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Old 06-29-2008, 09:38 PM   #1
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Hospital Jaundice Worries

My LO is due in just a couple weeks. I have a lot of worries about what might happen at the hospital... I'm worried about being pressured to do things (or allow things to be done) I don't want with my LO. I know doctors and nurses will make you feel that you HAVE to do certain things or you'll be harming your LO.

I've heard that formula is often given to babies who are jaundiced. The rationale is that they need the hydration, and can't get it from breast milk because you're only producing colostrum that early after giving birth. Is all this true? I obviously hope that my LO doesn't get jaundiced, but in case he does, it would be nice to be armed with some info when facing the doctors and nurses.

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Old 06-29-2008, 09:42 PM   #2
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Re: Hospital Jaundice Worries

My daughter had jaundice. They had me put her in the sunlight (keep the blinds open, set in front of the window) and wake up to feed her around the clock every two hours. Don't let them feed her formula if you're not willing to. She will be fine without it. My daughter was jaundiced until her second week of life, we rented a BiliBlanket. It is true that breastfed babies are more likely to become jaundiced, but it's not a reason to give them formula unless you're on your 5th day after giving birth and not having any milk yet (you will, trust me, and you'll know it).
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Old 06-29-2008, 09:43 PM   #3
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Re: Hospital Jaundice Worries

Tell them no. Sinple as that. The more info you have the better prepared you are to stand your ground.

Even healthy full term babies can get jaundiced... best thing is BF'ing still. THere are times when they need to be hospitalized and even then if they're not having to be fed through an IV the can be fed BM

here's a helpful resource

and here's another

and one more.
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Old 06-29-2008, 10:10 PM   #4
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Re: Hospital Jaundice Worries

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Originally Posted by acw1 View Post
My LO is due in just a couple weeks. I have a lot of worries about what might happen at the hospital... I'm worried about being pressured to do things (or allow things to be done) I don't want with my LO. I know doctors and nurses will make you feel that you HAVE to do certain things or you'll be harming your LO.

I've heard that formula is often given to babies who are jaundiced. The rationale is that they need the hydration, and can't get it from breast milk because you're only producing colostrum that early after giving birth. Is all this true? I obviously hope that my LO doesn't get jaundiced, but in case he does, it would be nice to be armed with some info when facing the doctors and nurses.
this really depends on the hospital and the individual doctors and nurses. i went into the hospital expecting everyone except my midwife to be "anti-" everything "I" wanted and that they'd all be anti-natural mothering...this is the vibe i was getting from everything i had been reading. pleasantly, i found this to not be true at our local hospital. all nurses i was in contact with were very pro-breast feeding and skin on skin contact, just to name a few examples. when my dd was looking a little yellow (jaundice) the only thing that was said was "let's get this lo next to the window and keep nursing as often as possible"

of course, you want to be well educated BEFORE going in the hospital, but not every one is going to be the stereo typical "main stream" ...
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:54 AM   #5
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Re: Hospital Jaundice Worries

I would definitely make a little sign to put on your baby's bassinet thing that says "No formula" on it, and make sure your ped doesn't order supplementation "as needed." I feel myself getting pizzed off thinking about it as I write this, but my dd's ped at the hospital wrote an order for her to receive supplementation "as needed" for her jaundice and I GAVE SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS to the night nurse that she was NOT to receive formula and she was NOT to have a bottle, but a SYRINGE with my PUMPED breastmilk if she needed it. Well, I left to sleep from 6-8am thinking that they would bring her to me if she got hungry and when I went in to see what was going on with her I looked at her feeding log and read that she had been given 15 mL of freaking formula WITHOUT MY PERMISSION! Ok, I'm mad again. Sorry. This was my THIRD child and NEVER with my other 2 did they even SAY the word formula to me!!!! I am still pizzed about that formula they gave her! And, the same stupid nurse INSISTED on giving her bottles with my pumped BM and then it took me 3 freaking days to get her to latch on properly when we got home. I will NEVER go back to that hospital again, and if I have another baby I will either go to a hospital where my current ped goes, or I'm having a home birth and will have my ped order the home therapy lights within a day of the baby being born. ALL 3 of my kids were jaundiced, and with my first 2 they treated me much better than with #3.

So, I think it depends on where you go and what dr you have. Talk to your ped about what he/she will do if the baby is jaundiced, and LET THEM KNOW what your wishes are! I totally took it for granted that my baby wouldn't be given formula in the hospital since the other 2 weren't given any, only to have that horrible experieince. Be an informed consumer, know your rights, and stand up for yourself, your baby, and your breastfeeding relationship.

I hope your baby isn't jaundiced, though. If it happens, just let them know right off what you want and don't want. Ask if they can put the lights in your room. Tell them you don't want formula or bottles. I wish I had.
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Old 06-30-2008, 01:01 AM   #6
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Re: Hospital Jaundice Worries

Oh, and formula is not necessary as long as the numbers don't get too high. Frequent breastfeeding sessions and phototherapy lights do the job, too. The lights suck, but to me it's ok as long as formula is avoided at all costs. I'm not anti-formula in general, people can feed their babies what they want and sometimes formula IS necessary(like with low blood suger after birth), but I am with my babies.
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Old 06-30-2008, 05:07 AM   #7
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Angry Re: Hospital Jaundice Worries

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I would definitely make a little sign to put on your baby's bassinet thing that says "No formula" on it, and make sure your ped doesn't order supplementation "as needed." I feel myself getting pizzed off thinking about it as I write this, but my dd's ped at the hospital wrote an order for her to receive supplementation "as needed" for her jaundice and I GAVE SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS to the night nurse that she was NOT to receive formula and she was NOT to have a bottle, but a SYRINGE with my PUMPED breastmilk if she needed it. Well, I left to sleep from 6-8am thinking that they would bring her to me if she got hungry and when I went in to see what was going on with her I looked at her feeding log and read that she had been given 15 mL of freaking formula WITHOUT MY PERMISSION! Ok, I'm mad again. Sorry. This was my THIRD child and NEVER with my other 2 did they even SAY the word formula to me!!!! I am still pizzed about that formula they gave her! And, the same stupid nurse INSISTED on giving her bottles with my pumped BM and then it took me 3 freaking days to get her to latch on properly when we got home. I will NEVER go back to that hospital again, and if I have another baby I will either go to a hospital where my current ped goes, or I'm having a home birth and will have my ped order the home therapy lights within a day of the baby being born. ALL 3 of my kids were jaundiced, and with my first 2 they treated me much better than with #3.

So, I think it depends on where you go and what dr you have. Talk to your ped about what he/she will do if the baby is jaundiced, and LET THEM KNOW what your wishes are! I totally took it for granted that my baby wouldn't be given formula in the hospital since the other 2 weren't given any, only to have that horrible experieince. Be an informed consumer, know your rights, and stand up for yourself, your baby, and your breastfeeding relationship.

I hope your baby isn't jaundiced, though. If it happens, just let them know right off what you want and don't want. Ask if they can put the lights in your room. Tell them you don't want formula or bottles. I wish I had.

OH! This SAME crap happened to me. I was so freakin' angry. Well, my baby wasn't really jaundiced, but I mean about the freakin' log with formula. My baby had to be given formula after his first 2 feedings because of a blood transfusion I had, but after that 24 hours, I told the nursery NO formula and let ME feed him EVERY feeding. It took me 2 weeks to get him to latch on because they fed him, NOT ONCE but SEVERAL times formula when I said NOT to!!! He had to go to the nursery a few times so that I could shower, etc. and they would feed him without my permission. >_< That is supposed to be the best hospital around me too... But they also let me be in labor for 66 hours before pushing a 10.5 lb baby out, pushed for 3 hours. UGH! STILL ANGRY!!!!
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:23 AM   #8
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Re: Hospital Jaundice Worries

THe sign I would make wouldn't just say No Formula but NO Supplimenting of any kind. They gave my last baby sugar water from a suringe without asking me ...ugh! It still makes me mad!


Anyway, they need to poop to get jaundice better and they best way to make baby poop is breastmilk, not formula, so insist they don't give your baby anything.

One of mine had numbers in the 19 and change range, pretty high and we never supplimented.

Now that said it is nice to plan for the future but don't worry about things that haven't even happened yet, relax, things willtake care of themselves, good luck!
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:42 AM   #9
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Re: Hospital Jaundice Worries

Some people have very pushy hospital workers, others don't. I didn't. I don't know if that's luck, a matter of choosing good OBs, or the fact that they knew I wouldn't let them push me around.

If you want to make a sign for the baby's bassinet, then that couldn't hurt. But my DS2 never spent any time in his(or DS1, for that matter). Either I was holding and nursing him, or DH was holding him. We roomed in and I did NOT allow them to take him out of the room without DH or I coming along. I never sent him to the nursery. If they needed to run a test that could only be run out of the room, fine. One of us went with him. I even went with him when he was circumcised.
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:23 AM   #10
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Re: Hospital Jaundice Worries

Go in armed with information and a plan. But be flexible enough to work through that plan.

My blood type is prone to jaundice. #1 got it pretty bad and needed lights for several days. He didn't latch correctly though. I pumped for him but we didn't use a bottle. I won't go into the details, but I am not so anti-bottle and supplementing WHEN NEEDED as I was before.

DC#2 we had to give one bottle in the hospital because her blood sugar dropped. That was the only bottle she had. I helped make the decision with the doctor and lactation consultant.

DC#3, I just fed and fed and fed. I latched her on any chance I could to get her the colostrum to help her pass the meconium and prevent jaundice.

Work with the lactation consultant. The most important thing to me was to have the baby fed (after my experience with dc #1). I found that the hospital staff worked with me to make decisions. Good luck!
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