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Thread: Jaundice!! Help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Default Jaundice!! Help!

    Hello I am posting for my sister that just had a baby 3 days ago. They are keeping her in the hospital because they think that she may have jaundice. The nurses are telling her to stop breastfeeding because it causes the bilirubin levels to go up. Can someone please give advice. My sister doesn't have access to the internet right now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Maryland
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    Default Re: Jaundice!! Help!

    I did a quick google search and came up with the APA website that has a lot of good info - http://www.americanpregnancy.org/fir...ndjaundice.htm

    From doing a very quick skim through, it sounds like jaundice is from not getting off to a good start to breastfeeding. However it specifically says:

    Treatments not recommended for decreasing Jaundice in the breastfeeding infant:
    -Discontinuing breastfeeding. This can ultimately make jaundice worse and can sabotage a mother’s effort to provide her child with the best nutrition possible. Frequent and efficient feedings of breastmilk, is the best way to decrease jaundice.
    It sounds to me like your sister should be offering the breast a lot more.

    What is the Treatment for Jaundice in the Breastfed baby?
    If bilirubin levels are below 20 milligrams, the following treatments are often used for breastmilk jaundice and breastfeeding jaundice in the full term, healthy infant:

    - Increase feedings to 8-12 times a day. The best way to decrease bilirubin levels it to help remove it—increased feedings will increase bowel movements, which will excrete the bilirubin.
    - Work with a lactation professional to make sure that the baby is latched on the breast well, so that he/she can take in as much milk as needed. Improper latch can directly affect how much milk a baby is receiving.
    - If a supplementation is recommended to increase baby’s calories and intake, work with a lactation professional to use a lactation aid. The mom would also want to pump during this time, to not interrupt the production of her milk. Using a lactation aid to deliver expressed breastmilk or a mixture of breastmilk and formula is the best way to not interrupt the breastfeeding relationship.
    - Rarely is the interruption of breastfeeding an effective treatment for jaundice in a breastfed baby. If a baby’s bilirubin levels reach 20 milligrams or above, a recommendation to cease breastfeeding for 24 hours may be used in conjunction with phototherapy. This can usually drop bilirubin levels dramatically and the mom can then resume breastfeeding as normal after the 24 hour period. Using a lactation aid to deliver supplementation and pumping during this 24 hour period would be the best way to avoid any problems in the breastfeeding relationship.
    - If phototherapy is recommended (usually only if bilirubin levels reach over 15-20 milligrams), talk with your health care provider about using fiber optic blankets. These can be taken home and allow mom to continue the breastfeeding relationship, with no interruptions. Increased feedings and the use of the bilirubin lights should effectively lower the bilirubin levels.
    If a baby is premature or has any other health conditions, the treatment would need to be individualized by the health care provider.
    Good luck!
    ~ Megan

    Mommy to Alex (born 2/27/11) and Katie (born 3/31/14)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    42

    Default Re: Jaundice!! Help!

    Thanks, this is great information. I can't believe they are recommending her to stop breastfeeding!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: Jaundice!! Help!

    My DS and I got off to a rough start breastfeeding; he wasn't able to remove enough milk to satisfy him. I had to supplement in order for him to gain weight. I *wish* that someone told me I should be pumping when that was happening. It took a long time for my supply to recover. So, if the hospital does think the baby needs to get formula, make sure your sister asks for a pump so that she can get her milk in.
    ~ Megan

    Mommy to Alex (born 2/27/11) and Katie (born 3/31/14)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    San Francisco
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    Default Re: Jaundice!! Help!

    She DOES NOT have to stop breastfeeding. Ask her to find out what the Bili levels are. If they get too high, yes it can be dangerous. But with the use of a bili light, and nursing that baby as much as possible she can bring the levels down quickly. Formula is often recommended because it creates a LOT of waste in the baby's digestive system, therefore they excrete the bili more quickly. Keep that baby on the boob as much as possible. It will help clear the bili out and help her establish a healthy milk supply.

    Here's a link with lots of info!
    http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns...-jaundice.html

    The nurses tried pulling the formula thing with me, but I didn't go for it. I allowed supplementation of expressed breast milk because they were convinced he wasn't getting enough. But he did nothing but gain when he was readmitted, so obviously that wasn't the case. Does that hospital have an LC she can speak with to help back her up?
    Proud Mama to Noah Michael and Baby Charlie



  6. #6

    Default Re: Jaundice!! Help!

    PLEASE tell her to continue breastfeeding! My LO was hospitalized for jaundice at 3 days old. The nurse wanted me to formula feed, but I told her that I did not feel comfortable doing that and wanted to breastfeed. After that, she understood. I think she just assumed that she was being formula fed. Apparently formula clears out the jaundice more quickly than breastmilk, but it was more of a risk to me to give her formula. (It can mess with your milk supply and cause a bottle preference, besides the health risks to baby).

    They had my baby under the bili lights in a bed. I could take her out and nurse her every 2 1/2-3 hrs. Her levels returned to normal the next morning and we were soon released thereafter. Please update us and let us know how your sister and baby are doing.
    ~Tiffany~

    Truly blessed by God
    Wife to Will
    First Time Mom to C 2/18/11
    Made it 6 Mos. EBF Now enjoying BLS
    My baby is a year old now!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,637

    Default Re: Jaundice!! Help!

    Bad advice from the nurses! Your sister needs to discuss jaundice concerns with the hospital pediatrician. She should ask specifically about the baby's bilirubin level and whether the level is increasing. A level under 20 that is declining probably does not require formula supplementation. Sis should also speak to a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC. The hospital LC may just be a nurse who took a short class on breast-feeding, so she should ask for her credentials when deciding how much credence to give her advice.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Default Re: Jaundice!! Help!

    My son had severe jaundice, was under lights for two days. I direct nursed him every 4 hours and pumped in between so we could finger feed him with a syringe while he stayed under the lights. When I got to take him home, all we did for a week straight was sit in the sun light and nurse, nurse, nurse. He got through it. My docs and nurses pushed more bf-ing not less!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Kansas
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    419

    Default Re: Jaundice!! Help!

    UHG nothing worse then ill informed medical staff! UHG UHG UHG!!!!

    Tell her to nurse, nurse, nurse. From what I was told with DD2, a lot of jaundice is caused by dehydration. The more she nurses, the more hydrated baby will become! And of course the more they nurse the quicker they will get rid of the black tar like stools, that can also raise the billi levels.

    Next, could you go to a local LLL meeting? (you don't need to have your own baby, or be breastfeeding or anything, the fact that you are female is enough for them to be happy for you to come!). Ask around the LLL for a breastfeeding friendly pediatrician.

    With DD2 they put her on the light, and I nursed and pumped as much as possible. Her levels went down fast.

    With DS (who is two weeks old right now) I made sure to get a pro breastfeeding ped, and he said my DS billi was slightly raised but NEVER suggested I stop nursing or even suggested formula. All he said was they were slightly high, but he was sending him home any way, and we would be coming back to see him in a few days. I nursed DS as much as possible, he got rid of all the black tar like poo that comes the first few days after birth. And by his first ped appointment his billi numbers were fine ped said. I am so glad I asked around my LLL meeting for a pro breastfeeding ped, I love our ped!

    ~Heather~
    Wife to
    Vincent since 2001
    SAHMommy to
    Lela 2006 EPed 2 1/2 Years
    ~Donavon & Jeremy~ 2009
    Belle 2010 Nursed over a year
    Raphael 2011 Nursing like a champ
    Raphael & Hubs

    My Blog
    ~Heather's Prairie~

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Kent, OH
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Jaundice!! Help!

    Does the baby have the jaundice, or your sister? If it's your sister, and they suspect Hep C, they might tell her to temporarily discontinue nursing. Check this out:

    Hepatitis C is a virus that begins with a mild infection, but then progresses to jaundice. Half of those who contract it will develop chronic liver disease. It is transmitted through blood, needles, and sexual contact. The risk of transmission is minimal. If you are in the acute phases of the illness, you may need to stop nursing temporarily until your symptoms subside. Discuss this with your doctor.

    If it's the baby, she should absolutely NOT stop breastfeeding. If LO is having trouble with latch or suckle, they should have you pump and feed via syringe, SNS, lact-aid, cup or bottle. My DD had hyperbilirubanemia, and we had to be in the NICU for 2 weeks b/c of it, and she had to be under the bili lights 2x.
    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*breeze7 View Post
    Hello I am posting for my sister that just had a baby 3 days ago. They are keeping her in the hospital because they think that she may have jaundice. The nurses are telling her to stop breastfeeding because it causes the bilirubin levels to go up. Can someone please give advice. My sister doesn't have access to the internet right now.
    Full time working mama to a precious
    Due date was 05/02/2011 - born 04/04/2011 at 36 weeks exactly.
    and 14 months and still going strong

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