Neonatal Hypocalcaemia refers to low levels of calcium in the blood of a new born. There are two forms of neonatal hypocalcaemia- Early Hypocalcaemia occurs within the first three days of life while late hypocalcaemia occurs between the fifth and the tenth day of life. While there are several causes for development of neonatal hypocalcaemia, here are some simple home remedies and treatment options.
Hypocalcaemia refers to drop in the levels of calcium in the blood and when the condition is observed in babies it is referred to as neonatal hypocalcaemia. There are two different forms of hypocalcaemia in neonates- early hypocalcaemia which occurs within the first three days of life while late hypocalcaemia occurs between the 5-10 days of life. In most cases neonatal hypocalcaemia is linked with consumption of formula feeding, which has high levels of phosphates, which can lower the calcium levels in the blood.
Neonatal Hypocalcaemia Causes
There are two forms of hypocalcaemia in neonates- the early and the late variant. While the cause for early hypocalcaemia is not very clearly understood, there are a number of factors that are responsible for late neonatal hypocalcaemia.
Premature babies or low birth weight babies are at higher risk of neonatal hypocalcaemia since their bodies are less mature. Other risk factors include diabetic mother and difficult labor.
Neonatal Hypocalcaemia Signs and Symptoms
Some of the signs and symptoms associated with neonatal hypocalcaemia include the following,
- Increased irritability
- Twitching of the muscles with tremors and jitteriness
- Poor feeding and refusing to feed
- Generalized lethargy and sleepiness
- Seizures may also be experienced in some cases.
- In serious cases, cardiac arrhythmias may also be noticed.
While it may be very difficult to identify these symptoms or signs in babies, it is always recommended that you consult your pediatrician when in doubt.
Neonatal Hypocalcaemia Home Remedies
The inadequacy of calcium is considered to be the primary contributing factor for the lower levels of calcium in the blood. While calcium supplements (usually calcium gluconate) which is relatively easier to absorb is considered to be adequate in the management of the condition. However in severe cases, intravenous calcium gluconate may also be recommended to elevate the level of calcium in the blood.
While you could include natural foods that can help provide supplementary calcium, important factors like age of the child and overall health condition, need to be taken into account. Thinned soup of green leafy vegetables is useful to bolster the supply of calcium. Ensure that you wash the vegetables well before given them to your infant.
If your child is on formula milk, consult your pediatrician and opt for natural options like diluted cows or buffalo’s milk. Also ensure that you consume calcium supplements, especially if you are breastfeeding the child.