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Iatrogenic newborn weight loss: knowledge translation using a study protocol for your maternity setting

Joy Noel-Weiss1*, A Kirsten Woodend2 and Dianne L Groll3

Author Affiliations

1 School of Nursing, University of Ottawa, 451 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8M5, Canada

2 Trent-Fleming School of Nursing, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON, K9J 7B8, Canada

3 Department of Psychiatry, Queen's University, 752 King Street West, Kingston, ON, K7L 4X3, Canada

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International Breastfeeding Journal 2011, 6:10  doi:10.1186/1746-4358-6-10

Published: 15 August 2011



In our original study of newborn weight loss, we determined there were positive correlations among newborn weight loss, neonatal output, and the IV fluids mothers received before their babies' birth. Basically, an increase in maternal IV fluids is correlated to an increase in neonatal output and newborn weight loss. When assessing newborn weight change, our recommendation is to change baseline from birth weight to a weight measured at 24 hours. The purpose of this paper is to provide a protocol for clinicians to collect and analyze data from their own maternity site to determine if the newborns experience such an iatrogenic weight loss and to make decisions about how to assess newborn weight changes.


We recommend a prospective observational study with data collected about maternal fluids, neonatal output, and newborn weight measurements. The methods we suggest include specifics about recruitment, data collection, and data analysis.


Quality assurance and research ethics considerations are described. We also share practical information that we learned from our original study. Ultimately, to encourage knowledge translation and research uptake, we provide a protocol and sound advice to do a research study in your maternity setting.