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What Is Breast Milk Jaundice?

Breast Milk jaundice occurs in infants who struggle with breastfeeding if they don’t get enough breast milk. 

Jaundice makes skin and eyes yellowish in color and we come to know that baby is suffering from Jaundice. Yellowish eyes arethe  very first sign of Breast Milk Jaundice.

Mostly, Breastfeeding Jaundice occurs one week after the birth and can last upto 12 weeks according to the health conditions of an infant.

When breast milk jaundice appears, it doesn’t cause any problems and mostly goes away on its own. But you have to continue breastfeeding your baby during jaundice.

When you mark any criticle sign related to jaundice in your infant, without loosing a second you should see a doctor because untreated jaundice can lead to severe complications, like brain damage or hearing Problems.

Why Breast Milk Jaundice Occures?

It occures because of a yellow pigment called Bilirubin. It’s produced at the time when red blood cells break down. Usually it passes out from the liver.

As newborn babies liver is not so strong and uncapable to remove all wastage including bilirubin from liver. Hence bilirubin accumulates in the blood and cause breastmilk jaundice.

What Are The Early Symptoms Of Breast Milk Jaundice?

breast milk jaundice

Difference between breastfeeding and breast milk jaundice:

The main early breastfeeding jaundice symptoms may include:-

  • Baby’s Skin and eyes turn yellowish in color
  • Baby may crying in high-pitched volume
  • The Newborn Baby has poor weight gain
  • fatigue
  • lack of energy

What Are The Main Causes Of Breast Milk  Jaundice?

While the baby and the mother are in the learning stage of how to breastfeed, If mother can’t produce enough breastmik, .breastfeeding jaundice appears.

It may occures in the first week after birth process and can last for 12 weeks depends upon baby’s health condition.

  • Breastmilk jaundice occures  when newborn babies face difficulty in breastfeeding, improper latching, or don’t get adequate amounts of milk. 
  • This condition occurs when infants have a high bilirubin level in their blood. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment produced during the breakdown of red blood cells. Jaundice makes the eyes and skin of an infant yellow in color.
  • Bilirubin passes through the liver, which releases it into the intestinal tract. The liver of an infant is already underdeveloped, and due to this, it cannot remove bilirubin from the blood, which results in skin and eyes appear yellow. 
  • Scheduled breastfeeding also one of the main cause of breastfeeding jaundice. When your breastfeeding depends on the clock (like every 2 hours or 3 hours for a few minutes)That’s called “breastfeeding failure jaundice” or Breasts-Non-Feeding-Jaundice.”
  • Babies who take birth before 37 weeks, cann’t suck nipple properly get jaundice

You should not stop breastfeeding your baby. Instead, you should increase feedings sessions per day to ensure that the baby is getting enough breastmilk. 

What Is The Time Duration Of Breast Milk jaundice?

Breast Milk jaundice usually lasts longer than one week after birth. The main reason for breast milk jaundice is unknown, but it is said that it may be linked to a substance in breast milk that prevents proteins in the baby’s liver from breaking down bilirubin.  

Breastfeeding jaundice is rare and less appearing when it appears; it doesn’t cause any problem, and it goes away on its own, so it is safe to continue breastfeeding your child. There are some treatments for breast milk jaundice like phototherapy, temporary supplementation, etc. 

Doctors also confused why it occures in newborn baby who can feeding well many times a day. As I told that it is happened because of biliruben blocks the protiens in liver.

Who Are At The High Risk OF Breastfeeding Jaundice?

Breast milk jaundice can appear in any breastfed newborn, and if you have a family history of jaundice  this might be difficult for your baby’s health and can increase the risk more.

Doctors don’t know the exact reasons for breastmilk jaundice, so there a few risk factors associated with breastfeeding jaundice.

How To Diagnosys Breast Milk Jaundice? 

Your lactation consultant can do it for you after observing if baby’s skin and eyes are yellow. Doctor may suggests you for a boold test to know the amount of bilirubin in blood. He check the baby is latching properly and he gets a good amount of breastmilk supply or not!

Treatments For Jaundice In Infants:

These are treatments that you should know, but before that, there are also things that you should avoid when your newborn has jaundice like you should not give your baby any sugar supplement in water which can make your baby’s jaundice worse by interfering with the breast milk, sugar water is not effective in reducing bilirubin levels.

Some treatments for breastfeeding and breast milk Jsundice include:

  • The best treatment is to start breastfeeding your baby frequently. And can give your baby the addition of breast milk and help your infant pass the bilirubin through their urine. Doctors recommend feeding babies with jaundice 8 to 12 times daily. Breastfeeding is the primary method of getting rid of jaundice.
  • You can also consult a lactation expert who can assist you more with proper techniques for breastfeeding. Babies should get better access to milk, and a lactation consultant can help a baby latch onto the breast properly.
  • If bilirubin levels reach above 20 milligrams, it may be necessary to use phototherapy and stop breastfeeding for almost 24 hours. 
  • In phototherapy, the baby is kept under a special light for one to two days and will have to wear protective glasses throughout photography to prevent the baby from any eye damage. The light changes the structure of bilirubin molecules and is removed from the body more quickly.

Does jaundice cause brain damage?

Breastfeeding jaundice has rarely caused any significant health conditions. If the jaundice is sincerely treated and monitored, it will clean up without causing any harm to the baby. However, if the jaundice is left untreated, it can cause a severe condition known as kernicterus.

Kernicterus is brain damage that occurs due to high bilirubin levels in a baby’s blood. If jaundice converts into kernicterus, it can cause severe and permanent damage to a baby’s brain. It also causes problems with vision and hearing loss and also causes intellectual disabilities. 

Is Breast Milk Jaundice Prevented?

 Jaundice is a sign of elevated bilirubin levels. Jaundice mainly occurs in newborns after they born; there is no specific way to prevent it, but here are some steps that will prevent jaundice from getting more worse and dangerous complications:

  • Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of having any allergies and has proteins, vitamins, and fats, so start breastfeeding as soon as possible to avoid problems.
  • Breatfeeding would help if you worked together with your lactation consultant to ensure how to breastfeed your child correctly.
  • Make sure you don’t skip your baby’s feeding schedule until they get familiar with breastfeeding.
  • Always try to avoid any supplementing breast milk. 
  • Try to consult your doctor before interrupting your breastfeeding.

Bottom line:

Breastfeeding Jaundice occurs in infants when there is a high bilirubin level in red blood cells. Most people make decisions to stop breastfeeding their babies. There is no need to stop feeding your baby; Frequently, breastfeeding can improve the mother’s milk supply and reduce the elevated bilirubin.

Thus, the treatments mentioned above can help you with your baby’s jaundice but don’t forget to see a doctor if your baby’s condition worsens.

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