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Thread: Breastmilk jaundice?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    6

    Unhappy Breastmilk jaundice?

    Hi. I am new to this forum and due in November. This is my 3rd baby (but our 5th together). With my first, I BF for the first 8 or 10 weeks and then ended up with gastritis and had to suppliment.
    With my 2nd, the doctor told me that my LO had "breastmilk jaundice" and I had to feed only formula for 2 1/2 weeks. By the time I was given the "go ahead" to BF, I had very little milk, there were major nipple confusion issues, and I felt as if my milk had/was poisoning my baby. So we just continued to formula feed.
    With this baby, I am really committed to EBF but I wanted to know if anyone else had heard of breastmilk jaundice. No one IRL that I have spoken to about it has and I am wondering if it is a real and legitimate thing. Is it really my breastmilk that was causing the jaundice or causing it to continue? Is there anything I could do to prevent this in the future?
    Thanks for any advice. I am getting nervous about my ability to EBF this LO.

    Karen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    1,090

    Default Re: Breastmilk jaundice?



    You have come to the right place for answers. I encourage you to keep a positive frame of mind, and do as much research as possible (which you have already started ) Check out Dr. Sears Baby Book and the LLL book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding if you have not already.

    Here is a link to Dr.Sears website that may help answer your questions. http://www.askdrsears.com/html/2/t029600.asp

    Remember when you have questions to ask away, we are all here to help!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Breastmilk jaundice?

    Hello! I found a good link about "breastmilk juandice". Check it out. http://www.kellymom.com/newman/07jaundice.html

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    61

    Default Re: Breastmilk jaundice?

    Hello there!

    Here's another one:

    http://www.drjacknewman.com/index.ph...d=48&Itemid=60

    So called breastmilk jaundice
    There is a condition commonly called breastmilk jaundice. No one knows what the cause of breastmilk jaundice is. In order to make this diagnosis, the baby should be at least a week old, though interestingly, many of the babies with breastmilk jaundice also have had exaggerated physiologic jaundice. The baby should be gaining well, with breastfeeding alone, having lots of bowel movements, passing plentiful, clear urine and be generally well (handout #4 Is My Baby Getting Enough Milk?). In such a setting, the baby has what some call breastmilk jaundice, though, on occasion, infections of the urine or an under functioning of the baby's thyroid gland, as well as a few other even rarer illnesses may cause the same picture. Breastmilk jaundice peaks at 10-21 days, but may last for two or three months. Breastmilk jaundice is normal. Rarely, if ever, does breastfeeding need to be discontinued even for a short time. Only very occasionally is any treatment, such as phototherapy, necessary. There is not one bit of evidence that this jaundice causes any problem at all for the baby. Breastfeeding should not be discontinued "in order to make a diagnosis". If the baby is truly doing well on breast only, there is no reason, none, to stop breastfeeding or supplement with a lactation aid, for that matter. The notion that there is something wrong with the baby being jaundiced comes from the assumption that the formula feeding baby is the standard by which we should determine how the breastfed baby should be. This manner of thinking, almost universal amongst health professionals, truly turns logic upside down. Thus, the formula feeding baby is rarely jaundiced after the first week of life, and when he is, there is usually something wrong. Therefore, the baby with so called breastmilk jaundice is a concern and "something must be done". However, in our experience, most exclusively breastfed babies who are perfectly healthy and gaining weight well are still jaundiced at five to six weeks of life and even later. The question, in fact, should be whether or not it is normal not to be jaundiced and is this absence of jaundice something we should worry about? Do not stop breastfeeding for “breastmilk” jaundice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Breastmilk jaundice?

    My dd2 had this... it went on for weeks, and the poor girl was subjected to weekly blood tests to check that her bilirubin levels were coming down (I know now that this was not necessary, just a new dr. being over-cautious). She was/is perfectly fine, and I know it's a normal thing to happen sometimes. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Breastmilk jaundice?

    hi, you don't need to worry about the breastfeeding jaundice. My DD had it, for 10 weeks. At week 5 she had blood tests to check that everything was fine, just to rule out other causes of jaundice, everything was fine so it was diagnosed as breastfeeding jaundice, and it eventually cleared. Other than the yellowish tinge she was perfectly fine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    532

    Default Re: Breastmilk jaundice?

    One of the best things you can do is keep on feeding. You don't need to give formula or supplement. I have had 2 kiddos with this and both got over it fast and I never gave a drop of formula.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Breastmilk jaundice?

    Thank you all so much for the encouragment and links. I feel so much better now that I am armed with this information. Should it happen again with this LO, I will be better prepared to discuss it with our pediatrician and continue to BF.

    I love this forum!

    Karen

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Breastmilk jaundice?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerrysgirl View Post
    With this baby, I am really committed to EBF but I wanted to know if anyone else had heard of breastmilk jaundice. No one IRL that I have spoken to about it has and I am wondering if it is a real and legitimate thing. Is it really my breastmilk that was causing the jaundice or causing it to continue? Is there anything I could do to prevent this in the future?
    Thanks for any advice. I am getting nervous about my ability to EBF this LO.

    Karen
    I think all those other replies probably answered your question sufficiently, but I thought I'd put in mine anyway.

    Breastmillk juandice absolutely does not require you to discontinue breastfeeding! If it is true breastmilk jaundice, then bili levels do not go above 16 or 17, which is a safe enough level after the first few days of life.

    With my son we encountered very prolonged, high (over 20) bili levels. As he approached 1 month old we were still dealing with this. At one point one doc did suggest discontinuing breastfeeding for 24 hours, b/c that is supposedly sufficient to get bili levels to plummet. The doc who told you 2 1/2 weeks was really misinformed.

    In the end my son's case turned not to be breastmilk jaundice (since his bili levels were so high) but something else entirely. Genetic tests were performed, came back negative, and now at 11 months we are still nursing strong.

    Don't stop breastfeeding for anything!

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