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Does monitoring newborn weight discourage breast feeding?
  1. A McKie1,
  2. D Young2,
  3. P D MacDonald1
  1. 1Neonatal Paediatric Dept, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow, UK
  2. 2Research and Development Department, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr P Macdonald
    Paediatric Offices, Residence B, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow G51 4TF, UK; peter.macdonald{at}


Background: A policy of regular neonatal weight monitoring was introduced to a geographically defined population in 2000. This was combined with targeted breast feeding support for infants reaching specified intervention thresholds.

Aims: To look for evidence of compromise in breast feeding rates as a result of this policy change.

Methods: Breast feeding rates at 10 days and 6 weeks were compared for this intervention population and two local non-intervention groups for the years 1999 and 2001. The data were analysed using Poisson regression analysis and the Z-test.

Results: There was a 3.1% (95% CI 0.8% to 5.5%) rise in the deprivation corrected breast feeding rate at 6 weeks for the intervention population compared to an increase of 0.8% (95% CI –0.8% to 2.3%) for the combined control groups. Multivariate analysis showed that breast feeding rates were adversely influenced by deprivation, but were not significantly influenced by the intervention.

Conclusion: No evidence was found to support claims that regular monitoring of newborn weight adversely affects breast feeding rates.

  • breast feeding
  • weight monitoring
  • newborn

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  • Published Online First 20 October 2005

  • Competing interests: none