Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Understanding and managing breast milk jaundice
  1. Genevieve L Preer1,
  2. Barbara L Philipp1
  1. 1Department of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Barbara L Philipp, Department of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center, 850 Harrison Avenue, YACC-5, Boston, MA 02118–2392, USA; bobbi.philipp{at}


The breastfed infant with prolonged unconjugated hyperbilirubinaemia can present a vexing clinical dilemma. Although it is a frequently observed and usually benign finding, prolonged jaundice in the breastfed newborn requires a thoughtful evaluation that excludes possible pathological aetiologies. While recommendations for the treatment of unconjugated hyperbilirubinaemia in the first 7 days of life are straightforward, the approach to the breastfeeding infant with jaundice that persists beyond the immediate neonatal period is less clearly delineated. A sound understanding of bilirubin physiology and familiarity with current literature must guide the management of the otherwise well breastfeeding infant with prolonged unconjugated hyperbilirubinaemia.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.