Jaundice is a medical condition primarily characterized by yellowing of skin or eyes due to excess accumulation of bilirubin in the blood. People of all age numbers are equally vulnerable to this medical condition. However, its prevalence in newborn babies is of great significance and requires special attention.
Jaundice in newborn babies is often termed as jaundice baby, infant or neonatal Jaundice. Jaundice baby is distinctly associated with a high bilirubin level, a metabolic product of RBCs breakdown, in the newborn’s blood. It usually persists for 2-3 weeks, and its symptoms eventually disappear. But if the symptoms continue for more than three weeks, then it indicates an underlying condition.
What are the most common symptoms of jaundice baby?
About 60% of all the newborn babies are born with Jaundice, particularly those born before 37 weeks of gestation or preterm babies. The most common symptoms that are linked with jaundice baby includes pale-yellow colouring of skin and eyes. Yellowish palm and feet soul is also observed in the majority of the babies that are born with Jaundice. Moreover, the yellowish coloured pee and stools are also considered important indicators of high blood bilirubin level.
What are the causes of jaundice baby?
The common cause of Jaundice in newborn babies is their liver’s poor functioning and their inability to filter their blood properly. Some newborns have Jaundice due to breastfeeding problems, and they can’t get enough food and nutrients.
In rare cases, the mother’s breast milk may serve as a cause of jaundice baby as it obstructs the functioning of the liver in such babies. Besides these, internal bleeding, haemorrhage, bruises during birth, hemosepsis or blood infection are other common causes responsible for Jaundice in newborn babies. Moreover, babies born with a genetic disorder like sickle cell anaemia or with different blood type than their mothers are also vulnerable to Jaundice.
What are the possible complications associated with jaundice baby?
In most of the cases, jaundice in newborn babies is harmless and they get rid of it on their own without any treatment. But a high level of bilirubin in a baby’s blood for longer duration can put the baby’s life in danger.
Bilirubin is toxic to brain tissues, and if it gets access to brain tissues, it may cause a medical condition known as acute bilirubin encephalopathy. As a result, a baby may have temporary hearing loss, high-pitch crying, poor feeding, and a high fever.
If this condition prevails for a longer duration and remains untreated, it may lead to a condition called kernicterus due to permanent brain damage. Thus the affected baby may face a permanent hearing loss and cerebral palsy.
What treatment strategies are used for a jaundice baby?
Jaundice is a frequent and less severe medical condition associated with newborn babies. Usually, no treatment is required as babies get rid of this condition within 10-14 days after birth. Before birth, a baby is dependent on his mother for his nutritional needs, while the baby’s liver is non-functional at that time. After birth, the liver usually requires at least 3-4 days to start work and properly carry out its functions.
Mostly two therapeutic strategies are implicated in the hospitals for treating Jaundice baby. First is the phototherapy in which jaundice baby is kept in a glass tube for a certain period with specific light that converts bilirubin into a compound that can easily be filtered out of the baby’s blood. The second treatment strategy is the blood transfusion in which a baby’s blood with a high bilirubin level is transfused with a healthy blood donor to avoid any jaundice related complications.
newborn baby at home looks yellow does she have jaundice ?
if you have already gone home and notice your baby looks yellow the midwife will let you know if it needs attention. you can put your baby in the pram near the window to get sunshine to her. keep an eye in case the colour goes even deeper yellow then you may want to ring the hospital for advice. if you noticed the colour has returned to normal then its fine nothing to worry about.