Most newborns lose body weight in their first hours and days of life. But how much weight loss is normal and how much is too much? A new study conducted at Penn State analyzed hourly weight data from 160,000 babies to conclude that “levels of weight loss that doctors thought were abnormal are ‘actually pretty common.'”
The physicians who conducted the study also created an online tool that physicians and parents can use to assess their own babies’ weight loss. The tool, called the Newborn Weight Tool, or NEWT, allows parents to input weight recordings and compare the percentage lost or gained to the overall weight chart to determine if the loss is normal or cause for concern.
One important note is that the data does not yet account for the fact that babies born to women who receive large amounts of intravenous fluid during labor may lose more body weight than other infants. This is because these babies may have large amounts of water weight on board that they naturally shed after birth, leading to a steeper recorded decline in weight that is not associated with body mass reduction. There have been requests among the medical community to the physicians who developed the NEWT to try to add this consideration to the analysis.
To read the full article about the new study in the Lancaster, please click here.
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