Excess maternal intravenous fluids during labor or before a cesarean section correlate to neonatal output and weight loss, according to a study.
From January 2008 to June 2010, data were collected from five sites in Ontario, Canada. Infants had to be born full term and healthy, and mothers had to be planning on breast-feeding to participate. The study followed 109 participants from labor or before a cesarean section to 2 weeks postpartum. During labor or before a cesarean section, the amounts of oral and IV fluid were collected from admission to birth.
All babies were weighed every 12 hours for 72 hours, then daily until they were 14 days postpartum, and neonatal output was weighed for 3 days starting at birth.
For day 1, researchers found that there was a positive relationship between neonatal output and newborn weight loss. There was no relationship between neonatal output and newborn weight loss on day 2, but a negative correlation was found on day 3. Researchers said weight loss lasts 72 hours as a way for neonates to correct their fluid status, and any weight loss afterward is not likely connected to maternal fluids.
Nurses, midwives, lactation consultants, and doctors have long wondered why some babies lose substantially more weight than others, even though all babies get small amounts to eat in the beginning, principal investigator Joy Noel-Weiss, PhD, of the School of Nursing at the University of Ottawas Faculty of Health Sciences, said in a press release. It appears neonates exposed to increased fluids before birth might be born over-hydrated, requiring the baby to regulate his or her fluid levels during the first 24 hours after birth.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.