What is the treatment options for breast milk jaundice in healthy term infants?

Updated: Dec 07, 2017
  • Author: Prashant G Deshpande, MD; Chief Editor: Muhammad Aslam, MD  more...
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For healthy term infants with breast milk or breastfeeding jaundice who have bilirubin levels of 12 mg/dL (170 µmol/L) to 17 mg/dL, the following options are acceptable:

  • Increase breastfeeding to 8-12 times per day, and recheck the serum bilirubin level in 12-24 hours. Reassure the mother about the relatively benign nature of breast milk jaundice . This recommendation assumes that effective breastfeeding is occurring, including milk production, effective latching, and effective sucking with resultant letdown of milk. Breastfeeding can also be supported with manual or electric pumps and the pumped milk then given as a supplement to the baby.
  • Continue breastfeeding and supplement with formula.
  • Temporary interruption of breastfeeding is rarely needed and is not recommended unless serum bilirubin levels reach 20 mg/dL (340 µmol/L). [28]

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