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Old 09-28-2012, 02:32 PM   #13
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Re: Breast milk jaundice?

Originally Posted by alaskamum View Post
I'm keeping her in the window as much as possible, it's too chilly here to take her outside without clothes on. Unfortunately we only get direct sun through the windows from about 8:45 to 10:30 am. We got in a good hour this morning though.

I think the dr might be wrong too, but do you have any suggestions on the proper way to handle it without ticking off an otherwise good doctor? I really trust him on everything else, but not as much on breastfeeding stuff.
Just don't go back to check the levels. You will be able to tell if it's getting worse. Jaundice starts on the trunk and goes down the arms and legs. As long as it stays on her torso and starts to fade, she's fine. My second had some jaundice the first week and by 10 days it was totally fine. I nursed him like crazy.

I agree that the doctor is WRONG. I'm not sure why he said that, but jaundice that shows up after 48 hours is "breastmilk jaundice". I don't even agree with that term. I think that it's perfectly normal, and that they only call it that because they're comparing the biological norm, breastfed babies, with the abnormal mode of feeding that is formula feeding. Typically formula-fed babies get MORE food in the beginning, so they're less likely to get jaundiced. That doesn't mean that they are healthier or that formula is better. It just means that their body is breaking down the bilirubin faster than a baby who is breastfed. THere is no evidence that moderate jaundice is damaging in any way to a healthy baby who is breastfeeding well.

The key is to make sure that breastfeeding is going well. Since you said that the levels have already dropped, that's a good sign and I wouldn't do any more testing. It's disruptive and stressful and just breeds fear when there is most likely no problem.
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