Low blood sugar is common in many babies right after birth, as the baby’s body gets used to regulating its blood sugar level without help from the mother’s body. Infants of mothers who have diabetes may have more difficulty regulating their blood sugar. A healthcare provider uses a tiny blade (lancet) to take a drop of blood from your baby’s foot. It’s also common in preemies born very early, because the organ that makes insulin (pancreas) is not fully developed. If a mother has diabetes, her baby is more likely to have temporary low blood sugar at birth.

A healthcare provider may also give your baby supplemental sugar (glucose) through an IV (intravenous) line. If the baby is being fed through an IV, a healthcare provider may also lower the amount of glucose in the IV fluid. But babies need some sugar to grow and develop as they should. The problem continues until the baby’s pancreas adjusts to his or her normal blood sugar level. A body chemical (hormone) called insulin helps the body maintain a normal blood sugar level. If your baby has low or high blood sugar as a newborn, it does not mean that your baby is likely to grow up to have diabetes, either.

So doctors will carefully watch your baby’s blood sugar level during his or her stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). If your baby's blood sugar is too high or too low, treatment will bring it back under control.

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