Among 1138 newborns in a Level I.I. nursery, breast-fed and formula-fed infants were comparable in terms of sex, mode of delivery, gestational age, birth weight, and birth temperature. Breast-fed neonates subsequently lost more weight and a greater percentage of their birth weight (mean, 7.4% vs. 4.9%) than did formula-fed infants. Loss of more than 10 percent of birth weight was associated with short gestation and low birth weight and with breast feeding. Birth weight loss of ≥3 percent was associated with a risk of fever (≥37.5°C) among breast-fed and formula-fed infants, but there was no gradient of increasing risk of fever with increasing percentage weight loss beyond 3 percent. After weight loss and other significant variables were adjusted for in a multivariate analysis, breast feeding was not independently predictive of fever. Although breast feeding may be associated with weight loss, it is not prudent to assume that this is the cause of fever in a breast-fed neonate.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health