Plasma bilirubin was estimated on 690 term infants on about the 6th day of life. Perinatal factors were recorded and the results analysed. Hyperbilirubinaemia was defined as a level greater than 205 micromol/1 (12 mg/100 ml) and this was present in 20% of cases. Three factors--epidural analgesia, breast feeding, and poor weight recovery--showed highly significant associations with jaundice. The relative importance of these is discussed and compared with recent reports. Induction of labour, for reasons other than postmaturity, and a gestational age less than 39 weeks showed a slightly increased incidence of jaundice. There was no correlation with other factors tested including oxytocic drug administration. Despite the high incidence (20%) of hyperbilirubinaemia, only 2.5% infants needed treatment and none required exchange transfusion. Radical changes in obstetric management or infant feeding are not indicated.
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