Significant jaundice can be associated with decreased breastfeeding frequency and dehydration. However some babies need treatment for jaundice without signs of dehydration - if the assessment of breastfeeding is not concerning and jaundice is not severe then these babies don't need supplemental milk intake.

NICE guidance recommends that parents of jaundiced babies should be encouraged to breastfeed frequently and to wake the baby for feeds if necessary. Breastfeeding and lactation support should be increased. If standard intensity phototherapy is indicated, the baby can have short breaks of up to 30 minutes for breastfeeding. If intensified phototherapy is indicated enteral or intravenous feeds will be needed - expressed milk is the feed of choice.

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Thank you for visiting the Hospital Infant Feeding Network. This website is a repository of relevant knowledge and best practice resources for health professionals. To join the conversation, ask questions and share your experiences please join us on Facebook or Twitter.


We will be running Q&A sessions on various topics, which will be advertised on our social media sites. Please email if you have ideas or want to get more involved. We welcome health professionals passionate about supporting breastfeeding and lactation in the hospital setting to join our steering group, please get in contact if this is you!

You may have noticed that we use 'additive' language on our website to refer to lactation and human milk feeding. This means that we might refer to 'breastfeeding/chestfeeding'. Chestfeeding is a term that some non-binary people use to refer to feeding their child at the chest if the word breast is not congruent with their gender identity. Using additive language helps reduce a feeling of exclusion for non-binary and transgender people, without taking away from the importance of words like breastfeeding and mother. There is a much more detailed description of the additive approach here.

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