Bilirubin and Birthdays

NB: This post was saved as a draft and not originally published for some reason. I’m publishing it Sept. 9, 2004. I don’t know the exact date the post was authored, but I think I’m within one day either way.

Yesterday morning Fiona was tested for Jaundice and her bilirubin count came back a little high. Bilirubin comes from the breakdown of extra red blood cells and is normally removed by the liver. In newborns the liver frequently isn’t quite up to the task yet and the buildup of bilirubin in the blood turns the baby’s skin a little yellowish in places. This is especially common when the baby and mother have different blood types, like Heather and Fiona.

The treatment is pretty simple. Fiona was stripped down to her diapers and put under some special flourescent lights all day. The light helps breakdown the bilirubin. Pretty simple and painless, but it meant that Fiona was only with us during feedings all yesterday and last night.

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