A neonate may develop jaundice during the first week after delivery that is caused by the amount and frequency of feedings.


Clinical features:

(1) jaundice with an unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia

(2) onset is during the first week after delivery

(3) it affects both neonates who are breastfed and those who are given formula

(4) it is caused by poor and/or infrequent feedings, which results in caloric deprivation and dehydration

(6) infants are otherwise healthy with other causes of jaundice excluded

(7) the jaundice may be aggravated if the infant is given glucose water

(8) the condition improves if the infant is given frequent feedings, including at night


Differential diagnosis:

(1) hemolytic disease of the newborn

(2) transient neonatal hyperbilirubinemia

(2) hypothyroidism

(3) neonatal hepatitis or other liver disease

(4) Crigler-Najjar syndrome

(5) late onset breast milk jaundice (next section)

(6) congenital atresia of the bile ducts


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