Have you heard of breastmilk jaundice? Sounds unfamiliar, I was ‘lucky’ to have such an experience.

As you know I fully breastfed my second boy fully for 6 months. On the first week, his jaundice level was quite high, the polyclinic doctor was ready to send him for Phototherapy but was held back because the level drop down to below ‘dangerous’ level.

Binbin’s jaundice level just went up and down like a yo-yo, that is when the doctor conclude that it was Breastmilk Jaundice.

No one knows what the cause of breastmilk jaundice is. In order to make this diagnosis, the baby should be at least a week old, though interestingly, many of the babies with breastmilk jaundice also have had exaggerated physiologic jaundice. The baby should be gaining well, with breastfeeding alone, having lots of bowel movements, passing plentiful, clear urine and be generally well.

Breastmilk jaundice peaks at 10-21 days, but may last for two or three months. Binbin’s jaundice lasted for 3 weeks. Breastmilk jaundice is normal. It is not necessary for breastfeeding to be discontinued even for a short time. Only very occasionally is any treatment, such as phototherapy, necessary. Binbin need not go for that even though the level was relatively high.

There is not one bit of evidence that this jaundice causes any problem at all for the baby. Breastfeeding need not be discontinued “in order to make a diagnosis”. If the baby is truly doing well on breast only, there is no reason, none, to stop breastfeeding or supplement with a lactation aid, for that matter. To find out more read this….

Have you heard of breastmilk jaundice?