The role of intrapartum intravenous therapy and method of delivery on newborn weight loss : challenging the 7% rule
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It is common practice to initiate supplemental feeding in newborns if body weight decreases by 7-10% in the first few days after birth (7-10% rule). Standard hospital procedure is to initiate intravenous therapy once a woman is admitted to give birth. However, little is known about the relationship between intrapartum intravenous therapy and the amount of weight loss in the newborn. The present research was undertaken in order to determine what factors contribute to weight loss in a newborn, and to examine the relationship between the practice of intravenous intrapartum therapy and the extent of weight loss post-birth. Using a cross-sectional design with a systematic random sample of 100 mother-baby dyads, we examined properties of delivery that have the potential to impact weight loss in the newborn, including method of delivery, parity, duration of labour, volume of intravenous therapy, feeding method, and birth attendant. This study indicated that the volume of intravenous therapy and method of delivery are significant predictors of weight loss in the newborn (R2=15.5, p<0.01). ROC curve analysis identified an intravenous volume cut-point of 1225 ml that would elicit a high measure of sensitivity (91.3%), and demonstrated significant Kappa agreement (p<0.01) with excess newborn weight loss. It was concluded that infusion of intravenous therapy and natural birth delivery are discriminant factors that influence excess weight loss in newborn infants. Acknowledgement of these factors should be considered in clinical practice.