Hypoglycaemia is a condition where there is a low level of glucose, or sugar, in the blood. This can be dangerous for a newborn baby. Some newborns are more at risk than others for developing hypoglycaemia after birth such as babies born prematurely, as well as babies whose mother had gestational diabetes or who encountered distress during labour and delivery. These babies may need close monitoring after birth with blood tests. Some may show signs of having a low level of glucose and require prompt testing and treatment. Without treatment, very low levels of glucose can stop the brain from functioning normally and this can cause seizures and even permanent brain injury.
Warning signs that a newborn may have hypoglycaemia include:
- Jittery or shaky arms and legs;
- Skin and lips may appear blue;
- Pausing or stopping breathing;
- Having a weak or high-pitched cry;
- Floppy arms, legs and body;
- Struggling to feed.
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Understanding Birth Injuries
- Labour and delivery