The Baby Scale App
Supporting Breastfeeding Moms and Babies
Welcome to The Baby Scale!
Apr 30, 2012
We are a breastfeeding support site... our goal is to provide parents, nurses, lactation specialists, pediatricians and all professionals who manage the healthcare of newborns with a smart phone medical app that will help support and promote exclusive breastfeeding.
I am a practicing pediatrician and have spent many hours seeing thousands of newborns in both the hospital setting and in the office for their well child visits. What I have noticed is that most women after giving birth will attempt to breast feed their infants. I encourage "skin to skin" contact immediately after birth and encourage immediate latch on. Most babies will find it easy to breastfeed and it is always surprising how instinctual it is for most babies to find their mother's nipple and latch on effortlessly. For some mommies and babies however, it may be a little bit of a struggle. We support and encourage the use of lactation nurses to help initiate and maintain a healthy breastfeeding experience. Many of the struggles can be worked through with appropriate support.
Unfortunately, many babies are unnecessarily supplemented with formula in the hospital right after birth or in the first week or two of life. It is done out of fear that the infant will become dehydrated or that moms are feeling that they are starving their baby.
The bottom line: ALL healthy full term infants lose weight. The first several days of breastfeeding are critical in initiating and connecting the biological network of switches that are essential for proper breast milk production to occur. Without the rhythmic and frequent stimulation of the mothers breast by her infant, a slowing and less optimal milk production often happens. That is why it is so important to exclusively breast feed during this critical period. Supplementing unnecessarily with formula at times can lead to infant confusion and less than optimal breast stimulation - which often leads to both infant and mother frustration and eventual cessation of exclusive breastfeeding.
Most healthy full term babies lose somewhere between 5 to 7 percent of their birth weight in the first 3 to 5 days of life and in many cases, will begin to gain weight around day 5 to 7 of life and will reach their birth weight somewhere between the 2nd to 3rd week of life. During the first two to three weeks of life, special attention is focused on the baby’s weight as it represents a direct measurement of nutrition especially with babies that are exclusively breastfeeding. In adddition to changes in the infant's weight, it is important to monitor the infant's stooling and urine output.
Directly after birth, the infant is weighed and assessed on a daily basis while in the newborn nursery. After discharge, the pediatric healthcare provider will re-weigh the infant as an outpatient at around the 5th day of life and once again at 2 weeks of age (or more frequently if needed). As a general rule, any loss greater than 10% of birth weight is concerning and requires a full feeding evaluation by your doctor or lactation support team. It does not necessarily mean that you have to supplement with formula. Your baby can be weighed everyday as an outpatient with your pediatrician to ensure that the weight loss has not increased. It also gives your doctor a chance to exam your baby and evaluate for signs of distress or dehydration.
There has been some recent literature that supports that infants born via c-section tend to lose more weight in the first day or two of life when compared to vaginal births. The majority of the weight loss occurs from maternal IV hydration to prepare her for surgery. Infants tend to shed this fluid and at times can loose 7-9% of birth weight in the first 24 hours post birth. In an unpublished study I that conducted in our hospital, I found this to be true. So keep that in mind when evaluating c-section babies.
The Baby Scale app is used all over the world as it works with both grams and pounds /ounces. Pediatric health care professionals enjoy the simplicity and ease in making a fast and accurate calculation of an infant’s day to day weight loss displayed as a percentage of birth weight loss.
By having an accurate percentage of birth weight loss, this measurement allows health care professionals and parents to make "educated decisions" based on fact and not fear regarding "next steps" from a nutritional perspective.
Dr. Guerra is a Board Certified Pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
With over 22 years of pediatric clinical experience including many years as a neonatal physician, he has developed a keen interest in newborn medicine and has helped many moms remain exclusive breast feeders through his support and education.
In the last several years, Dr. Guerra has lectured hundreds of pediatricians, residents, nurses, and lactation consultants regarding "Newborn Weight Loss" and the importance of providing "educated support" during this critical period.
In 2011, he developed "The Baby Scale" smart phone app that is now used all over the world as a "breast feeding support tool".
Guerra - 2014 The Baby Scale