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What Is Breastfeeding Jaundice?

Right after the birth of a child, it is extremely common for the health caretakers to analyze the newborn properly. One of the common health issues observed among newborn babies is jaundice that requires proper monitoring. It is important to consider precautionary measures in order to avoid this condition. In the case of breastfed babies, jaundice is commonly observed and tends to stay longer. The treatment of jaundice for these babies directly affects the breastfeeding process along with the health of the breastfed children.

Jaundice in newborn babies
Within two to three days of birth, jaundice can occur in the newborn babies. The common symptoms of jaundice include yellowish discoloration of the skin and whites (sclera) of the eyes, poor weight gain and high-pitched crying. The increased bilirubin level in the blood of babies causes jaundice. It is extremely important to undergo blood test to evaluate the level of bilirubin in the blood. Initially, jaundice will be observed on the face. Later on, it will move to other parts of the body such as the chest, arms, legs, and abdomen.

Breastfeeding jaundice
Breastfeeding jaundice may result from inadequate intake of milk. The newborn baby requires an adequate amount of milk in order to regulate the bowel’s movement along with secretion of the bilirubin in the blood. The common causes of breastfeeding jaundice include an improper latch, lack of milk supply, inadequate start to the breastfeeding process, or the provision of supplements or other nutrients that conflicts with the breastfeeding. In order to overcome this condition, the proper way and timing interval of feeding is important. Along with that, consult a lactation expert to analyze your baby’s body requirements.

Treatment for Breastfeeding Jaundice
In healthy infants, these treatment should be considered in order to get rid of breastfeeding jaundice on full term babies. Make sure that the bilirubin level is below 20 milligrams in the blood while considering these solutions;
• Increase the feeding to 8-12 times in a day, this will help maintain the bilirubin level. In this way, the bowel movement will also increase which will help in overcoming jaundice.
• Consult a lactation expert to analyze the latch and amount of milk required by the infant. Consider the lactation aid and supplements to reduce the interruption in milk production.
• Phototherapy can be considered in order to reduce the bilirubin level drastically. Consult the healthcare service provider about the use of fiber optic blankets in case of phototherapy.
In the case of premature infants, the healthcare provider should be properly consulted.

Jaundice occurs in almost 70% of all the infants, and it is challenging to prevent this occurrence. However, consider initiating the breastfeeding bond soon after birth. Consult a lactation consultant to obtain proper guidance for you and your baby.

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