Dealing With Jaundice
Why does my baby have jaundice?
Jaundice is caused by the build-up of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellow substance produced when red blood cells are broken down. Jaundice is common in newborn babies because babies have a high level of red blood cells in their blood, which are broken down and replaced frequently. The liver in newborn babies is also not fully developed, so it’s less effective at removing the bilirubin from the blood. Drs. Laura Jana and Jennifer Shu writes in Heading Home With Your Newborn. “The bilirubin level generally peaks by about 5 days for term babies and about 1 week for those born prematurely.” If your baby continues to have signs of jaundice — very yellowish skin and eyes — after day four, consult your pediatrician.
How common is Jaundice?
Jaundice is one of the most common conditions that can affect newborn babies. It’s estimated 6 out of every 10 babies develop jaundice, including 8 out of 10 babies that are born prematurely. For reasons that are uncertain, breastfeeding babies are at increased risk of developing jaundice, which can often persist for a month or longer. But do not be worried In most cases, the benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh any risks related with jaundice.
Also YOU should also watch for signs of infection in their newborn. Infections can be picked up during birth or from people other than the parents handling the baby, such as visitors. “Most people think only of fevers, but newborns can have dropping temperatures or a low temperature that’s of concern,” It’s always wise to watch for signs of infection around the belly button or circumcised foreskin of babies, such as poor sucking during breastfeeding, a lack of appetite, poor weight gain, weak crying, and increasing irritability.
Although most babies remain perfectly healthy after they’re discharged from the hospital, it’s important to watch for any signs of illness and take your child to the paediatrician for evaluation within a day or two of leaving the hospital. “Every baby needs to