Frequency of Breastfeeding, Bilirubin Levels, and Re-admission for Jaundice in Neonates

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Sukanya Kankaew, RN, MNS
Tipawan Daramas, RN, PhD
Autchareeya Patoomwan, RN, PhD


OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to explore and compare bilirubin levels and readmission for jaundice in neonates who have different frequency of breastfeeding (BFF) during the first two weeks of life.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: One-hundred mothers and full-term neonates recruited from a University Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand. The transcutaneous bilirubin (TcB) levels of neonates were recorded at 24, 48, and 72 hours after birth. The breastfeeding frequency (BFF) was recorded every day for a total of 14 consecutive days. The re-admission rates for jaundice were obtained by telephone call enquiry on day 6, 9, 12, and 14 after birth. For analysis, the samples were assigned to two groups according to their mean BFF during the first two weeks of life. The low-BFF group was breastfed < 8 times/day, and the high-BFF group was breastfed ≥ 8 times/day.

RESULT: The average bilirubin levels of neonates in the low-BFF group and the high-BFF group were 6.74 ± 1.76 mg/dl and 5.31 ± 1.76 mg/dl at 24 hours, 10.95 ± 2.44 mg/dl and 8.19 ± 2.40 mg/dl at 48 hours, and 13.34 ± 2.03 mg/dl and 10.60 ± 2.48 mg/dl at 72 hours, respectively. The bilirubin levels and re-admission rates for jaundice of neonates in the low-BFF group were higher than the high-BFF group with statistical significance (p < 0.001 and p < 0.01, respectively).

CONCLUSION: High-BFF at least eight times/day may help prevent inadequate breastfeeding jaundice in neonates.


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Kankaew S, Daramas T, Patoomwan A. Frequency of Breastfeeding, Bilirubin Levels, and Re-admission for Jaundice in Neonates. BKK Med J [Internet]. 2019 Sep. 20 [cited 2023 Dec. 11];15(2):180. Available from:
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