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Breast Feeding

Weight loss in breast feeding infant

05/23/2001

Question:

my daughter has a 10 day old son, she is breast feeding, he weighed 7lbs., 4.4oz. when he was born, he now at 6lbs., 12oz. I know that some weight loss is normal, but I`m getting worried. My daughter really wants to breast feed, she very stubborn about supplementation. Is this much weight loss common? Also he is jaundice. Any comments would be appreciated. Thank you.

Answer:

It is normal for a baby to loose up to 10 % of their birth weight. Your grandson has lost about 7 %. The baby will usually regain to its birth weight by three weeks of age.

Many things can cause jaundice. Some of them are things of concern, others are just a normal process, but the infant`s health care provider can only evaluate that. Babies may become jaundiced shortly after birth as a result of a normal physiological process where the baby is breaking down its hemoglobin. As a result of this break down, bilirubin is formed. If the bilirubin is excreted quickly from the body the skin does not become jaundiced, however a baby`s liver does not function as efficiently as adults, so often times they become jaundiced. This type of jaundice usually clears up quickly. Breast fed babies may also develop breast milk jaundice that may persist for up to ten weeks. It is important that their health care providers closely follow jaundiced infants.

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Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati