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Why would doctors tell you to supplement if your baby has jaundice?

Both of my daughters had slight jaundice, which i think a lot of babies do. Why are doctors now telling the mothers supplement nursing with a bottle of formula to fix this? Can't this be super confusing to a newborn, not to mention not help much with your milk supply...

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Asked by young-not-dumb at 2:15 PM on Oct. 20, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 15 (1,959 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • "Supplement" tends to be the pediatrician answer to everything. They say it because they get next to zero training in breastfeeding.

    Answer by gdiamante at 2:17 PM on Oct. 20, 2010

  • I never could understand how something made in a factory could be better for a medical condition than something made by my own body.

    Answer by peanutsmommy1 at 2:25 PM on Oct. 20, 2010

  • You are exaclty right that it can cause a lot of problems. Babies can have nipple confusion, the supplementing itself means you are nursing less, which means your milk production suffers, which many times means the mom supplements even more. The nipple confusion also leads to less-effective nursing, in turn causing a drop in milk production and possibly more supplementing. *sigh* I find it all very sad. Some things in life just take a little effort sometimes. It seems to me that these instances of supplementing to fix a mild problem are examples of people wanting a quick, easy fix for an immediate problem instead of taking the time to work at something and learn how to do it right and reap the many long-term benefits.

    Answer by FelipesMom at 2:25 PM on Oct. 20, 2010

  • It's because formula will help the jaundice, BUT so does a little bit of time and sunshine (especially if it is a mild case). :o)

    Jaundice is caused a Vitamin D deficiency and most people are Vitamin D deficient so breastmilk typically is low on Vitamin D because mom is low or deficient. Especially if you live north of ohh say Georgia. lol

    Answer by kfroz0415 at 2:27 PM on Oct. 20, 2010

  • I should have added it will most likely cause issues and I don't recommend it, but just explaining the reasoning behind it.

    Answer by kfroz0415 at 2:28 PM on Oct. 20, 2010

  • Infants with jaundice need increased fluids. Fluids will push the bilirubin through the system and it is excreted in the stool. It is unfortunately easier (and quicker for the docs) to tell moms to use formula than to help them increase milk supply. I disagree about the Vitamin D. Sunlight/ bililights work to break up the bilirubin under the skin. My information is that Vit D has nothing to do with it.

    Answer by kjrn79 at 3:47 PM on Oct. 20, 2010

  • All babies have jaundice to some extent. It's the liver that starts processing the food. Your breast milk contains everything that you eat and might be harder for the liver to process in the beginning. I supplemented for the first few weeks untill the jaundice went away. If you use the right teats ( I used the NUK teats that prevent nipple confusion) the baby should not have a problem.

    Answer by CassyzMom at 5:23 AM on Oct. 21, 2010

  • I would just like to add that it's not permanent. Mine BFd fine afterwards. Don't let anybody make you feel guilty about it. I'd rather believe the guy who studied for years, has numerous degrees and know things about the workings of the human body (even on a molecular level) that I will never read about on the internet or in "mommy books". Good luck, mama

    Answer by CassyzMom at 5:30 AM on Oct. 21, 2010

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