Information about Infant Jaundice
We have to know about Infant Jaundice
- A yellowish discoloration of the skin and eyes seen in newborns and infants which commonly lasts for a week to 10 days.
Could be dangerous, if the answer is YES for any one of the following questions
- Colour of the skin is changed to yellow?
Causes of Infant Jaundice
- Infant’s liver isn’t mature enough to metabolize a molecule called bilirubin,
- Other reasons:
- Severe bruising
- An infection in your baby’s blood (sepsis)
- An incompatibility between your blood and your baby’s
- Jaundice that develops in or lasts past the second week of life may be due to:
- A liver malfunction
- A severe infection
- An enzyme deficiency
- An abnormality of your baby’s red blood cells
Do’s and Don’ts of Infant Jaundice
- Avoid alcohol in pregnancy
Signs & Symptoms of Infant Jaundice
- The first sign of jaundice is a yellowing of a baby’s skin and eyes. The yellowing may begin within 2 to 4 days after birth and may start in the face before spreading down across the body.
- Bilirubin levels typically peak between 3 to 7 days after birth.
- If a finger lightly pressed on a baby’s skin causes that area of skin to become yellow, it’s likely a sign of jaundice
Medical advice for Infant Jaundice
- If your baby’s jaundice lasts longer than two weeks.
- Your newborn’s jaundice is severe — the skin is bright yellow
- Your baby seems listless, sick or difficult to wake
- Your baby isn’t gaining weight
- Your baby develops any other signs or symptoms that concern you
Risk factors of Infant Jaundice
- Boys tend to be at higher risk
- Premature birth.
- Bruising during birth.
- If your blood type is different from your baby’s,
Treatment for Infant Jaundice
- Mild jaundice will usually resolve on its own as a baby’s liver begins to mature. Frequent feedings (between 8 to 12 times a day) will help babies pass bilirubin through their bodies.
- More severe jaundice may require other treatments. Phototherapy is a common and highly effective method of treatment that uses light to break down bilirubin in your baby’s body.
- In phototherapy, your baby will be placed on a special bed under a blue spectrum light while wearing only a diaper and special protective goggles. A fiber-optic blanket may also be placed underneath your baby.
- In very severe cases, an exchange transfusion may be necessary for which a baby receives small amounts of blood from a donor or a blood bank.
- This replaces the baby’s damaged blood with healthy red blood cells. This also increases the baby’s red blood cell count and reduces bilirubin levels
Self-care of Infant Jaundice
- Feeding more frequently will provide your baby with more calories and cause more bowel movements, increasing the amount of bilirubin eliminated in your baby’s stool.
Investigations of Infant Jaundice