This week's mom post is one that hits close to home. I am sharing with you my personal experience with breastfeeding jaundice in hopes that you will be better prepared if ever you find yourself in a similar situation. So what is breastfeeding jaundice?
Medical Schmedical Terminology:
Jaundice is a medical condition that causes the yellowing of skin as well as the whites of your eyes. In short and very layman terms, Jaundice occurs when there is an excess of bilirubin in your baby's bloodstream. This can be caused by an undeveloped liver or by breastfeeding. Breastfeeding?! How in the world can something so natural cause a medical condition?!
Breastfeeding Jaundice can be caused by the following:
- Factors in mother's milk
- Baby not getting enough breast milk ---- <-- i="">This was our issue-->
Breastfeeding Jaundice and How We Dealt With It:
WARNING: it's about to get TMI up in here.... I was determined to breastfeed even though I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to. In my early twenties I had a breast augmentation surgery with the incision site being through the nipple. There was a very real possibility that the surgeon cut through milk ducts, making me unable to breastfeed.
Day One: Breastfeeding was difficult. It took several tries for baby to latch on properly and he would only do so with a nipple shield. It seemed like I was producing something, but I was concerned it wouldn't be enough for baby. Baby seemed content and was quite the snuggle bear.
Day Two: Baby was latching and would feed for what seemed like an eternity. He would release a cry that I hadn't heard before and had me concerned. When I asked the nurses they said that it was normal, some babies on Day Two were much fussier ( I would later come to the conclusion that this was because they were starving!).
Later that evening the nurse told us that baby was borderline jaundice. His bilirubin levels were excessive and that they needed to do some tests inclusive of blood work. It was then I remembered a conversation I had with my friend Melissa. Melissa told me to feed the baby as much as possible so that he would flush out all that excess bilirubin.
I was freaking out, not wanting my little one to have to endure unnecessary medical testing so I told the nurse I wanted to try giving him formula first and see if the issue resolved. She automatically gave me a look of disapproval. She had the audacity to tell me that breastfeeding was best and that I shouldn't give him formula. I stood my ground and said that I will be breastfeeding but I will be supplementing with formula because I did not think I was producing enough. She finally obliged and brought us some formula for my starving baby.
Day Three: Surprise! The bilirubin levels had leveled out and baby was doing wonderful. Unnecessary medical testing averted.
Moral Of The Story:
Moral Of The Story:
Breastfeeding is a very personal choice. Trust your momma instincts and don't let anyone bully you into doing anything you aren't comfortable with. You know what is best for your baby because nobody but you is in your shoes.
We ended up breastfeeding for a month, while supplementing with formula. My son has always been over 90% in length and weight and has had no issues with development. I am glad to say that we were able to avoid unnecessary medical treatment because we were flexible. I didn't stick to an ideology but instead listened to what my son needed.
I believe that had I not been aware of breastfeeding jaundice, I would have fallen susceptible to additional and unnecessary medical testing for my son. It is my hope that this article helps expectant mothers feel more confident in their decisions, knowing full well that what they do is in the best interest of their child.
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|How I Avoided Unnecessary Testing On Our Baby!|