Supporting Breastfeeding

La Leche League Canada

Tracking Newborn Weight Loss in Breastfed Babies

on March 16, 2015


One of the biggest sources of stress for parents in the first days of baby’s life is wondering how much weight baby has lost compared to his/her birth weight. Most exclusively breastfed babies lose some weight and we know that this is normal. What hadn’t been clearly established was how much weight loss is normal and at what point parents and health care professions should become concerned.

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A new on-line tool for health care providers is available to help them compare the birth and current weights of an exclusively breastfed baby against the information collected from a large study cohort. This comparison will tell the parents and health care team whether the newborn has lost more weight, less weight or an average amount of weight based on how many hours old baby is. The goal of the researchers was to provide a tool that would help identify those babies who are at risk for excess weight loss so that their mothers can be prioritized for additional lactation support. Babies can be checked for problems such as tongue tie and mothers can be assisted to improve latching or encouraged to respond more quickly to early feeding cues before baby experiences any dehydration related problems such as increased effects of newborn jaundice or additional breastfeeding problems. The Newborn Weight Tool (NEWT) is available for free HERE.



NEWT developer Dr. Ian Paul, a professor of pediatrics and public health sciences at Penn State College of Medicine and a pediatrician at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital stated “Although a small minority of babies do need formula, breast milk has many health benefits that have been well-documented. Hopefully by being able to know what the normal amount of weight loss is for exclusively breastfed babies, we can prevent the unnecessary use of formula.”

More information about NEWT and the research behind it is available HERE. Please share this information with anyone you know who cares for mothers and newborns.



If you need more information or have a breastfeeding problem or concern, you are strongly encouraged to talk directly to an accredited La Leche League Leader.  In Canada, Leaders can be located by clicking or Internationally


If you have found this article helpful, La Leche League Canada would appreciate your support in the form of a donation at so we can continue to help others breastfeed. 






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