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If your baby had jaundice, did you have problems with your milk supply?

(3 Posts)
CuppaTeaJanice Fri 17-Oct-08 12:03:03

I was talking to a friend the other day as we were the only two bottle feeding amongst a group of breastfeeders. It turns out we had both had very similar experiences with regard to feeding.

We'd both initially breastfed, then our babies had jaundice so spent a few days in an incubator under a blue light. Both babies had lost a lot of weight so we'd been advised to supplement, then we'd mix fed for a few months, tried (very hard) and failed to build up a sufficient supply, then finally moved to bottle only.

So my question is, were those few initial days in a hot incubator, with not as much skin-skin contact and demand feeding, enough to permanently disrupt milk supply? And if so, does anybody have any advice for mothers of jaundiced babies who want to breastfeed?

pandaiis Fri 17-Oct-08 14:02:53

I would definately say that yes, those factors have a part to play in not building up a milk supply. Skin to skin contact is important in releasing the hormone that produces milk. I know that hospitals tend to use more routine feeding than demand feeding at the start and the first few days are the main ones where the lo's feed all the time to build up the milk supply. I'm not sure if it would permanently disrupt it although I could see how it would. I know that some MNers have had their lo's in scbu for weeks and have managed to continue bf at home.

Jaundice wasn't the direct reason for my lo to be in scbu, although he did get it (jaundice of prematurity). My experience isn't exactly the same as my lo was in scbu for weeks but by the time he was getting home my milk had dried up and I had to ff. I was upset about this but the doctor explained to me that it is very difficult to keep a milk supply up when you don't have contact with your lo.

As for advice mine would be to see if the hospital have a bed where you could stay and feed the lo when he/she needs it. If you are home before them take a piece of clothing the baby has worn home with you and a photo (esp if you are expressing)

Ebb Fri 17-Oct-08 14:06:20

My Ds had jaundice on day 2 but it never got bad enough to go back into hospital. The MW came every day for over a week to check on him and said if it went below his knees he would have to go in. I was told to bf him every 2 hours without fail which was tricky as he was so sleepy. I had to strip him naked for every feed to wake him up enough. My milk came in on day 4 but Ds was really hard work to get him to feed as he didn't have a typically correct latch and he'd dropped a fair bit of weight. I don't think I realised the MW's were worried until after he started to gain weight. hmm By day 7 the jaundice started to fade, thank goodness and Ds started piling on the pounds and went from below the 25th centile to the 75th in a couple of weeks.

I have no real advice but I'm sure someone with more experience will come along soon. I've read about babymoons where you just take to your bed and feed your baby all day to help boost your supply and I suppose you could express as often as possible if your LO is in hospital to try and increase your milk? It's a shame hospitals aren't always as helpful with regards to bf as perhaps they could be.

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