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October 1992

Water Intoxication: A Problem of Bottle-Feeding

Author Affiliations

Breastfeeding Support Program The Hospital for Sick Children 555 University Ave Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 1X8

Am J Dis Child. 1992;146(10):1131-1132. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160220017007

Sir.—I was appalled, but only slightly surprised, that neither in the article by Keating et al,1 nor in the editorial comment by Finberg,2 is there the slightest suggestion that water intoxication would have been prevented by the mothers' breast-feeding. After all, water intoxication is a complication of bottle feeding. Despite the suggestion by Keating et al that"... preventive interventions applicable to the population at risk are discussed...," all they can manage is that more formula be supplied by the Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) of the US Department of Agriculture. This is feeble. Surely they are not suggesting that this population is incapable of breast-feeding? Rather, the provision of free formula by WIC is more likely than not to encourage mothers to use the formula and discourage them from breast-feeding.3

Surely a good beginning to the resolution of the problem would be