Newborn Weight Loss
Pamela Drynan, RN, BScN, IBCLC , Ontario
In the current Clinical Lactation journal, found in the Members Portal here, Catherine Watson Genna and Micaela Notarangelo (2018) explain the details of differentiating between normal infant weight loss from weight loss related to breastfeeding failure. Many clinical professionals who work with newborns often experience a heightened sense of worry when they see a baby approaching 10% weight loss. The article describes the details of strategies that protect infants from hypernatremic dehydration, birth interventions and hospital routines that impact breastfeeding opportunities and weight changes in newborns, what normal versus problematic weight loss may look like, identifying babies at risk (of excessive weight loss or breastfeeding failure), factors that contribute to the risks, symptoms of low milk intake, and recommendations for practice (Watson Genna & Notarangelo, 2018).
Many professionals have demonstrated through research that it is vital for most breastfeeding dyads to have an early assessment by an IBCLC within the first 24 hours to help with breastfeeding management. Watson Genna & Notarangelo (2018) are among those professionals that state early intervention within the first 24 hours is vital when an infant is experiencing higher than expected weight loss within the first 24 hours to ensure infant safety and to preserve breastfeeding. As an IBCLC, we can carefully assess the breastfeeding situation, help prevent hypernatremic dehydration, as well as prevent unnecessary supplementation that can impair the infant’s microbiome (Watson Genna & Notarangelo, 2018).
This article can provide you with up to date strategies to help you clinically manage prevention of hypernatremic dehydration as well as treatment strategies. This article adds to the body of knowledge of infants adapting to extrauterine life and is essential for lactation consultants to gain further knowledge and skill for supporting families during a vulnerable time. You can access the article via the Members Portal here.
Clinical Lactation, 2018, 9(4), http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/2158-07184.108.40.206