Treating Jaundice in infants need some effective measures right after child birth. Read on to know more about Jaundice in newborn.
Jaundice in Newborn
A baby in the womb is totally dependent on his/her mother for food and oxygen, which reach the umbilical cord that connects him/her to the mother. The distribution of oxygen through the baby’s body is aided by the additional red blood cells present in the baby's blood. After birth, the baby begins to breathe through his/her lungs and hence, does not need the additional red blood cells. His/her body will start disposing off the extra cells, soon after birth. These red blood cells are destroyed in spleen. A major by-product, thus produced, is bilirubin. The liver removes the bilirubin from the bloodstream and passes it on to the intestines of the baby.
Since the infant's liver is still in its developing stage, it is unable to manage the sudden increase in bilirubin, during the first few days post birth. As a result, large amounts of bilirubin mixes in the blood, thereby, making the baby's skin appear yellowish, which is a symptom of jaundice. Although it is natural to find newborns suffering from jaundice in the first few days post birth, a high concentration of bilirubin in the blood is considered a serious case. In such a situation, you should get the condition monitored by the doctor. Read on to know about what treatment should be taken recourse to, if your newborn suffers from jaundice after birth.
Treating Jaundice in Infants
- Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to reduce the amount of bilirubin in the blood of the newborn, because mother's milk contains some of the important nutrients required for the development of the baby's functional organs. Breast-feed your baby every two hours post birth. Frequent feeding can help the baby pass the excess bilirubin through his poop and thus, reduce the jaundice symptoms.
- Sunbath is an effective remedy to treat jaundice in newborns. Remove the clothes of your baby and place him/her under direct sunlight or in a warm room for about 10 minutes. Lay your baby on a blanket, under the window, so that the sun's rays bathe his/her entire body. Be sure to block your newborn's to avoid direct sunlight. The best time to sunbathe the baby is early morning hours, between 7 am and 8 am.
- In case the levels of bilirubin in your infant's blood are high, the doctor will administer phototherapy to treat the problem. During the treatment, your baby will be monitored under 'special lights' at the hospital, for 24 hours or 2 days. The special lights will eliminate jaundice by reducing the bilirubin levels.
- Another way to treat jaundice in newborn is to substitute breastfeeding with formula. Depending upon the level of bilirubin in the baby's blood, the doctor may suggest to feed the baby on a formula (similar to mother's milk), for about 48 hours. After the bilirubin levels are back to normal, the physician would suggest to switch back to breastfeeding.