Familiar statistics show that newly born infants almost invariably experience a decline in body weight during the first few days of their extra-uterine existence. The recovery from this loss, to which scientific attention appears to have been directed first by Chaussier nearly a century ago, usually begins at about the third or fourth day of life. The actual extent of loss of weight varies within rather wide ranges and may be placed, in round numbers, at from one fifteenth to one seventeenth of the original body weight.
The cause of this phenomenon has been the subject of considerable speculation. The interpretation has an aspect which is not confined to the theoretical interests alone. If the characteristic loss of weight is something normal and inevitable, our attitude toward it in a practical way may be tolerant and satisfied; but if it represents an abnormality of function, the possibility of corrective measures
THE LOSSES OF WEIGHT IN THE NEWLY BORN. JAMA. 1915;LXV(6):531–532. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02580060063027
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