My hubby and I are both relatively fair-skinned Filipinos and we have the typical yellow skin tone most fair-skinned Asians have. My baby, however, had a little more yellow hue than I expected.
Milo had very mild jaundice when we brought him home from the hospital. One of the baby nurses suggested that we supplement with formula so that he can poop more and excrete the bilirubin (that chemical that causes jaundice) more often. We decided against it – we wanted to breastfeed exclusively. Besides, the doctor didn’t advise me to do so, so we stayed with breast milk, even if my mature milk didn’t come until day 4.
Day 4 was his first checkup after coming home from the hospital, and I was worried like crazy. He hasn’t pooped much the day before, and I was afraid his jaundice was getting worse. I was sure he looked more yellow, even if hubby and my mom assured me it was just my imagination.
But I was right. At the doctor’s office, we confirmed that he did still have jaundice, and worse, he lost more than 10% of his birth weight, from almost 6 lbs 13 oz (almost 7 lbs.) to 6 lbs. flat. Babies typically lose weight after birth, but they gain their birth weight back by their second week. My baby, however, lost more weight than normal.
I blamed myself for it. I didn’t supplement with formula, because at our childbirth class, we were told that babies’ tummies are just the size of a marble at birth. Colostrum from mommy is all they need until about day 3 or 4 when their tummies grow to the size of a ping pong ball, and when mom’s mature milk is supposed to start coming in.
The problem is, he wasn’t getting enough from me because I couldn’t get him to breastfeed correctly. Or so I thought. My pedia called in a lactation consultant and she observed how Milo latches on. Apparently, he was latching correctly, but he refused to eat because I was stressed and frustrated from trying to “teach” him, when he was, in fact, doing it correctly all along.
We fed him formula on that day, just one 2-oz. dose for that one feeding, while I dealt with my engorgement. And then he went back to the breast right away. This time, I freed myself from all worries and just allowed him to feed, tummy-to-tummy. When I finally smelled that poopy diaper that night, I was overjoyed. He’s pooping!
Three days later, we came back to the pedia for a follow-up weight check – and he passed with flying colors at 6.4 lbs. Whew. I’m glad we didn’t have to deal with the full-blown jaundice and have him undergo treatment under some kind of light. It turns out that a less paranoid mom was all the treatment he needed.
His jaundice cleared completely by his 2nd-week checkup, but he’s still yellow – my tint of yellow. Just the way I like it.