Jaundice Question - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 01-24-2010, 01:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone had a baby with jaundice and not used a biliblanket?

Last time DS ended up getting jaundice around day 3. His number when we started him on the blanket was 14, the next day it was 17 and that is the highest it got. He was on the blanket for 3 days I think. (And it cost $500). I did some research on it afterwards and I'm pretty sure DS was only jaundice because he had a bruise on his head that was breaking down. I really don't think the blanket was necessary for him.

If this baby is born with a bruise and then starts getting jaundice as the bruise is breaking down, I want to feel comfortable saying no to the blanket. Any thoughts? Is the blanket necessary? Or just try to get sunny window exposure and plenty of breastmilk.

Thanks for any thoughts and input.

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#2 of 20 Old 01-24-2010, 02:06 AM
 
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DD had jaundice and no bruising. She was yellow when we left the hospital though, and it got worse after we went home. I think her top level got up to around 17 or so - don't remember now. She was also having issues BFing, (between her being sleepy, my having flat/inverted nipples, and the fact my milk didn't come in until she was 3 days old) and we ended up being readmitted to the hospital to use the lamps and receive IV fluids. She was a summer baby too, and I tried to take her outside, but I don't know how much it helped. My other two had jaundice as well, but not to the extent she did.

Being January/February, how much sun can you get this time of year? We get next to nothing here in Ohio, hence why I'm asking. I don't think it would hurt to monitor it and see how baby does, but I personally would be nervous not to do something if the numbers continued to go up...from what I understand it can be pretty bad if those numbers get too high?

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#3 of 20 Old 01-24-2010, 02:14 AM
 
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I am pretty sure bruising has nothing to do with jaundice. Jaundice can be a relatively simple thing or a pretty dangerous thing. DD1's level went up to about a 28 and ud I would have refused she would more than likely be deaf and brain damaged at this point. DD2 probably could have gone without it at an 17 but I was not going to take the chance.

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#4 of 20 Old 01-24-2010, 01:08 PM
 
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Both of mine were jaundiced.....the first didn't need treatmen or retesting...the second had to get his heel stuck every day, and as long as it was going down at least 1pt per day the doc was fine with not treating it. It started around a 17 with the first test at a week old, and went down one pt per day....we stopped testing at 11pts.

This time I have a few lactating friends....so if baby starts looking yellow and my milk isn't in yet I'll get some from a friend and syringe or finger feed a few times a day to get the fluids in and the billirubin out.

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#5 of 20 Old 01-24-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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Both my boys had jaundice. My first DS was already in the NICU and so had phototherapy 2 times during his stay. With my current newborn, he was "yellow" and we had a few days of getting his bili checked at the hospital. I just breastfed like crazy b/c the more he pooped, the more he got rid of the bili. There are different types of jaundice, too. I don't know much about how injury (bruising) may be implicated, but I do like this summary from kellymom.com (my online bf-ing bible)

link here

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#6 of 20 Old 01-24-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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I don't know. My first DD did not have jaundice, but I was completely nutty in the first week about keeping her uncovered and in the sunlight because I worried about it. But then I subsequently read that keeping the baby in the light *inside* doesn't actually work, because the right rays don't come through the glass? Anyone know if this is true? But I have 100-year-old windows, so I don't know if even if it is true for newer windows, I'm not sure it's true for mine.

The blanket might not be a terrible option, though, if baby needs it--around here I think most babies with jaundice have to be in the hospital, under a light in an isolette.

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#7 of 20 Old 01-24-2010, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When I have time, I will try and do another search and find out where I found that info on the bruising. Basically, it said that the liver cannot process the blood fast enough and that is why some newborns get jaundice.

Also, with DS, my milk had already come in and he was nursing frequently and peeing/pooping a lot.

I have heard that the sunlight doesn't go through newer windows the same way because of the "protection" on them, but 100 year old windows should be fine! I have one old, sunny window left in our house, plus my parents have old windows I could use. And will use, even with a biliblanket, if I need to.

The biliblanket is not that bad compared to being in the hospital under lights. But it sure felt awful to me when DS had to be on it. I did not like that I couldn't carry him all over the house with me. And he couldn't sleep in our bed those first few nights home because of the machine needing to be plugged in.

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#8 of 20 Old 01-24-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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Was it a big bruise? Because to me (and granted I don't know a lot of medical stuff) it would seem like it would need to be a pretty good sized bruise to raise jaundice levels that much...

Nicole, Mommy to Jasmine (7/05) , Athena (2/07) , Shane (3/08) , Caleb (1/10), and 2 angels (4/06 & 4/09)
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#9 of 20 Old 01-24-2010, 02:27 PM
 
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I'm already worrying about this too, since DD was jaundiced, but not badly enough to use a biliblanket or re-admit her (thank God). I was really mad at the time, but I did what the ped suggested and supplemented some with formula to keep flushing her out and she got over it pretty quickly. We never had feeding issues after my milk came in and she got the hang of it, on day 5. Those first days were hell though, b/c I had to try to latch her on the hour every 2 hours, try for 10 minutes, give her a little cup of formula (which she hated) and then have DH try to put her down again while I pumped. Then we had to do it all again in an hour or so. I definitely think you need to do what you can to get the levels down so you have a healthy baby. Does anyone know how you can prevent this in the first place, or is it just one of those things?

Maggie, American expat, mother to DD1 5/27/2007 and DD2 2/15/2010
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#10 of 20 Old 01-24-2010, 02:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biennourri View Post
I'm already worrying about this too, since DD was jaundiced, but not badly enough to use a biliblanket or re-admit her (thank God). I was really mad at the time, but I did what the ped suggested and supplemented some with formula to keep flushing her out and she got over it pretty quickly. We never had feeding issues after my milk came in and she got the hang of it, on day 5. Those first days were hell though, b/c I had to try to latch her on the hour every 2 hours, try for 10 minutes, give her a little cup of formula (which she hated) and then have DH try to put her down again while I pumped. Then we had to do it all again in an hour or so. I definitely think you need to do what you can to get the levels down so you have a healthy baby. Does anyone know how you can prevent this in the first place, or is it just one of those things?
There is some evidence that it's early cord clamping that makes it more likely, but there is also opposite evidence....so who knows.

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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#11 of 20 Old 01-24-2010, 02:56 PM
 
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My son and daughter were jaundiced at a level of 17 at the worst. Neither needed blankets and my son was born in December (daughter late September). I nursed and nursed, waking them up because they were so sleepy. I put them in sunlight through a window. It was always OK.
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#12 of 20 Old 01-24-2010, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son and daughter were jaundiced at a level of 17 at the worst. Neither needed blankets and my son was born in December (daughter late September). I nursed and nursed, waking them up because they were so sleepy. I put them in sunlight through a window. It was always OK.
This is what I wanted to hear Thanks!

I know that DS would have been fine without it, but it's so hard when the medical world is always trying to cover their butts instead of tell you the information that is true. I want to be "strong" enough to say no to the blanket this time if the numbers are the same as DS's.

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#13 of 20 Old 01-24-2010, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Was it a big bruise? Because to me (and granted I don't know a lot of medical stuff) it would seem like it would need to be a pretty good sized bruise to raise jaundice levels that much...

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/newbo...ndice%20Causes


# A large scalp bruise called a cephalohematoma can occur during the birthing process. Such a bruise is really a collection of clotted blood just beneath the skin surface. As the body naturally breaks down this clotted blood, a large amount of bilirubin is released at once. This sudden excess in serum bilirubin may be too much for the baby's liver to handle, and jaundice will develop.

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#14 of 20 Old 01-24-2010, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Found another link, that says:

High levels of bilirubin in the body can cause the skin to look yellow. This is called jaundice. Jaundice is present to some degree in most newborns. Such "physiological jaundice" usually appears between day 2 and 3, peaks between days 2 and 4, and clears by 2 weeks. Physiological jaundice usually causes no problems.



http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/001559.htm

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#15 of 20 Old 01-25-2010, 03:24 PM
 
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My understanding is that formula fed babies are more likely to have complications from normal newborn juandice. If you are breastfeeding, and not having any nursing difficulties/challenges, then it is my opinion, that you do not need a billiblanket or lights or anything. I have seen some research that suggests it really doesn't clear up jaundice that much quicker than not treating or using formula supplements, or that having it go away faster is less likely to cause harm in the infant. again, this is in regard to normal newborn juandice in babies who are exclusively nursing without issue. However, lights will not hurt your baby. We used a billiblanket with dd, but ds was not jaundiced. Jaundice is normal if it shows up in the first 24-48 hours after birth. If this, normal, newborn jaundice were a real and significant problem, i think that humans (who have been exclusively breastfed without medical intervention for all of history) would have died out long ago.

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#16 of 20 Old 01-26-2010, 12:35 AM
 
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My son was a little yellow, but we didn't have the numbers tested. He had a big bruise and scrape on his bottom (breech), and the midwife had predicted that he'd get a bit jaundiced as the red blood cells broke down. We put him in the weak January light through a window (don't know how old it was), and nursed a lot, and he was fine.
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#17 of 20 Old 01-26-2010, 07:28 PM
 
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(DDC crashing from March)

My daughter was jaundiced, enough that we took her in to check levels daily (sorry I don't remeber the numbers now) for the first week or so. But, we lived in HI, so I just sat in the front yard with her for a while each day. We ddn't supplement.

Now we live in Alabama, and taking a half dressed baby outside is not as feasable here. I was wondering if one of those "full spectrum" lamps whould help? Ugg, it might help me too, because I think I am having sunshine withdrawl. And I can get one way cheaper than 500$
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#18 of 20 Old 01-28-2010, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I asked my midwife about this yesterday at my appointment and she said that she doesn't see any cause for concern as long as the jaundice doesn't spread to the hands, legs, feet. Normal jaundice will be head, chest, and whites of the eyes. If my breastmilk is in and baby is pooping, she said she would just recommend some naptime in a sunny window.

biennourri -- she also said having baby nap in the sunshine can help "prevent" to some extent those first few days. I don't know where she gets her info from, besides years of catching babies

MiaMama -- what about checking into Ott lights? I think that is what they are called and they are sold at fabric stores. I'm not sure if they would work, but they are supposed to make crafting easier as they create a more "natural" light. I think they seem kind of bright in a weird way though.

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#19 of 20 Old 01-28-2010, 02:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Nicole730 View Post
I asked my midwife about this yesterday at my appointment and she said that she doesn't see any cause for concern as long as the jaundice doesn't spread to the hands, legs, feet. Normal jaundice will be head, chest, and whites of the eyes. If my breastmilk is in and baby is pooping, she said she would just recommend some naptime in a sunny window.
I'd forgotten, but now that you said this - this was what we were looking out for too - spreading below the chest to the belly and below. DD1 had it all the way down...everything had a yellowish tinge. They tested her levels and they were at 17 and that's when they admitted her. She was also 4 days old, which I think was the point where they should have been going down, not up still?

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#20 of 20 Old 01-28-2010, 05:02 PM
 
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I hate jaundice! My first two were hospitalized for it. The actual levels don't matter as much as levels + gestational age + how old they are. Levels of a 5 in a 2 day old are great but in a 2 hour old are really bad.

All of my boys have been 36 weekers too, so that might also be why, but I don't mess around with it. They both needed IV's in their heads due to dehydration and had to be in the PICU for 2 days under lights. Then had to come home (DS1 with a suitcase, DS2 with a blanket) for more therapy. DS2 was 2 levels away from complete blood transfusion on day 5 of life.

With my new baby, he was supplemented with formula from day 1 (I have IGT and can't fully breastfeed which I didn't have diagnosed before which is also why the jaundice was so bad) and we had him tested yesterday and his levels were only 13. BUT because I'm such a nutter butter about this I have him on a blanket anyway. This may just be my first baby to avoid a hospitalization!!

Bruising can cause jaundice as well. Look for arms and legs being yellow and whites of eyes. That is not good. Little bit of yellow on face is okay.
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