advertisement
 
  Justmommies /Parenting /Baby /Newborn Jaundice  

 

 

 

 

Newborn Jaundice

What is newborn jaundice?

Jaundice refers to the yellowish coloring of the skin and whites of the eyes. Jaundice occurs in up to 50% of newborns, generally requires no treatment, and usually resolves within a few days to a couple of weeks.

  advertisement
 
 

What causes newborn jaundice?

Jaundice is caused by a build up of bilirubin in the blood. Red blood cells normally breakdown and are replaced with new cells every 3 months. Bilirubin is a by product of these broken down red blood cells. Bilirubin is usually processed in the liver and excreted through the intestines through the baby's stool. A newborn's liver is often immature and unable to breakdown all the bilirubin. Therefore the baby's bilirubin level rises and the pigment can be seen in the skin and eyes.

Can jaundice hurt my baby?

Newborn jaundice usually is harmless. However, if bilirubin levels are high enough the bilirubin can deposit in the brain causing permanent brain damage. Your baby will be screened for jaundice in the hospital and usually again within 3-5 days of his birth. If bilirubin levels are elevated, your baby will be treated for jaundice.

Signs and symptoms of newborn jaundice

Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes is the primary symptom of jaundice. Babies with jaundice may be more sleepy and less interested in feeding.

Treatment of jaundice

Your baby will be initially screened for jaundice in the hospital with a heel stick blood test. The blood test checks for the amount of bilirubin in the blood. Your doctor may want to recheck your baby's bilirubin levels again three to five days after birth. If bilirubin levels are high enough, your doctor will order phototherapy for your baby. Phototherapy may be done in the hospital with bililights or at home with a biliblanket. If bililights are used, your baby will be placed in a bed under special lights that help break down the bilirubin. Biliblankets can be used in the home and work similarly to bililights. A special pad with lights is placed directly on the baby's skin underneath the baby's clothing.

Baby with biliblanket

If your baby has jaundice, you will want to encourage frequent feedings. Bilirubin is excreted in your baby's stools so frequent feeding will help your baby get rid of excess bilirubin.

Rarely, a blood transfusion may be necessary to treat jaundice.


Other articles you may like

Baby Tantrums
A baby tantrum is an abrupt and sudden loss of emotional control.

How to trim baby’s nails
Trying to figure out the easiest way to trim your baby’s nails?

How to Know a Health Professional is not Supportive of Breastfeeding
All health professionals say they are supportive of breastfeeding.

 
 
 
 
 

What's Popular

 
Baby Acne
The 411 on Baby Poop
Umbilical Hernias and Granulomas
Infant's Growth Calculator
Newborn Jaundice
Baby Gas Pains: How to Help Your Baby
Breastfeeding Calculator
Formula Feeding Calculator
Breast Milk Storage Guidelines
Cradle Cap
Dealing with Teething
How to trim baby's nails
Choosing a Pediatrician
Choosing Whether Or Not To Circumcise Your Child
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
 

Pregnancy & Parenting Message Boards | Chats | Topics A to Z Pregnancy & Baby Tickers | Pregnancy Calendar |
Baby Names
| Due Date Calculator | Pregnancy Week By Week | Social Networking for Moms
Signs of Ovulation| Signs of Pregnancy | Signs of Labor

Baby Articles: Newborn Jaundice | Baby Acne | Baby Soft Spots | Cradle Cap
Teething | Diaper Rash | Baby Signing | Babywearing | Cloth Diapering

Home | Contact Us | How to advertise | Terms of service | Privacy Statement | Community Guidelines

Copyright 2003-2012 JustMommies.com, All Rights Reserved.