Objectives: The objectives were to describe weight loss in a multiethnic population of first-born, predominantly breastfed, term infants and to identify potentially modifiable risk factors for excess weight loss (EWL).
Methods: Data on prenatal breastfeeding intentions, demographic characteristics, labor and delivery interventions and outcomes, breastfeeding behaviors, formula and pacifier use, onset of lactogenesis, and nipple type and pain were collected prospectively. Logistic regression analyses identified independent predictors of EWL (≥10% of birth weight) by using a preplanned theoretical model.
Results: EWL occurred for 18% of infants who received no or minimal (≤60 mL total since birth) formula (n = 229), including 19% of exclusively breastfed infants (n = 134) and 16% of infants who received minimal formula (n = 95). In bivariate analyses, EWL was associated (P < .05) with higher maternal age, education, and income levels, hourly intrapartum fluid balance, postpartum edema, delayed lactogenesis (>72 hours), fewer infant stools, and infant birth weight. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, only 2 variables predicted EWL significantly, namely, intrapartum fluid balance (adjusted relative risk for EWL of 3.18 [95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.35-13.29] and 2.80 [95% CI: 1.17-11.68] with net intrapartum fluid balance of >200 and 100-200 mL/hour, respectively, compared with <100 mL/hour) and delayed lactogenesis (adjusted relative risk: 3.35 [95% CI: 1.74-8.10]).
Conclusions: EWL was more common in this population than reported previously and was independently related to intrapartum fluid balance. This suggests that intrapartum fluid administration can cause fetal volume expansion and greater fluid loss after birth, although other mechanisms are possible.