Many parents are concerned when their newborn develops yellowing of the skin and eyes. When a baby’s liver is not mature enough to remove bilirubin from the blood, he or she develops neonatal jaundice. Bilirubin is a yellow substance that is produced when red blood cells degrade.
Although neonatal jaundice can cause discomfort and complications, most cases are resolved without serious health consequences with proper treatment. We will look at the causes, symptoms, and treatments of neonatal jaundice in this article.
It can be overwhelming as a new parent to see your baby’s skin and eyes turn yellow. Understanding the causes and treatments of neonatal jaundice can help you take proactive steps to keep your baby healthy and comfortable.
What exactly is Neonatal Jaundice?
Neonatal jaundice is a common condition that occurs in newborns during their first few days of life. It is caused by a buildup of bilirubin in the blood, which can cause skin and eye yellowing. Neonatal jaundice is usually harmless and resolves on its own within two to three weeks. Severe jaundice, on the other hand, can cause brain damage and other serious complications in rare cases.
Neonatal Jaundice Causes
When a baby’s liver is not mature enough to remove bilirubin from the blood, he or she develops neonatal jaundice. Other factors that can cause neonatal jaundice are:
Prematurity: Because their livers are not fully developed, premature babies are more likely to develop neonatal jaundice.
When a mother’s blood type differs from that of her baby, the mother’s immune system can attack the baby’s red blood cells, resulting in jaundice.
Breastfeeding: Breastfed babies are more likely to develop jaundice because breast milk causes bilirubin levels to rise.
Bruising or bleeding during delivery: Bruising or bleeding during delivery can result in an increased breakdown of red blood cells and jaundice.
Neonatal Jaundice Symptoms
Yellowing of the skin and eyes is the most common symptom of neonatal jaundice. Other signs and symptoms may include:
- Lethargy or poor feeding
- Urine is dark in colour.
- Stools in light colours
- High-pitched scream
- Back arching
If you notice any of these symptoms in your baby, you should see a doctor for jaundice right away.
Neonatal Jaundice Treatment
Neonatal jaundice, in most cases, does not require treatment and resolves on its own within two to three weeks. However, if your baby has high bilirubin levels or is suffering from severe jaundice, your healthcare provider may advise treatment.
The following treatments are available for neonatal jaundice:
Phototherapy involves exposing your baby to a special light that aids in the breakdown of bilirubin in the skin.
Exchange transfusion: When phototherapy is ineffective, your baby may need an exchange transfusion. To remove excess bilirubin from the blood, your baby’s blood is replaced with donor blood.
Neonatal Jaundice Prevention Tips
While neonatal jaundice is a common condition in newborns, steps can be taken to help prevent it from occurring or worsening.
Here are some preventative measures for neonatal jaundice:
Ensure Adequate Feedings: It is critical to ensure that your baby receives adequate nutrition, whether through breastfeeding or formula. If your baby does not eat enough, he or she may become dehydrated and develop jaundice.
Keep a close eye on your baby’s health and take note of any symptoms that may indicate jaundice. These include skin or eye yellowing, lethargy, and poor feeding.
Breastfeeding: has been shown to reduce the risk of neonatal jaundice because breast milk can help flush bilirubin out of the body.
Get Regular Check-ups: It is critical to take your baby for regular jaundice tests with a jaundice specialist in Coimbatore. This will allow any potential problems to be identified and addressed before they become more serious.
Consider Phototherapy: Phototherapy, or light treatment, can aid in the breakdown of bilirubin in the body and prevent it from reaching dangerous levels. Phototherapy may be recommended as a preventative measure by jaundice specialists in some cases.
By following these guidelines, you can help prevent neonatal jaundice from occurring or worsening. It is important to remember, however, that some cases of neonatal jaundice cannot be avoided, and that seeking medical attention for neonatal jaundice treatment as soon as possible is critical to ensuring your baby receives the care they require.
Neonatal jaundice is a common condition that affects a large number of newborns during their first few days of life. While it can be frightening for new parents, the majority of cases of neonatal jaundice are harmless and resolve on their own within a few weeks.
However, severe jaundice can cause complications in rare cases, so seek medical attention if you notice any symptoms in your baby. You can help manage your baby’s neonatal jaundice and keep them healthy and comfortable by providing proper medical care and home care.