hPOD Study

The hPOD Study is trying to find out if giving a dextrose (sugar) gel to at-risk babies can stop their blood sugars going too low when they are born.

The first part of the hPOD study is now complete. More than 2,100 families from New Zealand and Australia participated.

If your child was part of the hPOD study as a baby, we look forward to seeing how they have grown. We will be inviting families to be part of the hPOD 2YR study.

What is the hPOD Study?

The hPOD (hypoglycaemia Prevention with Oral Dextrose) Study is trying to find out if giving a dextrose (sugar) gel to at-risk babies can stop their blood sugars going too low, and therefore avoid the need to go to a Special Care Baby Unit and making it easier for mothers to breastfeed.

Newborn babies with very low blood sugar can be at risk of brain damage, which is why all at-risk babies have blood tests to check their sugar levels. If their levels are low, treatment can often include the baby going to a special or intensive care baby unit.

Which babies are at risk of low blood sugar levels?

Babies who have a higher risk of having low blood sugar levels are:

  • Babies whose mothers have diabetes
  • Babies who are born early
  • Babies who are born small or large for their age

What did the study involve?

If your baby took part in the first part of this study, he/she will receive the same care as all other babies born at risk of low blood sugars, including regular blood tests to check blood sugar levels. If blood sugar levels are low, your baby will be treated in the usual way at your hospital.

Your baby will have received one of two gels, one a 40% sugar gel or the placebo gel with no sugar. The gel was rubbed into the inside of your baby’s cheek one hour after birth.

We also phoned you when your baby was three days and six weeks old to find out how he/she was feeding.

Follow-up at two years (hPOD 2YR study)

We will contact you when your baby is around two years old to find out whether the gel has helped your baby’s later health and development. We will tell you about any extra studies at the time and ask for your consent for your baby to take part.

How can I find out more?

If you are pregnant and have some form of diabetes, or if you have been told that your baby may be born early, small or large for age, and this study sounds interesting to you, we would love your help.

To register your interest or simply to have a chat about the study, please call us on 0800 00 4763 (0800 00 hPOD) or email at hPOD@auckland.ac.nz.

You can also register your details using our simple contact form and one of the team will get back to you.