Does milk worsen diarrheoea?

Why is it that my wife avoids giving the baby milk when it has diarrhoea and prefers dry tea? Karmali

Dear Karmali,

When a breastfeeding infant gets diarrhoea, breastmilk can be very useful in delivering nutrition and solving the dehydration puzzle set by diarrhoea which if unsolved can lead to death.

However, a number of mothers will wrongfully avoid giving the baby breastmilk to the health detriment of the baby.

If the baby is taking formula or cow’s milk and gets diarrhoea, many times mothers will avoid giving the same in favour of black tea which is not as nutritious. It also has caffeine which may lead to dehydration through causing lots of urination and stimulation of the intestines, further worsening the diarrhoea.

Older children may have lactose intolerance and diarrhoea may affect the intestinal enzyme lactase more so that giving milk in the circumstances may lead to more diarrhea. But if the milk has no germs and is diluted with water, it will help rehydrate the child.

In place of dry tea, give the child decaffeinated tea. If a child has diarrhoea, it is important that the cause is found and eliminated to stop the running stomach. As such, giving diluted milk is better. 

Immunisation of the infant against rotavirus infection, the commonest causes of diarrhoea in children is advisable. The first dose of oral Rotavirus vaccine is given at eight weeks, and the second dose at 12 weeks. 

Many sexual partners

Doctor, I am in trouble! My girlfriend has many men and is now pregnant. However, I do not want anything with the pregnancy or a child who is not mine. What can I do? James

Dear James,

Many men today are denying being fathers of their own children because of many reasons including poverty or mere lack of responsibility. It is ironic, therefore, that other men especially those who have failed to get their own children are actually getting foster children to call their own even when the children do not belong to them.

In your case, you want to know whether the pregnancy or not to avoid wasting resources that is not. DNA paternity test, can be used to determine whether you are the father of the unborn. It can be done by taking your blood sample and compare that with the foetal blood sample cells taken from the pregnant woman’s blood (the pregnant mother’s blood usually has the foetuses’ cells).

The result here is usually more than 99 percent accurate and can be performed after the eighth week of pregnancy.

The only problem is that the pregnant woman should accept getting involved in doing the test because it may be difficult to draw blood from her without her knowledge.

 Also, the foetuses’ cells can be recovered from the water that surrounds the baby (amniotic fluid), or the small parts got from the placenta (chorionic villi) but these two methods are unsafe and more likely to cause miscarriages.


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