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Thread: need help! jaundiced 8 day old...

  1. #1
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    Jul 2006
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    Question need help! jaundiced 8 day old...

    my 8-day-old baby boy developed jaundice at about his 3rd day home. my milk didn't come in well until the 5th day and he wasn't having many dirty/wet diapers. yesterday was our first visit to the pediatrician and it was found that the baby had a high billirubin level - 22.8 - and a phototherapy blanket was ordered for us to use at home. we also found out that the baby - who left the hospital weighing 9.7 lbs. - now weighed only 8.8 lbs. the doctor told me to stop breastfeeding and give the baby formula. i was really upset because the baby had just started producing dirty and wet diapers. yesterday he had about 5 dirty diapers and a few additional wet ones. today he's dirtied 3 or 4 and wet 5. i havn't stopped breastfeeding but i feel guilty - am i putting my child in danger? his billirubin was down to 15 today and the doctor wants to see him on monday. i didn't tell him i wasn't giving the baby formula, and i'm actually afraid to do so because i don't know if i'm in the right here.

    anyone have any advice?? i could really use it!

    thanks!

  2. #2
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: need help! jaundiced 8 day old...

    I can't remember exactly how many wets/dirty diapers are the norm for a newborn, but if you're meeting the recommendations, you're probably OK in that regard. My DD also had jaundice. I can't remember what her levels were, but our ped is very pragmatic and basically said just to get her some extra sunlight and it would clear up on its own. He said (and this is his opinion, of course) that most babies are jaundiced and it isn't such a big deal to him. He knew I was BF-ing and never recommended formula. I can't discourage you from following medical advice, but have you thought about seeing another doc to see if there's a different opinion? My DD was checked a week or so after birth and he said she was doing just fine and not to worry about it, for what it's worth.

    If the bilirubin level is going down, it sounds like you're at least on the right path. Congratulations on the new baby, by the way!

  3. #3
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    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: need help! jaundiced 8 day old...

    If the bilirubin level is going down, it sounds like you're at least on the right path. Congratulations on the new baby, by the way!
    I agree with that.

    Check this link out, Dr Sears is very pro-bf and a well known pediatrician.
    http://www.askdrsears.com/html/2/t029600.asp

    Welcome to the forum!

  4. #4
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    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: need help! jaundiced 8 day old...

    i really want to see a different pediatrician. i hope i can find something monday. i'm just so scared since he's lost so much weight already - it makes me feel like a crappy mom.

    can you call an LLL leader on a sunday? i'd really like to get in touch with one, but i don't know when i can call.

    anywo, thanks for the support.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: need help! jaundiced 8 day old...

    Did you get to read the link I gave you? I read it well after I posted it and it has great information that it will reassure you you're doing the right thing.

    You can try calling a Leader, I don't think they would mind, they understand that problems don't always happen on a week day.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: need help! jaundiced 8 day old...

    Hi oskarsmommy,

    Welcome to the site & congratulations on your new baby.

    It's normal for a newborn to lose up to 10% of his birthweight in the first week. He should be back up to the birthweight w/ 10-14 days. So your little boy sounds in the normal range to me. Bilirubin levels go up every day for the 1st at least 5 days, maybe 7 days, and then start to level out and then go down once the babies organs begin to fully function properly. So it sounds like your little boy is normal there too. Definitely keep using the phototherapy blanket, my bb had to be under bili-lights constantly for a whole day, I could only take him out to nurse him and he was basically naked the whole time . It is much more common in larger babies, like ours (mine was 9lbs 15oz) because it's harder for them to move waste and bile through their system because their system is immature but the body is bigger. The bili-lights got my bb down to normal in one day, but like I said it was for 24 hrs constant while we were still in hospital(I was there 3 days). The best thing for jaundice is nursing, nursing, nursing. You can always be confident the baby is getting enough breastmilk by counting diapers. Normal output for a newborn is 5-6 wet diapers & 3-4 dirty in 24hrs. What goes in must come out, so if output is good then rest assured that the input is also good.

    I think you are doing just great. From what you wrote in your post your little boy seems to be doing the normal 1st 2 weeks stuff of newborns. And you are doing the best thing by only BF. I definitely do not think you are putting your child in danger, you sound like a very concerned, attentive Mom who loves her little boy and you are doing all the right things. It should settle down a little in the next week and the settle down even more the week after that and then one day soon you'll wake up and say "Wow, he's 3mos (or 6mos) and things are pretty good!"

    Let us know how the appt goes Monday. And keep nursing, on demand, at the first cue of hunger.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: need help! jaundiced 8 day old...

    Quote Originally Posted by He'sAlive
    Hi oskarsmommy,

    Welcome to the site & congratulations on your new baby.

    It's normal for a newborn to lose up to 10% of his birthweight in the first week. He should be back up to the birthweight w/ 10-14 days. So your little boy sounds in the normal range to me. Bilirubin levels go up every day for the 1st at least 5 days, maybe 7 days, and then start to level out and then go down once the babies organs begin to fully function properly. So it sounds like your little boy is normal there too. Definitely keep using the phototherapy blanket, my bb had to be under bili-lights constantly for a whole day, I could only take him out to nurse him and he was basically naked the whole time . It is much more common in larger babies, like ours (mine was 9lbs 15oz) because it's harder for them to move waste and bile through their system because their system is immature but the body is bigger. The bili-lights got my bb down to normal in one day, but like I said it was for 24 hrs constant while we were still in hospital(I was there 3 days). The best thing for jaundice is nursing, nursing, nursing. You can always be confident the baby is getting enough breastmilk by counting diapers. Normal output for a newborn is 5-6 wet diapers & 3-4 dirty in 24hrs. What goes in must come out, so if output is good then rest assured that the input is also good.

    I think you are doing just great. From what you wrote in your post your little boy seems to be doing the normal 1st 2 weeks stuff of newborns. And you are doing the best thing by only BF. I definitely do not think you are putting your child in danger, you sound like a very concerned, attentive Mom who loves her little boy and you are doing all the right things. It should settle down a little in the next week and the settle down even more the week after that and then one day soon you'll wake up and say "Wow, he's 3mos (or 6mos) and things are pretty good!"

    Let us know how the appt goes Monday. And keep nursing, on demand, at the first cue of hunger.
    thank you so much for the reassurance. i've been feeling crazy all day about this.



    also, if anyone has any ideas about this...

    should i try to pump my milk and have his dad bottle feed him if he doesn't want to wake up to feed every two hours? i hate the idea of bottles, but i'm super scared about him not eating enough.

    thanks again!!

  8. #8
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    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: need help! jaundiced 8 day old...

    We had to wake up our daughter to eat, the LC suggested undressing her as a way to get her to arise.

    I don't think most ppl would recommend bottles since pumping doesn't stimulate milk supply as well as nursing.

    Something you may want to do to boost your confidence with the doc is keep a log of the amount of time the babe spends at the breast and each wet/dirty diaper. That way you can prove he doesn't need formula.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: need help! jaundiced 8 day old...

    Quote Originally Posted by oskersmommy
    can you call an LLL leader on a sunday? i'd really like to get in touch with one, but i don't know when i can call.
    Definitely call your LLL Leader no matter what day of the week it is. If it is not a good time to give you the attention you need, then she will get your number and call you back shortly. It is nice not to call very late at night if you can help it, but Leaders are mothers, too, who have been first-time mothers before and understand where you are coming from.

    You have gotten a lot of great info from the other posters so far. My first was jaundiced and his bili got as high as 26 before it went down. Likely they will stop monitoring the bili levels when it gets down to 10-12. He was readmitted to the hospital for treatment. With the help of a LLL Leader, I was able to have confidence in my choice to breastfeed. Frequent nursing clears the bilirubin from the baby's system fast. Formula is not a requirement to help the baby's body break down the bilirubin.

    Also, jaundice tends to make newborns a little on the sleepy side, so you may only have to be persistent with waking him to eat while you are working through this issue.

    It is important to be honest with the doctor and tell him/her that you weren't comfortable with the formula recommendation and researched the issue further and that breastfeeding is important to you and you need his/her support. Once you clear up the jaundice issue, you might feel more comfortable discussing the issue with your doctor. Honestly, though, one that is this quick to recommend weaning with a week old baby may not be in your corner regarding breastfeeding in the future. A good way to find out who the breastfeeding-friendly doctors are in your area is to go to a LLL meeting and talk to the other moms after the meeting. See who they recommend, make a list and interview them until you find one that fits your family. Most doctors are only trained in the very basics of breastfeeding, so it's always wise to get a second, third or fourth opinion on any breastfeeding advice that you get. Then you can make the decision that suits your family best. After all, you know your baby better than any doctor or even we do!
    Tanya, LLL Leader and Mama to three wonderful kids

  10. #10
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    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: need help! jaundiced 8 day old...

    i'm about at my wits end today so far. i know he's sleepy because of the jaundice, but i can't seem to get him awake long enough for a good feed. he hasn't had a nice long one in a while. all he'll do is suck for a few minutes and then sleep. i'm so frustrated. i don't want him to starve or become dehydrated.

    i'm going to call someone right now.

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