The parents are happy with the arrival of the newborn baby but suddenly from the second or third day, the baby starts to turn yellow (Jaundice in newborn). So parents get scared but it is important to consult your pediatrician without making any panic.
Such a yellowish colour of the baby is called neonatal jaundice. For jaundice in newborn, you must have to understand certain things. For this, you must fully understand this article and resolve all the doubts in your mind so that you will remain strong and take proper care of the baby without panic.
What is jaundice in newborn?
Yellowing of the newborn’s skin and eyes. The cause of this jaundice in newborn is a high level of bilirubin in the baby’s blood.
Bilirubin is increased by the breakdown of red blood cells in the newborn. The liver of a newborn baby is immature in the first few days. Its main function is to excrete bilirubin through intestine. But because the liver is immature, bilirubin begins to build up in the blood, and newborn jaundice develops.
Jaundice is very common in newborns, with an incidence of 70 percent in preterm babies and 60 percent in full term babies.
What causes jaundice in newborn?
The cause of jaundice in newborn baby is
- If the baby is born premature,
- If the baby is not getting enough milk
- If the baby’s blood type is not compatible with the mother’s blood type,
If the newborn’s blood type is not compatible with the mother’s blood type, then antibodies are formed in the baby’s blood. Which attack and destroy the red blood cells in the baby’s blood. Which greatly increases the amount of bilirubin in the baby’s blood.
What are the symptoms of jaundice in newborn?
The first symptom of a baby’s jaundice is yellowing of the baby’s skin and eyes.
The jaundice first appears on the face, then on the chest, abdomen, hands and feet, and finally on the palms of the hands.
Sometimes a normally high level of bilirubin in a newborn’s blood can have an adverse effect on the baby’s brain. This condition is called as kernicterus. At such times, it is seen that the baby cry with high tone and the baby’s muscle tone increases and baby may suffer from convulsion.
- Yellow urination in baby.
- The baby does not taking breast milk properly, so becomes drowsy.
- The baby is irritable. Sometimes baby may have fever .
It is important to consult a pediatrician as soon as such you see such symptoms appear.
How is jaundice in newborn diagnosed?
To diagnose a newborn baby’s jaundice, the doctor removes the baby’s clothing and looks at how far the yellowness has spread in good light.
They also examine the sclera (white part of the eye) of the baby’s eye, but if it is yellow, the baby is diagnosed with jaundice. Sometimes doctors may even ask about the baby’s urine and potty colour.
Blood tests – If the doctor thinks the baby has jaundice and it is too much, they may ask for a baby blood test.
If jaundice is mild, doctors may avoid blood tests. These blood tests mainly include serum bilirubin, blood group tests to understand how much jaundice in newborn is increased.
In some hospitals, a baby’s bilirubin is tested on a transcutaneous bilirubin battery that emits light from the baby’s skin and measures the amount of bilirubin in the baby’s body based on how much light is reflect from the skin or how much light is absorbed.
Sometimes the mother and the baby have the same blood type, especially if the mother’s blood type is negative and the baby’s blood type is positive. At such time coomb test is adviced to test out antibodies formed in babys blood which destroys red blood cells and increase the bilirubin level in newborn rapidly.
What are the treatment for jaundice in newborn?
If the newborn has jaundice and the bilirubin in the blood is more than 15 mg and the baby is not feeding enough milk, the baby may need to be admitted to the NICU.
But in most cases, the baby’s jaundice is not so severe that if the baby is taken care of properly at home, the baby can get rid of jaundice in a few days.
Sunlight for jaundice
The cheapest and most abundant treatment available is sunlight. If the newborn has jaundice, it is beneficial to show the morning sunlight to the baby. Leaving the baby in morning sunlight for fifteen to twenty minutes causes the bilirubin in the baby’s blood to be broken down and excreted through the urine. Do not keep baby in sunlight after 9 AM it may cause dehydration in baby.
Phototherapy for jaundice
Babies who are admitted to NICU are placed in a incubator and given a special blue light. The baby’s eyes and genitals are covered while giving blue light. This is because the retina of the baby’s eyes is covered to prevent damage to the skin. The blue light therapy is called as phototherapy. Photo therapy reduces baby jaundice in two to three days.
Exchange Transfusion for jaundice
If the jaundice in newborn is increased at very much high level then baby may need exchange transfusion in which baby blood exchanged totally with the same blood group. It will wash out bilirubin and the level of bilirubin decreases.
Mothers milk for jaundice in newborn
If your baby’s bilirubin is high, you can take good care of the baby at home and reduce the baby’s jaundice. For this, it is important for you to breastfeed your baby every two hours.
If you take proper care of baby when your baby has jaundice and follow above measures then you will definitely avoid NICU admission. But you must have to understand the danger signs so that you can consult your pediatrician on time if any complication happen.
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