Rhode Island nursing researcher studies parameters for infant weight loss

Diane Thulier, a nursing researcher at the University of Rhode Island, is conducting a study that could result in new guidelines for normal infant weight loss and help parents and providers understand what it means.

“I want to arm mothers, parents, doctors and other health care providers with this new information so that parents can relax a bit, mothers can continue to nurse their babies and providers can provide the right support,” Diane Thulier said.

Thulier began her yearlong project in September. Her hypothesis for the project revolves around the concept of formula supplementation for baby weight loss. Normally, babies lose 5 to 7 percent of their birth weight. Currently, doctors advise adding formula supplementation if the number goes higher than 7 percent. Thulier believes it might be possible to wait till 10 percent.

“I want to get to the heart of the truth,” she said. “I am not trying to diminish previous research and statistics. I am simply re-examining the current practice to see if there is room to continue breastfeeding for a longer period.” 

Through the study, she wants to answer two important questions – how much weight is lost in a certain amount of time and how long it takes for the infants to gain back the weight.

Thulier, who has worked at URI since 2003, is a nurse educator.

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University of Rhode Island 45 Upper College Rd Kingston, RI 02881

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