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Old 02-17-2012, 09:50 PM   #1
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Breastfeeding and Glucose Water

I have type 1 diabetes. As such, the baby I'm expecting in June will most likely need to receive glucose water after she is born. She's been living in a high glucose environment all this time (me), and then when she's removed from it her blood sugar will crash.

It is so very very important to me that this baby breastfeeds. My first child was born premature-- before her sucking reflex had developed-- and did not successfully breastfeed, though I tried so hard. You can see our trials here. I strongly believe in the benefits of breast milk, but I have a toddler to take care of now. It will be so hard to pump/store/cool/warm/bottle breast milk for baby this time around. I did it before and am not looking forward to doing it again.

I guess what I'm looking for is some reassurance that I'll be able to successfully breastfeed this time, regardless of having a newborn with low blood sugar. I read this study that says newborns who received glucose water (it doesn't say how, but most likely through a bottle) were more likely to also receive formula and did not breastfeed as long as the non-glucose water group. Do you think if I give the glucose water with a foley cup, I could get better breastfeeding results?

Will the nurses push for formula for the baby? DD received formula through a feeding tube (in addition to my colostrum) before my milk came in, but that's because she was still supposed to be receiving nutrition via an umbilical cord at 33 weeks. Full term babies can wait until their mother's milk comes in, right? Is this also the case for low glucose babies?


T1 diabetic mother to 33-week preemie daughters R (3/29/10), and P (5/10/12).
Author of She Looks Like a Mom blog.
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:14 PM   #2
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Re: Breastfeeding and Glucose Water

Glucose isn't "necessary." Upping your baby's sugar levels may not even be necessary. Some babies do just fine after birth without anything.

That said, with your doctor/midwife's permission, you could begin pumping as you approach your due date and collect colostrum to bring with you to the hospital. A few drops of colostrum can definitely help boost your baby's sugar levels. And I would suggest syringe or cup feeding if supplementation (either of your own colostrum, glucose water or formula) is necessary.
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:10 PM   #3
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Re: Breastfeeding and Glucose Water

We always encouraged Mama to nurse the baby as much as baby wanted and we rechecked blood sugars later. If they were still low or dropping, we would suggest mom try pumping and feeding the colostrum with an oral syringe or giving a little formula the same way. If the baby nursed, most of the time no other "intervention" was necessary. Even if the baby didn't nurse, or not very well, I'd say more than half the time, the baby's blood sugar levels would adjust on their own just fine. It wasn't very often that we actually had to give a baby formula because their blood sugar was so low and I would certainly encourage not using a bottle.

Don't be discouraged, mama. You haven't crossed this bridge yet so you don't know what will happen. What happened with your first baby isn't a predictor for this baby. Each baby/labor/birth/breastfeeding experience is different. Try to be positive and believe that the best outcome will happen and if you need to make changes, be flexible. If your baby needs a little glucose or formula one time to bring up their blood sugar, that does NOT mean that you won't be able to breastfeed. I bet things will go better than you think.
Wife to my sweetheart and SAHM to my little lovey, Colin (12/10) my little family

Last edited by colin-mylilguy; 02-18-2012 at 08:12 PM.
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