Jaundice is a condition that causes yellowing of the skin and certain parts of the eyes. Your child will be checked for jaundice three days after being born. Nevertheless, you should watch out for any signs of the disorder after your go back home since it can take up to seven days to become visible.
When you are at home with your newborn, you should check out for the yellowing of the eye’s whites or skin. It’s also important to observe your baby’s poo and urine. If the urine is yellow or the poo is pale-colored, your baby might be having jaundice. Be sure to consult your doctor or GP if you think the symptoms your child is experiencing are related to jaundice.
Tests and Diagnosis
Your doctor will carry out a physical examination to identify the signs and symptoms of jaundice. The baby should be undressed so that the skin can be checked properly under natural light. Other things that could also be examined include:
• The baby’s gums
• The color of urine or poo
• The white parts of the baby’s eyes
If it’s presumed that your baby is suffering from jaundice, the amount of bilirubin contained in their blood will have to be tested. This could be done using a device known as the bilirubinometer. The device beams light onto the infant’s skin and then calculates the bilirubin level by analyzing the manner in which the light is reflected or absorbed by the skin. Another way of determining bilirubin levels would be through taking a blood sample by pricking the newborn's heel. The amount of bilirubin in the blood is then determined.
In many cases, the bilirubinometer technique is used to check for jaundice in newborn babies. Blood tests are performed only when the baby’s symptoms manifested within twenty-four hours of birth or if the yellowing is particularly evident. The bilirubin level in your baby’s blood determines if treatment is needed or not.
Sometimes, additional blood tests may be conducted if the newborn’s jaundice persists for more than 14 days or when comprehensive treatment plans are necessary. The blood is examined to determine:
• Whether an underlying infection is responsible for the symptoms
• The infant’s blood group. This is normally done to check for compatibility between the baby’s and the mother’s blood.
• The volume of red blood cells in the baby’s blood
• If antibodies are linked to the infant’s blood cells
• Whether the enzymes are insufficient
Home Remedies to Treat Jaundice
When a baby’s jaundice is not very serious, the doctor might suggest modifications in feeding habits, which can suppress the bilirubin levels. Consult your doctor if you have any concerns regarding the quantity and frequency of feeding your baby.
The following measures can lessen the severity of jaundice:
- More regular feeding: frequent feeding will provide the baby with sufficient milk and triggers more bowel movements, raising the amount of bilirubin removed in the child’s stool. Infants who are breastfed should be given 12 feedings every day, while formula-fed babies often should have 1 or 2 ounces of formula after every 2-3 hours.
- Supplements: if your baby is having difficulties with breastfeeding, is becoming dehydrated or is losing weight, your GP might recommend a type of formula milk to supplement breastfeeding.