If your baby is not breastfeeding well, pump your milk and feed it to him. Talk to a board-certified lactation consultant for advice on how to give your baby extra milk.
Your milk is usually the first choice, but if you can’t express enough milk, talk to your healthcare provider about feeding donor milk or formula. You may need to supplement for a short time until your milk catches up to your baby’s need. Until your baby is getting the milk needed at the breast, use a multi-user, hospital-grade breast pump at least 8 times a day and double-pump for at least 10 minutes each time to boost your milk production.
Another treatment for jaundice is phototherapy, or the use of special lights. Shining these lights on a baby’s skin helps break down the bilirubin faster. In the hospital, babies may be put under these lights with their eyes covered. It is fine to take babies out to breastfeed. The lights will help the jaundice go away faster even if the baby isn’t under them all the time. At home, a special blanket with the lights built in can be rented. Babies can breastfeed while wrapped in the blanket.
In rare cases, when a baby’s bilirubin reaches dangerous levels (30 mg/dL or higher), exchange blood transfusions may be given.
Once a baby’s jaundice peaks, it will keep going down. If phototherapy was used, it may rise slightly before going down again.
Putting the baby in indirect sunlight is no longer used to treat jaundice.