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August 1, 1914


JAMA. 1914;LXIII(5):404. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02570050040014

During the first few days after birth the human infant experiences a well-known decrease of body weight, which is generally regarded as an entirely physiologic consequence. The average weight of the new-born male approaches 3,500 gm. (83/4 pounds); that of the female infant 3,200 gm. (8 pounds). The initial loss of weight which continues for two or three days as a rule may amount to 250 gm. or over, ranging usually between 150 and 200 gm. In explanation of the phenomenon it is ordinarily conjectured that the natural supply of nutriment soon after birth generally is inadequate. The discharge of the meconium, which may not take place until some interval after birth, is an added reason for a drop in body weight. Under normal conditions the original weight at birth is regained again by the child at the end of from eight to fourteen days; and subsequently the increments in

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