Your little bundle of joy is here. All your time you are spending just by looking at that cutest baby of yours. Within hours of birth, you have become very protective of your baby and you wouldn’t let any harm touch your baby. But before you panic, let me tell you about Newborn Jaundice treatment at home. Yes, Jaundice is a very common problem which the newborn suffers from.
Jaundice in newborns happens when the bilirubin level is more in blood and the body is not able to secrete it properly. Let’s understand more about Newborn jaundice, its causes, and how to treat it.
What is a Newborn Jaundice?
Newborn jaundice refers to a condition when there is more extra bilirubin in the body than required. Or when the body is not able to secrete the bilirubin effectively. Bilirubin is a yellow-colored component of RBCs, which gets secreted from the body via waste.
When a baby is born, the amount of bilirubin is highest. Slowly, through urine, it gets secreted.
Jaundice affects around 60% of full-term babies and 80% of preterm babies. There is nothing to worry about, as Jaundice is very common among newborns, it is a harmless condition in which a baby’s eyes and skin look yellow.
What causes newborn jaundice?
The reason a Newborn baby suffers from Jaundice is that their liver is not able to break down the bilirubin, which results in the building up of it. Bilirubin is a yellow compound, which turns your baby’s skin and eyes yellow. When the baby is inside your womb, it is your liver’s job to clear out the bilirubin of the baby.
When the baby is born, their liver is weak and it takes time in the breaking up process.
Babies who have greater chances of Jaundice are-
- Baby born before 37 weeks.
- Having trouble breast or bottle feeding.
- A younger sibling of a child who had jaundice
What are the symptoms of jaundice in newborns?
Following are the symptoms of Jaundice which you should check-
- Pale stools
- Dark urine
- Trouble feeding or sucking
- Baby’s skin turning yellow
- The white part of the eyes become yellow
- Baby has lost more weight since birth
Diagnosis of Jaundice
Usually, the diagnosis of jaundice is done by a doctor. But to know the exact status of jaundice, doctors need to check the amount of bilirubin in the baby’s body. Following are the ways to do it-
- Take a blood sample of the baby and send it to the lab.
- Test baby’s skin with a special instrument that can measure bilirubin by shining a light on them.
Above are the two common ways to diagnose jaundice. Other ways are-
- A urine sample.
- Complete blood count to measure RBCs.
- A reticulocyte counts to see if the formation of RBCs is normal.
- A liver function test.
5 Newborn Jaundice treatment at home
Let’s look at some of the natural home remedies and ways of how we can treat newborn’s jaundice at home-
1. Frequent feeding-
Breastfeeding is the best thing and the most nutritious food which you can give to your baby. Feeding your baby frequently helps the liver to function properly and it also processes the RBCs in his system. On the starting day, both mother and baby are weak. Mother is not able to breastfeed that much and the baby is new and small, is not able to suck up the milk much.
This is the reason Breastfed babies are at more risk for Jaundice.
There is a blue light spectrum found in Sunlight, which helps to break down the excess bilirubin and reduce the chance of jaundice. Make sure you place your baby in sunlight bare body otherwise it won’t be of any use.
3. Vitamin D For Jaundice-
Jaundice gets effectively reduced through Vitamin D. If mom does not have a deficiency of Vitamin D, then she will pass this vitamin to her baby via breast milk. You can also give your baby direct vitamin D by placing them in sunlight.
According to research, it has been proven that pregnant women who took 250mg of magnesium daily for around 6 weeks had babies with a 20.6% reduction in bilirubin. So, if you are breastfeeding or pregnant try to add magnesium to your diet
5. Baby Massage–
A regular massage of your baby with soothing oil in the morning helps to increase and improve the bowel movement in babies which reduces the bilirubin content and removes jaundice.
When to use Phototherapy?
Phototherapy is used in babies only when the Jaundice becomes severe and intensive care is needed. In phototherapy, babies are kept under artificial blue light, the light helps to amplify the sunlight and break the bilirubin into molecules, that can be easily extracted by the body.
Risks of Phototherapy
Although phototherapy is a very common method to treat Jaundice, and it does not have any complications. But every artificial thing has a certain level of risks, which as a parent you should be aware of-
- Discoloration- There are chances that your baby may develop a condition where their skin turns dark grayish brown discoloration to urine, skin, and serum. This is also called Bronze Baby Syndrome. You do not require any treatment for it, once the phototherapy is done the discoloration goes away.
- Light Blisters- If your baby’s skin is very sensitive, then due to Phototherapy you may see little blisters on the skin although it is very rare.
How to prevent jaundice in newborns?
Although there is nothing to worry about, still you can try and prevent jaundice from your newborn. The best thing that you can do to prevent jaundice is to feed your baby frequently. If you are breastfeeding your baby around 8-12 times, then your baby will secrete waste and via waste, jaundice will get removed.
You won’t believe but the majority of newborns are born with jaundice. It is a harmless situation that gets cured by itself in a week or so. If the jaundice is mild, you easily treat it with the help of home remedies. But if you feel the situation is getting worse, it is better to consult a doctor.
Did your newborn suffer from Jaundice? And Newborn Jaundice treatment at home?