Breastfeeding jaundice - advice needed please

Discussion in 'Breastfeeding' started by Cattia, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. Cattia

    Cattia Well-Known Member

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    Hi ladies, I hope nobody minds, I am posting a copy below of a thread I posed in baby club earlier, I think it might have been better to post it here as it is a BF question really:

    I went to see the HV today and she sent us to the Dr because George still has jaundice at five weeks. The Dr refered us to the hospital. We had a jaundice test already two weeks ago. When we got there I saw a really nice paediatrician. She said that he has Breastfeeding jaundice and she wasn't going to do another blood test as his levels from the last one came back at 77 which apparently is mild.
    I have read that in some cases they recommend giving formula for two days and pumping which can bring the levels down and once they go down they don't tend to go up again when BF is reintroduced. Is this true? She didn't mention this but she did say that something in the breast milk is causing the recycling if bilirubin or something like that. I worry a lot about the long tefm effects of jaundice especially since I read about a link betwen jaundice and autism (this has always been something I have neurotically worried about). I don't want to feel that my milk is contributing to this going on and on.
    He also had far fewever dirty nappies than he did, not even one a day sometimes but he wees a lot and his weight gain is good.
    I also read that this type of jaundice can be herreditory but my daughter never had even a touch of jaundice.
    I would love to know if anyone had experience of this and can advise about whether a temporary two day stint on formula will help and whether 77 really is an OK level. I just feel stressed about this especially as we are also battling with reflux and colic and poor George has baically not been happy since he was born.
     
  2. MNORBURY

    MNORBURY Well-Known Member

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    Evie had this for a fair few weeks, she had bloods taken at 3 weeks as it wasn't getting any better. Her levels were fine too and the advice I was given was to bf as much as possible as this will help, I've never heard of giving formula to help and my hv never mentioned it either.

    I can't really remember how long it took to clear up but it was a while.

    I'm not sure about the levels but I'm sure the paed knows best, if you are worried though I'm sure they would take more bloods if you insist for peace of mind :hugs:
     
  3. kmac625

    kmac625 Mom to baby Clara

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    I'm sorry but I don't know anything about jaundice. However, as far as not pooping every day, that is perfectly normal in bf babies. It's normal for them to go up to 10 days (sometimes longer) without pooping, though some (like my dd) went several times a day every day. Good luck with your lo.
     
  4. Pretty Please

    Pretty Please DS and PAL

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    My baby had jaundice for 3 weeks and under photo UV lights in hospital I seen to recall his levels were 270 - 320 (i think) so 77 is pretty low. They did blood tests every 3 hours as he nearly had a blood transfusion. However I must of seen 5 DRs while I had to stay in hospital and not one mentioned the link with formula / BF so if it was defo 100% positive I would of thought some DR would of said to me.

    I would ask the dr to show you the chart of jaundice and get it explained to you - low level / ok level /blood transfusion level for your own piece of mind. x
     
  5. LoveleeB

    LoveleeB Well-Known Member

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    My daughter had fairly high jaundice levels on day 2. At 4 weeks she still has yellowish eyes but as her jaundice levels were continually going down she hasn't been retested in weeks. I was also told that formula helps get rid of jaundice sooner so if you are concerned you could pump and feed your son formula for a day or two.
     
  6. GDrag

    GDrag Well-Known Member

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    My son's levels were 209 and the dr wasn't worried so I think 77 is good!
     
  7. JA1988

    JA1988 Well-Known Member

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    My son had very high levels of jaundice at 2 days old and required double phototherapy under the uv lamps for a week. We were let out of hospital after a week, but he had jaundice for 3 months!! His skin was yellow for 2 months and the whites of his eyes were yellow until 3 months, he had several blood tests at the hospital and his levels did drop gradually but were at around 157 at one point. I have never heard of giving formula and if you want to continue bf I wouldn't recommend it as will play havoc with your milk supply. The best thing to do is feed feed feed as much as your lo will take and the bilirubin will come out in the poo and wee!! Also make sure your lo gets as much sunlight as possible, walks in the garden/town, naps in the window in full daylight etc.
    It really is nothing to worry about, just as long as your lo seems happy and not too sleepy all the time during feeds etc. Just take your lo along to weekly weigh ins etc so you can touch base with a hv every week who will check the colour of your lo's skin and eyes to make sure it is fading.

    The problem is that formula fed babies seem to have become what we measure the 'norm' against and in a formula fed baby, jaundice won't last more than a week or so, whereas in breastfed babies it really is normal to take up 12 weeks before it clears.

    My lo is now happy and healthy, he is thriving, put on a pound a week in his first few weeks and has reached all milestones on time or early, he was sitting unaided at 5 months so there has certainly been no lasting affect from the jaundice that I can see.

    Hope all of this helps and let me know if you need any more advice xx
     
  8. lynnikins

    lynnikins Well-Known Member

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    ds1 had very high jaundice nearly requiring blood transfusion because of a blood type reaction with me but i was never advised to give formula but instead to feed as often as possible we were on a strict system of feeds every 3 hours minimum or closer if he wanted them closer from the day he was born till he outgrew the jaundice i was even waking him in the night to feed, the only reason Fomula is thought to get rid of jaundice quicker is caus FF babies poo more and the biliruben comes out in their wee and poo as BF babies dont tend to poo as much as they are taking what they need and little more from us so less wastage.

    77 is a low level i wouldnt worry, ds1 was still quite yellowish till 6+wks old even with 7 days intensive light therapy but his levels were coming down so they were happy
     
  9. summer rain

    summer rain Mum of 5

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    I think the formula flushes out jaundice is a huge myth to be honest; at about a week old many BF babies poo and wee a lot more frequently than FF, many FF babies are only pooing once a day at that point but if BF is going well most BF babies will be pooing 3-4 times a day minimum and the BF acts as a laxative. From changing nappies of various FF babies I also noticed they tend to wee less; even if they are being given a few oz's of additional water. When my son was in SCBU he wee'd less on the drip and after having the one bottle of formula they insisted on (only twice in about 10 hours; according to their chart) than when I came in and breastfed him directly; they put those micro nappies on him so not too much of his body would be covered and they would be soaked through in as little as 40 minutes and we had to change the incubator bedding about three times that day. The formula also clogged him up and stopped him pooing for 48 hours which I believe is one reason why his level shot back up and stuck at a similar level for a further two weeks xx
     

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