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THE POSTNATAL WARD

Jaundice

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 mothers 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 - maternal expressed milk is the feed of choice.

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