Maternal IV Fluids and Weight Loss in Newborns


If your baby is born in a hospital, there may be a sense of urgency to weigh the baby. This is not an evidence based practise, but rather a clinical habit that may cause harm.
The evidence supports an uninterrupted period of skin to skin contact between mother and child of at least an hour. This means the ‘standard’ checks can be delayed until later. Rather than treat every baby the same, taking each birth as a new event is important. The cause of action will depend on how the birth unfolds and the health of the mother and baby.
If all is well, leave well alone.

And know this:

Maternal IV fluids (epidural, synthetic oxytocins, hydrating fluids via an IV drip) can inflate the newborn’s birth weight….meaning that the baby is at risk of being determined to have lost “too much” weight post birth, and the mother pressured to give formula.

This medical blog summaries a study showing this link
The study suggested that it would be more meaningful to weigh babies after 24hrs.
The fluids can also cause ‘breast odema’ meaning the breast can be swollen and this can make attachment/latch difficult. Knowing this helps to make Informed Decisions. If you receive IV fluids during your labour, knowing this may happen will allow you to better manage the first 24hrs.

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