OBJECTIVE:To examine the effects of early breastfeeding (eBF) or early formula feeding (eFF) on hypoglycemia and on BF initiation in infants born to women with pregestational diabetes mellitus (PGDM) who intended to BF.
METHODS: Retrospective cohort investigation of 554 women with PGDM and their infants (IDMs) who delivered during 2008–2016. The first feeding (BF or FF) was considered early if given within 4 hours from birth.
RESULTS: 282 (51%) IDMs were admitted to the Well Baby Nursery. Of the 134 IDMs whose early feeding was BF, hypoglycemia affected 30% which was corrected with oral feedings in 78% of the cases. At discharge, 49% BF exclusively while 45% BF partially. Of the 148 IDMs whose early feeding was FF, hypoglycemia affected 40% which was corrected with oral feedings in 69% of the cases. At discharge, 14% BF exclusively while 48% BF partially. There were 272 (49%) IDMs admitted to the NICU. Their early feeding was BF (14%) and FF (86%). Hypoglycemia developed in 50% and 43% of these groups, respectively. Benefits of early feedings on hypoglycemia were masked by the routine use of IV dextrose infusions. At discharge, early BF led to exclusive BF in 45% and partial BF in 50% of the cases. Early FF led to exclusive BF in 17% and partial BF in 42% of the cases.
CONCLUSIONS:Early and continued feeding (BF preferably or FF if BF is not feasible) should be the first line of treatment for hypoglycemia. Early BF is paramount for BF initiation. Early FF is an obstacle, albeit not absolute, to BF initiation, thus it should not deter continued efforts to start or resume BF.
Early feeding, hypoglycemia and breastfeeding initiation in infants born to women with pregestational diabetes mellitus