While congratulating the parents of a newborn baby, you must have come across a situation where the parents have informed you with worried faces that their baby has got jaundice!
Next time, you should be able to tell the parents not to worry, as jaundice is a fairly common occurrence among newborn babies. This is a temporary condition and is cured without any treatment, and has no long-term bad effects.
1:What is Jaundice?
Answer :The medical term for jaundice is hyperbilirubinemia, which means an excess of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin causes the skin to appear yellow. Bilirubin is a waste product, and is produced in the body due to the normal breakdown of old red blood cells. Under normal conditions, the bilirubin travels to liver and is removed through the bile duct.
2:Why do Newborn Babies get Jaundice?
Answer:In newborn babies, jaundice develops within one or two days of delivery. This is because,
i. Before birth the baby gets the blood from the mother.
ii. It is the mother’s liver that processes the bilirubin.
iii. Immediately after birth the umbilical cord is disconnected from the mother.
iv. The newborn baby’s liver is not developed enough to take care of the bilirubin in the blood.
v. There is an excess of bilirubin in the blood which causes jaundice.
3:Apart from this,What can be some other causes for jaundice?
Answer: Incompatibility of blood group, especially if the mother has Rh- blood type.
• Due to certain medicines taken during pregnancy and delivery.
4:What are the Symptoms of Jaundice?
Answer:In the hospital a newborn child is routinely kept on observation. But if the baby has been brought home, the parents should be on the look-out for these signs:
• The most obvious symptom is the yellowness on the face.
• The yellowness of skin later spreads to chest, abdomen, arms and legs, and whites of the eyes.
• Fever, drowsiness or dullness in the child.
• The stool looks clayish or whitish in color.
• The baby is not feeding well.
5:When I should start Jaundice treatment?
Answer:Jaundice is diagnosed after a blood test to determine the bilirubin level. Bilirubin level of more than 5 mg/dL is considered elevated and if it exceeds 15 mg/dL the doctors immediately start treatment.
6:What are the most trusted treatment of Jaundice?
Answer:In the hospital, photo-therapy is given to the baby. Photo-therapy is simply exposing the baby to light. Ultraviolet light helps break-down excess bilirubin and eliminate excess without the need for it to pass through the liver. Only in rare cases of severe jaundice, blood transfusion may be required.
7:How Sun Rays Help to Treat Jaundice?
Answer:Sun is an excellent source of ultraviolet light. At home the baby can be treated by carefully exposing him to sun’s rays. Remember the following while doing this:
• The exposure should not be more than a few minutes.
• Keeping the baby in the sun for long will cause sun-burn as the baby’s skin is very delicate.
• Keep the baby covered to protect him from cold wind and pollution.
• Take care not to expose the baby’s eyes and face to the sun.
• Best way is to sit with the baby facing you and with his back to the sun.
8:What are the other method to treat Jaundice?
Answer:You can also keep the baby indoors in a well illuminated room. Jeep the glass windows closed so as to avoid harsh cold wind. While inside the room, ensure that the lights are place behind the baby. This is to avoid making him face bright light.
One word of caution: In case the jaundice continues for more than a week, expert medical advice should be sought.
Some Common Myths Associated with Jaundice
After knowing the facts, it would also be wise to reflect and be careful of some of the myths relating to jaundice.
9:Should I avoid eating turmeric and other yellow edible ?
Answer:This is the most popular myth is that the mother must avoid eating turmeric, yellowish food stuffs when the baby has jaundice. The truth is that there is no such evidence to suggest that eating yellow colored foods or drinks taken by mother can cause jaundice in the child.
10:Should I avoid yellow clothing while breastfeeding ,if my baby is suffering from Jaundice?
Answer:This is the another myth that mother must avoid yellow clothing when she is feeding her baby. There is no truth in this statement as the color of clothing cannot cause jaundice in a baby.