Neonatal Hypernatremic Dehydration Secondary to Lactation Failure

Scott E. Rand, MD, University of Texas Medical Branch, Conroe; Amy Kolberg, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Missouri, Kansas City.

J Am Board Fam Med. 2001;14(2) 

In This Article


Hypernatremic dehydration in the breast-fed neonate should suggest an abnormal concentration of sodium in the mother's breast milk, a sign of lactation failure. Rehydration of the neonate must be accomplished first by fluid resuscitation, then slow steady rehydration for a period of 48 hours. Women should be educated about the signs and symptoms of dehydration during prenatal visits and again before discharge after delivery. Early discharge demands early follow-up to detect breast-feeding problems before the onset of serious and sometimes life-threatening dehydration.


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