The Neonatal Bowel Output Study: indicators of adequate breast milk intake in neonates.

Linda C. Shrago, Elizabeth Reifsnider, Kathleen Insel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: This study describes the bowel habits of neonates who were exclusively breastfed during the first 14 days following birth to determine whether bowel output (frequency and character) could be used as a proxy measure for adequate breast milk intake. STUDY DESIGN: A prospective, descriptive study was conducted. During the 14-day study period, mothers kept a log of their infants' daily naked weight, number of feedings, number of daily bowel movements, and color of all bowel movements. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred thirty-one participants were enrolled in the study; 73 participants completed the study. FINDINGS: Findings indicate that more bowel movements per day during the first 5 days following birth were significantly associated with less initial weight loss, earlier transition to yellow bowel movements, earlier return to birth weight, and heavier weight at 14 days. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that scant bowel output during the first 5 days following birth, or delayed transition of bowel movements to yellow, warrant weighing the infant in a health care professional's office.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-201
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric nursing.
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics


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