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Hypoglycemia In The Newborn

This is a medical condition whereby a newborn’s blood glucose levels in the blood are lower than normal, that is, under 50 mg/dL.

This medical condition is likely to affect babies who are;

  1. Preemies. Newborns who are small for gestational growth are likely to have few glycogen stores
  2. Newborns to diabetic mothers. They are likely to develop hypoglycemia post-delivery. This is mainly because their main source of glucose is cut off along with the umbilical cord.
  3. Preemies with low birth weight. They have limited glycogen stores.
  4. Babies who are born under significant stress
  5. Babies who are considered too big in size. This can be due to gestational diabetes or even congenital hyperinsulinism

Causes of Hypoglycemia in Newborns

Normally, hypoglycemia is brought about when the level of glucose in the bloodstream is reduced. It also occurs when the storage of glucose is restricted or when the glycogen stores are depleted. It is also likely to occur when the use of glucose by the body is inhibited.

Conditions Associated with Hypoglycemia in Newborns

  1.       Improper maternal nutrition during pregnancy
  2.       Birth asphyxia
  3.       Excess production of insulin in babies born of a diabetic mother
  4.       Incompatible blood types between the mother and the baby
  5.       Liver disease
  6.       Extreme cold conditions
  7.       Infection

Why is Hypoglycemia a Concern in Newborn Babies?

A person’s brain highly depends on blood glucose as its main source of fuel. Insufficient glucose interferes with the brains ability to function. If the hypoglycemia is prolongs or is severe, the baby may experience seizures or brain injury.

Also Read : Nursing Writing Help

Symptoms of Hypoglycemia in Newborns

(a)    Apnea

(b)   Jitteriness

(c)    Seizures

(d)   Poor body tone

(e)   Hypothermia

(f)     Lethargy

(g)    Poor feeding

(h)   Cyanosis

The symptoms of hypoglycemia in newborn babies may resemble other medical conditions. It is therefore advisable that the mother consults medical advice for proper diagnosis if they suspect hypoglycemia.

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