Interesting facts about jaundice
Jaundice is a yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes. During pregnancy, the mother’s liver removes bilirubin for the baby, but after birth the baby’s liver must remove the bilirubin
. In some babies, the liver might not be developed enough to efficiently get rid of bilirubin. When too much bilirubin builds up in a new baby’s body, the skin and whites of the eyes might look yellow and this yellow coloring is called jaundice.Jaundice usually goes away without treatment. most of the newborns will have normal jaundice ,one day or more after birth. Jaundice that usually appears within the first 24 hours of life, or after the first week, is not considered normal.Abnormal jaundice may be caused by the baby’s blood type (ABO or RH factor incompatibility) or one of many other causes. The yellow color is first seen in the eyes and head, then it moves down the baby’s body. A blood test is usually done if the yellow is seen below the baby’s chest. As bilirubin is flushed from the body through the stool, jaundice may persist until a baby experiences more regular bowel movements; this typically happens between the first 5 and 10 days of life
jaundice can be easily seen in in fair-skinned infants . It can be seen by taking baby into a well-lit room, applying gentle pressure to chest, and looking for a yellowish skin as the pressure subsides. This technique may not work on children with darker skin, so in that case jaundice can be seen in their gums(yellowing of gums). When severe jaundice leaves untreated , it can cause a condition called kernicterus. Kernicterus is a type of brain damage that can result from high levels of bilirubin in a baby’s blood. It can cause athetoid cerebral palsy and hearing loss. Kernicterus also causes problems with vision and teeth and sometimes can cause intellectual disabilities. A blood test is usually done if the yellow is seen below the baby’s chest. feeding every 1-3 hours with breast milk is important so the bowel movements can pass the bilirubin.Phototherapy (light) with a special lamp or lighted blanket may be used . The high-intensity lights used during phototherapy break down bilirubin into, less toxic substance that is easier to flush from the body.Baby needs to stay in light therapy at all times except during feeding.. Only breast milk helps pass bilirubin. Make sure baby has at least three bowel movements and 4-5 wet diapers a day. Severe, abnormal jaundice may require baby to have a blood transfusion.Frequent feeding can help prevent severe jaundice. A breastfed baby needs to nurse every one to three hours (at least eight to 12 times a day).