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5 Day old Bf infant with jaundice.... Need help and suggestions...

A friend of mine has a 5 day old baby who has jaundice, the baby came home with a bili light, and is nursed constantly, and the mom has given her 'sun baths" but the jaundice is not improving. She (my friend) is worried her breastmilk is aggravating the condition, could this be the case?

What are suggestions for alleviating the jaundice from the baby?

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Asked by Anonymous at 4:34 PM on Jun. 30, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (8)
  • Here's what I went thru: DS came home from hospital with a slightly high jaundice level, but not high enough to go home on a blanket. No one gave me any instructions. My little guy wouldn't nurse right, but we kept trying, and I thought he was eating okay. WRONG! Finally we went back for our week check up and jaundice levels were sky high!

    Drinking Breast Milk or Formula is what gets the jaundice out. So no, her breastmilk is not aggravating the jaundice. The question is how much is she producing and is the baby getting enough to flush the jaundice out? This could be the problem.

    My son was actually admitted back into the NICU, they put him under 3 bili lights. They gave him 3 ounces of milk every 2 or 3 hours. They sent him home the 2nd day on a biliblanket and after that his levels were great.

    We actually kept him on formula until I knew the jaundice was gone and then went back to BF.

    Answer by Nika75 at 4:47 PM on Jun. 30, 2009

  • Like I said, feed feed feed!!! Both breastmilk and formula. She doesn't need to sunbathe him. The bili blanket is way more than enough. It's just gonna make him cold. Pumping instead of straight nursing can help you see how much baby is really getting. Feed every hour! I eventually had to go to formula because my baby was so seriously ill. Jaundice takes a while to heal. Keep track of how may diapers are being soiled, especially bms. Feed feed feed! Breastmilk has anti bodies in it that will help.

    Answer by Steff107 at 4:47 PM on Jun. 30, 2009

  • If she knows she's eating enough, she needs to go back to the Dr ASAP. I never realized the dangers of Jaundice until I had my little guy. I just thought it was yellow skin, but it can cause all sorts of problems.

    Answer by Nika75 at 4:49 PM on Jun. 30, 2009

  • I found out there is more to it and yes she thinks cause she's still yellow that it's not getting better. I told her she may stay yellow even a few days after her levels drop. And to keep nursing offering every 30 minutes if she has too since the baby has nipple confusion from not being able to nurse at the hospital while on the lite(expressed milk in bottle). I keep telling her this too shall pass and make her so help with their 2 year old more or find a sitter for him for a day or so while she gets her nursing routine back.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:12 PM on Jun. 30, 2009

  • I went through this with both of my kids. My pediatrician said to keep BF on demand to make sure they were hydrated and keep exposing them to sunlight. The jaundice slowly cleared up in a little over 3 weeks. Breastmilk is what's best for babies. She should keep feeding her baby, using the light and sun exposure, and keep following her doctor's advice. If the baby gets more yellow or doesn't improve in a couple of days, she should go back to the dr.

    Answer by ThrivingMom at 5:26 PM on Jun. 30, 2009

  • Nurse nurse nurse. Does she know the bili count? Is it dropping? It takes time to get rid of the yellow...five days is nothing.

    Answer by gdiamante at 5:59 PM on Jun. 30, 2009

  • It's not likely the breastmilk is making it worse... it's not common to have breastmilk jaundice.
    Jaundice in breastfed babies IS common because they tend to be dehydrated.
    They need to get the baby to eat eat eat! I would have her pump after breastfeeding and give the expressed milk afterwards. She doesn't have to use a bottle.. she can use a dropper or cup... or if she is fine with it a slow flow nipple.. but the fluids are very important. She needs to feed the baby a minimium of every 2-3 hours.
    Jaundice peaks at around day 5 so hopefully it will start getting better .

    Answer by AmiJanell at 6:47 PM on Jun. 30, 2009

  • My DD was yellowish for a couple weeks and I BF. It got better. It was just cloudy around the time she was born and it took my milk almost a week to come in good. She just needs to nurse LOTS and LOTS. The more a baby poops/pees, the quicker the bilirubin count will decrease.

    Answer by Kat770 at 7:33 PM on Jun. 30, 2009

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