Jaundice in newborn and pressure to supplement..URGENT!

Ruthie - posted on 03/18/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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OK experienced mommies! My daughter gave birth to a beautiful 7lb 1 oz baby girl on Friday, March 12th. She was diagnosed with jaundice in the hospital and stayed in the hospital a couple extra days. My daughter is breastfeeding and had experienced difficulty with a latch on. With nipple shields, lactation consultants and her amazing perserverance, she began nursing and her milk came in. As the babies bili levels continued to rise, the Dr. had her supplement after nursing to try and move the jaundice through. They used the light bed in the hospital. Since going home, her levels have continued to rise. They sent home health to the home with the bili blanket. Yesterday the bili level reached 19. The Dr. ordered formula every feeding, pushing 30-40 CCs. And to follow up with breastfeeding if she was still hungry. The problem is she can't hardly stay awake for the feeding and does not make to the breastfeeding. My daughter continues to pump every three hours to keep her milk flowing. They go to Dr. in the morning and if the bili level has not gone down, will admit the baby into the hospital. I have an amazing daughter who is a fighter. Most new mommies would have never made it past the first three days. I am so proud of her! Has anyone out there been through this? Can anyone offer Julia any support? I will be sure to share your replies! Thanks!

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Ruthie - posted on 03/28/2010

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I am soo very proud of her....She has really shown her natural mommie instincts...and is an amazing mommie!

Ruthie - posted on 03/25/2010

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Thanks to everyone! You all have been such an encouragement! Mommy and baby are doing well and are 100% breastfeeding now : ) I am so incredibally proud of my daughter for hanging in there! Both are thriving!

Honesty - posted on 03/25/2010

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my daughter had jaundice and they told me to breastfeed so the baby would basically poop it out. with the formula the baby is not going to poop as much if at all in one day. she needs to breastfeed first and then give the formula. i would tell her to keep pumping and when she feeds give the baby half breast half formula so you know shes getting enough to eat. hope the baby is ok and hope shes getting better. congrats and good luck .

Ruthie - posted on 03/23/2010

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She is nursing with no supplements. Still using the nipple shields, but that is minor. I think she will transition. Both mommy and baby seem to be doing fabulous! I am so incredibaly proud of Julia. She is doing great and an AWESOME mommy. She is so natural! Thanks for your prayers! Love you!

Jenny - posted on 03/23/2010

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Hi Ruthie! It sounds like things are going better based on the updates! I just wanted to encourage you both! Like April said the two things to be aware of are decreased supply and nipple confusion. But if your Dr is insistant, both things can be overcome. I think the supply issues you have under control since Julia is pumping. And the issue of nipple confusion, or sometimes just preference, baby can decide she likes the bottle much better! can be dealt with too. I had to start Caleb on a bottle (I fed him my milk in a bottle) because he was so early, and then we transitioned to breast a few weeks later. It wasn't easy but it wasn't impossible, and I know Julia is determined!! Also, is she pumping enough to give breast milk in a bottle so that you can ease the Drs concerns that she isn't getting enough? You probably have things all worked out by now, but if Julia needs any help or support let me know!! Love you both!!!

April - posted on 03/19/2010

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i feel very uncomfortable with the idea of supplementing with formula because it can lead to 2 things 1. decreased milk supply and 2. nipple confusion



is there some other way besides formula?? can the baby spend time in the sunlight? can she spend more time under special lights?



your daughter is committed to breastfeeding and she should have some support! perhaps seek advice from someone who is NOT a doctor. maybe a la leche league leader or a lactation consultant. or maybe even a midwife. doctors are trained to treat the symtoms and often fail to look at the whole picture



good luck!!!!!

Shelley - posted on 03/19/2010

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i had a similar experience things to try
feed 2 hrly and breastfeed first and then formula
keep baby awake that means strip her down make her a little cold wet washe on her feet and face sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind after every feed place baby to sleep for 10 minutes in dappled sunlight eg outside under a tree or inside with su comming through glass window don't leave too long you don't want her sunburnt

my daughter was 5lb 11oz and had jaundice and we avoided hospital and i fed her to 15 months good luck

Having said all this breastfeeding is not worth the childs life so be careful

Hannah - posted on 03/18/2010

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Congratulations to your daughter for doing such a great job, you are right a lot of people wouldn't have made it through the first few days in the circumstances, especially when doctors keep pushing formula your way, it would be so easy to just leave the breastfeeding behind. Julia sounds like a trooper and with determination like that she will get there with the breastfeeding for sure.

We all have a rocky start one way or another, and before she knows it she will be looking back feeling really proud of herself!



Have I understood correctly that the doctors want her to use formula because they are worried the baby might not feed well enough off the breast to flush the jaundice through?

I have no first hand experience of jaundice and so I am cautious of saying anything that may sound like it goes against the doctors advice, but if I was in that situation I would just keep asking what their reasons are for believing formula is better?

My personal experience is that doctors can be a bit nervous about trusting breastfeeding to be enough (is this the case with your daughter because of the initial attachment issues?)



I was also encouraged to supplement when my baby was born as she turned out to be very small (5lbs 3oz) but luckily for me she showed no interest in the bottle and never accepted the formula supplements the doctor wanted her to have. I find it weird looking back that they wanted me to do this, colostrum is so calorie rich, but they felt nervous unless I gave her some formula to give her a boost. Hmmmm.



I would suggest your daughter keep discussing the breastfeeding with the doctors, like could she go back to breast first followed by a bottle, maybe? But like I said earlier, I would always be inclined to trust the doctors judgement. They are obviously prioritising the jaundice over the breastfeeding, and as long as she keeps pumping enough then she can concentrate on the breastfeeding once the jaundice is all sorted.



Good Luck to all of you, I hope this reply was the kind of thing you were asking for!

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