Skip Nav
This Dad's Texts After His Kid Puked in the Car Will Make Your Day
16 Reasons Being Pregnant Now Is So Much Better Than in the 1980s
Back to School
14 Lunch Hacks to Make a Mama's Life Easier

Breastmilk Jaundice

Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me: Jaundice

Jaundice is a strange thing. It is a health condition parents should take seriously, but cosmetically speaking — it can make your newborn look he has been basking on the beach. Visitors commented on my son saying, "He has your skin! He's so TAN!" I knew he probably wasn't as "tan" as my friends suspected, but I had no idea how pale he was underneath that bilirubin tinged epidermis.

To see what happened,


Initially, doctors recommend periods of sunlight to rid baby of the yellowish colored skin. When that didn't work, my pediatrician insisted one or two bottles of formula a day would push the jaundice out in no time. Unexcited about giving him formula at such an early age, I did as she prescribed. In three days, he went from a Latino looking baby to a fair skinned guero. At his next check up, the doctor said, "He just had breastmilk jaundice. That formula worked like a charm!"

Join The Conversation
allymaedesign allymaedesign 8 years
my son had breastfeeding jaundice (and many commented on how "tan" he looked also)... because i wasn't educated enough on the subject (and a new mom), i thought it was rather dangerous- especially since it took two months to go away. don't get me wrong, i think it parents should be concerned, but i think i took it too far. i had supplemented early on, heeding my mother's advice. But now i think my milk supply is too low and will have to supplement for the duration of his infancy. looking back, i think i worried a little too much and should have continued to breastfeed exclusively. his bili # was never that high.
katedavis katedavis 8 years
Oh yeah! I forgot about the formula trick! We did that with my son because we wanted to make sure he came home with us and didn't have to stay in the hospital.
Greggie Greggie 8 years
Breastmilk jaundice is not regular jaundice and does not need to be "flushed out." If a baby has true jaundice, breastmilk is going to work just as well as formula. In fact, if baby is exclusively breastfed, formula can make real jaundice worse because it makes more difficult for baby to poop. Doctors' misinformation on feeding options of all kind is one of my pet peeves.
Jules1976 Jules1976 8 years
My munchkin was fine for the first couple of days, then we noticed her eyes were yellow-tinged. It went away, just as the doc said it would, but it would have been nice to have a heads' up beforehand.
latinav latinav 8 years
My son was under the lights in the NICU for about 2 weeks. He still has the yellow tint at times.
Moms Moms 8 years
My son and daughter each had a bit of jaundice, but it went away a few days after they were born.
Gabriela14815884 Gabriela14815884 8 years
My daughter had jaundice because she was born early it was pretty bad. I was supplementing formula and breastmilk to get it out but it took a while for it to go away. She was also re-admitted to the hospital to go under the lights :( I really hope it doesn't happen again.
jessie jessie 8 years
all three of my kids had jaundice. first and last were on the bililights @ home for a few weeks. since the second one was born in summer, we just took him outside more. i was told to breastfeed as much as possible...either went away quickly. :)
macgirl macgirl 8 years
Looking back I probably should have just given in to the formula. I wanted so bad to BF. He ended up with the Billiblankets which sucked as it made it hard to hold and nurse him.
Photo of Baby Still Attached to Placenta by Umbilical Cord
Shopping With a Baby
Baby Caused Divorce
What Is Cryptorchidism?
From Our Partners
Latest Moms
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds