Jaundice in newborns is a common and usually harmless condition that causes the skin and the whites of the eyes to be yellow. Neonatal jaundice is the medical term for jaundice.
Other Symptoms of Jaundice in Newborns
- Pale colored stool instead of yellow or orange colored
- The palms of the hands or soles of the feet will be yellow
- The urine of a newborn should be colorless, but it will be dark, yellow urine in this case.
Why Newborns have Jaundice?
- It is the build up of bilirubin that causes jaundice in newborns. Bilirubin on the other hand is a yellow substance produced when the red blood cells are broken down.
- Jaundice is rampant in newborns in view of the fact that they have a high level of red blood cells in their blood, which are broken down and replaced often. In addition, the livers in newborns are not fully developed and therefore not efficient at eliminating bilirubin from the blood.
Treating Jaundice in Newborns
As the symptoms of jaundice normally pass in 10-14 days, most cases in newborns do not require treatment. However, if tests reveal that a newborn has very high levels of bilirubin in his blood in view of the fact that just a petite risk is involved, bilirubin could pass into the brain and result in brain damage, which eventually requires treatment.
To quickly reduce bilirubin levels of your newborn, two types of treatment of jaundice in newborns can be carried out including the following;
- An Exchange Transfusion – This is a situation where small amounts of your newborn’s blood is removed and substituted with blood from a matching donor.
- Phototherapy – This is a special type of light shines on the skin of the newborn that changes the bilirubin into a form that can be more easily broken down by the liver.
A good number newborn responds very well to treatment and can leave hospital after a few days. There is no cause for alarm when you notice traces of jaundice in newborns. All you need to do is to talk to your GP, health visitor or midwife as soon as possible for advice. It is quite imperative to determine whether your baby requires treatment, even as jaundice is not usually a cause of concern.