Introduction: Hypoglycemia is a common metabolic problem in the neonatal period especially in the presence of settings like prematurity, small for gestational age babies and sepsis. Episodes of asymptomatic hypoglycemia may occur in term neonates without apparent risk factors.
Aim: This study was conducted to estimate the incidence of hypoglycemia in healthy, intramural, singleton full term neonates and to correlate the above incidence with maternal factors like parity, mode of delivery and time of initiation of breast feeding after birth.
Materials and methods: A hospital based, prospective longitudinal study involving healthy, term, asymptomatic neonates. Blood glucose values were measured at 1, 6, 24 and 48 hours of life.
Results: The overall incidence of hypoglycemia was 10 % in asymptomatic, healthy term newborns. All the hypoglycemic episodes occurred in the first 24 hours of life. 23.07% of neonates born to primiparous mothers had hypoglycemia, against 5.4% neonates born to multiparous mothers (p<0.05). There was a higher recording of hypoglycemia when breast feeding was initiated > 1 hour after delivery (16.67%) than when breast feeding was initiated within one hour of delivery (7.89%).
Conclusion: Asymptomatic hypoglycemia occurred in about 10% of healthy, full term neonates; primiparity and delayed initiation of breast feeding > 1 hour are noted as additional risk factors.
Keywords: Healthy; Metabolic problem; Newborns; Term.