Journal of Women's Health Care

Journal of Women's Health Care
Open Access

ISSN: 2167-0420


Mothers' Experiences with Baby Scales in the First Two Weeks Post Birth: A Qualitative Study

Joy Noel-Weiss and Nancy Schoales Lada

Introduction: Health care professionals are divided on the topic of routine weight measurements for healthy breastfed newborns. This study presents interviews with a subset of participants from a larger study. The interviews provided an opportunity to look at weighing babies from a different perspective, specifically, when mothers are routinely weighing their babies and when they have use and control of a baby scale.
Objective: To describe women's experiences using baby scales and weighing their babies daily in their own homes during the first two weeks postpartum.
Methods: Qualitative descriptive design comprised of telephone interviews in a mid-sized Canadian city. Eight participants were from a larger study about newborn weight loss.
Results: The overall theme to emerge from the data was “the baby scale as a tool” and five subthemes emerged: builds confidence; fosters reassurance; offers convenience; provides information; and satisfies curiosity.
Conclusions: This study produced new information about how breastfeeding mothers felt about using baby scales in their own homes. Contrary to what some might assume, weighing babies did not cause mothers distress and worry; it usually provided reassurance. Any discussion about regularly weighing healthy newborns assumed clinicians would weigh the babies. Giving women control of the baby scale might affect breastfeeding outcomes.