Jaundice & advised to stop BF'ing — The Bump
Breastfeeding

Jaundice & advised to stop BF'ing

LO is 6 days old today. He has jaundice and is under the bili lights at home. Doc said that I needed to stop breastfeeding and move to Isomil formula since breastfeeding made the jaundice worse. Now LO has to be fed every two hours with formula, I know I'll be up all night checking on his mask and him, and then I'm supposed to pump every 3 to 4 hours to keep my milk going. Today has been emotionally draining for both of us and I am just running on fumes. Part of me says just give up the breastfeeding and concentrate on him getting better and us resting some. And part of me says hang in there. I guess I'm not really asking any questions... Just maybe looking for some support.

 

Re: Jaundice & advised to stop BF'ing

  • I was told breast melk helps with jaundice.
  • same as above - thought BF helps...

     If you can keep pumping, I find breast feeding is awesome and very convienient - no sterolizing bottles, mixing formula, heating bottles, etc... (sorry about spelling).  This part will be over quick and both of you can move on!  (:

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  • Breast milk is suposed to be better for jaundice than formula.  I think you may have gotten some bad advice :(

    I'm not recommending ignoring your doctor, but why not pump until you can get a second opinion?  IMO doctors can be very misinformed about breastfeeding and breastmilk.  Even if your doctor is right, the jaundice will be gone in a few days and then you can resume bfing if you keep your supply up now.  

    LLL would help you get some good advice, many cities have 24 hour LLL hotlines or great public health programs that would help you.  Good Luck! Don't let a doctor bully you :)

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  • i had the same problem. i kept on with the breatsfeeding and its going okay... dont have a great supply... but her jaundice levels FINALLY started going down. i hope everything works out!! i finally got my milk to come in by pumping. i thought it would never come in so i tried pumping and SUPRISE, i had milk!
  • GRRRR at your doc!!

    There's some info here: http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/bfhelp-jaundice.html

    I think the pp suggestion to get a second opinion are good.  There's no reason you can't nurse him.  I'd nurse as often as you can - the more he nurses, the faster he'll clear the bilirubin.  

    Hand in there!

  • DS had jaundice when he was born, not bad where he had to be out under the lights. I was BFing but DS wasnt getting enough to eat and he didnt poop for 3 days. I finally pumped, and bottle fed.. then he finally pooped and the jaundice cleared up a couple days after that. His Pedi did tell me that i would have to stop breast feeding because he wasnt getting enough milk to clear up the jaundice...is your LO getting enough milk?

    GL. hope everything works out!

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  • My DS had terrible jaundice when he was born, and I was never advised to switch to formula. The reason some doctors believe it's better is because formula is heavier, and formula-fed babies have more frequent bowel movements than breastfed babies.

    Your doc sounds seriously old school, and unless there's some other underlying reason he wants you to formula feed, I'd find another doc.

    Edited to Add - most likely, the breastfeeding did not make the jaundice "worse"- jaundice is progressive, and is almost always worse a few days after birth, regardless of what they're being fed!

  • Give him the boob!! Since he is under lights anyways, the main thing is that he is eating and peeing! That is how he gets the jaundice out of his system! The more he eats the more he pees, and the jaundice goes away.

    BTW Doctor told me the same thing, then we ended up in a Childrens hospital that same night, and they said the best thing for him to do is eat. (He ended up throwing up a bottle of formula, he hasn't had a bottle since.)

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  • Keep pumping!  Don't give up!  DD was in the hospital for the first 10 days of her life b/c of her partial vocal cord paralysis which made eating difficult.  She had a feeding tube and I wasn't allowed to BF b/c the milk she did get had to be thickened to help it go down right.  Well at almost 4 weeks now, DD has finally agreed that BF isn't so bad (aka she isn't screaming bloody murder when I put her to the breast).  If I had stopped pumping, my milk would have stopped and I wouldn't have had such a breathtaking moment this evening as I fed her after her bath in a lightly dimmed room, smelling her baby smell and listening to some mellow music.  It is so worth it.  I totally understand how frustrating it can be to wake yourself up every 3 hrs at night to pump, but keep on going.  It will be all over soon enough.
  • image TheDawnn:

    same as above - thought BF helps...

     If you can keep pumping, I find breast feeding is awesome and very convienient - no sterolizing bottles, mixing formula, heating bottles, etc... (sorry about spelling).  This part will be over quick and both of you can move on!  (:

    Hang in there! I agree w/the pp: while the first days and weeks can be a steep learning curve, it's so worth it. I love being able to leave the house w/o worrying about carting bottles, formula and water: BFing is surprisingly convenient once you get the hang of it.

    Also, with cold and flu season in full swing, there's not much I can do to protect him outside of washing hands frequently and BFing: it's peace of mind for me that he's getting that extra boost to his immune system.

    You're at the toughest part...but it will pass: keep on keepin' on, mama!

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  • Ok - I've been in this spot twice. Both my kids had jaundice. Here's what I did.  I still BF.  Immediately following BF, I would give up to 1 oz of formula. Here's the thing to understand...the NATURAL way for a body to rid itself of the bili is via pooping. Both my kids were not frequent poopers (this is not uncommon with EBF babies; they both would go 10 - 14 days b/t pooping).  The formula helped increase the frequency of pooping. Once the bili level started going down, I completely eliminated the formula.  I HIGHLY encourage you to try this. BF, while hard work those first couple of weeks, I SO worth it.
  • I would continue breastfeeding.  I would also pump in between or after you feed you LO.  You can always give a bottle of pumped milk afterwards.  Don't give up and I also wouldn't give formula, but that is just me.
  • Well, after reading everyone's responses, I feel even worse. I feel like I didn't ask enough questions.. I had been crying during the whole visit and when he said it was what was best, I just went with it. I want my baby to be better. So last night we formula fed him...

    But Home Health is coming out this morning and I am going to talk to them and also call the lactation consultant from the hospital. She never came and saw me in the hospital, maybe she was on vacation for the holiday. But I do plan on asking someone else. Thanks for all the information and kind words.

  • image proud-mommy-to-be:

    Well, after reading everyone's responses, I feel even worse. I feel like I didn't ask enough questions.. I had been crying during the whole visit and when he said it was what was best, I just went with it. I want my baby to be better. So last night we formula fed him...

    But Home Health is coming out this morning and I am going to talk to them and also call the lactation consultant from the hospital. She never came and saw me in the hospital, maybe she was on vacation for the holiday. But I do plan on asking someone else. Thanks for all the information and kind words.

    Don't feel bad - getting bad news can be hard at first. DS had severe jaundice as part of his preemie issues, and even though they suspected my breastmilk wasn't particularly helping the jaundice, the whole team of doctors who worked with DS felt strongly that the benefits from my breastmilk more than outweighed the slightly extended timeline of the jaundice. Jaundice is a temporary condition - whatever you end up doing for it will be okay so long as you keep up your supply, but hopefully you'll get a better second opinion today!

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