Jaundice occurs in babies due to the bilirubin that stays in the bloodstream as newborn baby’s liver is still immature to be able to convert bilirubin into waste product and excrete. Bilirubin is formed during the process of breaking down red blood cells. When a baby has jaundice, you will expect to see a yellow tinge on his skin and the white of his eyes. It is important to seek treatment as severe jaundice can harm baby’s brain if left untreated.
When will baby get jaundice?
- Due to physiologic factors, jaundice usually occur on the second day after birth and may peak on the third to sixth day. It is usually cleared or disappears when baby is 10 to 12 days old.
- Breast milk is another factor that contribute to the occurrence of jaundice in newborn baby. It can comes 1 week after birth and peaks at second week, lasting sometimes up till 2 to 3 months.
- Inadequate calories or not enough feeding can result in baby to develop jaundice. Breastfeeding mothers should ensure a proper good latch and feed frequently. However, milk supply may not come fast especially for first time mothers. Therefore, it is highly recommended to standby a tin of formula milk even if you have planned to fully breastfeed. Otherwise pediatrician would require baby to be hospitalized for treatment purposes.
What are the treatment for jaundice?
It is advisable to bring your baby early to the pediatrician for consultation and monitoring when baby gets too “yellowish” day by day. You may or may not need to discontinue breastfeeding. Usually the treatment in hospital is phototherapy and formula milk if the bilirubin level is too high. This is why you will often hear experienced confinement nanny to suggest exposing baby to natural sunlight in the early morning and formula milk so as to reduce jaundice fast. Natural breast milk and not enough feeding could be the reasons for baby to develop jaundice. It is only when baby drinks more and excretes more often with sufficient feeding will then enable bilirubin to be executed more efficiently from his system.