Postnatal weight loss in substitute methdadone-exposed infants: implications for the management of breast feeding

C. Dryden, D. Young, N. Campbell, H. Mactier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It is widely accepted that maternal drug-exposed infants demonstrate excessive early weight loss, but this has not previously been quantified. Among 354 term, substitute methadone-exposed infants, median maximal weight losses were 10.2% and 8.5% for breast- and formula-fed infants, respectively (p=0.003). Weight loss was less in small for gestational age compared to appropriately grown infants (p<0.001). There was no association between maximal weight loss and plasma sodium concentration (p=0.807). Relative to non-drug exposed infants, weight loss was more marked in formula-fed infants, 48% of whom demonstrated weight loss in excess of the 95th centile (compared to 23% of exclusively breastfed infants; p<0.001). Median weight loss nadir was on day 5, excepting those infants exclusively breastfed (day 4). These data suggest that excessive neonatal weight loss among breastfed infants of drug-misusing mothers does not necessarily reflect poorly established lactation and may help to guide management of breast feeding in this population.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood Fetal and Neonatal Edition
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2010

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