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New guidance on developing hypoglycaemia policies

The Baby Friendly Initiative has today published a new guidance document for maternity units who are developing or amending polices which relate to the prevention and treatment of hypoglycaemia in newborns.

Most maternity units working towards Baby Friendly accreditation have found that it is necessary to address the issue of supplementation for breastfed babies at risk of hypoglycaemia. The challenge of developing clear and unambiguous guidelines which ensure the safety of infants at risk of hypoglycaemia whilst at the same time, avoid the unnecessary use of supplements has proven to be very difficult in many units.

This guidance document has been developed with those units in mind and includes a checklist to ensure the inclusion of all the key aspects of care, together with referenced background information and a sample flow chart.
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Hypoglycemia in Breastfed Neonates

Nancy E. Wight
Breastfeeding Medicine. 2006, 1(4): 253-262.

Abstract

Healthy, full-term infants are programmed to make the transition from their intrauterine constant flow of nutrients to their extrauterine intermittent nutrient intake without the need for metabolic monitoring or interference with the natural breastfeeding process. Homeostatic mechanisms ensure adequate energy substrate is provided to the brain and other organs, even when feedings are delayed. The normal pattern of early, frequent, and exclusive breastfeeding meets the needs of healthy full-term infants. Routine screening or supplementation are not necessary and may harm the normal establishment of breastfeeding. Screening should be restricted to at-risk and symptomatic infants.
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