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Jaundice in newborn babies and how to treat it.

When the baby is born, the first thing that the doctor and the staff notice is the color of the skin because the color of the skin signifies that all the organs of the body are functioning properly and oxygen is properly supplied to all the organs.
Jaundice is becoming very common in new born babies. It refers to the yellow color of the skin and whites of the eyes caused by excess bilirubin in the blood. A yellow cast to the skin starting on the baby’s head and moving down to the toes. Bilirubin is produced by the normal breakdown of red blood cells. New born babies produce more bilirubin as they have a better turnover of red blood cells. The liver of the new born baby is not fully developed and is still developing and it is not able to remove the adequate bilirubin from the blood. Also. large amount of bilirubin is reabsorbed from the intestines before the baby gets rid of it in the stool.

Generally babies develop jaundice after two to four days of birth. Jaundice can also occur as a result of rhesus incompatibility for example when a mother with rhesus negative blood gives birth to rhesus positive blood.

– Breastfeed your child regularly: Due to the lack of breast milk, many infants develop jaundice. Breastfeed your child after every 2-3 hrs. Feed your child atleast 8-10 times a day whether breast feed or bottle feed.
– Expose baby to sunlight as much as possible but be careful about the sunburns.
– Phototherapy is another way to treat jaundice. In phototherapy, a child is given light with several light lamps.

Types of Jaundice in children

– Physiological (normal) jaundice: It generally appears at 2 to 4 days of age and disappears by 1 to 2 weeks of age. It is due to the immaturity of the baby’s liver, which leads to a slow processing of bilirubin.
– Jaundice of prematurity: occurs frequently in premature babies since they are even less ready to excrete bilirubin effectively.
– Breastfeeding jaundice: Jaundice can occur when a breastfeeding baby is not getting enough breast milk.
The jaundice in newborn babies sometimes can become serious and dangerous. If not treated well, it may cause seizures and brain damage.

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