Why Do Babies Get Jaundice?
A newborn baby may develop jaundice for a few reasons:
- Bilirubin, which is produced by the breakdown of red blood cells, is being produced more quickly than the liver can handle.
- The newborn baby’s developing liver isn’t able to remove bilirubin from the blood.
- There is too much of the bilirubin being reabsorbed from the intestines before the baby gets rid of it in a bowel movement.
What is the Treatment for Jaundice in a Newborn Baby?
Most newborns are screened for jaundice, either by visual inspection or with laboratory testing. Mild jaundice generally doesn’t require treatment, but more-severe cases can require a newborn to stay longer in the hospital. Jaundice may be treated in several ways:
- Feed the baby more frequently, which increases the amount of bilirubin passed out of the body via body movements.
- A doctor may place your baby under a bilirubin light. This treatment, called phototherapy, is quite common. A special lamp helps rid of the body of excess bilirubin.
- Confinement nanny may advise to expose the baby to morning sunlight each day.
- Rarely, if the bilirubin level becomes extremely high, intravenous (IV) medications or a specialized blood transfusion may be required.