Newborn Shiver Newborn Shiver | allnurses

Newborn Shiver

  1. 0 This is my first post here, so hopefully I'm in the right place. If not...please, someone gently guide me the right direction.

    I'm a first year nursing student and am assigned to crease a nursing care plan (for the postpatrum patient). Part of out plan includes patient teaching. I'm creating a care plan on newborn thermoregulation. My question is in regards to newborn "shivering". As we learning in lecture, newborns do not shiver to keep warm...correct? Can someone please explain to me what it means if they do shiver. The texbook says shivering means, "the metabolic rate has doubled." How can I explain this to the family without confusing them, or leading them to believe that a shiver=seizure? If a newborn doesn't shiver to keep warm, then under what circumstance would they ever shiver?

    Thanks so much to anyone who can help me understand this concept!

  2. 11 Comments

  3. Visit  XB9S profile page
    #1 0
    Emily, even though your question is related to patient education I wonder if it would be answered better in the neonatal forums

    I will move it there for now as I think you will get a better response.
  4. Visit  Jolie profile page
    #2 0
    You are correct that newborns don't shiver to increase warmth. They burn brown fat to do that. In my experience, (11 years of OB and NICU), I've yet to see a newborn shiver at all. Many are tremerous (Is that a word?) Often due to low blood sugar, elicitation of the startle reflex, and even just plain old immaturity of the nervous system. But true "shivering", I've never seen.
  5. Visit  dawngloves profile page
    #3 0
    If I see a baby "shiver" I think hypoglycemia or hyperactive moro.
  6. Visit  prmenrs profile page
    #4 0
    I agree w/Jolie and Dawn. Babies are usually described as "tremorous" or "jittery", not shivering, since shivering is not a newborn behavior. The etiology is usually hypoglycemia; it could also be 2nd to drug w/drawal.
  7. Visit  preemieRNkate profile page
    #5 0
  8. Visit  ElliShay profile page
    #6 0
    Babies can also be tremulous due to neonatal hypocalcemia~however this isn't very common.
  9. Visit  texas2007 profile page
    #7 0
    I've seen some babies possibly shivering while on a cooling blanket (temp kept ~91 ax), but it was more likely to be some neuro thing since that's why they are in the cooling blanket in the first place.
  10. Visit  Elvish profile page
    #8 0
    Would go with those who don't call it shivering.
    Mostly we see it for the reasons named above - hypoglycemia, withdrawal, immature neuro.
  11. Visit  bradyman profile page
    #9 0
    i learned in class that babies dont shiver untill they are one yo because it requires smooth muscle development, that baby just does not have enough of. by crawling and moving they develop the muscle tone nessary for shivering.
  12. Visit  NicuGal profile page
    #10 1
    Newborns don't shiver...and the kids on the cooling blankets sometimes do that jittery movement, but it is usually related to electrolye and glucose issues. If you see a baby with tremors think low blood sugar or neuro.
  13. Visit  dawnebeth profile page
    #11 0
    As others have said, babies don't shiver due to brown fat. Preemies, in particular, are often jittery or tremble simply because they are preemies and their movements are not smooth.