Hypoglycemia of the newborn is where an infant is born with low blood sugar. It is often considered necessary to give the baby formula to combat hypoglycemia but this is not actually needed. Breastmilk is the best way to prevent and treat low blood sugar in babies as it contains colostrum for the first few days after birth which has been proven to maintain blood sugar. In fact the very act of breastfeeding and the close contact between mother and baby has also been proven to keep blood sugar higher. It is best to keep the baby skin to skin with the mother immediately after the birth as this will regulate blood sugar levels. 
 
Many mothers fear that if their baby is born with low blood sugar they suffer from brain damage but this is not the case. A baby’s body releases compounds called ketone bodies which help protect the brain. Low blood sugar in babies is most common if the mother has diabetes, particularly type 1. Good control of diabetes during pregnancy and labour is essential as this will reduce the risk of low blood sugar in the baby. It is also a good idea for high risk patients to express their colostrum milk before the birth as this can be stored and given to the new born by finger feeding. There is really no substitute for breastfeeding as a preventative measure or indeed a cure for low blood sugar. 

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