I thank God for the 3 wonderful children we are blessed with. I thank God that although they have jaundice, we know and have experience through 3 times and know what to do and how to handle the jaundice episode.
Please google around if you do not know what is jaundice. For Asian babies - especially us Chinese who have fair skin, the first thing to confirm that your child has jaundice is to look at the whites of his/her eyes. That's the first AND last place to see the bilirubin still in your child's body. Another method is to gently press your child's skin and the imprint left after you pressed will show you whether she/he has jaundice or not.
With our first child, Benjamin started having jaundice on day 5. Being a first-time parent, we don't know what to do and upon advice by the antenatal class trainer who did a post natal home visit for us, we sent Ben to his birth hospital for further check-up. The results showed he had high levels of bilirubin but due to the insufficient rooms/beds in the NICU unit, we stayed overnight at the peadictric ward. That night, Ben roomed in with me, his metal cot underneath the bili lights next to my bed. The moment he cried, I picked him up and sooth him and nursed him.
It goes on and on that the next day, I was told to go back home and expressed my breastmilk instead and Ben was placed in the NICU unit as his bilirubin levels shot higher (due to me keep taking him out of the bili lights the night before) At home, I keep expressing every hour, as much as I can, just so we can packed as much breastmilk as possible to feed Ben while he was in NICU. His level dropped back to normal the next day and he was discharged and we came back home.
With our second child, Alyson started having jaundice on day 5 as well. But this time, we decided not to bring her to the hospital as she is nursing, sleeping, peeing, pooping as normal and active alert as well. Her prolonged jaundice lasted nearly 2 months. The mistakes we did with our second child is not having enough faith to believe that the jaundice is going to go off. We were not able to contact our pead for days (he was involved in an accident) and hence not able to consult his advice.
At my 6 weeks post partum check-up, my gynae said that we should get our child tested as she is still yellow. Results showed she had bacterias in her urine (I have no idea how the urine was collected) and we were given antibiotic for her to finish off in 5 days course. Few days later, we managed to get hold of our pead and brought our 2nd child to see him. He checked her and confirmed everything is fine, notihng wrong with her liver or anything and explained to us that urine test results can be easily compromised if the collection method is not thorough.
Meaning, if the hospital staff just collect the urine over the child's diaper then for sure there will be bacteria. The right method is to use a syringe/needle to suck out the urine from the bladder itself but this process will be painful for the child. Anyway, we did not finish the antibiotic after that. Coincidence or not, Alyson's jaundice went off a week after that.
With our third child, Carolyn started having jaundice on day 5 as well. This time the signs are all same as her sister. Nursing, sleeping, peeing, pooping all normal, active alert as well. So we decided to let it run its course. The annoying part of a prolonged jaundice is everytime I posted some pictures of Carolyn, there will be people commenting she is still yellow. Yes, we know that and as a parent of 3 kiddos, all whom had jaundice, we know well enough this is breastmilk jaundice and it will go away on its own, in its own time.
Look at the pictures of Carolyn below, how the yellow in her eyes and skin shows and slowly goes away week by week. I am happy to share that her jaundice is going off soon!
** Disclaimer: Do note that this post is my sharing of our experiences with jaundice in our 3 children, we do consult with the pead to confirm there is nothing wrong with our kiddos' liver or other factors such as blood incompatibility etc and most importantly is our kiddos were nursing (exclusive breastfeeding), sleeping, peeing, pooping, active and alert as usual so there was no cause of alarm for us.
That's all for now, thank you for reading this post of mine. Feel free to ask and share if you have questions or feedback!