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Thread: Breastmilk Jaundice

  1. #1

    Default Breastmilk Jaundice

    I need some advice. I took my newborn in for his 2 week checkup today and the Dr told me he has developed "Breastmilk Jaundice". His levels were at 16 and at his 3 day checkup it was only at 12. My son has been gaining more than enough weight and has been having enough bowel movements and wet diapers. The Dr told me that i need to stop nursing for 48 hours and give formula to clear out the Jaundice. I have very concerened about having a problem starting to nurse again after 48 hrs. My son just got really good at latching....Any advice? I have been reading online and there are many people that recommend against stopping breastfeeding...I am torn on what I should do....Any advice would be great! Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: Breastmilk Jaundice

    Don't do it! If anything, nurse more frequently! The more fluid you push through him, the faster the bilirubin will clear out. And breastmilk has a laxative effect compared to formula. "Breastmilk jaundice" is basically a myth.

    From Dr. Sears' website: Breastfeeding a Newborn with Jaundice and from Kellymom: Links: Breastfeeding a baby with jaundice

    If bili levels are truly concerning and the doctor is insisting on treatment, then please insist on a phototherapy blanket. There is no reason to endanger your breastfeeding relationship for this, especially when it's going so well.
    SAHM to my boys:
    Z, my land-lubber born 11/09
    Nursed for 22 months, 18 of those with a tongue and lip tie
    Allergies to peanuts and tree nuts

    E, my water baby born 05/12
    Currently nursing through the aftermath of a tongue and lip tie revision, still trying to work it out

    We , , and !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Re: Breastmilk Jaundice

    When my baby had jaundice, my midwife said to breastfeed as much as possible, and also to sit with my baby's bare skin in the light of a sunny window, since light breaks down bilirubin. This is the same principle as a phytotherapy blanket.

    Also, you need a different doctor. Mine is great, so there are good ones out there. Maybe moms at your local LLL meeting could recommend one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default Re: Breastmilk Jaundice

    Congratulations on the birth of your baby. The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine is a group of physicians knowledgeable about and supportive of breastfeeding. They have published a Clinical Protocol about jaundice. You might want to read it and, perhaps, share it with your baby's doctor. http://www.bfmed.org/Resources/Protocols.aspx
    If you really need to stop nursing for a short time, could you obtain and use a good breast pump to help support your milk supply while your little one is not nursing?
    I am a mother of two.
    Find a local LLL Leader or Group

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Breastmilk Jaundice

    this might be helpful also.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    San Francisco

    Default Re: Breastmilk Jaundice

    I agree w/ all of the PPs. We just went through this w/ our newborn. He was readmitted for phototherapy for 3 days, our levels were a tad higher though. I breastfed him the whole time and let the lights do their thing. I did however let the nurses supplement him w/ expressed BM. I refused to let them give him formula.
    Proud Mama to Noah Michael and Baby Charlie

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Default Re: Breastmilk Jaundice

    my baby also had jaundice on about the 3rd day. i wish i wouldve known that if i kept making him nurse it would stimulate my milk to come faster but i didnt. Even though i told the nurses and pediatrician i did not want to give him formula they kept insisting that he needed to have it so he can get out the jaundice. So I gave in. If you really dont want to give him formula i'd do some good research and use the sites that these ladies have given to you and show your ped. and keep putting him on the breast and bfing! ~~~good vibes your way~~~

    Mommy to Christopher James born 9/16/2010

  8. #8

    Default Re: Breastmilk Jaundice

    I gave my son a few feedings of formula right after we got him home just until my milk came in so I knew he was getting enough to flush the bilirubin out. You're past that point, so I would nurse as much as possible and like the prev. posters said, get a bili light as a last resort. I also was told to let him sleep in the light of a window.
    Carly- mom to 2 yr old Zack.
    with another in June

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