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Old 10-31-2012, 10:04 AM   #31
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Re: Jaundice and formula/breastfeeding

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Originally Posted by Rhianna'sMommy View Post
He said in very rare cases breast milk makes jaundice worse and you need to flush the system with formula but in that case you need to stop all breastmilk. ...

He said breastmilk makes flushing jaundice out of the system go slower than formula ...
I'm honestly not trying to be argumentative, but I'd like to see research that backs up your doctor's claims. I've heard that breastfed babies may be more prone to jaundice because it takes a couple days for mom's milk to come in. But once it's in, I have a really hard time believing that formula clears out jaundice better then the same amount of breast milk.

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Old 10-31-2012, 10:12 AM   #32
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Re: Jaundice and formula/breastfeeding

OP, can you help her get in contact with a lactation consultant? I know your intentions are best, but she would probably benefit from someone who has professional education & experience to know where to draw the line as far as refusing doctor's orders or not.

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OP, I am sorry to read that the LO has to go back to the hospital. One thing to remember is that the faster baby gets rid of the bili, the faster she will be more alert and more able to stay awake to latch. So, it may well be that a little formula may actually speed mom and baby's ability to form a long lasting breastfeeding relationship. Just another way of looking at it. Hopefully in the hospital she will find good support from the N/PICU staff to help her pump and feed that to baby and they will have LCs on staff to help her with baby's lethargy and rebuilding that breastfeeding relationship.
Thank you for your posts on this thread! I went back & forth in my mind over this issue in the first few years after DS was born. At this point I've come to think that he might have benefited from more formula. He got a bit in the hospital twice, and we were sorta kinda told to supplement at home (but no specifics) to help him get rid of the bilirubin, but only did it once.

However, he was SOOO sleepy and had so much trouble nursing. I think now, that maybe some more formula to help flush out the bilirubin might have helped him perk up and start nursing better, days before he finally did. (He was on the at-home blue light from Friday through a weekend, the entire following week AND the next weekend, and finally done Monday.)

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Newer studies are showing that it may not be as dangerous as previously thought, but they aren't yet conclusive. Right now treatment is determined from a graph based on gestational age, hours/days old and bili level. A 2 day old full term baby can tolerate higher bili levels than a 18 hour old 37 weeker. Seriously high bili levels (>20) are rare. A baby discharged home on a bili blanket does not have seriously high levels. Bili blankets do not provide the same levels of phototherapy as larger lights but are better than sunlight alone.
I would be interested in hearing more about that. What studies are you referring to? I wish I could remember how high DS's levels were -- but I know it was concerning, and the doctor was trying to help get his levels down but also help keep them from going up to the dangerous levels.

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Supplementing with formula should not be the first treatment. This is the easy answer for the doctor, nurse and mother.
I will agree with this. DS was born on a Tuesday morning, and although the doctor had already noticed his jaundice, he didn't start on blue light until after the home nurse came for a visit on Friday.

So when DD was born and about a day old, and once again I was told to give formula, I asked why we couldn't get a blue light instead. They were accommodating about that, so she got started on blue lights much earlier in the process than DS had. Also, with more experience BFing, I knew how to encourage a better latch and how often to keep offering, so I was able to make that work better. And she was only on the blue lights for 2-3 days.

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Studies do show that even one formula feeding permanently changes a baby's gut flora. A mother that insists on no formula has the facts to back up her choice.
I hate that though. Because if you are a first-time mom and go along with a bottle of formula in the hospital and then hear this, it can make you feel like you've already failed because baby's gut flora is changed forever. That was how I felt, anyway.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:55 PM   #33
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Re: Jaundice and formula/breastfeeding

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I'm honestly not trying to be argumentative, but I'd like to see research that backs up your doctor's claims. I've heard that breastfed babies may be more prone to jaundice because it takes a couple days for mom's milk to come in. But once it's in, I have a really hard time believing that formula clears out jaundice better then the same amount of breast milk.
I can't help you with research - it's been 3 yrs and since we never got to the point we had to seriously consider it I didn't ask him for more info. He said it was very rare and he'd run a blood test first to confirm (I think - again its been 3 yrs). If I recall right it was almost like an allergy to the breastmilk (for lack of remembering precisely how he phrased it) that kept jaundice levels from lowering. Again, he said it was very rare but ds's level were very slow to start dropping on the bili lights so he wanted to give us worse case senario. We had sat at 18.5 for 4 days and our pedi was giving us 1 more day before sending us to the hosp. (he sends you at 19 automatically). Ds finally dropped that day so I never questioned the worst case senario we were given.
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:05 PM   #34
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Re: Jaundice and formula/breastfeeding

I don't really see how the length of time it takes for a mother's milk to come in would make a big difference. A newborn's stomach is tiny. There is enough colostrum for that before the 'real' milk comes in (except in some cases).

I'm not arguing the 'formula produces more waste and therefore flushes it out quicker' thing, I'm simply saying that the argument shown above doesnt seem logical. There may be reasons why someone really would need to supplement - but THAT isn't the reason. Babies have been surviving waiting on the real milk to come in forever. Maybe babies weren't jaundiced so much back then and then, okay.. but other wise, that seems like a silly argument to me.
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:06 PM   #35
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Re: Jaundice and formula/breastfeeding

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Originally Posted by EmilytheStrange View Post
I don't really see how the length of time it takes for a mother's milk to come in would make a big difference. A newborn's stomach is tiny. There is enough colostrum for that before the 'real' milk comes in (except in some cases).

I'm not arguing the 'formula produces more waste and therefore flushes it out quicker' thing, I'm simply saying that the argument shown above doesnt seem logical. There may be reasons why someone really would need to supplement - but THAT isn't the reason. Babies have been surviving waiting on the real milk to come in forever. Maybe babies weren't jaundiced so much back then and then, okay.. but other wise, that seems like a silly argument to me.
Totally agree with your second paragraph. To me, it's natural. Moms have been bfing for hundreds of thousands of years and I'll stick with bfing. However, I think the idea is that any fluids help flush the bili out. So while a newborn's stomach is small, you could get him/her to drink more formula than would be available in breast milk those first couple days. So just by eating more, the bili would come down faster. But still, I don't really buy that either.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:02 PM   #36
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[QUOTE="momtojande"] OP, can you help her get in contact with a lactation consultant? I know your intentions are best, but she would probably benefit from someone who has professional education & experience to know where to draw the line as far as refusing doctor's orders or not.

The hospital nurses either didn't have an lc or wouldn't get her one :/ baby was doing better at home with just a little help, she actually wasn't having a sleepy latch prob, but nipple confusion. I do have in mind to refer her to lll if needed when they get back from the hospital this time. Thanks for the reminder!

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Old 10-31-2012, 05:09 PM   #37
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Re: Jaundice and formula/breastfeeding

DS was very jaundiced and went home on a bili blanket. I NEVER heard one word about formula, but was told to nurse, nurse, nurse. All three of my nurses were IBCLC's and our doctor(a family practice doctor) never said anything about supplementing. We took him back every 48 hours for a week to test his levels. They came down and he's fine, still nursing at 15mths. I was very thankful for the staff and our doctor.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:36 AM   #38
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Baby and mama are on they're way home!

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