[Skip to Navigation]
June 1983

Neonatal Jaundice in Full-term Infants: Role of Breast-feeding and Other Causes

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Newborn Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey.

Am J Dis Child. 1983;137(6):561-562. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1983.02140320037007

• Serum bilirubin determinations were performed on 264 term infants who were consecutively delivered via the vaginal route. Forty-one infants (15.5%) had serum bilirubin concentrations greater than 12 mg/dL. No cause for this was found, initially, in 23 (56%) of these infants. On the third hospital day, the mean (±SD) serum bilirubin level was 6.9±3.6 mg/dL in breast-fed infants and 6.5±3.2 mg/dL in bottle-fed infants. Of the 23 infants without obvious cause for hyperbilirubinemia, eight (four bottle-fed and four breast-fed infants) had serum bilirubin concentrations greater than 12 mg/dL on the third hospital day, whereas in 15(14 breast-fed infants and one bottle-fed infant), the elevated serum bilirubin level occurred on day 4 or 5. Breast-feeding does not seem to affect the total serum bilirubin level in the first three days of life but may be associated with an increased incidence of hyperbilirubinemia subsequently. In a normal full-term population, routine investigations do not disclose a cause for hyperbilirubinemia in about half of the patients.

(Am J Dis Child 1983;137:561-562)