What To Do If Your Newborn Has Jaundice?

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Don’t panic if your doctor tells you that your newborn baby has jaundice. Jaundice in a newborn baby is a common condition.


by: Michelle Higgins

Don’t panic if your doctor tells you that your newborn baby has jaundice. Jaundice
in a newborn baby is a common condition.

Most newborns have normal physiological jaundice and in very rare cases is the
jaundice due to serious liver disorders.

Why my baby?

The blood cells in your baby’s body are broken up into a yellow pigment called
bilirubin. The level of bilirubin needs to be kept normal by the liver and kidneys
by excreting it in the baby’s poop. But the liver of a newborn baby is not very
mature. So bilirubin levels rise in the blood causing yellow pigmentation of the
skin.

More than 90% of newborn babies are affected by normal physiological jaundice.
So relax. This type of jaundice is seen usually on second or third day of the
baby’s life and disappears by the 7th or 10th day.

How to tell if your baby has jaundice

Yellow discoloration of the skin and the white of the eye is the key symptom
of jaundice. Your baby may also be sleepier than usual. This could be normal physiological
jaundice especially when it appears 3-4 days after birth.

Monitor your baby after 1 or 2 days of his birth. You can diagnose jaundice in
the newborn baby by doing a very simple test. Press your fingertip against your
baby’s forehead or nose tip. If it appears white, you have nothing to worry about.
If a yellowish color appears, it is time to call your doctor. A blood test might
be needed to confirm that there are no specific causes for the jaundice.

More on jaundice in the newborn

Normal physiological jaundice does not affect baby’s general health.

Breast milk can also produce jaundice in a few babies. However, the pros of breastfeeding
outweigh the condition and you will probably be advised continue breastfeeding.

Premature babies are more prone to developing jaundice. Blood group incompatibility
between you and your child can also produce jaundice.

When jaundice is a cause for alarm

If jaundice appears within 24 hours of birth and persists for more than 14 days,
it could be pathological jaundice due to a liver condition. Other pointers include
baby’s refusal to feed, dark yellow urine, pale or clay colored poop and a weak
and irritable baby. Call your doctor immediately if you detect any of these warning
signs.

How your baby will be treated

Normal physiological jaundice in your newborn does not require any special treatment.
Adequate fluid intake is essential. Breast feed your baby at least 8-12 times
a day.

A mini sunbath might be recommended. You may be asked to put your baby’s crib
near the window that gets the maximum sunlight. Make sure you protect baby’s eyes
and limit exposure to direct sunlight. Follow the instructions from your caregiver.

In case of severe jaundice, phototherapy or bililight therapy will be used. Your
baby will be exposed to artificial light, which can decrease the bilirubin levels.

Most newborn babies have jaundice. In some, it so mild that it goes unnoticed
and in some babies it may worsen to produce symptoms.

Detecting the symptoms early does help. So do keep a close watch on baby (as
if you need telling). If your newborn is diagnosed with jaundice, you now know
what to do.
 
 

About The Author

Michelle Higgins

This article has been provided by
ParentingSurvivalGuide.com .

Please visit our web site at
http://www.ParentingSurvivalGuide.com to discover more articles.

Copyright 2005
ParentingSurvivalGuide.com , all rights reserved.



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