Excessive weight loss in breastfed infants during the postpartum hospitalization

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of obstetric, gynecologic, and neonatal nursing

PubMed ID


DOI of Published Version


Start Page


End Page



OBJECTIVE: To examine differences in breastfeeding frequency, voids, and stools in infants with weight losses or =7% during the postpartum hospitalization. DESIGN: Secondary analysis of data from a primary psychometric study examining the Mother Infant Breastfeeding Progress Tool (MIBPT). Setting: A midwestern community hospital in a multicultural racially diverse community. PARTICIPANTS: Convenience sample of 53 breastfeeding women and infants hospitalized after birth. METHODS: Data were collected during a chart review; infants were divided into or =7% weight loss groups at 2 days postpartum, and breastfeeding frequency, voiding, and stooling were examined between groups and used to predict a > or =7% weight loss at 2 days postpartum. RESULTS: Of the 53 infants, 20.8% lost > or =7% of their birth weight. Infants who lost > or =7% of their birth weight had significantly more total voids and a higher breastfeeding frequency on the day of birth than infants who lost or =7% weight loss, with an odds ratio of 1.74 (95% CI=1.09, 2.75, p or =7% of their birth weight during the first 2 days postpartum might be experiencing a physiologic diuresis after birth, unrelated to their breastfeeding behaviors. More research is necessary to determine the cause of a > or =7% weight loss in newborns during the first 48 hours after birth.


Adult, Birth Weight/physiology, Breast Feeding/statistics & numerical data, Chi-Square Distribution, Clinical Nursing Research, Diuresis/physiology, Feces, Female, Humans, Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena, Infant, Newborn/physiology, Logistic Models, Male, Midwestern United States, Neonatal Nursing, Nursing Assessment/methods/standards, Pilot Projects, Postpartum Period, Practice Guidelines as Topic, Statistics, Nonparametric, Time Factors, Urination/physiology, Weight Loss/physiology

Published Article/Book Citation

Journal of obstetric, gynecologic, and neonatal nursing, 39:1 (2010) pp.15-26. DOI:10.1111/j.1552-6909.2009.01085.x.

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