Breast Milk Jaundice Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Nov 18, 2021
  • Author: Prashant G Deshpande, MD; Chief Editor: Muhammad Aslam, MD  more...
  • Print

Diagnostic Considerations

Important considerations

Differentiate breast milk jaundice (BMJ) from pathologic jaundice.

Appropriately treat elevated bilirubin levels in a timely manner.

Identify and treat inadequate breastfeeding; avoid dehydration.

Treat preterm infants (estimated gestational age < 38 weeks at birth) with phototherapy at lower bilirubin levels (see the Medscape Drugs and Disease article Neonatal Jaundice).

Other problems to be considered

The following conditions should also be considered in patients with suspected breast milk jaundice:

  • Hemolytic anemia: Blood type incompatibility (ABO and minor group antigens; red blood cell [RBC] membrane defects: spherocytosis, acanthocytosis, ovalocytosis; RBC enzyme defects, hemoglobinopathies)

  • Large cephalhematoma

  • Gilbert syndrome

  • Early galactosemia

  • Polycythemia

Differential Diagnoses