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Thread: Jaundice complications and breastfeeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Jaundice complications and breastfeeding

    I have a 9 day old daughter that I had to have a c section with. She was 37 weeks and born at 5lbs 6 oz. I was bummed to miss out on the natural birth experience but I was adamant about breastfeeding. She was latching great but since I had the c section it took a little while for my milk to come in. Then she got jaundice and we had to supplement with formula and I was devastated. She also left the hospital weighing 4 lbs 14 oz so we were also concerned with her weight. I continued to pump and feed her breast milk along with the formula alternating to two per our pediatrician. I was pumping and bottlefeeding the breastmilk so that we could visually measure how much she was eating during this couple of days. I'm guessing because of the bottle feelings she won't latch. I don't have many resources in my area. Is there any hope that we can go back to nursing normally? I miss that connection and don't want to lose it so early plus the feeding schedule and pumping schedule are wearing me out! Any advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Southern NM

    Default Re: Jaundice complications and breastfee

    I am sure that others will chime in soon, but this link has some suggestions on getting baby back to breast.
    I am Erin--happily married to the nerd of my dreams for 15 years
    High School Science Teacher
    Mother to: Thing 1 9/23/01, bf 15 mo, diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma 1/29/02, officially cancer free for ten years in August 2012
    Thing 2 6/6/05, bf 12 mo, obsessed with dynamite
    Glowworm 2/18/11, bf 15 months and counting

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Jaundice complications and breastfee

    You can DEFINITELY get her to latch back on. It might take a bit of work but you can do it for sure. Is her jaundice cleared up? A lot of doctors will tell you to supplement with formula when a baby is jaundice but you really don't have to. You just have to nurse often and it doesn't hurt to put baby in a diaper in front of a window in the sun. Both my daughters had were jaundice and both never had formula. A2 was worse than A1 and she still didn't need formula. So keep that in mind if it happens with another baby Also I'd say ditch the formula now. It will just make it harder to get her back to breast. You have to let your milk regulate to baby and the only way that will happen is without the formula. Remember it will be hard at first but get much easier. 9 days old you shouldn't have much problem at all kellymom.com has some great info about getting baby back to breast. Good luck and let us know how it goes! Keep posting questions if you need help

    Young SAHM of
    Afton (A1) (1/24/09) and
    Autumn (A2) (8/29/11)

    Sealed in the SLC Temple

    and and now CDing!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default Re: Jaundice complications and breastfee

    I agree with pps try to cut out the formula and supps to encourage getting baby back to breast along with a lot of skin to skin. Both my babies had jaundice and were under bili lights, my dd born in december was so bad if she was up another 2% they were going to admit her to the hospital, but my ped never suggested formula. We just nursed every 2 hours at night and every hour during the day until she was better. My son I did ep with until he was 6 ish weeks. To get him back to the breast I would take one feed a day and nurse instead of bottle feed. Good luck, I hope you are able to get her back after Cesarean early birth!
    Ds 9/09 nursed for 20 months

    Dd 12/11 nursing a toddler again

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Jaundice complications and breastfee

    Once you are able to get baby to latch, you may want to consider nursing at the breast rather than pumping and bottle feeding the pumped milk. (If you are still supplementing with formula you will need to pump to make up for the supplemental feedings, to ensure proper milk supply.) Any formula or extra breastmilk can be given via bottles or you could try an alternative feeding method such as a lactation aid, cup, pippette, etc. If you would like more info on alternative feeding methods let us know.

    I know it is scary when a baby is small and loses weight, but even small babies will typically lose weight follwoing a hospital birht, particularly c-sections.

    There are many ways to see that baby is taking milk in at the breast without having to pump and measure it. First, look for active sucking and audible and/or visible swallowing of milk while nursing. Then look at output. A baby cannot poop out what they are not taking in. Unfortunately formula supplementation may mess with the patterns and consitency of poops but for an exclusively breastfed (or breastmilk fed) baby you want to see a minimum of 3 poops a day the size of the circle you make with your thumb and forefinger when you make the "OK" sign. Breastmilk poops can vary in color but usually it is a mustardy yellow and quite soft and liquidy. Again, formula supplementation may change this.

    While some doctors routinely reccomend formula supplementation for jaundice it is actually not neccesary in many cases. Even if it is neccesary for a few days, doctors sometimes neglect to tell parents when it is OK to stop. If you are still supplementing and would like to stop, I suggest you discuss with your pediatrician when he would suggest you can stop, and if there are any alternatives. For example, some times if you are willing to come in for frequent weight checks a doctor will feel more comfortable with you not supplementing with formula.
    You certainly should be able to get baby to relatch, this is very early days yet, but it would really help if you could get hands on help. And especially if a baby is not getting enough milk from mom, it is important to have breastfeeding assessed.

    You say you have no resources in your area. Where are you? There are no lactation consultants, la leche League, any other breastfeeding support organization? You are welcome to contact LLL Leaders out of your area, FYI.

    You may find these helpful: Feeding the non-latching baby: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ching_baby.pdf

    early days diaper log: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...diaper_log.pdf

    laid back breastfeeding: Facilitates latch. You can position baby as you like, this picture is one example. You want to avoid baby putting pressure on your incision. Also you can be less reclined if you like, do whatever is comfortable for you: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; February 12th, 2012 at 05:00 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Jaundice complications and breastfee

    I also had a jaundiced little one. But jaundiced from the start so I had to supplement due to very lil output in the first few days. And he was tongue tied so had very sore nipples. I was scared to bring back to breast due to pain, and the fact that I knew he wouldn't latch right at first due to using the bottles. But with encouragement here, I did at 9 days old and he did great! So yes, you can def do it! He's 14 days now and every once in a while one of us will get frustrated... Its not easy as pie, but we do it and do just fine now!

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