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09 Oct 2006

Jaundice in Little Baby
Hi there,

My little noo was born 3 weeks early and was quite tiny (2.5kg). Whilst still in hospital, she didn't latch very very or feed very well from me (although everytime i called the nurses to help, she would feed nicely and the moment they walked out the door she would stop! I think they thought I was being paranoid).
Anyway, we were discharged after only 2 nights in the hospital. The paed said her nose was a little yellow and that I should just "watch' it. She weighed 2.380kg on discharge.

She didn't feed very well that night, the next day and night, and by day 4, not at all. She was just sleeping all the time. She looked a little yellow, but to my untrained eye, I didn't really know what was going on.

I took her back to hospital, and following a bili blood test, her jaundice levels were 350! Her weight had also dropped to 2.200kg. My baby spent the next 6 days under the phototherapy lights, until her levels dropped to 197. She was then discharged.

I was also rhesus negative. (her blood is positive).

What I would like to know is, what are the danger levels for jaundice? What will the long term effects be, and basically, should i be as worried as I have been?

Due to the long stay in hospital and the nasogastric tube she was fed trhough, her sucking action was very poor. She is now exclusively fed formula (as of the last 2 weeks) as I have dried up.

My noo is 8 weeks old today.

Thanks!
Answer 762 views
Expert
premature baby expert

01 Jan 0001

Hallo Jessie
Yes, that is not a nice experience. Jaundice levels differ according to your baby's age so it is difficult to give you a precise count. It was however picked up very soon and treated immediately. So, you should not have any long term effects to be worried about. the biggest problem is that become sleepy and do not want to feed well. This is however resolved as soon as the jaundice is better. If you want to you can try to restart breastfeeding. Just contact a breastfeeding lactation consultant to help you with this. It is possible, but will take a bit of time and effort.

WIth your next pregnancy they will give you an injection to prevent your blood and that of your baby fighting with each other. THis is not a risk with the first pregnancy and jaundice is a normal thing that happens to most babies, because their livers are still immatue and cannot break down the red blood cells in their bodies.

For now, you should just enjoy your little one and if for any reason you are concerned about her, just go for a check-up with your pead.

Kind regards
Welma
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