Breastfeeding a jaundiced baby

I was very lucky with my son. He knew how to feed, was extremely alert at birth and never had any problems with latching.

This April, we welcomed our daughter into our family. She was an entirely different story. She didn’t latch well, and didn’t seem too interested in the breast. She then developed jaundice which made her sleepy and disinterested in feeding. It would take 5-10 minutes to get her latched on and then she would often slip off or fall asleep within seconds.

Jaundice is extremely common in newborns and not usually a cause for concern unless it is severe. However, the symptoms of sleepiness and lethargy can cause problems for breastfeeding. There is also a risk it will get worse if they are not feeding enough.

What things are helpful for this situation? We didn’t resort to using formula and breastfeeding is improving. Here’s some tips if you encounter problems establishing breastfeeding with your newborn.