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My dh was very jaundiced when he was born. What are the chances that our son will be as well? What, if anything, can be done to prevent or help with it once he is born or before? Just curious bc his mother mentioned that he was jaundiced very badly for the first 3 weeks. I'm 38 weeks and trying to prepare for everything when he gets here! :)


Asked by Emuu at 3:32 PM on Jul. 24, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (9)
  • Jaundice is normal. Many babies have it to some degree and it's nothing to freak out over unless it gets very high (18-20 in the first week... 25 or more thereafter).

    Nurse very soon after birth and very frequently from then on out. Colostrum may only come in small amounts, but it's a natural laxitive and helps to flush babies bowels. Bilirubin is excreted by the bowels, so colostrum is the best thing for it. Formula can be constipating, so unless baby is jaudiced for lack of colostrum or milk, formula should not be used. Watch diapers to make sure baby is getting enough milk... one for every day of life up to day 6 and at least 6 thereafter. Get baby sunlight.

    Some babies will be slightly jaundiced for weeks... even months. It's fine. Low-level jaundice is not harmful, it's actually an anti-oxident.

    Also, look into delayed cord-cutting as it has been shown to reduce or eliminate jaundice altogether.

    Answer by LeanneC at 6:21 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • sunlight helps a lot and if you're going to BF feed often because the baby pooping helps get rid of the bilirubin (spl?)

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:34 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • No it is not a genetic thing, so just because your husband was jaundice doesnt mean your child will be also. There is nothing you can do to prevent it, jaundice is when bilirubin builds up in the baby’s blood. I would not worry about it until the baby is born. My son had very mild jaundice when he was born and they just had me sit out in the sun with him for a little while each day, and it went away on its own.

    Answer by mrsmamaj at 3:38 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • I wouldn't worry so much about it. To my knowledge it dont un in families ( but Im not a 100% sure on that). I had 3 babys that were jaundice and on had to be hospitalized for it and with my other 2 they gave me a sun lamp thing for the babys to be put under for a few days. Sunlight helps get rid of jaundice ad if they are real bad than thats when they put them under the sun lamp. All of my babys turned out jut fine. Everything will be ok.


    Answer by Anonymous at 3:41 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • it has to do with the body's ability to get ride of dead blood cells. The best way is to increase fluids so the body can be "flushed". breastfeed babies tend to be more jaundice as they only get the col... umm. that fatty milk before the rest of the milk comes in. So they get more fluids later. Some babies need extra help to get the bilirubin stuff out. And if they are premature, the organ that help cleans the body of bilirubin may not be devloped yet so may need more help. My daughter had it and slowly got better as my milk came in. I also took her out in the sun as that helps too.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:31 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • Jaundice is caused from (yes, a high level of bilirubin in the blood) from a premature liver. The liver is what filters the blood... so if it's not quite mature, it can't function properly, and excretes higher levels of bilirubin into the blood stream. 80% of babies are jaundice to some extend. I agree with everyone else - it's not a big deal, and there's not much you can do in terms of prevention. They will provide a blanket or light for your baby to take home with you to lower the levels if baby is jaundice, just make sure you follow the instructions and use the blanket or light without any clothes on the baby so the light can reach the skin.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:51 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • I was hospitalized with jaundice as an infant.

    I have three sons...two were jaundiced, either bad enough to need medical treatment. Put them in the sun when I could and that took care of it (well, that and time)

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 5:21 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • There is little you can do to prevent jaundice, it tends to run in families and more common in certain races.
    But the best thing you can do is try to keep you baby well hydrated. If you breastfeed put your baby to breast every 2 hours. And sunlight helps too. With our son when we went home we undressed him to his diaper and put him in front of an open window. To protect his eyes from the bright light we took a baby hat and pulled it over his eyes. We did this for about 30 mins every day.
    If you are very worried about it you can offer some formula as a supplement... but that is totally up to you. Jaundice is worse in breastfed babies becasue of dehydration in the first few days before the milk comes in (although formula fed babies have janudice too... it's not usually as elevated and doesn't tend to last as long)

    Answer by AmiJanell at 6:18 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • Thank you ladies for all the wonderful help! I really appreciate the answers I've received here!

    Answer by Emuu at 7:45 PM on Jul. 24, 2009