Newborn Who Has Jaundice, Mom Who Is Breastfeeding

Updated on May 06, 2008
N.G. asks from Peyton, CO
58 answers

I was wondering if any of you can give be advice about jaundice. My daughter is 12 days old and she had jaundice since she was 2 days old. Her number were going up for several days (the highest was 21 when we were in the ER) and it went down to 15.5 after we spent 1 night in the hospital, but now the last 2 days it has started to go back up. She is now at 18. I have been driving back and forth to the lab every day (which is 25 minutes from my house) and I am just tired of having her heel pricked. They are doing more blood tests today and I hope to get some answers. I would love to hear from moms who have been through this. She is eating well, stooling, wet diapers, awake for periods during the day. I am not sure what else to do. I have been given advice to supplement with formula and pump & dump my breastmilk.

Thanks in advance for letting me know your experience and any insight.

Update: I have had her under a bili blanket since last Wednesday and I have been trying to put her in sunlight, but there has not been too much lately and I have been spending so much time in the car driving to the lab. Her # from today was 14.9, so that is down from yesterday of 18. Hopefully we are going in the right direction and it will not go back up.

N.

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S.B.

answers from Boise on

My daughter had the same thing - jaundice within a couple days of being born, and it lasted about three weeks. Just keep her in the bili blanket as much as possible. I don't think you should stop breastfeeding. The jaundice should eventually go away.

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K.C.

answers from Colorado Springs on

My little girl had jaundice as well. When it is sunny outside take her clothes off and put her in sunlight. I did that with my daughter and it helped. I was also breastfeeding. I never supplement with formula while she had jaundice.

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A.H.

answers from Grand Junction on

My baby boy spent about 4 days on a bili-bed with the light from underneath. The jaundice is normal, just a pain in the rear. When the number goes back up, it should stay there.

The advice to use formula is standard. As hard as the push is to breastfeed, every doctor I thought was "hard core" always suggested breastfeeding, as if you were insufficient. Feed her before she asks for food, and I just skipped the formula.

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R.A.

answers from Missoula on

OH, Oh, oh, I feel your pain! My daughter just turned two and when I read your request, I felt like I was right back in that spot! My daughter went through the same exact thing! Even down to the 25 minute drive to the hospital! When my daughter FINALLY was clear of her jaundice, her heels were so full of pricks that they had to RE-PRICK one spot, because they ran out of room! I really, really hope you don't have to get to that point! But anyways, I don't know much else to tell you except, keep strong, keep going, it will get better, and this is the best you can do for your daughter right now. I have a hard time believing that formula is better than mommy juice, so do what you want. You don't want her to get used to the bottle early on and then not be able to breastfeed when her jaundice clears up. Hang in there, I have been there two! It seems like a long time, but compared to the rest of your lives together, it really isn't! Good Luck!
R.

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C.S.

answers from Provo on

Hey N. hang in there. My little girl had jaundice when I first brought her home. We live in Utah and she was born in Feb so there was no sun. I found that supplementing one bottle of water for a feeding and keeping her under the billi lights as much as possible finally worked. A little tip if your baby won't drink the water try putting a little sugar in with it. That was the only way my little girl would take it. Hope this helps. Just hang in there jaundice usually goes away on its own once their little bodies get the hang of regulating itself

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R.R.

answers from Pocatello on

Both of my children have had jaundice, but it cleared up after about 5 days on the bili blanket for both of them. My sons highest number was 21 and my daughters was 18. My mother-in-law swears by lemon juice, and it helped with my daughter. (I wouldn't try it with my son.) Just cut a wedge of lemon and squeeze a little into her mouth. By the way, I have also exclusively breast fed both of them during that time, and till 17 months with my son. My daughter is only 3 months, so no record there.

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D.V.

answers from Denver on

N., My son also had jaundice as a newborn. And we had a company come out and deliver the bili lights that fit in the bassinet. He was in there for almost a week and it broke my heart not to be able to hold him (he is my third!) I kept him naked except for a diaper and I continued to breast feed him through the light therapy(I thought that breast feeding was good for their jaundice???) We as well, had to get his heal pricked like every other day! So stressful. Hang in there. It will soon be a memory and just to let you know ... My little guy is a healthy almost 3 year old!!! Take Care!

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J.H.

answers from Billings on

Looks like you have had a ton of responses, but if you want another, I'll share one. My daughter breast fed, and also had terrible jaundice when she was first born. We brought her home from the hospital on a Saturday, and by Sunday she was very yellow. She was my first baby, and I wasn't really sure if she was yellow enough to warrant a trip to the E.R., so I waited until Monday to take her into our doctor. They tested her, and she was almost at a 19, so they sent us directly over to the hospital. She spent the night under the bili lights, which was awful; I couldn't hold her, and was only able to pick her up for very short periods of time for feedings. Plus that blue light made my eyes all crazy! My hsuband and I sat around in the room with our sunglasses on...anyway, her numbers went down slowly--the nurses came in and checked her (heel prick) every few hours. By mid day the next day, we were discharged, but it took probably two weeks for her to stop looking yellow. I had her checked about a week after we were home just to be sure, and she was still at a 10. Her entire first year, I was concerned that my daughter would have some sort of problems from the jaundice, but she is is fine! She is smart, funny, sweet, and has met all her milestones on time. I know how horrible the whole jaundice thing is; I was so worried about my second child having it when he was born, I had him checked 3 times! My doctor thought I was nuts, but I figured better safe than sorry. My son did get a little bit of jaundice, but nothing that concerned anybody. But I was really careful with him and made sure he had formula until my milk came in, plus he was a summer baby, and I put him in the sun as much as I felt was safe for someone that little. I hope your daughter is doing better--I will think good thoughts!

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T.B.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My little one is now 5 mo old but we came home from the hospital with the bili blanket. We had him on it for 3 days and also had to keep getting the heel pricked to be tested. After 3 days his numbers kept going up. He was admitted to the RTU at Primary Children's I believe with a number of 22 or 23 (memory fades fast)for 24 hours and put under the lights. I too breastfeed and they had me feeding him almost every two hours. They allowed us to go home on Saturday with a 15 and told us to go back in on Sunday morn. to test him again. When we went back in on Sunday morning his number was an 18. I was so upset and figured that he was going to have to be admitted again. We called the on call peds doctor and one thing they failed to tell me from the hospital when we were released is that the bili count will typically go up higher the next day and then it will start to drop. Which with your update seems like the trend. I think my poor little boy had 8 pricks in each heel. Talk about not fun. Good luck with everything, and it will get better. Keep breastfeeding if you can. FYI my sister in law also had this problem and she had to pump and dump because her antibodies were not "meshing" with the babies. It was hard for her but she got through the week and a half of doing this and then she has been able to go back to breastfeeding without a problem. Good luck

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C.M.

answers from Pocatello on

Hi N.,
I am a grandmother of 5 kids and 5 grandkids. All my kids had jaundice. Give her bottles of water as much as possible. The sunlight does help, but there has not been too much lately, I realize. Where her # went down, you should be ok from now on. It would be rare for it to go up again. Nonetheless, give her water. I am sure she will be ok. Hang in there, you have your hands full!!

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J.W.

answers from Colorado Springs on

stay encouraged. I went throught the same thing and understand exactly what you are going through. It's been 4 years now and my little girl is just fine. Eventually your baby will be completely healed. It took a few weeks until she was all better.

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J.W.

answers from Denver on

My #3 had jaundice. It is SO scary. Even though I know that they treat it (even at the "high" numbers) way before it can really cause damage, it is still scary as a mom. I was also told that a certain formula would help bring it down, which made me hopping mad, because I also had always breastfed. I didn't pump and dump though. I pumped and saved the milk for later. My daughter ended up with a bit of feeding confusion after being only bottlefed in the nursery for a week. But I did not give up, and she eventually got back to breastfeeding, and is now a happy 2YO. Don't give up!

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S.M.

answers from Casper on

Sunlight, like Kristin said. I am a little surprised if none of your doctors have told you this. I thought it was common knowledge, and have heard of other doctors prescribing this sort of treatment. I have trouble watching my kids get poked so I can't imagine what you're going through.

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N.W.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Do NOT give your baby water. It messes up their electrolytes. Even at the hospital, the nurses give babies a water solution NOT water. Electrolyte balance in a baby is NOT something you wanna mess up.

My son lived in the jaundice suitcase for 2 weeks. I wouldn't wish that experience on anyone.

I'd suggest subbing ONE feeding a day with formula. Usually breastmilk is best, but studies show over and over that formula brings bilirubin levels down noticeably faster than breast milk.

Your milk supply is young enough that one feeding a day won't make much difference. It'll help the jaundice clear up faster. I did this with all my other children, too, even in the hospital. It didn't mess up their nursing abilities. Make sure it's just one feeding a day.

I tried to breastfeed in a place where the baby could be naked or just diapered in the sunlight for the feeding. (like on a bed with the sunlight streaming in.) Then I'd let the baby nap in the sunlight. I had sleep positioners so the baby wouldn't roll off the bed. (not that they're rolling so early anyway.)

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R.R.

answers from Colorado Springs on

I have three children and I have breastfed all of them. Not as long as you have but there were circumstances that caused that to happen. My youngest is 9 months old, and she had jaundice when she was 2 days old. She actually left the hospital that way. During our discharge process I let the nurses know that she was yellow and the brushed me off saying that it was the lighting in my room. I took her to the ER when the whites of her eyes started to turn yellow. When they took her levels she was at 19 in the ER. They also needed to know my blood type and her's. I am O+ and she is A-, and that is what caused her jaundice, she had what is called an ABO incompatibility. What that means is that my antibodies are small enough to cross through the placenta, and when she was born they started to attack her red blood cells. If only I had know to supplement her with formula. In the end she was admitted over night for the phototherapy treatment. I had to wake her every 3 hours to eat which wasn't a problem because my milk was already in and she had a great apeptite to go with it. They tested her levels in the morning and she had gone down to 12 and we were able to go home. I hope that everything gets better with your baby girl, and I think that maybe you should have talk to your doctor about phototherapy.

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S.M.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi N.,
When my son was an infant he had jaundice also. We put him in sunlight 15 minutes a day. We had a lot of sunlight so did this only a few minutes at a time and flipped him over so not to get burned. I believe even if it is cloudy out what you need from the sun comes through. Ask your doctor.
S.

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A.P.

answers from Pocatello on

Usually once the bili numbers begin to go down, they continue. It is normal for there to be a slight peak when the bili lights are discontinued, or when breastfeeding resumes if you supplemented temporarily.
Do you have a lactation consultant to work with at the hospital? Is your baby feeding every 2 hours (9-11 times per day), do you hear swallowing, and are there 2-5 poops daily?
Babies who receive water or glucose water have an increased risk of jaundice.
Current AAP guidelines are to consider phototherapy if bili is 17 or above in babies over 72 hours old. Hang in there, and try to find a local breastfeeding helper.

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L.F.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I'm a newborn nurse, and a mom who has been through this. Talk to your pediatrician and have him/her really explain what their reasoning is for what they want you to do. Ask them before trying many of the things in the responses. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin and can be toxic for a newborn (obviously not everytime if someone is suggesting it, but who wants to be the one with a problem.) I would suggest talking with a knowedgeable lactation consultant - our hospital LC's helped me get through what was a really rough time in my newborn's life (now a healthy 3 year old). The pokes are tough, but the results of ignoring an increased bilirubin can be disasterous. (Please don't give the baby water without discussing in with your pediatrician - it has no calories - and will fill the baby up without giving the bilirubin anything to bind to - and water is not recommended for babies until after 6 months. Good Luck!

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G.L.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I don't know that I have any advice, other than just be patient - as long as the numbers are going in the right direction. My son, also breastfed, had jaundice for about 3 weeks after he was born. Yes, the lab tests are a pain - ask your doctor whether it is truly necessary to do it every day. After a few tests showing steady improvement, we were allowed to go to testing less often (every 2 days, then twice a week).

The one advantage we had that you do not was timing. My son was born in high summer, so getting lots of sun was easy. Do you have a south-facing window in your house that you could place her by? Sunlight through a window still does the job.

Who advised you to pump and dump? Get a second opinion about this if possible. My doctor told me that while breastfed babies are more likely to be jaundiced, that the benefits of breastfeeding still outweighed the liabilities. If you must use formula and pump, freeze your breastmilk for use later.

Was your daughter born early, by chance? My son was born at 39 weeks, and I was told that that was probably the main reason why he had jaundice.

I hope all goes well for you and your new daughter, and that this passes quickly.

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S.L.

answers from Pueblo on

Try giving her some sterilized water. I know that since I had my babies the doctors say that they don't need water, but I disagree. Try giving her at least four ounces a couple of times a day and see what happens. It can't hurt.

Seasoned mom that was a sahm myself.

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M.S.

answers from Cheyenne on

I haven't been in this situation, so take my adivce with a grain of salt. I would continue to breastfeed & give formula in addition. Also, our pediatrician said to never give a baby more than a few sips of water before 6 months because their little kidneys cannot handle it. Good luck, and congratulations on your new little one!

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C.L.

answers from Fort Collins on

All I can say is DO NOT put the baby on formula. Get a second opinion. The levels in your child are high, but not to the point where drastic measures should be taken. See this link for more info:
http://askdoctorsears.com/html/2/T029600.asp

If you start bottles now, you could undermine your breastfeeding relationship. Ask about a supplemental feeding system if your dr. insists on adding something to help lower the levels. Keep up with the sunning and bili blanket, and expect this to last a couple weeks.

Good luck and I HTH.

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T.C.

answers from Colorado Springs on

My daughter was put in the NICU at 1 day old for jaundice - incubator, bili lights, IV - the works. At the time the Drs. told me that breast milk is the best thing ever for my baby - except when it came to jaundice. They said that there is some ingredient in formula that breaks down the bilirubin faster than breastmilk. So I breastfed and used formula too. The positive side of that is that my daughter got used to a bottle and formula right away and there was never any problem with the transition when I decided to wean. Don't just pump and dump though - breastmilk freezes well. Also, put the baby in sunlight as much as possible - even just indirect light through the house windows. I parked my daughter's bassinet in front of the living room windows while she napped. Hope everything turns out well for you!

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V.M.

answers from Colorado Springs on

My son, who is now 34, jaundiced at 2 days old. His first bilirubin(sp?) was 24. Since this was back in the dark ages, he was actually in the intensive care nursery for three days. When we finally went home he had over twenty pricks in each heal. The pricks bothered me more than the jaundice. Today you have the biliblanket and take home bili lights. I don't know why you would be advised to pump and dump if she is doing well. I know it's scary. A lot of moms have been through it, and the treatments are so much better than they used to be. Colorado is one of the leading states for jaundice in neonates. (My son was born in Germany.) Stay positive and know there are a lot of moms with you in spirit every step of the way.

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J.M.

answers from Fort Collins on

I have 2 boys who both at birth had elevated bilirubin counts. The liver, at birth in many newborns, is not capable of keeping up with clearing old blood cell material. All newborns go thro the process of replacing old (blood cells) and generating new. The bili blanket (for bilirubin, a by product of old red blood cells)and the sun help the newborn with the process of eliminating the excess bilirubin until the liver catches up. May seem like a long process, and naturally scary for the mom, but will clear up.
J. Anne

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K.W.

answers from Salt Lake City on

This may sound a little too simple - but drink TONS of water. My second got jaundice really bad and they would just say to make sure she was getting hydrated enough. Well, ofcourse I was breastfeeding her whenever she wanted - she ended up doing much better after a couple of days. With my third, I drank so much water I couldn't even believe myself. I would finish a huge 64 oz. of water and my husband would have to go get me another one several times a day.(not even thinking of the jaundice thing - I just couldn't get enough!) and she never got it at all. Moisture has something to do with it. I know that if you can get them to poop more, the jaundice can clear out better. Good luck. I hate the heel pricking!!

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G.C.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Hello,

My daughter had jaundice when she was one or two days old, so we were still at the hospital and the nurses did have us supplement a lot with formula to keep the liquids up. By then I still didn't my milk yet.
We felt that giving her as much formula as she could take did help her recover.

G.

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C.C.

answers from Denver on

I went through this with both my sons but my 1st born was the worst. We did the same thing, trips to the hospital, heel pricks that he would get over but I was still stressing over. I just put him near the window whenever possible, it didn't have to be sunny for him to get the benefits of the sun.It was better on a sunny day but the doctors said just the daylight would keep helping him.He spent a lot of time in the car carrier by the windows! He was better w/in 2 weeks. My second was lucky enough to look like a little pumpkin for only a week. I am sure someone on this list will have great advice.I think you are doing the right things, it might just be a time issue. Breast milk and daylight were all it took for us. good luck!

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J.S.

answers from Denver on

Hopefully they told you to make sure she gets as much sunlight as possible. Make sure her eyes are shielded from the direct light.

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B.M.

answers from Pocatello on

My son also had jaundice and had to had his heel pricked sevral times my doctor prescribed billi lights a medical supply store will bring it to your house its like a suitcase kinda but its filled with lights and you leave them in it all day for as long as possible it has a block so it doesnt hurt their eyes it worked great it cleared up is just a couple days ask your doctor about it if you have any other questions let me know [email protected]____.com

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A.W.

answers from Grand Junction on

So sorry you have to go through this! My son had jaundice and had to be hospitalized for a few days so he could be under the bili lights, too. The nurses told me that the best way to get the jaundice levels down were to breastfeed him as often as possible.. I am surprised someone told you to use formula! Sure hope she is better soon. I know how awful it was to watch their little heels get pricked again and again! Hang in there.

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L.B.

answers from Great Falls on

I have had all 5 of my kids have jaundice. THe first baby's numbers went up to 21, and they had me stop breastfeeding and supplement. It was a HORRIBLE week for both me and my baby. After a week under the lights, the numbers finally started to drop, but it took almost a month to build my breast milk back up and get the baby to nurse again.
With my other four, I followed the advice of my mother in law (which I was too proud to follow the first time around) and I used vitamin E for my baby. The advice is from a book titled OWN YOUR OWN BODY, but Dr. Stan Malstrom. (I don't utilize herbs in other ways- they are unproven and make me nervous, but this one seems to work). Anyway the book says, (page 29) "I suggested he puncture and then squeeze a 200 unit of Vitamin E into the baby's mouth. By the next morning, the numbers had dropped from a 17 to a 12."
FOr my babies it usually took two days, and two liquid caps, but it worked everytime. All four of my other kids were able to be breast fed and never had to go under the bili lights. Whatever you do, don't stop breastfeeding. From all the books I have read, that is the best way to push the biliruben out of the system.
Good luck, I wish I had seen your request sooner, and could have saved you those horrible heel pokes. They make me cry every time!!

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A.G.

answers from Colorado Springs on

N.,
My son had breastmilk jaundice and there is NO reason to stop breastfeeding if your baby is doing well nursing. We had to take him to the lab for the first 2 months of his life and he was yellow for nearly 3 months total. We worked out that he had a dairy sensitivity and when I cut dairy out of my diet he started to improve. If you notice more spitting up or projectile spit up from your daughter after she nurses examine what you ate prior to her doing so. Sometimes food sensitivites can prolong breastmilk jaundice. Also if it is simply breastmilk jaundice it can go on for weeks. My son was born right after Christmas and getting him into sunlight in Dec in Colorado....just wasn't happening most days. We did have a skylight that I would park his portable crib under and let him lay in the sun with just a diaper on...that helped him some. I know all those trips to the lab are a pain, we did twice a day for the first few months of his life and by that time he had learnt to hate the car. Hang in there, this too will pass.

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H.Y.

answers from Denver on

Hi nichole my name is H. I have a 2yr and she had jaundice from day 1 until she was actually 4mos old and unfurtunitly I use to have to take her to the dr to prick her which would break my heart every time just to have them say that its 24 or 19 or what ever it may be which unfortantly there is not much they can do or will all you can do is just keep being a good mom and take care of her but if she starts acting weird then of course take her to hospital and keep trying to put her in sun. Im not sure why you stopped breast feeding I breast feed my daughter until she was 14mos old and they did not have any effect on her jaundice so dont waste the nutrition when you dont need too and your baby needs it expecerly if it had no effect on your others k! Good Luck and please feel free to email me if you have any more questions about it!

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J.H.

answers from Fort Collins on

N.!

Good luck first off, I know how stressful it can be and very hard on your body to be pumping and being their for your child. My daughter had jaundice because our blood types conflicted with each other, her numbers got as high as 19. I would ask the hospital if you can take home a billi bed or billi blanket. Also I did pump and then supplement as well. Our feeding schedule consisted of BF, then supplementing with formula and previously pumped BM (first we would give my daughter the BM, then add in the formula). My husband would do the supplement feeding so I could pump again right after BF due to the stimulation.

My little one had heel pricks for a long time, you can even see them in her newborn pictures! Again Good luck and stay tough!!!! Jen

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B.Z.

answers from Pueblo on

Dear N.,
After reading your post I starting thinking back to when I breastfed my son. He, too, had jaundice and it turned out to be breastmilk jaundice. Has your doctor mentioned anything like this to you? I was just wondering because I never knew there was such a type of jaundice. Anyway, good luck with your newborn as soon as she is over this jaundice ordeal, she will seem like a completly different baby! The advice on the supplement formula and pump and dump your BM is a good idea if it is in fact BM jaundice.

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A.M.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Well I have a son who is now two but when he was first born he had Jaundice. And his numbers were high and then we did the billi bed and they went down. But because of his darks skin we didn't know that they were going back up. And then on his two month check up we were sent to hospital for an ultra sound which showed he has no gaulbladder or bile ducts and he needed surgery right away. I don't mean to scare you but the heal pricks are nothing compare to the worst possible scenario. It could be worse. My son after surgery was in ICU for Two and a half weeks on a vent and had IV's because he wasn't breathing normal and then had to stay in the infant unit for another month and a half. And all I can say is watch for light colored stool, check her temp if you feel at all like she might have a fever and keep checking her billi level. You don't want to miss something that could need further attention we almost missed our window of oppertunity. The doctor said we caught it just in time. If you want more info please don't hesitate to ask I'm more than willing to share what I know about this subject. Hope this helps for you!!!

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J.A.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Colorado has a higher risk of jaundice babies because of the altitude. I live here in colorado springs. My kids have all had jaundice and what i did was put a blanket down where the sun comes through the window. i had a space heater to make it nice and warm and you let their little naked body lay there for at least an hour or so a day. It went away no problems! Good luck

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V.S.

answers from Missoula on

This is breastmilk jaundice. It is actually pretty harmless but can take a long time to go away. Some docs worry about it; some don't.

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M.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I have heard that children born in higher altitudes are more susceptible something about how much sun you got when you where pregnant also may have something to do with it. I had to have my son on a billie blanket for awhile after he was born, and we were in the car alot, so we got a 12 volt adapter so that he could be on the blanket in the car. Also I know alot of woman in CO that couldn't breastfed because the jaundice was in their milk.

From:
Cheryl S

Date:
Sat. Mar. 15, 2008

Hey N. hang in there. My little girl had jaundice when I first brought her home. We live in Utah and she was born in Feb so there was no sun. I found that supplementing one bottle of water for a feeding and keeping her under the billi lights as much as possible finally worked. A little tip if your baby won't drink the water try putting a little sugar in with it. That was the only way my little girl would take it. Hope this helps. Just hang in there jaundice usually goes away on its own once their little bodies get the hang of regulating itself

instead of putting sugar in the water, I would suggest flavoring the water with a little juice. My son loved that.

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S.M.

answers from Denver on

Hi N.,

I have 6 kids, 2 of them had jaundice. One had to stay in the hospital for 2 weeks. My second son stayed in the hospital for about four days. After he came home he got jaundice. He was setup at home with a bed. I just had to keep him naked and his eyes covered. The nurse came to the house to check on him every other day or so. I breastfeed and was asked to make sure he ate at least every 2 hours. Not to let him go longer then that so that he had more out put. I do know that jaundice usually lasts 10-14 days. I think this is why he wasn't check every day while he was at home.

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C.F.

answers from Denver on

nurse her nurse her nurse her and cuddle. both of mine had it and my midwife just said keep nursing and it worked

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L.C.

answers from Denver on

All three of mine had jaundice. They were all born in Chicago. All three times I had to stop breastfeeding until the jaundice went away. My son had the worst. I did pump to keep going but I never could keep going when I went back to work after 30 days. (I always regretted not trying harder).

When I fed them I usually sat by a window. I think it has more to do with ultraviolet rays then the actual sunshine? I could be wrong though.

Good luck. I hope it all works out for you and your little precious baby.

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M.L.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My son had jaundice when he was born and he had to stay in the hospital for about 3 days. When we finally got to take him home we had to have him under the bili lights for about a week and then it was gone. All they told me was to make sure he had wet and messy diapers and if his stool was yellow then that was good. He wouldn't breast feed so all he got was formula. So maybe renting some bili lights will help? Good Luck!

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K.B.

answers from Denver on

Hi N., I had the same thing with my third girl (recently). I tried to have her in a sunny window when it was cold outside and when it was nice I would sit on the porch in the sunlight - not directly in the sun. It helped after a few days. Good luck to you and keep on nursing, that helps too. Congrats on your baby!

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A.F.

answers from Salt Lake City on

What helps with jaundice is gaining weight. That's why you've been advised to supplement with formula. If she can handle it, feed her more (breastmilk OR formula) Maybe pump and feed your daughter your breastmilk so you know exactly how much she's getting. The bilirubin needs to dissipate and be replaced with hemoglobin in her blood as she gains weight. It's all complicated, but the most effective way to get over her jaundice is to help her gain weight faster. Sunlight and bili blankets are secondary to gaining weight, but do work. Hopefully it goes away soon. Good luck.

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T.B.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My daughter had jaundice when she was born too. It can be scary and I'm sorry you have had to go through all this! It sounds like things are looking better. I think the advice about the formula is CRAZY!!!!! Breastfeeding is the absolute best thing you can do. You milk is liquid gold and is made just for your baby. My advice would be to just keep on nursing and she'll be just fine. Good Luck and I hope your long drives for the heel-pricks end soon.

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J.N.

answers from Denver on

Get in touch with your local La Leche League! There is no reason for you to have to pump and dump. Supplementing with formula can impact your milk supply, even if you are pumping. Breastfeeding is perfectly fine for babies with jaundice. Here are the phone numbers for a couple of the Arvada La Leche League Leaders: Tammie ###-###-####, and Grace ###-###-####.

Good luck!

J. (mom to Zach, 2 years, and Talia, 3 and 1/2 months)

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K.E.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Sun is the best answer. CO can be a difficult place to find it in the winter. Should be more sun this weekend. Open your windows and doors and let all the sun in. Let baby lay on blanket where she will get as much sun exposure as possible. Good luck!

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J.C.

answers from Casper on

I would suggest the sunlight (but strip her down to just a diaper and then put her in it) and just to continue the breastfeeding. If she is getting enough to eat from you, I don't see the reason to supliment at all. I had the same problem with my last little one (she is #6 for us). Her's didn't get bad enough that we had to test so often, but her doc told me the sunlight. She really didn't like to be cold, but unfortunately that is a hard thing when you live where we do and are a Nov baby. So she really didn't like just being in the sun by herself. So the key for us was to find our sunny window and let her take a nap on us in the sun. That did the trick. It is tough when things are going right and you are so tired, but you are doing a wonderful job and things will pick up. Congrats.

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J.M.

answers from Denver on

Hi N.,
I don't know why they want you to "pump and dump" your breastmilk. But that's the worst advice they could give you. Formula does not have the proper or best nutrients for your baby--your breastmilk has everything your baby needs--especially if your baby has a weak liver; your daughter needs your milk now more than ever. I've had liver problems before and acupuncture has helped greatly--(it works on children too and it's not painful). If you can find one, that may help your baby. You've already done sunlight (even on cloudy days, the baby can still get a good amount of Vitamin D), I would just keep that up.
Good luck and congrats Mama!
J.

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H.W.

answers from Boise on

I had the same problem when my daughter was born. I really feel for you! You're doing everything right, keep it up. The only other thing I could suggest is giving her water. Keeping her hydrated is really important (and it sounds like you're doing a fabulous job). If the hospital had given her water at the very beginning (like I asked them to) I think we could have avoided a lot. I'm so sorry you have to go through that during a recovery! Mine was a c-section, so I totally undertand the discomfort and annoyance it can bring. She sounds like she's doing REALLY well. I'm sorry to say this, but you just have to keep going with it. Try the water though. That helped us. Good luck!

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A.P.

answers from Denver on

We went through the same thing with our second son. It is awful to keep going to the hospital to get the heel prick. Talk to the hospital about whether you have to go every day or not. Is there a difference between a bili bed and bili blanket? It is hard to keep the baby on the bili bed because you just want to hold the baby. But, keep the baby on the bili bed. Take the baby's clothes off and put her in a window with sunlight. Keep breastfeeding. Talk to the doctors and nurses. Ask lots of questions. Express your concerns. Sometimes they forget that although this is not new to them it is new to you. They need to do their job in explaining things to you. But they also need to understand what a hardship this is. Perhaps there is something you can work out. You are a good mom doing your best with a situation that is out of your control. What's most important is getting your baby healthy. Be patient. Your baby will get better.

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S.W.

answers from Denver on

Is there a way you can get a billi light at home? Our first daughter had one and a nurse came to our home to check her periodically...I never had to deal with labs or any of that. It was actually very easy. Ask questions and see if this can be easier than it sounds like it's been for you.

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D.F.

answers from Pueblo on

DO NOT supplement with formula (unless you WANT to be done breastfeeding very early), and don't worry about the pump-and-dump thing. I'm not sure where, or why people come up with those things as advice for jaundice issues, among other things, but the best thing will always be breastfeeding.

If her numbers are down today, and you're still using the bili blanket & sunlight, I wouldn't worry too much. Sometimes jaundice takes a little longer to resolve, but if the numbers are going down, you're doing right. Keep nursing, and good luck!

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S.H.

answers from Provo on

it sucks but it just takes time. do not pump and dump it has nothing to do with your milk, your breast milk is the best thing for her. the more she eats the better it is. both my girls had it and it took weeks to get rid of it all the way.

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M.E.

answers from Salt Lake City on

What's with the advice to pump and dump? Breast milk doesn't cause or contribute to jaundice. So, I think that is poor advice from a nurse or doc. that is still pro formula. Breast is best. I would get another opinion on that. Your little girl needs her mommies milk, not formula. If you are breast feeding now, changing it on her would be stressful.
Good luck with everything, it can be so hard.

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T.O.

answers from Denver on

Hi N.,
I would definitely NOT suggest pumping and dumping. Both of my children had jaundice as newborns. With my first, once I got her breastfeeding well and frequently (very) the jaundice cleared up on it's own. Thankfully, we didn't have to go through all the blood tests you do(our doc didn't think it was necessary). My son was in the NICU for about 3 days, under the lights for most of the time. Once I convinced them to let me take him home, with a bili blanket, I did the same thing as with my daughter - breastfed very frequently - and his jaundince cleared up within several days too. Your breastmilk is the absolute best thing for your baby, so as long as you're producing enough milk, you shouldn't have to supplement with formula. IMHO the only reason to supplement breastmilk with formula is if you are not producing enough for your baby to grow as expected.

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