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Heartbreaking: A Newborn Dies of Dehydration

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Doctors warn you about a lot of factors that need to be taken care of while looking after your baby. Babies are extremely delicate and need to be continuously looked after. At the same time, you have a parental instinct about knowing what might be best for your child. Your little ones are very important and you will do everything in their power to protect as well as care for them. At times, however, things can get out of hand due to lack of knowledge.

There are certain phenomenons that occur quite rarely and are almost unknown. Professionals and people who have good knowledge about a pregnancy - may not be able to tell you about these things. This is due to the mere fact that they are themselves not always aware. Yet, if you look up the internet - you will definitely find one odd story from the countless others that you probably already know about.

Photo is for representational purposes only

Dehydration is a phenomenon whereby the body is stripped of its water content - a reduction in the water level which is extremely dangerous. This rarely occurs in adults as we know our hydration needs and tend to drink enough water or liquids to keep ourselves hydrated. The cases of death due to dehydration are very less - unless it happens to be an incident where water was scarce or unavailable.

Photo is for representational purposes only

Babies on the other hand, may or may not be able to express their needs quite properly. It is up to parents to figure out what their baby's crying means and handle it accordingly. Even though it is very rare, there have been cases of babies dying due to dehydration. Parents sometimes fail to understand some signs and symptoms - ending up not taking the right steps.

[Read more about Decoding Your Baby’s Crying Spell]

Mom - Jillian Johnson - shares her story, five years after losing her son to dehydration. She hopes that her tale will keep every new parent aware of the evils of dehydration. Johnson recollects how she and her husband were completely ready for the new arrival. They'd read everything they could on parenting and things related to the phenomenon. She chose to breastfeed her baby instead of going for formula. After Landon, Jillian's son arrived through a C-section. He was quick to latch on and barely had any problems with breastfeeding.

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One of the nurses, however, noticed that Jillian may not have been producing enough milk. The reason being that she was diagnosed with PCOS (Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome). Landon fed for about 9 hours on the day of his birth and for similar hours on the days that followed. The medical professionals surrounding Jillian assured her that everything was fine and Landon received enough milk. Only, he didn't.

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Simply due to the fact that Landon was not receiving enough milk, he died on his third day due to a cardiac arrest that was caused by starvation and dehydration. Jillian then recounts some advice a doctor gave her/ "Breastfeeding is the best, but it issometimes safe to follow it with a bottle when there are issues." This ensures that while your baby receives all nutrition of your breast milk, they do not get dehydrated in the event when your breasts are not producing enough milk.

A lot of doctors commented on Jillian's loss saying how it was 'an extremely rare case'. No matter how rare, parents should not be left in the dark about the little things because it counts in the end. If you feel like things are not going properly, you must visit your doctor immediately rather than assuming. Assumptions end up doing more harm than good.

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Here are a few tips and signs that can help you be on the positive path to prevent dehydration in your infant: 

1. Identify the Symptoms: This includes sunken eyes, decreased urination, no tears while crying, lethargy, and fussiness.

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2. You need to recognize whether the dehydration is mild, moderate or severe. This is because depending upon the level of dehydration, remedies change as well.

3. Managing fluids: While breastfeeding is definitely the best, you can find other ways to introduce fluids in your baby’s diet. Feed your baby frequently in their early days.

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4. Contact your doctor. If your baby is not able to latch on properly - it maybe a result to the baby not being able to feed properly. This can in tirn lead to them suffering from dehydration. 

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