Reply Hey Mom! Learn more about the Gerber Life Insurance Grow-Up Plan!
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-27-2012, 11:39 AM   #1
alaskamum
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4,276
My Mood:
Breast milk jaundice?

Does anyone know much about breastmilk jaundice?

DD was 9 days old yesterday; in the morning she opened her eyes and the whites were yellow. I took her to the ped, they took a blood test and her bilirubin level was 16. They told me to bring her back in today; it is 14.9 today.

Here's the thing--when I looked up jaundice, I found info about breastmilk jaundice, which basically says that some breastfed babies get jaundiced at about a week old and it can last for several weeks, but there is nothing you can really do about it. She eats pretty well, has plenty of wet and poopy diapers. She is a very sleepy baby though, I do have to wake her up to eat every 2-3 hours.

They want me to take her in again tomorrow to get retested; and I suspect that if this continues they will ask me to bring her in every day to be checked (which could last for weeks--this is what the lab person told me she sees).

I really like the ped, he's generally not the alarmist type, so I don't want to act like I know more than he does or anything.

Does anyone have any experience with this? I don't want to ignore something important, but I also don't want to do all this testing if it's unnecessary.

Is there a way to tell the difference between regular newborn jaundice and breastmilk jaundice?
alaskamum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2012, 03:29 PM   #2
marebear08's Avatar
marebear08
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 8
Re: Breast milk jaundice?

My little guy's billi level was at 10.5 when we left the hospital. They had me come back the next day and he jumped to 16 overnight. =( Because his levels jumped they put him on a billi bed, and we did go back EVERY day until his levels were below 10. He also had to stay on the billibed for 5 days. You probably will have to get a billi check every day until his levels go down enough, but as long as the poopy diapers and wet diapers continue, you should be fine. Put her in a sunny window in the meantime. =)
marebear08 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2012, 05:45 PM   #3
eliz7's Avatar
eliz7
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,510
My Mood:
Breastmilk jaundice is not dangerous. It will go away. Put LO in window in sun naked 20 minutes 3 times a day. Nurse lots and usually by 6 weeks it is gone. It is not harmful at all and very different from the jaundice babies get within the first 24-48 hours that can be dangerous. Good luck!
__________________
~Elizabeth RN~
Proud Mama to
Hannah (5/98), Parker(3/01), Sofia (7/03) and Lily(10/10)
Happy to be again after a bit of a break
eliz7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2012, 07:56 PM   #4
vmomma's Avatar
vmomma
Registered Users
seller
seller
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 5,477
My Mood:
Re: Breast milk jaundice?

He levels will likely continue to go down at this point, and they are not dangerously high, so I wouldn't continue testing. We left the hospital day 4 at 14.5 and she was never tested again. A differen doc may have tested daily, but that's really overkill
__________________
MELISSA, PT Baby RN/Wanna be WAHM Married to Ryan MOMMY TO 25 weeker, VIOLET RAINE 4-13-09,and Juliet Coral 5-15-12
vmomma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2012, 09:57 AM   #5
alaskamum
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4,276
My Mood:
Re: Breast milk jaundice?

I asked the ped about the breast milk jaundice; he says it is too early to be breatsmilk jaundice and her levels were too high to stop testing...

We'll take her in today, hopefully if the levels keep going down we can stop testing.
alaskamum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2012, 10:10 AM   #6
eliz7's Avatar
eliz7
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,510
My Mood:
Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskamum
I asked the ped about the breast milk jaundice; he says it is too early to be breatsmilk jaundice and her levels were too high to stop testing...

We'll take her in today, hopefully if the levels keep going down we can stop testing.
It is exactly the time for breastmilk jaundice. I'm sorry but the dr is wrong. whatever you do, just nurse tons and keep LO in the sun. The sunlight breaks down the bilirubin just like bililights at the hospital. I promise after 20 minutes in sunlight(through a window) baby will be less yellow. Good luck with the testing. Hope it all works out.
__________________
~Elizabeth RN~
Proud Mama to
Hannah (5/98), Parker(3/01), Sofia (7/03) and Lily(10/10)
Happy to be again after a bit of a break
eliz7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2012, 10:19 AM   #7
alaskamum
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4,276
My Mood:
Re: Breast milk jaundice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eliz7 View Post
It is exactly the time for breastmilk jaundice. I'm sorry but the dr is wrong. whatever you do, just nurse tons and keep LO in the sun. The sunlight breaks down the bilirubin just like bililights at the hospital. I promise after 20 minutes in sunlight(through a window) baby will be less yellow. Good luck with the testing. Hope it all works out.

I'm keeping her in the window as much as possible, it's too chilly here to take her outside without clothes on. Unfortunately we only get direct sun through the windows from about 8:45 to 10:30 am. We got in a good hour this morning though.

I think the dr might be wrong too, but do you have any suggestions on the proper way to handle it without ticking off an otherwise good doctor? I really trust him on everything else, but not as much on breastfeeding stuff.
alaskamum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2012, 02:32 PM   #8
songbird516's Avatar
songbird516
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Virginia
Posts: 6,169
My Mood:
Re: Breast milk jaundice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskamum View Post
I'm keeping her in the window as much as possible, it's too chilly here to take her outside without clothes on. Unfortunately we only get direct sun through the windows from about 8:45 to 10:30 am. We got in a good hour this morning though.

I think the dr might be wrong too, but do you have any suggestions on the proper way to handle it without ticking off an otherwise good doctor? I really trust him on everything else, but not as much on breastfeeding stuff.
Just don't go back to check the levels. You will be able to tell if it's getting worse. Jaundice starts on the trunk and goes down the arms and legs. As long as it stays on her torso and starts to fade, she's fine. My second had some jaundice the first week and by 10 days it was totally fine. I nursed him like crazy.

I agree that the doctor is WRONG. I'm not sure why he said that, but jaundice that shows up after 48 hours is "breastmilk jaundice". I don't even agree with that term. I think that it's perfectly normal, and that they only call it that because they're comparing the biological norm, breastfed babies, with the abnormal mode of feeding that is formula feeding. Typically formula-fed babies get MORE food in the beginning, so they're less likely to get jaundiced. That doesn't mean that they are healthier or that formula is better. It just means that their body is breaking down the bilirubin faster than a baby who is breastfed. THere is no evidence that moderate jaundice is damaging in any way to a healthy baby who is breastfeeding well.

The key is to make sure that breastfeeding is going well. Since you said that the levels have already dropped, that's a good sign and I wouldn't do any more testing. It's disruptive and stressful and just breeds fear when there is most likely no problem.
__________________
Sara- mommy to Claire (01/10) and Micah (3/12) and Corbin (10/14) and someone new (11/16)
Birth doula and life-long student of Everything! Need a doula in the central VA area? Let's talk! www.beyondbirthsupport.com
songbird516 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2012, 10:50 AM   #9
eliz7's Avatar
eliz7
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,510
My Mood:
Even indirect sunlight works. If you like the dr and he feels really strongly about testing I don't see a big deal with the testing. I never did it and all of mine had breastmilk jaundice, but really besides the pain of the stick it's not going to damage your LO. If he suggests formula or limiting bfing than I would refuse that advice. He's probably being overly cautious with the tests and not clinically familiar with breastmilk jaundice.
My ydd had it until 6-8 weeks but my first 3 were fine about 2-3 weeks. The window of normal is pretty wide and if it's breastmilk jaundice it tends not to go away in a couple of days and I would assume the numbers will not have gone down much by now. If he is REALLY concerned request a script for a bili blanket for use at home. Good luck!
__________________
~Elizabeth RN~
Proud Mama to
Hannah (5/98), Parker(3/01), Sofia (7/03) and Lily(10/10)
Happy to be again after a bit of a break
eliz7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2012, 11:17 AM   #10
alaskamum
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4,276
My Mood:
Re: Breast milk jaundice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eliz7 View Post
Even indirect sunlight works. If you like the dr and he feels really strongly about testing I don't see a big deal with the testing. I never did it and all of mine had breastmilk jaundice, but really besides the pain of the stick it's not going to damage your LO. If he suggests formula or limiting bfing than I would refuse that advice. He's probably being overly cautious with the tests and not clinically familiar with breastmilk jaundice.
My ydd had it until 6-8 weeks but my first 3 were fine about 2-3 weeks. The window of normal is pretty wide and if it's breastmilk jaundice it tends not to go away in a couple of days and I would assume the numbers will not have gone down much by now. If he is REALLY concerned request a script for a bili blanket for use at home. Good luck!
Thanks for all your help!

It's possible that when he said "too early to call it breastmilk jaundice" that he meant waiting to see if/how the numbers dropped (instead of the baby being too young).

So if I understand correctly, if it is breastmilk jaundice the numbers will not drop quickly, if it is regular jaundice they would drop more quickly?
alaskamum is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Copyright 2005 - 2018 VIX-WomensForum LLC. All Rights Reserved.