Objectives: To determine the proportion of well-appearing newborns screened for hypoglycemia, yield of specific screening criteria, and impact of screening on breastfeeding.
Study design: The retrospective study of well-appearing at-risk infants born ≥36 weeks’ gestation with blood glucose (BG) measurements obtained ≤72 h of age.
Results: Of 10,533 eligible well newborns, 48.7% were screened for hypoglycemia. Among tested infants, BG < 50 mg/dL occurred in 43% and 4.6% required intensive care for hypoglycemia. BG < 50 mg/dL was associated with lower rates of exclusive breastfeeding (22% vs 65%, p < 0.001). Infants screened due to late-preterm birth were most frequently identified as hypoglycemic. The fewest abnormal values occurred among appropriate weight, late-term infants of nondiabetic mothers.
Conclusion: Hypoglycemia risk criteria result in screening a large proportion of otherwise well newborns and negatively impact rates of exclusive breastfeeding. The risks and benefits of hypoglycemia screening recommendations should be urgently addressed.