Are you breastfeeding? Here is something that I had with two of my four kids...called breastmilk jaundice. Get the levels checked by blood...and do NOT let them talk you into supplementing with formula for this....if the levels are ok....you just have to ride it out. My kids finally stopped being 'yellow around 2.5 months).
Breast milk jaundice
Breast milk jaundice is called such when it is found to occur for the long term in an otherwise healthy breastfed baby. This is when it when jaundice develops and continues after the baby is one week old. Breast milk jaundice may continue until your baby reaches six weeks; however, mothers are advised to continue breastfeeding if the baby otherwise appears to be of good health and is gaining weight.
Your baby’s skin might start to look yellowy and decidedly off colour, with a visible discoloration of the eyes. Breast milk jaundice may subside up to 12 weeks after birth and is a perfectly normal condition which babies develop. Some mothers are alarmed when the midwife announces that their baby has jaundice, but it is the case that many babies develop the condition but are still of utmost health.
There is no evidence to suggest jaundice causes any harm to the baby and there are only rare cases when a baby may require treatment such as phototherapy. Not enough breast milk can result in jaundice, as higher levels of bilirubin may occur if the baby is not getting enough milk. Lack of milk will in turn affect your baby’s stools and bowel movements. If your baby is feeding well this can help to bring bilirubin levels down. Encouraging your baby to latch on properly to your breast can help to get more milk to your baby.
Tests for jaundice
In some cases your doctor or health visitor may carry out some tests, as per the following:
Check your baby’s bilirubin level
Complete blood count
Blood smear to look at cells
Treatment for breast milk jaundice
Phototherapy can help your baby as it uses bilirubin lights to treat the skin. Phototherapy is rarely used as many babies who have jaundice do not require treatment. Your baby may need to drink more fluids or alternatively you could try expressing some milk and giving it to your baby. Treatment will be dependent on your baby’s bilirubin levels, whether your baby was born prematurely, how old your baby is, and the degree of jaundice.
What should I do if I am concerned about breast milk jaundice?
If you are concerned about breast milk jaundice in your baby you can visit your doctor who will be able to offer comprehensive advice and tips. It is important to remember that many babies do develop jaundice and that it is quite a common illness after birth. Jaundice should eventually subside but if you feel it is not going away you can consult medical personnel.