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Hi My cousin gave birth on Tuesday afternoon. She was discharged Thursday morning. She said they checked baby's bilirubin before leaving and it was median(not sure of an exact level). She was told to bring baby back to have it rechecked Sat. She has been giving baby formula, I don't think she would exclusively breastfeed(this is baby #4 for her and she never Bf the others; but I want to be as encoraging as I can). Another family member, ped. nrse, told her to wait until levels are checked today before starting to breastfeed. I wanted to to tell mother to just go ahead and let baby latch all she kept saying was that baby wanted to breastfeed. I was thinking just put that girl on the breast....I'm mean dang the baby is giving you the necessary cues. However I don't know anything about bilirubin; I'm just a dumb BFing mom :) not a nurse, so I didn't want to say something that seemed sensical to me but not the right advice for this case.

Well I guess by the time I get replies my cousin will have already had baby's levels tested again, so even if baby's bilirubin is high, what advice should I give her now? Is it ok to go ahead and breastfeed? Why do mainstreamers caution against this?

Thanks
 

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I would encourage her to start nursing ASAP. How is she going to bring in a supply w/out demand?

Here is kellymom's info on Jaundice:
http://www.kellymom.com/newman/07jaundice.html

If I was your cousing I would ask for *specific* levels. Median is an average, so why would there be cause for concern? Bfed babies do tend to have jaundice longer than their formula fed counterparts but ...
Peds used to consider bmilk to not have enough iron (because it was so low compared to infant formula). Then they realized it was totally bioavailable. There is some thought that slight jaundice may have helpful/protective qualities we are just not aware of.
 

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Nurse, nurse, nurse....my son had jaundice and never had formula.
 

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Breastmilk is the best thing for lowering bilirubin levels. It is digested quicker than formula and therefore helps the baby poop out the excess. High bilirubin levels are caused by red blood cells which have died quicker than the babies body can eliminate them. They are eliminated through bodily waste. If a newborn is nursing every 2 hours, the baby will be pooping more and bili levels will go down quickly. They usually dont' drink formula as frequently nor do they have as frequent bowel movements. Tell her to get that kid on the boob!
 

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Definitely tell her to nurse.

With dd, I (uninformed) was told to "push formula and breastfeed sparingly" because my baby had a bili level of 12.
So I barely breastfed for the first two weeks, my milk wasn't coming in, and I had to STRUGGLE to breastfeed at all after that. I had to feed, pump, feed, pump all day long to get my supply going. (Now she's 26 months old and we're still breastfeeding!)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by luvmy3boys
Bilirubin levels are just an indicator for jaundice (something common in newborns). Even if bilirubin levels are high, that shouldn't be cause not to breastfeed or to delay breastfeeding. nak

This article goes into more detail


My DS was jaundiced (his levels were above an 18 before we left the hospital and he was put on a bililight at home for a week) but that isn't a reason at all not to bf. In fact, it should be more of a reason to bf as the fluid moving through them is what brings their levels down.
 

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Our DD's level got to 21 or 22 and never were we told to use formula. Was told to get breastmilk in that baby. We nursed and nursed and then I would suppliment with pumped milk from me or my friend(1/2 to 1oz). Supplimented with a dropper for 2 days,don't think I really needed to but it made me feel better. We used phototherapy for a few days. The thing that brought her levels down was nursing, getting her to poop!
 

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Sage was 7 weeks early and had issues with jaundice, she spent 14 days in the NICU and the neonatologist kept stressing the importance of my breastmilk for flushing out the billirubin, even though her levels were still above 12 at 14 days of age, never did they suggest formula. They did limit me to 4 feeds a day at the breast until she was 11 days old and then 6 feeds for the next 3 days (the rest she got my expressed milk from a bottle) this was because she was early and still so sleepy from the jaundice so they wanted to be sure she was actually taking in enough. When we were discharged at 14 days she was still 4.5 ounces below birthweight but never once did they mention formula, just kept stressing the importance of breastfeeding.
 

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Yup, AJ topped out at 20 and no one suggested formula or lights!
 
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