Calcium is one type of mineral that the body needs. Calcium is needed so that the teeth and bones become strong. In addition, calcium is also needed for muscles, heart, nerves, and other organs to function properly. Babies from the womb also need calcium for their growth. However, what if the baby lacks calcium? What are the effects? Come on, we read the following discussion.
Important function of calcium for the body
Before discussing the impact if a baby is lacking in calcium, we must know in advance what are the benefits of calcium for the body. You may have heard that calcium is useful for bone growth. Yes, this is true. However, did you know that in addition to bones it turns out calcium has various other benefits that are important for the body?
Some other benefits of calcium include regulating cell function regulation, enzyme activation, smooth muscle contraction and heart muscle, playing a role in the relationship between nerves, and regulating the production of various glands in the body.
The cause of a baby lacking calcium
Lack of calcium in the blood (hypocalcemia) is one of the more common occurrences in newborns. Some of the causes of hypocalcemia in infants are premature babies, asphyxia (when babies are born unable to breathe spontaneously and regularly), babies born to mothers who have diabetes, stunted fetal growth, hyperphosphatemia (excess phosphate levels in the blood) due to babies given high-phosphate formula milk, vitamin D deficiency, and hypoparathyroid conditions.
When is the baby said to be hypocalcemia?
Calcium levels in the blood vary depending on the age of the baby in the womb. In term infants, infants are said to be hypocalcemic if:
- Total serum calcium is less than 8 milligrams per deciliter (mg /dL).
- Ionized calcium level (ionized fraction) of less than 4.4 mg /dL.
- In premature infants and weighing less than 1,500 grams, hypocalcemia can occur if the serum total calcium level is less than 7 mg /dL.
Calcium symptoms in infants
It is difficult to determine the characteristics of a baby lacking calcium. The reason is, the symptoms usually only appear when the ionized calcium level drops very far from normal.
In addition, children who experience symptoms of hypocalcaemia vary, ranging from asymptomatic to serious symptoms that cause death.
The symptoms of a baby lacking calcium include:
- Muscle twitching
- Muscle cramps
- Trembling (tremor)
- Don't want to eat or breastfeed
- Blood pressure becomes low
- Weakened heart rate
- Seizures, which are serious symptoms
If you suspect your baby is lacking calcium and experiences the above symptoms, immediately take the child to the doctor.
What should be done if the baby is lacking in calcium?
In addition to having your baby checked by a doctor if there are any symptoms above, here are tips that you can do for babies who suffer from hypocalcemia.
First, let the baby be exposed to sunlight. Drying in the sun can increase vitamin D levels in the baby's body and can increase calcium absorption.
Second, give ASI. One of the best foods for babies is breast milk because the content in breast milk is very rich in vitamins and minerals for babies. Give your baby breast milk exclusively for 6 months.
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