Does early enteral feeding prevent hypoglycemia in small for gestational age neonates?

Abstract. OBJECTIVES: To determine the association between early enteral feeding and the incidence of hypoglycemia in SGA neonates. STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective review to evaluate the association of hypoglycemia and early enteral feeding was performed. Eligible patients were born full-term between 1/1/2008–7/1/2011 and classified as SGA (birth weight <10th percentile). We collected the first two serum glucose values, time to enteral feeds and feeding type. The primary outcome was incidence of hypoglycemia, defined as serum glucose values ≤35 mg/dL (1.9 mmol/L). RESULTS: 203 infants were included in the analysis. 94 patients were fed between the first and second glucose measurement and 109 were not. Although the incidence of hypoglycemia was greater in the group that received early enteral feeds (13% versus 4%; p = 0.02), feeding was not a significant predictor of the second serum glucose in a multivariable regression model (p = 0.078). CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that early enteral feeding does not predict hypoglycemia in this cohort of SGA neonates.

*Corresponding Author: 

Dr. Jennifer Bragg, Division of Newborn Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, One Gustave L. Levy Place, P.O. Box 1508, New York, NY10029-6574, USA. Tel.: +1 212 241 6186; Fax: +1 212 534 5207; E-mail: