravated child abuse and first-degree
murder of his infant son, Alan; he is now serving a life sentence without
possibility of parole at Washington Correctional Institution in Chipley,
Florida. Mr. Yurko insists that he did not kill his son; rather, he now
claims that his son died from a combination of medical mistreatment and
an adverse reaction to immunizations. Doctors and scientists from 15 countries
have rallied to support Alan’s innocence, as have members of anti-vaccination/pro-choice
groups from around the world.
Why are a growing number of parents and health care professionals
around the world questioning vaccination? The controversy stems from the
thousands of deaths and permanent disabilities attributed to vaccination
annually, as well as the many published medical studies, government statistics,
congressional testimonies, and other credible sources that directly contradict
commonly held assumptions about vaccine safety and effectiveness.
Read about the personal stories of vaccine damage and its tiny victims.
The chiIdren you will meet here suffered a severe reaction to a routine
DPT (diphtheria. pertussis, tetanus), MMR (measles, mumps. rubella), or
OPV (oral polio) vaccine. They are only a few of the thousands of children
who have died or been left with medication resistant seizure disorders,
mental retardation, physical handicaps, learning disabilities or other
chronic illnesses after a reaction to a routine vaccination.