jaundice and breastfeeding

Jennifer - posted on 02/23/2010 ( 29 moms have responded )

50

55

6

so i had my son on feb 13th 2010 and he has jaundince and the doctor told me to give him breastmilk and formula but formula made him so backed up he wouldnt poo and as soon as i seen that i put him right back on breastmilk. She said there is a link between breast feeding and jaundince., So i was wondering what to do i didnt go through any of this with my daughter cause i couldnt breastfeed and formula made her so colicy i dont like formula but i dont want his jaundince to get worse please help me

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Michelle - posted on 02/23/2010

43

18

5

My doctor told me to stop breastfeeding when my first son had jaundice so I did and I gave him formula for 48 hours and pumped.....it got worse! He was so backed up nothing passed. He got a rash all over his belly and mouth so when my doctor told me to do the same thing with my second son i switched doctors! Formula just makes them constipated which doesn't let them poop out all the billirubin (spell check) that is causing the jaundice. It takes a little while for breastmilk to come in, mine took about 4 days. After it came in it took about a week for my son's lab test to start showing that his levels were going down. They only went down 1 point at a time but it was good enough proof that they were going down. I had to take my son in everyday for a week and a half to get poked in the heel. It was heartbreaking. Breast is BEST!

Frances - posted on 02/23/2010

61

48

5

Hmmm. I think I am missing the question but let me try to help with a little bit of what I learned from the dr.



Breastmilk id great beacause it brakes down easier in a babies body, most people know that and then because it goes through the system faster it helps "move" the impurities out of the babies body faster.



If you can't breastfeed for whatever reason and formula back him up then switch your formula...there are some with lower iron or some without it compleatly. there is soy based as well...there are about 30 diffrent kinds you can choose from, if you have a hard time picking one talk to the babies dr and let them guide you until you find what is best for your son.



The idea is everytime he has a movement he is getting rid of a small part of the impurities, and don't hesitate at all to take him outside for a few minutes at a time durring the day as the sun is GREAT for the little man :)



I am sorry if I didn't answer your question well, but this is the way it was explained to me when my son had it.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

29 Comments

View replies by

Malinda - posted on 03/06/2010

22

12

1

breastfeed as often as possible....I woke my daughter every 2 1/2 hours to feed her,, she was jaundice,, and put her in the window for indirect sunlight 10 minutes per day for 2 days,,, she got better fast...

Jennifer - posted on 03/06/2010

1

9

0

I had my baby January 27, 2010 and she had jaundice. I had to go back and forth to the lab to have her blood drawn for almost a week. Her Pediatrician had me do the same thing as far as stop breastfeeding but it was only for a day or so. While giving her the formula she had some hard stools and she wouldn't poop for a day. Breastmilk is better because she would poop more buts it's the messy seedy poop. I'm doing both breastfeeding and formula.

Helen - posted on 03/06/2010

5

23

0

My son was jaundiced too when he was born and I breastfed him exclusively. I didn't want to supplement with formula so I stuck with BF. His pediatrician told me that he was still jaundiced a little bit at 2-3 months. He finally got over it, but he was getting jaundiced from my breastmilk. It was minor and he outgrew it eventually. But, if your son is severely jaundiced you may want to listen to the Ped. or get a second opinion. Is his jaundice severe?

Krista - posted on 03/05/2010

33

29

4

My little girl was very jaundice and my nurses and doctors all said to breastfeed exclusively and to make sure I woke her every two hours to feed because jaundice makes them sleepy. The more the baby eats the more they pee and poo and that is how they get rid of jaundice. So I wouldn't worry about formula if you can breastfeed every two hours it will all come work out!!

Andrea - posted on 03/03/2010

11

16

1

My son, who is now 4 years old, was born jaundiced also. I only nursed him and within weeks he was fine. He wouldn't take a bottle so I had no choice. As for the constipation, yes, we did find that to be a problem for him as soon as he did take a bottle. Frances is right, it tends to be thicker in babies tummy and takes longer to digest. My only advice would be to nurse him as often as he wants to nurse, if that is possible for you. We never used the light device or blanket for him, just good old breast milk. Each doctor either uses their past experience or what they have learned in school. To that end, each child is different and may not respond to the same type of treatment as other children have. Use your best motherly judgment. You will get to know your baby and what he needs, even when the doctors may not see it as you do.

[deleted account]

Oh good grief! What an idiot! (the doctor, not you)

Both my boys were born jaundiced, my second worse than the first and our ped told me the exact opposite. 1) Breastfeed like crazy! Breastmilk has a slight laxative effect, so it will help baby pass the billirubin quicker and the more you feed hopefully the sooner your milk will come in. 2) Sunshine! (natural phototherapy) Strip baby down to a nappy and let him soak in indirect sunlight. Put him near a window, or what I used to do is take my baby outside when I'd go hang the laundry and he would lay on a blanket under a tree in just a nappy (it was summer) and do 5-10 minutes on his belly and 5-10 minutes on his back. The jaundice was gone in 6 days with my second (we were in hospital the first 3).

Good luck!!! (and sorry about the harshness, I don't normally call people "idiots", but I can't believe the doctor would jump straight to formula... and it is 1.30am and I should be in bed)

Jessie - posted on 03/01/2010

722

60

54

The doctors did not tell me to stop breastfeeding my son when he had jaundice. they told me to feed him as much as possible. yes there is different kinds or causes or jaundice and one of them is breastmilk/breastfeeding. my milk did not come in for 5 days after his birth so he wasn't getting enough to help flush the bilirubin out of his system. I started pumping and feeding him some of his meals with a medicine syrenge and then after a day or two had daddy feed him bottles. the first couple days all I pumped was yellowish colostrum but that is packed with nutrients so he got it fed to him! The reason I started pumping/feeding was to make sure he was at least getting some into him. It is hard to tell how much they are getting via the breast at first. He had to have his bilirubin checked everyday for several days and then weekly for two weeks until it was for sure ok. Never once did I give him formula and he is 7.5 months old and healthy. We did lay him near a window in his room in his diaper some say it helps some say its an old wives tale. Can't hurt much though right?

Francesca - posted on 03/01/2010

5

55

1

I'm not a fan of formula, breast milk is best, make sure you are watching what you eat, sugar intake and all...and sunlight if you can, bask that baby in some sunlight. Jaundice is common, don't fear too much...

Alison - posted on 03/01/2010

4

5

0

Exposure to sunlight is very good for jaundice and I do agree on that, however I am not 100% on giving the water as I have read a lot of articles that state that water has no effect (http://www.breastfeedingbasics.org/cgi-b...) or that it can even make it worse. A lot of babies get physiological jaundice and cope with it very well so regular feeding and indirect sunlight may be all thats needed. Some babies may need more help- therefore it is important that each baby is individually assessed and giving the appropriate treatment.

Alison - posted on 03/01/2010

4

5

0

Jaundice in the early days can be due to the break down of red blood cells in the babies body - one side effect is that they get very sleepy and dont feed which makes the jaundice process worse. It is important to get as much support with breast feeding as possible to ensure that you are latching the baby correctly to the breast. expressing and giving breast milk is the next best option- if a pump isnt available then hand expressing can be just as good. skin to skin contact with the baby is important to increase lactation, also ensuring that you dont get worked up and to stressed as this can effect the production of breast milk. All you can do is try your best - If medically indicated then sometimes formula is needed to get your baby back on track as the effects of jaundice on your baby if not managed correctly can be serious - but this dosent mean you have to stop breast feeding altogether in situations like this all you can do is keep expressing and give as much breast milk as you can untill your babies health improves and can re establish breastfeeding. It can be really difficult to keep going when everything seems to be going wrong and things are out of your control, you can only do what you can. that's all your baby could ask for. The most important thing in this situation was to keep your baby well.

Jennifer - posted on 03/01/2010

34

20

1

There is NO link between breast feeding and jaundice that is not exactly the same for bottle fed babies. The only difference is in the first few days where you are only producing colostrum and there is not much liquid in that. Then a baby can have an increased chance of mild jaundice. My baby got it and she was breast fed. Fortunatly I did my research and found out that all you have to do is a few simple steps and not one of them includes formula. While you are nursing, take all your babies clothes of and sit in a patch of indirect sunlight such as what comes in through a window in your house for 15 minutes every hour. Also, you dont have to suppliment your baby with formula at all! Its just the liquid your baby is lacking in the begining. So all you have to do is give your baby a bottle of nursery water every couple of hours just to make sure he/she is getting enough fluid because dehydration can lead to jaundice. Sunlight is the treatment and if you brought your baby to the doctor or hospital they would put your baby under a sun lamp for treatment so simply giving your baby sunlight the way I suggested will help and making sure they are hydrated too. Its the treatment my doctor prescribed because he knew I was adiment about not feeding my baby formula at all.

Kara - posted on 03/01/2010

22

21

0

The only thing I can say is that so many people I know have been through this. The jaundice makes the baby sleepy and without a good supply of milk which doesn't come in until the baby latches on correctly or you have been able to pump. Unfortunately, the hospitals don't always provide them especially in desperate situations. I hope your situation has improved. There should be a La Leche in your community or a help line. Check with your family doctor. Mine happened to be a lactation consultant so I was lucky. I managed to get through the situation and my son was able to latch on after his treatment. He did have to have the formula for about two days because I wasn't able to pump enough and then the supply came in full force. It took at least 10 days though. If you are still able to breastfeed or at least would like to with another child, then make sure you get prepared by going to a lactation consultant or even a mom friend who has been through it. Tip though whole mouth over breast (brown or pink part) with baby lips puckered around it. Hold your breast with the hand that's free around the larger part and pump. This will get the milk in faster which should wake up even a sleeping baby. I wish you lots of luck and if not this time then perhaps the next child definitely!

Sarah - posted on 03/01/2010

1,499

10

39

What do you do if your baby has jaundice and he/she has problems latching on? This happened with my poor little man. 5 days after he was born he became extremely lethargic & we had a hard time waking him. I could tell his jaundice was worse and he wasn't eating much at all. We took him to the hospital and he was put under light therapy. While he was in the hospital I still tried and tried to breastfeed, but it wasn't going well. He lost weight and he wasn't going to the bathroom due to not eating enough. This was a very difficult/stressful time because I wanted breastfeeding to be successful and I wanted to do what was right. It made me so sad that he wasn't eating no matter how hard I tried. :( I didn't have a good pump at the time either. If you don't want to use formula, what are you supposed to do?

Toni - posted on 03/01/2010

5

12

0

I have a couple websites for you, first kellymom.com and cafemom.com
kellymom.com is a breastfeeding website with butt loads of info and cafemom.com is a website just like this. There is a great breastfeeding group on there and the ladies have great advice and info. Good luck.

Alison - posted on 03/01/2010

4

5

0

Breatfeeding Jaundice is quite common - there are different types of jaundice

Breastmilk jaundice peaks at arounf 10-21 days, but may last for 2-3 months. Breastmilk jaundice is normal. Rarely, if ever, does breastfeeding need to be discontinued even for a short time. 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.

All well babies that are alert and gaining weight are usually sent for a blood and urine test to eliminate any underlying conditions if all ok then its fine to continue bf if your infant is well.

Kara - posted on 02/28/2010

22

21

0

Keep breast feeding! Don't give up. I went throught the same thing with my son Dylan when he was first born. He was premature and was jaundice. It got bad enough that he had to go to the hospital and have the light treatment. I was told by a doctor to stop breast feeding. He is now a healthy 18 month old who still is breast fed. My milk took about two weeks to fully come in. I suggest you go on a website my other doctor suggested that was brilliant. It's called babyden. I'll double check it. It had videos and useful tools on breast feeding. Make sure your son is latching on correctly. Mouth fully around the breast. Basically shove it in! Seriously! Try different positions. She will get it. The only link between bf and jaundice is that your milk may not have come in fully and therefore he's not getting enough milk. He has to be able to get rid of that green poo. I would also go to a local lactation consultant to get further help. Whatever you do don't give up. Also try pumping. I did that the two days Dylan was in the hospital and bam my milk came in full force ready for when he was home with me.

Heather - posted on 02/27/2010

1

15

0

My son was born in January and according to the Pediatrician in the hospital "close to dangerous levels". Poor kid was taken to get blood drawn daily. Then we took him to OUR pediatrician and he said the best thing is to just keep breastfeeding because it's the best things for them, sit in a sunny window with them each day and they will get through it. We did just this and he was better within a week. Jaundice usually peaks within 3-7 days after birth. Also the more they nurse the better because it helps clear it out of their system faster. HOpe this helps and good luck... remember The Breast is Best... don't let anyone else tell you otherwise!

Melissa - posted on 02/27/2010

51

3

2

Don't worry, make milk. If your baby is jaundiced, be sure you understand what type of jaundice your baby has. If it's normal physiologic jaundice, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. If it's jaundice due to a medical cause, such as a blood group incompatibility, be sure you understand that this is easily treated and should not interfere with your breastfeeding. Worry may cause you to make less milk and doubt your ability to nourish your baby at the breast. This gets in the way of breastfeeding success.

BRITTNEY - posted on 02/27/2010

5

11

0

Well jaundice is treatable but yes I too was told that breastfeeding could raise my daughters jaundice levels. She was born Feb 28 2009 and she had to be hospitalized for her jaundice but I never once gave her formula and the blue light helped a lot. You could just lay your baby in the sunlight that is supposed to help bring the levels down.

Johanna - posted on 02/27/2010

13

23

1

Breast is the way to go... nurse more often it will take care of the jaundice.. breast milk has the ability to provide exactly what your baby needs there is a chemical link in this.. so don't worry continue to nurse nurse nurse.. breast milk is the way to go...

Christina - posted on 02/27/2010

20

14

0

You breasts supply breastmilk only when there is a demand for it. If you supplement formula, you don't have the demand, so you will produce less breastmilk. I had some problems with my milk coming in, so between feedings, I pumped for 5-10 minutes each side.
My daughter was jaundiced as well, and did just fine on breastmilk alone.

Sarah - posted on 02/26/2010

87

9

7

what everyone's said i'd like to second and add that breastmilk works as a natural laxative for a jaundiced baby, moving the billirubin out of the baby's system much faster than formula will! nurse nurse nurse as much as the baby wants. =)

Nicole - posted on 02/26/2010

1,117

27

47

Breastmilk jaundice is quite normal. Formula will not help pass billirubin any better than breastmilk. It may actually have worse results. Like what sounds like is happening in your situation. Constipation is a side effect of formula and if baby's not pooping, baby's not removing billirubin. Just continue to breastfeed and feed often. This way, you have adequate milk supply and baby has tons to poop and pee. =)

Alison - posted on 02/23/2010

44

21

2

Hi there! I had my son January 5th 2010 and we went through the same thing. Breast milk can originally be a part of the cause for jaundice, but you have to continue doing it in order for your milk to adjust to his body. Trust me this helps! And my son had jaundice so bad we had to go back into the hospital for him to be under the blue lights in the incubator. What I would do is alternate on each breast feeding him for about 15 mins, and then if he was still hungry we would give him formula (since my milk hadn't actually come in yet). And breastmilk is the best thing for your baby, easier to digest which is probably why he poos easier. I hope that he is doing better now. Good luck!

Jena - posted on 02/23/2010

26

8

2

I had my son back in October and he had really bad jaundice. I think it was an eleven at the hospital and then two days later it had jumped to a 17. My doctor didn't want to introduce him to formula or a bottle since I was giving breastfeeding a try, so he had me use a home biliblanket, its some weird thing you wrap around your baby's waist and plug it in and it does the same phototherapy as the hospital. (It's not as strong though) At first we didn't really know how to use it so my sons levels still went up, only slower so it showed we were going in the right direction. Soon they began dropping slightly, but my dr was on vacation so I had on-call doctors calling back about his daily labs. (Which sucked because they didn't really know the case) it dropped to a 14 and the on-call that day told me to supplement with formula after every feeding. I really didn't want to and I looked it up and formula is only really neccessary if the levels are 25 or higher, so I just kept him under the biliblanket and didn't supplement. I went to my dr for his two week check later on that week, and he said to get rid of the blanket, as 14 was an okay range for him since the initial newborn jaundice period has warn off. Was there any other cause for the jaundice, other than the intial newborn jaundice? My son's was worse because during delivery my dr used the vacuum extractor which left a bruise on his scalp. (no internal bleeding) I guess that can worsen jaundice too. Yeah, the daily labs with the heel pricking broke my heart too.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms