Breast Milk Jaundice

Breast milk jaundice is another variation of jaundice and is thought to happen because a mother’s breast milk may interfere with an enzyme in the baby’s liver that helps to break down bilirubin. This jaundice usually appears on day four or five when a mother’s milk comes in. If your baby’s bilirubin level doesn’t rise too high, then nothing will be done and your baby will clear the bilirubin on his own.

If the bilirubin level rises too high, your provider may recommend phototherapy for your baby, and suggest that you interrupt breastfeeding for 24 to 48 hours. While not breastfeeding, you can supplement with formula, and pump your breast milk to maintain an adequate supply for when you resume nursing.