Is low blood sugar in newborns serious? It is actually common for babies to have low blood sugar after birth, but breastfeeding
early and often can prevent and help with low blood sugar in a baby.
When a baby has low blood sugar, it does not mean that he will develop
diabetes; most of the time, the blood sugar levels will normalize after the baby starts to drink well.
The low blood sugar is treated immediately, because if it is left
for too long it can cause other serious problems like brain damage.
Causes of Low Blood Sugar in Newborns
While a baby is inside his/her mother, his blood sugar is
controlled by hers, via the umbilical cord. The baby will then store some
glycogen in his/her liver during the last three months in utero. This is why
low blood sugar is more common in premature babies, due to the fact that they do not yet have the stored glycogen in their liver for regulating sugar.
Another reason why a baby might have low blood sugar, is when the mother has
diabetes that is poorly managed. This will cause a baby to produce too
much insulin after birth.
The baby may be too cold, stressed out or might cry too much after birth, which can also cause hypoglycemia.
A baby born with low blood sugar may be producing too little glucose, which can be caused by brain injury or metabolic problems. This is a
very rare occurrence.
Babies that are at Higher Risk of developing Hypoglycemia
low blood sugar in newborn babies is most commonly found when the mother has diabetes.
Babies who are premature or who are a very low birth weight are at higher risk.
A smaller twin has a higher risk of becoming a low blood sugar baby.
Babies with colds or respiratory problems after birth.