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Breastfeed Med. 2009 Sep;4(3):151-6. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2008.0125.

The development of an accurate test weighing technique for preterm and high-risk hospitalized infants.

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Lactation Consultation Service, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina 29425, USA.



Test weighing, or weighing the infant before and after breastfeeding to assess milk intake, in which weight gain in grams is converted equally to volume of intake in milliliters, is a controversial topic in the literature. This study was initiated to identify variables that impact test weights and to develop an accurate test weighing technique for preterm and high-risk hospitalized infants.


Test weights were performed on a sample of hospitalized high-risk infants with and without leads who were bottle- or nasogastric-fed. Volume consumed was compared to weight gain to determine whether the developed technique was accurate.


In each group, with or without leads, only one measure of actual intake versus test weight result was found outside the confidence limits (95%), and only one measure was found outside the clinically acceptable difference of +/-5 g. Correlation coefficient (r(2)) values of weight gain by test weight to volume of intake were 0.998 for infants without leads and 0.997 for infants with leads.


The data from this study support the use of this test weighing technique as an accurate, objective assessment of the measurement of breastmilk intake after a breastfeeding session, thus allowing medical decisions regarding supplementation to be based on objective data rather than inaccurate clinical indices of the quality of infant feedings at the breast.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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