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Can Nurse. 2009 Jun;105(6):24-8.

Waiting to be weighed: a pilot study of the effect of delayed newborn weighing on breastfeeding outcomes.

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Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital, Trail, British Columbia.


Although breastfeeding initiation rates are rising in Canada, rates of continued breastfeeding remain far below international recommendations. Two factors that can have a positive influence on breastfeeding outcomes are maternal confidence and support and education provided by public health nurses (PHNs). The weighing of newborns by PHNs within the first days after birth is standard practice in monitoring neonatal health. However, little is known about the effect of the timing of PHN neonatal weighing on maternal confidence or on outcomes such as intended duration of breastfeeding and formula supplementation rates. This pilot study compared breastfeeding self-efficacy, intended duration of breastfeeding and formula supplementation rates in two groups of mothers and newborns randomly assigned to different weighing protocols. Newborns in the standard care group were weighed post hospital discharge on day 2 or 3 after birth (n = 23), while those in the experimental group were weighed on day 5 (n = 26). No statistically significant differences were found between the two groups. However, a statistically significant increase in formula supplementation over the two-week study period was observed in the standard-weighing group and not in the delayed-weighing group. This finding suggests that further research is needed to assess the impact of PHN infant weighing protocols on breastfeeding outcomes.

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