What can I do to prevent jaundice this time? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 10-01-2006, 01:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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When I had DD she had horrible jaundice for a long time. My midwife wasn't too worried because her extremities weren't yellow, it finally cleared up before that point after about 2 months of daily sunshine. She was almost always asleep, and wouldn't awaken to eat so we had latching issues and she was terribly underweight until she finally started gaining.
Anyways, What can I do with this coming birth (and in pregancy?) to prevent this again? I didn't have the cord cut right away for the last one, was that a bad idea? I always though that PREVENTED it, but now I don't know... BTW, she was 2 1/2 weeks early if that means anything.. Thanks in advance!
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#2 of 21 Old 10-01-2006, 02:29 AM
 
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I don't have a lot of advice, but here's my experience. My first daughter was 5 weeks early, but still 7lbs. Weird, but whatever. She had bad bad jaundice, was yellow for almost 2 months, had to be woken to nurse, and we had to fight to keep her awake and feeding. She had to be under the bili lights for almost a week. She gained weight steadily, but very slowly. She was barely on the charts for weight until she was around 18 months. Sounds a lot like your daughter.

My second DD was born 3 days "late". She had some jaundice too, and was a bit yellow for about 3-4 weeks. Hers was so much milder. So, hopefully your next baby will not be as early. I know it is very common for preemie babies to get jaundiced. I don't really think there's much you can do about it. Maybe you can pump a lot as soon as the baby is born to get your milk to come in faster. Then if there is jaundice, the milk will be there to flush it out. I tried doing that with my first but it didn't help. Still took 5 days. Good luck and try not to worry too much.
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#3 of 21 Old 10-01-2006, 02:47 AM
 
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: I was wondering this myself...
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#4 of 21 Old 10-01-2006, 03:20 AM
 
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Don't cut the cord until after the placenta comes.

Nurse, nurse, nurse.

I am starting to believe there is something more wrong when we don't see jaundice than when we do.

Some women drink catnip tea to help.
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#5 of 21 Old 10-01-2006, 10:16 AM
 
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Was there an organic reason for the jaundice? like ABO incompatibility? or was it just regular newborn jaundice?

If it was ABO incompatibility I don't believe you can "escape" it. Having the cord cut immediately in that case will help, but it will not prevent. Also beginning light therapy in that case immediately will help it from getting too high.

I have had four babies with jaundice thus far. 2 -- normal jaundice and 2 -- with ABO incompatibility.

Breastfeed, breastfeed, breastfeed is my mantra. That and sunning (which peds advise against now)The more they poop the better off you are.
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#6 of 21 Old 10-01-2006, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by OnTheFence View Post
Was there an organic reason for the jaundice? like ABO incompatibility? or was it just regular newborn jaundice?
I have no idea.. my midwife didn't say anything about that. She seemd alot less worried than I did. I did know that nursing often was the best thing to do for it but she was never awake enough to nurse much.
LucyRev, I thought the early birth may have had something to do with it as well. I also posted about preventing preterm labor, in case that is the cause
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#7 of 21 Old 10-01-2006, 11:56 AM
 
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All of my babies have been jaundiced, 2 of the 4 were early but for me I think it is more the fact that I am Rh- and both husband were Rh+.
If your bloodtype is different from your child that could be one of the organic reasons OnTheFence was talking about. Specifically if one of you is negative and the other positive or if you have O and your baby was A or B.

My first two were early, born in the hospital and the cords clamped and cut right away I am sure

My second two were born at home, we left the cords attached for over 30 minutes and they were both 'on time'.

Even in these two scenarios all my children were jaundice but I think the blood for us is the factor though my second child had it the worst and he was the earliest at 37 weeks so I do think that closer to term is better. I just assume this baby will be jaundice as well but it's not something I worry about.

Keri

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#8 of 21 Old 10-03-2006, 12:57 PM
 
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goodness, i would love to know the answer also! or something to prevent it.

both my daughters have it - one was born 1 week late, and the other on time.

the first we just had to laid her by the winder where there's lotsa sunshine and that's it.

my 2nd had it worst - she was on the biliblanket for about 3 days and i was going nuts. they were going to hospitalize her if her points (can't think of the word) doesn't drop significantly. luckily it did and she's fine.

i guess there isn't anything we can do to help that where we're pregnant huh?

shellie - momma to two adorable girls and my cutie boy
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#9 of 21 Old 10-03-2006, 04:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommy2serena View Post
I have no idea.. my midwife didn't say anything about that. She seemd alot less worried than I did. I did know that nursing often was the best thing to do for it but she was never awake enough to nurse much.
LucyRev, I thought the early birth may have had something to do with it as well. I also posted about preventing preterm labor, in case that is the cause
What is your blood type and your husbands blood type? Did your midwife ever ask you these questions? I would think one would, but maybe I am mistaken. My babies with the ABO jaundice were sleepy babies and we had to really work with them to nurse. We often stripped them naked, massaged them and put ice or their feet.
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#10 of 21 Old 10-03-2006, 04:20 PM
 
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goodness, i would love to know the answer also! or something to prevent it.

both my daughters have it - one was born 1 week late, and the other on time.

the first we just had to laid her by the winder where there's lotsa sunshine and that's it.

my 2nd had it worst - she was on the biliblanket for about 3 days and i was going nuts. they were going to hospitalize her if her points (can't think of the word) doesn't drop significantly. luckily it did and she's fine.

i guess there isn't anything we can do to help that where we're pregnant huh?
If you are having a homebirth, you can call a home health agency ahead of time and get the biliblanket beforehand. If there is a blood incompatibility issue, when they are a few hours old you can start the light therapy right away and this will help the levels from getting higher. I had the type of blanket that I could actually use "in arms" and was able to sleep and hold my baby (breastfeeding was cumbersome though).
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#11 of 21 Old 10-03-2006, 06:01 PM
 
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Yup. Both my kids had ABO jaundice and my ds ALSO had regular jaundice, in this case, caused by the suggestion that I bulk up on vit K with supplements. I didn't know that doing so could cause jaundice. Really, if ds handn't had ABO jaundice as well, it wouldn't have probably been such a big deal, but as it was, he spend a coupla days under the lights at the hospital. Soooo, I agree w/OverTheFence's suggestion of typing yours and dh's blood, then, if baby looks yellow, type baby's blood as well. Then at least you know what you're dealing with. THEN, don't supplement with megasupplements of vit K (I was taking alfalfa). That's what I have gleaned from MY experiences!

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#12 of 21 Old 10-03-2006, 06:15 PM
 
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THEN, don't supplement with megasupplements of vit K (I was taking alfalfa). That's what I have gleaned from MY experiences!

Courtenay,
Thanks for posting this. We homebirth and skip the vitamin K as well and I took alfalfa at the end of my last two pregnancies. At 16 weeks I have already started taking it this time because of low iron & low energy. I had not heard of a connection with alfalfa and jaundice. As I stated before, I am O- and DH is A+ so we do have the ABO incompatibility and niether of the girls were overly jaundice - just did some naked time in front of a window. Of course it would be nice if we could skip the jaundice all together.
How were you able to draw the conclusion between the alfalfa and the jaundice?

Thanks,
Keri

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#13 of 21 Old 10-04-2006, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What is your blood type and your husbands blood type? Did your midwife ever ask you these questions? I would think one would, but maybe I am mistaken. My babies with the ABO jaundice were sleepy babies and we had to really work with them to nurse. We often stripped them naked, massaged them and put ice or their feet.
I am O pos. and DH is O neg. I asked the midwife yesterday and she said that means there is no incompatability. No, she's never said anything before about it at all. (she never brings anything like that to my attention, sometimes I wonder why I bother going when all I do is research things like that myself: )
I had alfalfa too! I was very tired and was taking AT LEAST 15 tablespoons a day of liquid chlorophyll from alfalfa. Didn't get the vit. K shot though.... But was drinking a TON of the green drink...
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#14 of 21 Old 10-04-2006, 05:19 PM
 
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Both my kids were quite jaundiced -- normal jaundice, not ABO.

My ped explained it as being caused by teh breakdown of fetal hemoglobin. Both my babies came out very red-faced, and the midwife also observed "ruddy babies jaundice more."

If it's caused by fetal hemoglobin, why would delayed cord cutting make it *better*? (Note: Not saying that one should cut early to prevent jaundice! I've read all the other stuff on cord cutting and I'd not ever argue against it).

But it doesn't seem logical to me that delayed clamping would *help* jaundice. And actually, my DD, whose cord was clamped MUCH later than her brothers, was MUCH more jaundiced for longer. Luckily our ped is way laid back, and after initially checking her bilirubin counts, said "if you don't like the yellow, you could give formula for 24 hours. But that would be for aesthetic reasons only, and I don't recommend it."

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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#15 of 21 Old 10-05-2006, 03:35 PM
 
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DS had it when he was born and his levels were such that he to be tested a few times in that first week. It did go away but we were close for a couple days to possibly having to go back to the hospital.
I thought I had read somewhere since then that something (maybe the VitK shot) could cause jaundice. Also, the ped kept telling me that it could be something related to my milk. Any thoughts?
I don't think it has anything to do with our blood types. I believe DH and I are the same.
I'd like to avoid all that this time too.
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#16 of 21 Old 10-05-2006, 03:53 PM
 
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I have read in a couple of other threads about the vit K shot/oral vit K that there seems to be a connection between this intervention and jaundice. Don't know if it's something seen in studies or just observational evidence from MWs and others who've seen it happen though.
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#17 of 21 Old 10-05-2006, 11:10 PM
 
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I agree with nursing , nursing , and more nursing. I also have my 'ladies' use the sunny window...sit by a sunny window while they nurse, and do all of this right from the birth. dont wait until the baby starts to become jaundice to begin treatment. Baby in front of the window when not nursing helps. Even if it is overcast day, there is enough difused sunlight to help.

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#18 of 21 Old 10-06-2006, 02:11 AM
 
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I've read that IV fluids can cause jaundice.

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#19 of 21 Old 10-06-2006, 02:35 AM
 
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Next time if the baby is too sleepy to nurse, especially for 2 months, you need to pump and give the baby the milk...with a supplementer if possible. You need to get milk in the baby so they can pee and poop out the billirubin. I'm surprised your ped (did you have one?) didn't tell you this.

Jaundice can be signs of other issues, depending on the circumstances surrounding. But pamamidwife is right ... isn't it James McKenna who says jaundice is normal, not having it is not.

However, he goes on to say I believe that you still want to be careful about making sure the baby IS getting breastmilk. Jaundice can be a sign the baby isn't nursing well or enough. As well as liver failure, among other things, like metabolic disease. These things probably aren't applicable to you....but since alegna is out of town...she can't make fun of me for saying so.!
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#20 of 21 Old 10-06-2006, 02:05 PM
 
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I am starting to believe there is something more wrong when we don't see jaundice than when we do.
Why do you say that? I'm just curious...

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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#21 of 21 Old 10-06-2006, 09:47 PM
 
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Courtenay,
Thanks for posting this. We homebirth and skip the vitamin K as well and I took alfalfa at the end of my last two pregnancies. At 16 weeks I have already started taking it this time because of low iron & low energy. I had not heard of a connection with alfalfa and jaundice. As I stated before, I am O- and DH is A+ so we do have the ABO incompatibility and niether of the girls were overly jaundice - just did some naked time in front of a window. Of course it would be nice if we could skip the jaundice all together.
How were you able to draw the conclusion between the alfalfa and the jaundice?

Thanks,
Keri
My pediatrician (who supported the fact that I'd planned a home birth, by the way)told me, then, actually, a couple of midwives I know IRL told me, too... of course, they all told me after the fact, which frustrated me, as my LMW at the time is the one who suggested that I supplement. In the end, ds had a precipitous birth, and both of our families have a predisposition to celiac disease, which are both factors that suggest that one SHOULD give their baby vit. K

Sooooo, had I not transferred care during labor and had they not given him the shot (our hospital gives it or calls CPS), it would probably have been a good thing that I'd bulked up on the alfalfa, excepting that it caused his jaundice to be worse. Of course, now that I'm looking at it right here, perhaps it had something to do with the fact that I was taking alfalfa, AND they gave him the shot! UGH.

*sigh*

Hope that helps, Keri.

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