Natural Jaundice Remedy

Updated on March 18, 2010
C.S. asks from Waterbury, CT
13 answers

My 3 week old son has a slight touch of Jaundice. He is an active eater, active baby, lots of poop and pee diapers. He started getting a little yellow about a week after birth. At two weeks, it was about the same. His pediatrician noticed a yellow tint in the corners of his eyes. She wasnt overly concerned, and willing to let it go until his 4 week visit, before doing any blood tests.
Last week, I had him inside, laying in the sunshine and that really did the trick. His eyes were much whiter and his skin not nearly as yellow. In the last few days, we havent seen much sunshine, and his skin is starting to yellow again. Its very slight. But, I know his doctor is going to pick up on it.
We see our dr again next Tues. If our pediatrician orders blood work, and his bilirubin level is elevated, she is going to want him to take some formula. I am not ok with that. I would prefer him to only have breastmilk. (My older son had a terrible reaction to formula, and I havent used it since.)

Does anybody have any tips to improve his jaundice, without formula??

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So What Happened?

The weather has cooperated wonderfully! We have spent lots of time throughout the day in the sunshine. Both indoors and out. The yellow has faded from him skin, and there is only the slightest bit of yellow in the corners of his eyes.
My pediatrician is wonderful, and supportive of breastfeeding. However, she doesnt see the harm in supplementing with formula. I guess breastmilk can slow the breakdown of bilirubin. Using formula could help speed up the process. I'm more in favor of letting nature take its course. (As long as his levels arent too high)
Our pedi recommended vitamin D drops. Not so much for the jaundice, more b/c he is winter born baby.
Thanks for all your support to keep nursing and avoiding formula. Thats just what I plan to do. :)

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answers from Denver on

My first questions would be: How are you feeling? What are you eating? The reason I ask is because depending on how you eat, there are simple foods that will help detox the liver and improve bilirubin levels. i agree with you, formula would be a last resort. I think there is a few things that can be done to help :)

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answers from St. Cloud on

I did what you are doing. Put our son in the sun and breastfed him! I would also refuse to feed formula...... There must be a better way. Sorry I couldn't help more, I just wanted to let you know that the two things you ARE DOING, ARE GREAT!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Greensboro on

Hi Crystal,

I got this from There is more helpful information on there as well and they recommend only breast milk!

"If breastfeeding, the mother can also drink infusions of one of several herbs as an infant jaundice treatment. The baby will then receive the benefits of the herbs through the breast milk. Recommended herbs to try are catnip, comfrey leaf, agrimony or dandelion root.

The standard ratio for infusions is one ounce of dried herb to one quart of water and this brew is left to steep for at least four hours before being strained and drunk. Dandelion root infusion is bound to be bitter, and Susun Weed recommends adding salt to make it a more tolerable drink.

Cheladonium 3x is the recommended homeopathic infant jaundice treatment. Be sure to use this only homeopathically, not in herbal form."

Hope this helps.....


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answers from Stationed Overseas on

Wow you seem to be going to the doctor a lot. My daughter was a preemie and we didn't go to the doctor until she needed vaccinations about two months after she got out of the hospital. My daughter was severely jaundiced after birth and I refused them to give her any formula. They used a bilirubin light that did the trick. She had to have it on her for several days. You might be able to get it through your insurance and have it at home. Talk with your doctor the office should be able to set it up. Or just stick with the sunshine and keep it up for a few more days when the sun is out.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I agree with Ina... it doesn't matter if your baby is breastfed or formula fed, as long as he's fed nad pooping, the jaundice will go away.
My youngest was severely jaundiced, his highest number was 22. My doctor never once mentioned formula, just told me to feed him often and feed him until he is done. my oldest wasn't jaundiced.

Make sure your baby is getting lots of hindmilk, don't switch breasts mid feed, let him eat on one breast only per feeding. That way he gets the hind milk, that has all the 'kick'.

My son's jaundice peaked on his 11th day, and then went down, but he was yellow for a good month while his body worked out the rest of it.

Just stand your ground, refuse formula. They cannot force you to give him formula, and it won't do any good and likely have a reaction like your oldest son did... and its just not the best idea, his body is already working hard to flush the jaundice.. why make it work harder to digest formula when breastmilk is JUST what he needs. :)

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answers from Las Vegas on

hi crystal! my daughter was like that too so when she went out the hospital her pedia suggest to have her under the sun every morning between 7am-8am for 30mins to help remove the yellow coloring on her...u can try it too




answers from New York on

Definitely put your baby in sunlight whenever you can. Just make sure it's behind a closed window, so it blocks most of the harmful rays. I think you're only supposed to do about 10-15 mins max a time. Better to do a few times a day, at shorter intervals to avoid overheating and any sunburn. Even in winter - reflection from snow can make worse. Even with gray days, some sun gets through so keep up with it! That is most natural way to help the situation and worked for my son who had slight jaundice (I had Cholestasis so he was born 6 wks early, they had to induce me).

Since you're breastfeeding, the baby will get what you're eating. See what foods you can eat that may help with liver health (drinking TONS of water - with lemon helps with cleansing, also dandelion weed, kale, swiss chard, lentils and other foods that are known for liver cleansing health benefits). Avoid fatty foods. Do some research online about what foods are good to help with comprimised liver and try to eat as much as possible. Maybe the benefits will pass through the breastmilk to your baby.

I would also research/ask your peditrician if adding any Vitamin D may help... I haven't read anything about that specifically for jaundice but b'c I was exclusively breastfeeding my pediatrician recommended I give my son Vitamin D to make sure he gets enough. Studies have shown majority of population have a vitamin D deficiency so it's good for that reason alone. But always consult with your pediatrician first.

It should work itself out, it just takes some babies time for their bodies to be running the way they need to. Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

More sunshine. My daughter was jaundiced--at 12.x. They did not do blood tests at the regular visits, they used a little thing similar to an ear thermometer against her forehead. We never put her under the lights. They just told me to take off her clothes whenever possible and sit in the sunlight coming in through the window. It was gone by the time she was a month old. It can be hard in the winter but see what you can do.



answers from Seattle on

There is no reason to give your child formula if he is eating and pooping fine! The elimination process works through the liver/bile and BM's, it does not matter if they are breastmilk or formula BM's. So if he is eating and eliminating well, giving formula won't make a difference...
While sunlight is good to deal with jaundice, daylight works too.
You can ask to bring him in a few days and have him put under bili lights as well.
Your pediatrician doesn't seem too supportive of breastfeeding... never hurts to see someone else if you are not satisfied with the advice you're getting.
Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

THey can order them at home billi lights, I didnt know the formula played a role in it. My son had it and the let him go hom efrom the hospital with the lights and within 24 hours it was all gone and he was fine.


answers from Denver on

dont they have iron drops for babies so they wouldnt have to do formula? I wouldn't want to mask what could be something serious if the jaundice is still persistant enough that the ped would want to run test. just google iron supplements for infants and a whole bunch of alternative options besides formula comes up.



answers from Portland on

Hi Crystal, way to go for sticking with the breastfeeding!
Even though its winter, if you can get your baby outside (if its not too cold) some of the sun rays actually go straight through the clouds, so he'll still be getting some help from it.
I found this website that explained jaundice a lot, and I think it will help you. Basically it says that most jaundice, although sometimes disturbing to look at, is quite harmless.
That said, check out this website and read it for yourself. Its not too long.
Good luck! :)



answers from Minneapolis on


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