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can high bilirubin levels during pregnancy harm the embryo?

By December 2, 2009 - 6:10am
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I am 34 YO. I am 5 weeks pregnant and my blood work shows elevated tbil 2.07mg/dl whereas the range is 0.1-0.4. my glucose level is borderline (100) and I have a titer of EBV/EBNA IGG of 85 (it was 600 a few years aago, i think that is when i got infected). The rest of the biochemical profile (including direct bil-0.3) is fine and so is the CBC and urinalysis. previous tbil was normal (3 and 1 years ago). What should I do now, and can the elevated bilirubin level harm the baby?
thank you

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EmpowHER Guest

I have high bilirubin, low iron and low platlets... what can i do to ensure a healthy term. will any of these complications cause harm to my baby

June 18, 2010 - 9:29am
(reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anonymous

Low platelets can mean that you won't clot properly if you bleed. Low iron would mean you are anemic. This affects your ability to carry oxygen to your tissues. What has your doctor said about this? Are you on any supplements? High bilirubin causes jaundice. You might see a yellowing of the white part of your eyes, or your skin, depending how high it is.

Sometimes during pregnancy you can have an irritated gallbladder or even get pancreatitis or other GI issues, and those can cause an elevated bilirubin. Are you having any nausea or digestive issues?

I would definitely discuss what these labs mean with your doctor. It is important to know what is causing these symptoms, and what they mean in terms of your health and your baby's health.

Good luck to you, and please let us know how you do.

June 18, 2010 - 11:27am
HERWriter Guide

Hi linch


Are you saying your lost your first baby and the sac is still there but are now pregnant again with a living baby in his or her own sac?

If so, I'm so sorry you lost a baby in the first stages of life but congrats on being pregnant - again!!! (if I am understanding you correctly, that is!)

I'm really interested in this, will you please keep us updated?

December 24, 2009 - 12:21pm
(reply to Susan Cody)

Well, this is what the doctor is saying, but I am not sure about that.. I don't know how he can tell that the big empty sac is a sac and not a cyst. Also, if this week he saw a 6 week embryo then last week he should have seen something (even just another gestational sac), so perhaps his response was also affected by feeling guilty or afraid since he didn't see the other sac last time and told me I will probably have to take prostaglandins and such. (Alyhough, honestly I can understand that an additional sac may be missed on ultrasound, and found on the next one, we are all people, and he did have me come back for a recheck). Anyhow, I will be going for a second opinion this or next week and will keep you posted.

December 25, 2009 - 3:03am
HERWriter Guide

Hi linch

Thanks for your question - it's a great one.

Firstly, congratulations on your pregnancy!

Bilirubin is waste from red blood cells and levels sometimes increase in pregnancy and decrease again somewhere around the 6 month mark.

Our pregnancy glossary states that "billirubin - reddish yellow pigment, is normally cleared from the blood by the liver. A newborn’s liver is still learning how to remove bilirubin, so it may build up in the blood causing a baby to have a slight yellow tinge to the skin and eyeballs. If a baby has this yellow tinge, the condition is called jaundice. This may occur between the second and fifth day of life. This condition is usually easily treated. "

There is medication that can help you but changes in your diet can also help. Eating tomatoes helps, as do nuts like walnuts and drink plenty of coconut water.

Has your doctor recommended you make dietary changes or take medication for this?

December 2, 2009 - 1:26pm
(reply to Susan Cody)

Hi Susan, I have only now seen this comment. Thanks for your answer. My doctor has not recommended anything special for this really. Since I posted my last post I have managed to find out I was infected lately with CMV, be told by the doctors that the chances of fetal infection in my case are close to zero, then went for ultrasound to find out there is no fetal pole and the sac is empty, be told I most likely have miscarried, gone back for another ultrasound and found the sac still empty but another smaller sac with a baby abd heartbeat in it (that was yesterday), and be told by the doctor that he has never sen anything like this because the sacs are of different gestational age. So, it has been quite a trip so far... I know this has nothing to do with your comment... but it's nice to get it out :-)
Again thanks for your answer
Inbal (linch)

December 24, 2009 - 12:42am
(reply to linch)


Oh my heavens. What a rollercoaster you have been on. What is next for you? Do they expect the empty sac to cause any difficulty with the pregnancy? Do you have a different due date now?

I'm so glad you went back for another ultrasound. Was that because you asked for it or your doctor wanted to see a different angle or something similar?

Have you been referred to any sort of a specialist?

December 28, 2009 - 8:37am
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