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Breast fed Jaundice


My son is nearly five weeks old and still has a tinge of yellow in his skin. We have been referred to a jaundice clinic at our local hospital next weds. Has anybody else heard of breast fed jaundice? Do I need to be concerned??


  • Hi there,

    My DD was admitted to SCBU with jaundice and dehydration at 3 days old. She stayed under the double lights for 2 days and her belarubin (sp?) then dropped to an acceptable level. I woulod say she was still varying shades of yellow for a good 6 weeks after that.

    We were told that jaundice is more common in bf babies but that the benefits of breast milk by far outweigh the effect of the janudice on the baby. To put it into context, we were told under no circumstances to consider topping up with formula when DD was ill, despite the fact she was dehydrated! I'm glad now we were told that as we a re still successfully bf and she's 8 months now.

    At the jaundice clinic, the docs will probably just take a history, encourage you to keep feeding, check your LO's weight gain, maybe check his belarubin level and maybe do some bloods to check the cause of the jaundice.

    Really it's nothing to worry about - jaundice is only really dangerous to babies when it reaches extremely high levels (at least that's what we were told!)

    Hope it goes well.

  • Arias first described breast milk jaundice (BMJ) in 1963. Breast milk jaundice is a type of neonatal jaundice associated with breastfeeding. It is characterized by indirect hyperbilirubinemia in a breastfed newborn that develops after the first 4-7 days of life, persists longer than physiologic jaundice, and has no other identifiable cause. It should be differentiated from breastfeeding jaundice, which manifests in the first week of life and is caused by insufficient production or intake of breast milk. imageops:

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  • both my girls had breastfed jaundice. just keep feeding to flush it out, it will go image
  • My neice had this. She was taken into hospital and put under the blue light. The midwives looking after her asked her mum if they could give her formula because it would help to flush it out. She of course agreed. I am breast feeding my baby and topping up with formula. My baby is a hungry baby and my milk has taken its time to come in. Plus my breast milk doesnt fill her as much as the formula does, and then I end up running dry. I could not listen to my baby scream because cant produce enough milk. I overheard a midwife recomending topping up to another woman whilst I was in hospital, her baby was screaming because her boobs had run dry and she wasy hungry. My community midwife, GP and Health visitor have all supported my decision too.
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