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Couple charged with killing baby by diluting breast milk | News

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Couple charged with killing baby by diluting breast milk
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GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- A Gwinnett County mother and father have been charged with killing their 10-week-old daughter by diluting the breast milk they fed her.

Nevaeh Marie Landell died in late March of water intoxication, according to arrest warrants filed Wednesday.

Prosecutors argue Herbert George Landell, 26, and Lauren Heather Fristed, 25, added water to the baby's breast milk, robbing it of nutrients. When Nevaeh got sick, Landell and Fristed refused to get her medical treatment, citing their religious beliefs. By the time they took the baby to a hospital, she was already dead.

Gwinnett County Police said the child received no medical care before or after she was born, and likely would have been born at home had Fristed not needed an emergency C-section.

Watering down the milk caused Nevaeh's electrolyte and sodium levels to drop and made her brain swell, according to the warrants.

Landell has been charged with felony murder and aggravated battery by depriving. Fristed was charged with aggravated battery by depriving, first degree cruelty to children, and second degree cruelty to children. Both are in jail without bond.

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11Alive medical correspondent Dr. Sujatha Reddy said babies should not drink water until they are at least 6 months old. Between 6 and 12 months, babies can drink small amounts of water -- no more than one to three ounces at a time. However, because water has no nutritional value, babies should drink breast milk or formula first, Dr. Reddy said.

Pediatric nurses who work with Dr. Reddy said there is no reason to water down a baby's breast milk.

Signs of water toxicity include grogginess, confusion, drowsiness, twitching and seizures.

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