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Thread: Interrupted Breastfeeding Because of Jaundice - Relatch

  1. #1

    Default Interrupted Breastfeeding Because of Jaundice - Relatch


    My baby is a week and a half old. At her 1 week checkup, the doctor was concerned about weight gain and jaundice. We had her levels checked, and they were high, so I was instructed to stop breastfeeding and bottle feed her with formula until the levels were stabilized. Today, the jaundice levels had gone down and her weight is up, but the doctor insists on continuing the bottle feeding until Monday for another recheck.

    I am beside myself. I am doing what he is saying is best for her, but I want to nurse her. I've been pumping 8-9 times a day to keep my supply. However, I am worried to death that if I can proceed with breastfeeding on Monday, that she will no longer want to latch and feed from the breast.

    I'm sure I'm a hormonal wreck right now, but am I worrying too much? How hard is it to relatch a newborn after interrupting the breastfeeding this early? I've heard that nipple confusion is a huge issue especially when it's this early! It will be almost a week of bottle feeding when I can go back to breastfeeding her.

    Thank you!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Interrupted Breastfeeding Because of Jaundice - Relatch

    Many babies for legitimate reasons really cannot nurse in the first few weeks, and while yes this may mean baby refuses to latch at first, baby can almost always be brought to the breast (or back to the breast) with patience and persistence. Your child has a deep biological and instinctual need to nurse, and keying into that is the key if baby really does refuse to nurse- and baby may not refuse at all.

    That said, has your doctor explained to you why you may not nurse your child at all, rather than simply supplementing additional formula (or your pumped milk) over and above nursing if that is needed? Have they provided you with the studies or protocols that show that withholding the breast is in any way needed as a treatment for slow gain or jaundice? I am pretty sure this not a typical protocol. I think your doctor's advice is possibly incorrect or at least, needlessly potentially harmful, and you should get a second medical opinion? I am linking the protocol from the academy of breastfeeding medicine which I have not read lately: http://www.bfmed.org/Media/Files/Pro...20Jaundice.pdf This is written by doctors for doctors.

    It also would make sense to see a board certified LC (IBCLC) if you can, to make sure there is no issues with your baby's ability to transfer milk normally. Of course an LC can also help you if baby is refusing to nurse.

    Now, as to what to do if you indeed do need to continue to formula feed and not nurse through weekend, here are some suggestions.

    Keep pumping at least 8 times each 24 hours and be sure your pump is the best you can get and in perfect working order. This is a vital time for your milk production and you want to make sure you are pumping often and effectively enough.
    Feed baby with something aside a bottle (syringe, spoon, or open cup) OR use paced bottle feeding method. I will link a few videos below.
    A two week old baby who is eating a normal amount of times (10-12 at least) in 24 hours only transfers about 1-3 ounces each time they nurse. So you might try to keep baby's individual meals small and frequent (so as to be more like nursing) and let baby cue feed as much as possible. (This does not mean do not offer the bottle- offering to nurse is a normal part of cue feeding so it can be part of bottle feeding- it just means, do not hold baby to strict feeding schedules if you can avoid that.
    Keep baby snuggled skin to skin on your chest as much as possible.
    Avoid pacifiers as these are also linked to breast refusal. Your clean pinky with a trimmed nail, pad side up, makes a great and safe pacifier. Knuckles work good too.

    paced bottle feeding newborn- turn sound up even though baby is crying as LC explains the hows and whys so well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykdFuEOIdeE

    Alternatives to bottles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrrrC5NyNnQ

    Cup feeding: http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...me=vid-cupfeed
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; October 21st, 2016 at 04:06 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Interrupted Breastfeeding Because of Jaundice - Relatch

    Hi, with my first child, we were admitted to the hospital with severe jaundice at 5 days old. They did not want me to supplement with formula but they wanted me to exclusivly pump to see how much milk I was making. Needless to say, 48 hours later we had nipple confusion and baby wouldn't latch. I was pissed off and exhausted. We got past it and nursing resumed as normal. With my second child, they wanted me to give formula, which I did, but with hospital drs permission, I still had baby latch after each bottle feeding. So he was mainly fed first. This completely solved the problem of nipple confusion and we got back to breast feeding right away. I know it's Saturday, but maybe you can contact your Dr with that idea.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Interrupted Breastfeeding Because of Jaundice - Relatch

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*cccd View Post
    I know it's Saturday, but maybe you can contact your Dr with that idea.
    Or just do it. You don't need the doctor's go-ahead to nurse your baby. You can feed her formula- or expressed milk!- by bottle, and then latch her onto the breast. Baby has been fully fed by bottle, so there's no harm in having her also nurse afterwards. Any additional milk she gets will help her flush out the jaundice.

    Are you making sure to give baby plenty of direct sun exposure? UV light is a great way to break down bilirubin. A sunny window is good, but outside in direct sun, with as much skin uncovered as is possible given the weather, is better!

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