N.W. asks from Saint Paul, MN on June 05, 2007
Koombs + and Jaundice
I have a 10 day old baby girl that is jaundice and koombs positive. She has been under phototherapy for 2 days and her billirubin results dropped. Her billirubin was tested the following day and was on the rise again. We had blood work done yesterday and now her hemoglobin dropped. Is there anyone out there that has dealt with this same situation. I am just wondering if this is normal or if I should be taking her to a specialist or another doctor. My doctor doesn't seem to think it is a big deal but has me coming back every other day for more blood work. If there is anyone out there that could help that would be great!
K.B. answers from Milwaukee on June 05, 2007
Our first weeks with our daughter were very stressful. She also had to go to the hospital for phototherapy but she was there three days. After we came home, her levels went up even with the biliblanket they sent us home with. When we discontinued the biliblanket, he levels shot up again! I think it's a rebound effect of the body trying to regulate itself. Gabby was still slightly yellow at two months, but eventually grew out of it. We did blood work every other day for about a month. Hang in there. I know how stressful it can be.
K.B. answers from Minneapolis on June 06, 2007
My son was in phototherapy for 2 days in the hospital.
his bilirubin dropped and we went home. The next day he was too sleepy to eat, so a nurse came to check him and his bili level had skyrocketed again. He spent 2 more days on a home photo therapy bed and we bottle supplemented to flush his system. His levels finally tested OK after a week, but his skin and eyes were yellow for months afterward. We spent a lot of time worrying and crying those first 2 weeks, but our son is now a perfectly happy, healthy 11 month old. So hang in there--it will get better!
D. answers from Minneapolis on June 05, 2007
I wouldn't worry about switching doctors or going to a specialist. They're doing frequent blood work to keep an eye on things and that's all the monitoring your baby girl needs. As they get older, the bilirubin level is more tolerable. So a level that was really high a few days ago isn't as serious as that same level would be today. If your doctor is keeping an eye on things, that's the most important thing. Babies normally have a higher hemoglobin than adults do, so it's not out of the ordinary for it to drop. Although, what's her hemoglobin now and what was it before? Try not to worry. My daughter was jaundiced so I know the stress. However, now I work as a RN on a postpartum unit and we see jaundice all the time. Your doctor is doing exactly what needs to be done. Just keep feeding your baby as much as possible to make sure she's getting the bilirubin flushed out of her system. And if your doctor wants to put her under the lights again, do it. Good luck!
K.H. answers from Minneapolis on June 05, 2007
My daughter was jaundice and we actually had to go back to the NICU when she was 5 days old and she had to have an IV and be under the lights it was such a stressful horrible experience for me. I cried non stop and was completly freaked out about the whole thing. One thing I learned is that formula flushes the billiribin faster then breast milk so that might be something to think about if you are nursing. We gave her formula until her levels were normal and then I went back to nursing. While she was on forumula I pumped to keep my milk supply up. Hang in there she will do fine. Your doctors seems to be proactivly handling it.
C.O. answers from Minneapolis on June 06, 2007
This happened to our 4th child and needed to be on the billi blanket for a week. Had to go back and fourth to the hospital to have blood work done, it was tiresome and frustrating. I too learned that BF babies take longer time to flush the jaundice out then Formula fed ones. Because I was breastfeeding they had me on a schedule to feed him every 2hrs and could not be out of that light unless I was feeding or changing him. It was scary at first and of course i freaked but it does get better. I supplemted with formula in between BF to get some rest and I also had to keep track of his liquid intake and how his diapers were (how many wet and poopy)
It does take time for the yellowing to go away. They said its like a stain. I think my boys eyes took the longest to clear.
Good luck and relax. I may have 4 but that still felt like it was my first.
B.H. answers from Minneapolis on June 05, 2007
My dd was premature and very very jaundice she looked like a hispanic orange baby with black hair. Now at 5 she's got that super pale white skin and blondish hair. So she looked awful and was under the lights at the hospital 24/7 for days.. I don't remember how many days but I wanna say close to a week, I couldn't even hold her for 10min. the nurse would yell at me to put her back under her light. She finally came home from the hospital still looked funny her skin color was still way off but maybe by one month old she was normal looking and looked like a caucasion baby. We did tons and tons of blood work and my dd is now 5 and I can still find scars on her hands and ankles from being pricked so many times. I have no idea what her levels were but they were bad and it just took time... and patience. They get rid of the bilirubin through the lights or going potty so the more you feed them and the more they potty it helps too. If your already out of the hospital just go outside with your new baby and let the sunshine do it's job. I was very very offended when my dd was under the phototherapy and I couldn't even take her out to hold her for more than 10 min. all I wanted to do was bond and hold my baby. Now I know it was important. So Yes I think it's normal and I don't think you need a specialist it's a very common thing.