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Jaundice treatment - Breastfeeding after formula days in hospital?

  1. #9
    slamdunk is offline Registered User
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    had the same thing when my son went in for jaundice therapy after we were already discharged. stay at the hospital as much as possible to directly feed. it doesn't matter that there is not much or no milk yet. the key is to keep pumping or direct feeding and the milk supply will build up (maybe a day or so later). the paed/nurses may suggest formulae which helps flush out the jaundice as well as the UV lamps but should try and nurse directly first (when baby is hungry) before giving the bottle. i think milk is established if you pump (or go thru the action of pumping) as if giving a feed. even if you don't get to use the expressed milk, pumping establishes supply for when baby goes home.

  2. #10
    dolphinyp is offline Registered User
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    My son also had to return to the hospital after discharged. His Paediatrician told us that if we don't stay with him the whole time for bf, he would probably reject breastmilk for formula. It was actually a good time for me to learn more about breast feeding from the lactation consultant. They taught me and my hubby how to massage to ease the pain from engorgement. The milk flow then come more steady, with regular rest and enough of food intake, i could bf my baby until 6 months, but sadly had the breast infection which stopped me in doing it longer. I know there're many nurses that might not be too helpful on bf, but i hope your wife can try a bit longer, and you can encourage and comfort her a bit more. Its not a easy thing as it looks. Hope all the best.

  3. #11
    Buckeroo is offline Registered User
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    I had a similar experience with my second one. She had jaundice and the nurses suggested that it would be easier to flush the jaundice out if she took formula, but never did I feel pressured by them to give formula. With the exception of night time feeding, I was at the hospital as much as I could so that I could directly breastfeed. After each feeding session, I would still pump and hand over whatever expressed milk I got. At home, I pumped and then brought to the hospital the expressed milk for their use for night time feeding. I gave strict instructions that she was not to be given formula unless my expressed milk was not enough (for the night time feeds at the hospital). She did have a few bottles of formula during this time. It was a tough, long road for us as her bilirubin levels got so high that they actually took blood from me just in case she might need a transfusion. It took many weeks before she was jaundice-free and it was a tough ride, but I'm really glad we stuck it out with the breastfeeding during that time, as it helped to get it properly established --i.e., the latch issues, etc. Being at the hospital to feed directly during that time also allowed me to get support from their lactation specialists (who were really great --at Pamela Youde). I also got plenty of support at home and was not feel pressured to give her formula...and that helped tremendously.

    I wish you guys all the best with breastfeeding during this time. Please know that giving formula does not make you bad parents, especially if it might ease the stress during this period. One of the doctors at an antenatal class that we attended declared that he doesn't believe in nipple confusion. I tend to agree as both my children --esp. my first one, --have had both formula and breast milk and I managed to breastfeed until at least 18 months.

  4. #12
    yellowmud is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for all the replies and experience shared. It really helps a lot.
    Our son was discharged last Friday after one day and one night of photo therapy. On the same evening we had Rochelle from La Leche coming to our home. We are terribly grateful to her for that. She was actually the first person to speak encouraging words about breastfeeding to my wife (the nurses in the post-natal ward in POW all basically told her she should forget about breastfeeding). We also got a lot of knowledge and advice from her.

    On Saturday we had Yvonne Heavyside here who also helped a lot to overcome some initial problems. The last days my wife and our son were making obviously big progress towards a healthy breastfeeding relationship. Today we had a check up at the public health center. To my surprise (after the experience in POW) the doctor and the nurses were very caring and encouraging. One nurse even did a whole breastfeeding session with my wife and encouraged her to come back if there were problems. Although he had gained weight and seemed healthy otherwise his bilirubin level of 243 indicated that he had to be readmitted at POW for UV treatment.

    At the hospital we asked the doctor if feeding by syringe (to avoid nipple confusion) would be possible. She said it was and assured us about this. A daytime nurse was also very approachable. When we came later to breastfeed him it was more than clear though that the night shift will not stick to this policy. They did not say directly but it was more than obvious that they do not have the time AND do not care about bottle/breastfeeding issues. Although the ward is plastered with pro-breastfeeding posters, their policy and obviously the staff's education and/or the system they are working under does not support breastfeeding practically. Something like a lactation consultant that other posts mentioned is non-existent in POW.

    We will go back tomorrow morning to continue breastfeeding and hope that he will be discharged soon. I am confident that we are on the right track if he can hopefully stay with us again soon.

  5. #13
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    My daughter was in Special Care at QMH for a day when she was born and I found them very unhelpful when it came to breastfeeding. I was in the hospital at the same time and I said I wanted to breastfeed only and they gave her formula anyway. Also, no one had time to help me, and I was a first time mum and had no idea about how to get my sleepy baby to be interested in eating at the set time that I was "allowed" to come and breastfeed. And when she was being discharged from special care into the maternity ward with me, one nurse said to be "you better be careful because otherwise your daughter will get jaundice since you're breastfeeding and then she'll have to come back to special care and you won't be able to breast feed". I found the same paradox, on the surface, QMH seems to promote breastfeeding and say that it's best, but in their actions, it seems like breastfeeding is too much trouble for them.

    Keep at it - you're doing the right thing getting other people's help, because without it I can imagine it would be nearly impossible.

    All the best!!

  6. #14
    yellowmud is offline Registered User
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    This experiencing sounds very familiar to me. My son was discharged today. We insisted and persisted to do as we want - meaning to breastfeed. But it needed me and also my wife to continuously struggle with the nurses. I am really relieved he is discharged now.
    I don't blame everybody there as some staff was indeed nice and helpful. But it is obvious they have a system in place that is very discouraging for breastfeeding (unsurprisingly approx 80 percent of the children on the ward were bottle fed) and often enough bluntly contradicts the pro-breastfeeding material they have posted all over the place.
    Yet some staff obviously has an attitude problem and a commandeer tone that I really cannot accept. I guess they are pretty relieved too to have gotten rid of me - this trouble maker.

  7. #15
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    You know, just to follow on from my previous post - I think that in particular it's the special care ward that is like that... when my baby was in the regular maternity ward, it was much easier to breastfeed. I think that for most women who don't have to deal with the special care ward, the may find the same hospitals good with breastfeeding support. I know that my problems came 100% from my baby being in special care. So much so that if I had the same situation again, I would probably push for my baby to not even be in there (she was mainly just there under observation, not because she really needed the medical care...)

  8. #16
    yellowmud is offline Registered User
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    Support for breastfeeding was even worse in the normal post-natal ward. But anyway, it seems it is over now. Son is home, he is hardly yellow anymore and we are on the way to organize our new every day routines with him.
    If there is time I will write a review of PWH somewhere here. I believe that if we had some information previously, adapting to PWH and anticipating problems would have made things easier.

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