The connection between your "cankles," IV fluids in labor and your baby's early weigh
- A 2010 study found“intrapartum fluid administration can cause fetal volume expansion and greater fluid loss after birth.”
- A 2011 study found that “timing and amounts of maternal IV fluids appear correlated to neonatal output and newborn weight loss.”
- And a 2012 study found that “maternal average IV ml per hour positively correlated with infant maximum weight loss.”
There are other breastfeeding problems which result from large amounts of IV fluids given in labor: breast edema and delayed milk coming in.
When you’ve had a lot of IV fluids in labor, the fluid can collect in certain areas, including your breasts. This fluid retention is called edema, and while it may be mistaken for engorgement, it’s quite different. It can be very painful, and make it quite difficult for your baby to latch on and remove milk. When milk isn’t removed, over time it can result in milk production problems. Fortunately, there is something you can do to relieve breast edema and make it easier for the baby to latch on: reverse pressure softening.
Having lots of fluid in labor is also a risk factor for your milk coming in late. This can lead to other problems, like your baby becoming very sleepy, jaundice, poor feeding, supplementation, and later low supply. That’s why milk coming in late is associated with early weaning.
What can you do to avoid getting a lot of fluids in labor? Plan for a breastfeeding-friendly birth, with providers who have a good track record of low-intervention births, good labor support, use of non-pharmacological pain relief methods, ability to move around, and other factors associated with low-intervention births. And if you run into any of the above problems, be sure to seek help from a qualified breastfeeding support person.