What Is The Normal Level Of Blood Glucose In A Baby
Blood glucose is measured in millimoles per litre .
Blood glucose levels change with age and are usually lower in newborn babies than in older children and adults.
When babies are just 1 hour to 2 hours old, the normal level is just under 2 mmol/L, but it will rise to adult levels within two to three days. In babies who need treatment for low blood glucose or are at risk for low blood glucose, a level over 2.5 mmol/L is preferred.
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Which Babies Are At Risk
Babies whose mothers had diabetes during pregnancy.
Sick babies, such as those who have an infection.
Premature babies, born earlier than three weeks before their due date .
Small babies, less than 2500 grams, especially those who are smaller than average for the stage of their mother’s pregnancy. These babies are considered to be small for gestational age babies.
Large for gestational age babies who weigh over 4500 grams.
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Normal Blood Sugar Range For Infants
ByFuad Tolieb | Submitted On January 14, 2011
Unlike adults, infants with either too high or too low blood glucose in the body can be treated to bring back the normal sugar range. Adults, on the other hand, have to maintain a normal level or else they will be diagnosed with diabetes.
The importance of blood glucose in the body is that it provides the energy and the minerals that our cells need in order to perform daily tasks. Organs perform well if you have a normal blood sugar range. If there is little glucose in the blood, the cells will not be nourished and this leads to serious health risks. It is also the same if the glucose level in the body is too high. The cells will not be able to absorb all the sugar and they are left inside the body.
The normal sugar range in the blood of full-term infants is between 40 milligrams per deciliter of blood to 150 milligrams per deciliter of blood. For premature babies, the normal blood glucose range from 30 milligrams per deciliter of blood to 150 milligrams per deciliter of blood.
If you want to know more about having a normal blood sugar range, you can check this website for details:
How Is Blood Glucose Checked
Blood glucose is checked with just a few drops of blood, usually taken from your babys heel.
If your baby is at-risk but doing well, blood glucose will be checked around 2 hours of age and then again before your baby feeds. In total, it will be checked about 3 to 5 times during the first and second days of life.
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Why Is This Infant Hypoglycaemic
Because the mother is a poorly controlled diabetic. Excessive glucose crosses the placenta to the fetus and this stimulates the fetal pancreas to secrete excessive insulin. Soon after birth the infant becomes hypoglycaemic as a result of the large amount of insulin still being secreted by the infants pancreas.
Findings Reinforce Current Treatment Guidelines For Hypoglycemia
- NIH/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
- Researchers have shown that treating hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose, in newborns according to current recommendations is safe and appears to prevent brain damage.
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have shown that treating hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose, in newborns according to current recommendations is safe and appears to prevent brain damage.
Glucose levels that are too low–or too high–could maylead to brain injury in newborns and possibly result in severe intellectual and developmental disabilities. Until now, the threshold for blood sugar had only been an estimate, never having been verified by a research study in people. According to the latest study, infants treated for hypoglycemia at the recommended threshold level were no more likely to experience neurological problems by two years of age than those in a comparable group who did not need treatment.
“These findings are extremely reassuring,” said Tonse Raju, M.D., chief of the Pregnancy and Perinatology Research Branch at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which funded co-funded the study. “There is now firm evidence that physicians can provide an essential treatment to prevent brain damage without concern that there might be any unforeseen increase in risk to the newborn.”
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Do All Newborn Babies Need Blood Glucose Checks
Healthy full-term babies do not need blood glucose checks. They have enough stored energy to last them until breastfeeding is going well. Babies who are not well will need blood glucose checks and other tests.
Some babies are more at risk for low blood glucose. Babies who need routine glucose checks include:
- Preterm babies born more than 3 weeks before they are due .
- Babies who are small for their gestational age , particularly if their growth was poor in the last few weeks of pregnancy.
- Babies whose mothers had diabetes during or before pregnancy.
- Babies who are large for their gestational age.
- Babies with rare medical conditions that cause low blood glucose.
Treating Low Blood Sugar
Every postpartum unit should have banked breastmilk available on site. Banked breastmilk is preferable to formula as a supplement whenever the supplement is truly necessary. Even if the baby needs treatment for low blood sugar, there is rarely a reason for the baby not to breastfeed as well. A baby can be at the breast even if he has an intravenous. A baby can get supplements even while being breastfed.
If there is a concern about the babys blood sugar dropping too rapidly or being too low and good breastfeeding doesnt seem to be correcting the problem, the baby should get an intravenous infusion of glucose rather than formula. Babies often spit up formula in the first few days because they get so much. If there is a real concern, taking formula by mouth does not guarantee the blood sugar will be raised.
A relatively new treatment to prevent low blood sugar is the use of glucose gel, rubbed into the cheeks of the newborn baby at risk for low blood sugar. An important advantage of this treatment is the prevention of separation of the mother and baby, so the mother can be helped to initiate breastfeeding.
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What Can I Do To Prevent Hypoglycemia In My Child
Not all episodes of hypoglycemia can be prevented. Most children with type 1 diabetes will have hypoglycemia. The chances of severe hypoglycemia go down as your child gets older. But you can help prevent severe episodes by:
Testing your childs blood glucose often, including at night
Checking that the glucose test strips are not outdated and match the glucose meter
Other ways to minimize or prevent hypoglycemia include making sure your child:
Takes medicines at the right time
Eats enough food
Doesnt skipping meals
Checks blood glucose before exercising
Eats a healthy snack if needed. The snack should include complex carbohydrates and some fat, if possible.
What Causes Hypoglycemia In A Child
Hypoglycemia can be a condition by itself. Or it can be a complication of diabetes or other disorder. Its most often a problem in someone with diabetes. It occurs when theres too much insulin. This is also called an insulin reaction.
Causes in children with diabetes may include:
Too much insulin or oral diabetes medicine
The wrong kind of insulin
Incorrect blood-glucose readings
Tingling feelings around the mouth
Nightmares and confusion on awakening
The symptoms of hypoglycemia can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
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Where Do Babies Get Glucose
Babies get glucose through the placenta and umbilical cord while in their mothers uterus . Some of that glucose is used right away as energy and some is stored for after birth. This stored glucose helps keep your babys levels normal for the first few days of life until she is feeding well.
Once moms breast milk is established , it becomes the main source of sugar for your baby. The sugar in milk changes to glucose in the body. When this happens, your baby will also start to store glucose for use between feeds.
Treatment Options For Hypoglycemia In Newborns
Treatment for neonatal hypoglycemia is designed to correct low blood glucose levels. This can be as simple as extra feedings of breastmilk or formula, oral sugar gel, or an intravenous sugar solution and a stay in the NICU. Typically, interventions continue until your baby can maintain safe blood sugar levels, which can last for hours or days after birth. Medications are also available for use in rare cases.
Learning that your baby has a medical issue can understandably be scary, but neonatal hypoglycemia typically isn’t something to worry too much about. Once diagnosed, this condition can be treated fairly easily, meaning you can rest assured that your child will grow up strong, healthy, and capable of leading a perfectly normal and even exceptional! life.
BabyCenter’s editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you’re seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.
UpToDate. Management and Outcome of Neonatal Hypoglycemia
National Institutes of Health. Low blood sugar newborns.
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How Should We Prevent Low Blood Sugar
- Good control of diabetes during the pregnancy can help prevent low blood sugar.
- Good control of diabetes during the labour and birth also is important.
- We, and postpartum departments all over the world , have suggested to our prenatal patients whose babies are at high risk of low blood sugar, to express their colostrum before the baby is born, starting at about 35 or 36 weeks gestation. Most can get a few ml. a day by hand expression and a mother can often get 30 or 40 ml saved before the baby is born. Some mothers can get a lot more. If the baby needs to be supplemented to control the blood sugar, the baby is given colostrum, not formula. See the photos in this link.
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Why Do Babies Have Low Blood Sugar Level
- In healthy babies, blood sugar level is low just after the birth for one to two hours, but it gradually increases to maintain a normal glucose level.
- Babies whose mothers suffer from diabetes faced difficulty in control of blood sugar level. They even face challenges after birth.
- Premature babies face low blood sugar levels for the first 24 hours because they do not get enough time to store glucose for the birth time.
- Babies who are born after the due date also suffer from low blood sugar level problems.
Usually, this happens after birth for only 24 to 72 hours, but it gradually increases to attain a normal healthy level. In sporadic cases, it often is not attained for weeks, and in this case, doctors prescribe some additional test to diagnose the problem.
Key Points About Hypoglycemia In Children
Hypoglycemia occurs when the blood glucose is too low to fuel the brain and the body.
It may be a condition by itself, or may be a complication of diabetes or another disorder.
To treat low blood glucose right away, your child should eat or drink something with sugar, such as orange juice, milk, cake icing, or a hard candy. They should follow with food with complex carbohydrates, fat, and protein, such as a peanut butter sandwich on whole-grain bread.
Severe or long-lasting hypoglycemia may result in seizures and serious brain injury.
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Causes Of Hypoglycemia In Newborns
Hypoglycemia can occur in newborns for several reasons: In some cases, there may be excess circulating levels of insulin, a hormone that mediates blood glucose levels.
Alternatively, your babys body may be unable to produce ample glucose, or may be using more glucose than it’s producing. Because babies transition from receiving glucose via the placenta to taking it in from breastmilk or formula, its also possible that a newborn with low blood sugar is experiencing feeding issues that prohibit them from getting enough glucose orally.
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What Treatment Will My Baby Have If It Is Diagnosed With Low Blood Glucose
The baby needs to be checked that there is no underlying illness and that the cause of the low glucose level is not serious. The standard treatment for low blood sugar is giving the baby extra feedings or an increased frequency of feedings if the blood glucose continues to stay low.
If the supplemental feedings do not raise the blood glucose level, the medical team may advise using an IV to deliver additional sugar. A normal blood glucose level should stabilize within 12 to 72 hours after delivery, and the baby is at the highest risk of dropping glucose levels during this time.
What Can Be Done If My Baby Has Low Blood Glucose Levels
Your baby should be examined to check that there is no sign of illness and that the cause of the low glucose level is not serious.
Your baby will need extra feeding if the blood glucose doesnt rise on its own. The extra feeds may be given as
- extra feeds from the breast
- extra feeds of expressed breastmilk or formula or
- extra feeds of glucose water .
If extra feeds do not raise the blood glucose level, intravenous treatment will be needed.
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