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 (preferably pre-expressed colostrum or banked breastmilk) even while being breastfed.
1. De Rooy L, Howden J. Nutritional factors that affect the postnatal metabolic adaptation of full-term small and large for gestational age infants: Pediatrics Vol. 109 No. 3 March 2002, pp. e42
2. Cornblath M, Hawdon JM, Williams AF Aynsley-Green A, Ward-Platt MP, Schwartz R, Kalhan SC. Controversies regarding definition of neonatal hypoglycemia: suggested operational thresholds. Pediatrics 2000;105:1141-5
3. Hoseth E, Joergensen A, Ebbesen F, Moeller M. Blood glucose levels in a population of healthy, breastfed, term infants of appropriate size for gestational age. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed 2000;83:F117-9
See also the WHO document, Hypoglycemia and the Newborn
Questions? Get Dr. Jack Newman's book The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers.
Jack Newman graduated from the University of Toronto medical school as a pediatrician in 1970. He started the first hospital-based breastfeeding clinic in Canada in 1984 at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children. He has been a consultant with UNICEF for the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative in Africa, and has published articles on the subject of breastfeeding in Scientific American and several medical journals. Dr. Newman has practiced as a physician in Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Hypoglycaemia, Jack Newman MD, FRCPC, IBCLC, 2009©
Revised by Edith Kernerman, IBCLC, 2009©