Jaundice and BFing - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 02-27-2012, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
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My 4-week-old developed jaundice on his second day of birth.  They tested his bili levels in the hospital and they were okay.  He is still jaundiced now at 4 weeks.  His jaundice has not gotten worse, however. I have read that when you breastfeed, the jaundice can linger a bit longer.  Have any of you noticed this? We were at the ped's office today and I mentioned it to him.  He said he is still a little jaundice and mentioned we can go get his bili tested at the hospital to see what the numbers are. (The ped did say his eyes weren't yellow anymore even though they look a tiny, tiny bit yellow in the corners to me but the doc said they weren't.))  Since I read that breastfeeding can prolong the jaundice and that as long as the baby is pooping, peeing, and eating normally they are okay,  I really did not want to take him to the hospital to get tested as I don't think it's necessary but I'm not sure.  I even wonder if I didn't mention it to the doctor, if he would have even brought it up. If they did the test in the doctor's office, I would surely have had it done but is it that necessary that I need to make a trip to the hospital? Any suggestions/advice/experience?


Is it crucial I have him tested at this point?

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#2 of 4 Old 02-27-2012, 01:02 PM
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My DS was very jaundiced a few days after he was born so I ended up doing a ton of research on it at the time. One thing I learned is that as babies get older, they are able to handle more levels of bilirubin without problem. So a 4 day old baby with a BR level of 20+ would possibly get some light therapy, but a 3 week old with 20+ level would be fine.


We did have a bili level of 20 at 4 days and decided to do light therapy (this was before I did my research, and I debate with myself if I'd do it again). His levels went down to the teens so we went home. He got re-tested a few days later and it was the same level in the teens, but at that point he was about a week old and his levels weren't rising, so the doc said it was fine.


FWIW, I never thought he looked that jaundiced at the time, but now I look back at pics and realize that he looked like he was wearing spray tan! He didn't really lighten up all the way until about two months, which I've been told is pretty normal.


Lastly, what I found from my research is that many docs aren't even really concerned about jaundice anymore, unless there are other factors involved like listlessness and no appetite. If your doc says your DS is fine and he is acting normal, then I wouldn't worry.

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#3 of 4 Old 02-28-2012, 04:29 AM
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My friend's midwife told her that on pale skin jaundice can last for a looooooong time - much longer than when it 'means anything'. Sort of like some of us can have bruises that last long after the 'hurt' is gone.

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#4 of 4 Old 03-06-2012, 12:50 PM
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I don't think another mother can tell you that. You may be able to go to a lab and have the blood drawn instead of the hospital. This may not be a possibility because light destroys bilirubin in blood samples and the blood needs to be processed soon after the sample is drawn.

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