big baby = low blood sugar = supplement??? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-15-2004, 01:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello all,
My good friend who is rather small just had an 11lb baby. while in hospital the nurses told her she had to supplement her babe until her milk came in because he was so big he would suffer from low blood sugar. My initial thought was that this was crap from the med profession ignorant about breastfeeding but I'm curious to if there is possibly some truth to this. I'm worried for her because she had supply trouble with her first. Can anyone shed some light?
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Old 05-15-2004, 01:50 AM
 
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Well, I've had two 10.5 pounders and one 11.5 pounder, and they are susceptible to low blood sugar.

But according to my research and experience, that problem is only in the first hours. Its not ongoing. What they need is frequent breastmilk (or colostrum), and they'll be fine.

Ds#3's blood sugar dropped about 8 hours after he was born...that was a medicated birth (grrrr) and breastfeeding wasn't going as smoothly as it had with the other two.

So I agreed to the supplement, but I wouldn't let them give it with a bottle. I had to go over the nurse's head, and wake somebody up, until I found someone with a clue about nipple confusion. They gave the glucose water to him with a syringe, and it did not affect his nursing. By morning he was nursing better, and never had a blood sugar problem again.

From my experience, if she's nursing successfully (good latch, etc)...there's no need to supplement with formula. The same standards for wet and poopy diapers apply to big babies, she can know if he's ok. Mine all wanted to nurse every two hours, pretty much around the clock, which is what LLL recommends for all newborns including big-uns and premies.

Of course trying to schedule the baby wouldn't be good for blood sugar, but its not good for anything else either.
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Old 05-15-2004, 08:14 AM
 
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Back in April, I had a 12.6 pounder, and right at birth, they had to give him sugar water cause his sugar was 23. And yes, that messed everything up. I'm still trying to recover from the supplementing, and he's 6 weeks as of yesterday. I'm still having to supplement cause I can't get his latch right some of the time, tho I'm supplementing with the SNS. I hope your friend has better luck!!!!! But I pumped, and still have tons of bags of milk from when my milk came in, since he wasn't bf'ing at the breast, I "demanded" more than he needed. But I wish your friend all the luck in the world!

THey did use a syringe at first, but he was so swollen from shoulder dyscotia and getting stuck and bruised up that his little mouth wouldn't open all the way for my breast. But we're still working on it!
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Old 05-15-2004, 12:42 PM
 
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I also had a medicated birth and my son was 9lbs 15oz at birth. He also had low blood sugar and had to be suplemented right away. They used a cup and that hasn't caused any problems. Also when we got him home, he was jaundiced. We had a nurse come out every day and on the second day she told us we needed to supplement him with formula since he was loosing too much weight...my milk hadn't come in yet. We did supplement with one cup and my milk came in later that day and he has had no trouble since.

Good luck to your friend. In my opinion it would be best if a cup was used.
Thats just my very little experience.

Amy

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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Old 05-15-2004, 12:45 PM
 
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I had a son that was 9 lb. 2 oz. and a son that was 10. lb. 11 oz. Both were fine. Neither had a drop of formula or sugar water.
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Old 05-15-2004, 02:35 PM
 
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It is crap. They tell this to everyone, regardless of the baby's size. If the baby won't nurse, you can ask for a pump and pump out a bit of colostrum and cup feed it so the nurses will have something to write on their precious chart. Sorry if I sound bitter, but this is a huge problem with the women's hospital here that is supposed to be so bf friendly, and it is driving me crazy.
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Old 05-15-2004, 09:37 PM
 
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:LOL I'm glad you said it. I was going to say that personally I think it's BS. :LOL I wouldn't even let them test my last baby. They freaked out.
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Old 05-15-2004, 09:45 PM
 
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This is interesting, because it seems to validate all the experiences and opinions in this thread !

LaLeche League's The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding p.282

Hypoglycemia in Newborns

"...Babies at greater risk for hypoglycemia include those who are premature or postmature, those who are small or large for gestational age, and those who have been deprived of oxygen. Hypoglycemia can also indicate infection or a metabolic disorder.
The most common cause of hypoglycemia is delayed or inadequate feedings. A baby who is put to the breast soon after birth and kept near the mother so he can nurse freely will be much less likely to show signs of hypoglycemia. In adults, treatment for low blood sugar includes small, frequent, high protein meals which is exactly what the newborn receives when he nurses often.
Giving glucose water feedings instead of nursing causes a sudden rise in the blood glucose levels and then a sudden drop. Glucose water feedings in the early days have also been associated with greater weight loss and higher bilirubin levels.
In some hospitals, glucose feedings are given to all babies whose birth weight falls above or below certain standards. It's a good idea to discuss this with your health care provider before the baby is born and request that routine glucose supplements not be given. If a blood test indicates a glucose supplement is necessary, artificial nipples can be avoided by giving the glucose by spoon, cup, or eyedropper. Sometimes the glucose is given by IV. Nursing at least ten to twelve times per day is the best way to stabilize a baby's glucose levels." (from the sixth revised edition)


I guess I lucked out with that nurse. She had me breastfeed Henry before she gave the supplement, with an eyedropper, and explained that he needed frequent nursing (of course I knew that already) and shouldn't need another supplement if he started nursing better (which he did). He did have a blood test that showed low blood sugar, it wasn't routine at all, and he did have inadequate feeding due to being doped up during the birth.

With my other two babies, one 10.5#, one 11.5#, there were no nursing problems in the first hour, and they never had blood sugar problems.
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Old 05-16-2004, 12:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow thank you all so much for the input. It is so hard for me to hear these things because I feel like the time just after birth can be a very vulnerable period. The baby that you held inside so protected so long is suddenly out in the world, separate. I hate that many women are bombarded with medical advice to question in this amazing and fragile place. She had a medicated birth C-section because after the most heroing attempt at a natural with #1 (loooong labor followed by 4.5 hours of pushing for which I am still in awe of her) she ended with a cs and though she hoped for a vbac this babe too was much too big. Its so hard because the medication also can interfere with successful breastfeeding so this is like a second blow.
I said nothing to my friend because It was too late to be helpful and I didnt want to give her anything but support ... but my gut instinct was that something was not right.
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