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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

On-line version ISSN 1414-431X

Abstract

CAGLAR, M.K.; OZER, I.  and  ALTUGAN, F.S.. Risk factors for excess weight loss and hypernatremia in exclusively breast-fed infants. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2006, vol.39, n.4, pp.539-544. ISSN 1414-431X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-879X2006000400015.

Data were prospectively obtained from exclusively breast-fed healthy term neonates at birth and from healthy mothers with no obstetric complication to determine risk factors for excess weight loss and hypernatremia in exclusively breast-fed infants. Thirty-four neonates with a weight loss ³10% were diagnosed between April 2001 and January 2005. Six of 18 infants who were eligible for the study had hypernatremia. Breast conditions associated with breast-feeding difficulties (P < 0.05), primiparity (P < 0.005), less than four stools (P < 0.001), pink diaper (P < 0.001), delay at initiation of first breast giving (P < 0.01), birth by cesarean section (P < 0.05), extra heater usage (P < 0.005), extra heater usage among mothers who had appropriate conditions associated with breast-feeding (P < 0.001), mean weight loss in neonates with pink diaper (P < 0.05), mean uric acid concentration in neonates with pink diaper (P < 0.0001), fever in hypernatremic neonates (P < 0.02), and the correlation of weight loss with both serum sodium and uric acid concentrations (P < 0.02) were determined. Excessive weight loss occurs in exclusively breast-fed infants and can be complicated by hypernatremia and other morbidities. Prompt initiation of breast-feeding after delivery and prompt intervention if problems occur with breast-feeding, in particular poor breast attachment, breast engorgement, delayed breast milk "coming in", and nipple problems will help promote successful breast-feeding. Careful follow-up of breast-feeding dyads after discharge from hospital, especially regarding infant weight, is important to help detect inadequate breast-feeding. Environmental factors such as heaters may exacerbate infant dehydration.

Keywords : Neonate; Dehydration; Breast-feeding; Hypernatremia; Weight loss.

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