Breast milk jaundice is a type of neonatal jaundice which occurs in babies who are exclusively breastfed or babies who is on mostly breast milk. Baby is usually healthy, with normal weight gain.
Other causes of prolonged jaundice will need to be excluded first before the diagnosis is made.
Breast milk jaundice occurs after one week of birth and can sometimes last up to 12 weeks.
The exact cause is unknown but it may be linked to a substance in the breast milk that prevents certain proteins in the infant’s liver from breaking down bilirubin.
Good thing is that it usually doesn’t cause any problems and eventually goes away on its own.
The important thing to highlight is that there is NO NEED to stop breastfeeding in breast milk jaundice. Interruption in breastfeeding is only needed is rare situations, for example if the bilirubin is very high needing it to be reduced quickly (as adviced by doctor)or in certain parts of the world where phototherapy light is unavailable.
Please CONTINUE to breastfeed and ensure that your baby is feeding well.