Breast Feeding and Weight Loss Pattern in Term Neonates During First 72 Hours of Life: A Cross Sectional Observational Study
Introduction: Healthy, full term, exclusively breastfed infants are expected to lose weight in the first days following birth. There are conflicting opinions about what constitutes a normal neonatal weight loss. This study was conducted to establish the reference weight loss pattern in exclusively breastfed neonates.
Materials and methods: A cross sectional observational study was conducted at a tertiary care hospital of western Nepal for a period of 12 months. All babies delivered were recruited. Newborns with birthweight of > 2500 grams without any congenital anomalies and Apgar score >7/10 were finally included for analysis. Breast feeding was started as soon as possible and all newborns were fed within 6 hours of life. If breast feeding was not possible within first 2 hours of life, expressed breast milk (EBM) or formula feeding was initiated as recommended. Data was analyzed showing distribution and frequency of various parameters like initiation of breastfeeding, weight of babies at different time intervals and weight loss patterns.
Results: Out of 1000 babies subjected to analysis, majority were males (n= 517, 51.7%). The average time of initiation of breast feeding was less than 6 hours. The weight loss pattern in babies was 7.1% at 72 hours of life.
Conclusion: Breast feeding was initiated as soon as possible in all healthy term neonates. The average weight loss pattern in all term healthy newborns were almost similar.
Keywords: Breast feeding, weight loss pattern, initiation of breast feeding