Implementing a Protocol Using Glucose Gel to Treat Neonatal Hypoglycemia

Nurs Womens Health. 2016 Feb-Mar;20(1):64-74. doi: 10.1016/j.nwh.2015.11.001. Epub 2016 Feb 12.


Neonatal hypoglycemia is a leading cause of admission of neonates to the NICU. Typical treatment for neonatal hypoglycemia includes supplementation with formula or, in some cases, intravenous glucose administration. These treatments, though effective at treating hypoglycemia, interrupt exclusive breastfeeding and interfere with mother-infant bonding. Our institution developed a treatment algorithm for newborns at risk for neonatal hypoglycemia. The new algorithm called for the oral administration of 40% glucose gel. This intervention resulted in a 73% decreasein admission rates to the NICU for hypoglycemia, and it supported exclusive breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact, and mother-infant bonding.

Keywords: NICU; exclusive breastfeeding; glucose gel; neonatal hypoglycemia; skin-to-skin.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Female
  • Gels / administration & dosage*
  • Glucose / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / diet therapy*
  • Hypoglycemia / nursing*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / diet therapy*
  • Male
  • Neonatal Nursing / standards*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • United States


  • Gels
  • Glucose