As we get closer and more of us are having babies I've seen a few posts about babies needing the bilirubin lights for jaundice and how they are having to pump to feed the baby because of it. I just thought I would share my experience with DD as something to think about and possibly as for if you are in that situation. (Sorry it gets long-the last paragraph is really the "message" to read if you're in a hurry lol.)
DD had pretty significant bilirubin/jaundice problem when she was born. For several reasons I wasn't allowed to see/feed her for the first 4 hours of her life (LONG story there) which I think sort of kick started our jaundice problems. Anyway, at the hospital I delivered at there were several really rude/mean/unsupportive nurses, but one that was really wonderful and supportive of my decision to breastfeed DD despite our rough start. One day DD's jaundice levels were going up despite being under the lights pretty much constantly. I was told that I wasn't allowed to hold or feed DD for any longer than 5 minutes (which as a FTM it took me longer than that just to position her/me for feeding). They really laid on the guilt trip, saying that if I wanted to hold her/bf her that it would just make her jaundice worse, and that I would be hurting her...blah blah blah.
Needless to say I was absolutely distraught that I couldn't hold/feed my baby. I was told she just had to stay under the lights all the time, no matter what. I remember being an absolute emotional wreck, and when my favorite nurse came in for her night shift (it was her 2nd or 3rd with me so we already had a relationship) she found me sobbing. I told her what I had been told, and how I really wanted to BF but not if it was going to hurt my baby (like I had been told) and how I was just really confused. She asked why I couldn't bf and I told her about how I was told I couldn't have DD out from under the lights for that long and she called BS on the whole thing. :) My freaking angel.
Ultimately this nurse put DD on my chest and brought the lights and put them directly over her and me. So we got our skin to skin contact, I got my bonding time (and bf'ing) and DD remained under the lights as ordered. There was NO reason for DD to sit in the incubator with the lights-she was able to sit on my chest with the lights still on her. (By then she was healthy and doing well except her high bilirubin levels.) So just something to consider if your LO ends up needing the light therapy for jaundice-it doesn't have to keep you from bonding or from breastfeeding if you want. Most hospitals the lights are portable, so can plug in at your bedside while you feed/hold your baby.
Just a thought for you all that I wish I would have known about before last time. :)