Breast Feeding And Jaundice

Jaundice is a result of buildup in the blood of the
bilirubin, a yellow pigment that comes from the
breakdown of older red blood cells. It's normal
for the red blood cells to break down, although
the bilirubin formed doesn't normally cause jaundice
because the liver will metabolize it and then get
rid of it in the gut.

However, the newborn baby will often become
jaundiced during the first few days due to the
liver enzyme that metabolizes the bilirubin becoming
relatively immature. Therefore, newborn babies
will have more red blood cells than adults, and
thus more will break down at any given time.

Breast milk jaundice
There is a condition that's commonly referred to
as breast milk jaundice, although no one knows
what actually causes it. In order to diagnose it,
the baby should be at least a week old. The baby
should also be gaining well with breast feeding
alone, having lots of bowel movements with the
passing of clean urine.

In this type of setting, the baby has what is
referred to as breast milk jaundice. On occasion,
infections of the urine or an under functioning
of the baby's thyroid gland, as well as other
rare illnesses that may cause the same types of

Breast milk jaundice will peak at 10 - 21 days,
although it can last for 2 - 3 months. Contrary
to what you may think, breast milk jaundice is
normal. Rarely, if at all ever, does breast
feeding need to be stopped for even a brief
period of time.

If the baby is doing well on breast milk, there
is no reason at all to stop or supplement with
a lactation aid.

Breast Feeding Adopted Babies

Not only is breast feeding an adopted baby easy,
the chances are that you will produce a large
amount of milk. It isn't complicated to do,
although it is different than breast feeding a
baby you have been pregnant with for 9 months.

Breast feeding and milk
There are two objectives that are involved in
breast feeding an adopted baby. The first is
getting your baby to breast feed, and the other
is producing enough breast milk.

There is more to breast feeding than just milk,
which is why many mothers are happy to feed
without expecting to produce milk in the way
the baby needs. It's the closeness and the
bond breast feeding provides that many mothers
look for.

Taking the breast
Even though many feel the early introduction of
bottles may interfere with breast feeding, the
early introduction of artificial nipples can
interfere a great deal. The sooner you can get
the baby to the breast after birth, the better
things will be.

Babies will however, require the flow from the
breast in order to stay attached and continue
to suck, especially if they are used to getting
flow from a bottle or other method of feeding.

Producing breast milk
As soon as you have an adopted baby in sight,
contact a lactation clinic and start getting
your milk supply ready. Keep in mind, you
may never produce a full milk supply for your
baby, although it may happen. You should
never feel discouraged by what you may be
pumping before the baby, as a pump is never
quite as good at extracting milk as a baby
who is well latched and sucking.

Breast Compression

The sole purpose of breast compression is to continue
the flow of milk to the baby once the baby no longer
drinks on his own. Compression will also stimulate
a let down reflex and often causes a natural let
down reflex to occur. This technique may also be
useful for the following:
1. Poor weight gain in the baby.
2. Colic in the breast fed baby.
3. Frequent feedings or long feedings.
4. Sore nipples for the mother.
5. Recurrent blocked ducts
6. Feeding the baby who falls asleep quick.

If everything is going well, breast compression may
not be necessary. When all is well, the mother should
allow the baby to finish feeding on the first side,
then if the baby wants more - offer the other side.

How to use breast compression
1. Hold the baby with one arm.
2. Hold the breast with the other arm, thumb
on one side of your breast, your finger on the other
far back from the nipple
3. Keep an eye out for the baby's drinking,
although there is no need to be obsessive about
catching every suck. The baby will get more milk when
drinking with an open pause type of suck.
4. When the baby is nibbling or no longer
drinking, compress the breast, not so hard that it
hurts though. With the breast compression, the baby
should begin drinking again.
5. Keep up the pressure until the baby no
longer drinks with the compression, then release the
pressure. If the baby doesn't stop sucking with the
release of compression, wait a bit before compressing
6. The reason for releasing pressure is to
allow your hand to rest, and allow the milk to begin
flowing to the baby again. If the baby stops sucking
when you release the pressure, he'll start again
once he tastes milk.
7. When the baby starts to suck again, he
may drink. If not, simply compress again.
8. Continue feeding on the first side until
the baby no longer drinks with compression. You
should allow him time to stay on that side until he
starts drinking again, on his own.
9. If the baby is no longer drinking, allow
to come off the breast or take him off.
10. If the baby still wants more, offer the
other side and repeat the process as above.
11. Unless you have sore nipples, you may
want to switch sides like this several times.
12. Always work to improve the baby's latch.

Benefits Of Breast Feeding

Once you've given birth, breast feeding is the single
most important thing you can do to protect your baby
and help to promote good health. Best of all, breast
feeding is free.

Along with saving you money on HMR (Human Milk
Replacement), breast feeding can also help you to
keep your medical bills down. Babies that are fed
with formula get sicker more often and more seriously
than babies that are breast fed They also have more
ear infections, respiratory infections, and other

This can be even more true if your family has had a
history of allergies. When a baby is breast fed, the
antibodies pass on from the mother to the baby,
helping to protect against illness and allergies. As
the baby's system matures, his body will begin to
make it's own antibodies, and he'll be more equipped
to handle sensitivities of food.

Sucking on the breast will also help with the
development or jaw alignment and the development of
the cheekbone. For this very reason, there is less
of the need for costly orthodontic work when the
child gets older.

Unlike formula, breast milk is always ready, always
available, convenient, and always the right temperature
for feeding. Plus, it contains all of the vitamins
and minerals your growing baby needs, saving you a
lot of money.

Breast feeding also offers many benefits for the mom
as well. The baby sucking at the breast will cause
contractions right after birth, leading to less
bleeding for the mom, and helping her uterus to it's
shape before pregnancy much faster.

Breast feeding will also burn calories, so a mom can
lose weight much faster than if she fed her baby with
a bottle. Breast feeding will also create a special
bond with the mother and the baby - which is one
thing formula simpy cannot do.

Avoiding Foods While Breast Feeding

Many women find that they can eat whatever they may
like during breast feeding. Even though it's true
that some stongly favored foods can change the
taste of your milk, many babies seem to enjoy the
varieties of breast milk flavors. Occasionally,
your baby may get cranky at the breast after you
eat certain foods. If you notice this happening,
simply avoid that particular food.

The most common offenders duing breast feeding
include chocolate, spices, citrus fruits, garlic,
chili, lime, gassy vegetables, and fruits with
laxative type effects, such as prunes and cherries.

You can have a cup or two of coffee a day, although
too much caffeine can interfere with your baby's
sleep and even make him or her cranky. Keep in
mind, caffeine is found in many soda's, tea, and
even over the counter type medicine as well.

It's okay to have an alcoholic beverage every now
and the, although having more than one drink can
increase your blood alcohol level, putting the
alcohol into your breast milk.

If you are planning to have more than one drink
at a time, it's best to wait two hours or more
per drink before you resume any type of nursing
or breast feeding. There is no need to pump
and dump unless your breasts are full and its
time to feed your baby. While breast feeding,
any type of heavy drinking should be avoided.

Before you actually omit any foods from your
diet, you should talk to your doctor. If you
avoid certain foods and it causes a nutritional
imbalance, you may need to see a nutritionist
for advice on taking other foods or getting
nutritional supplements.