Saturday, August 6, 2011

jaundice in newborn

During our first pediatric check-up at 6 days after birth, the doctor also noticed a little yellow discoloration on our baby. And I also asked her to check out baby's sclera (the white part in the eyes) since it seems to be yellowish as well.
Jaundice (yellowish discoloration of the skin), as she reaffirmed to me, is normal in the first days of birth. But she did warned me to report any increase in the yellowish discoloration. Also, she advised us to get at least 15 minutes to 30 minutes of sunlight exposure between 6-7am which we followed.

My husband and I noticed a decrease in baby's yellowish discoloration over two days of consecutive sun exposure. We took off baby's garments as the pediatrician had advised to maximize the surface area of the skin that is exposed to the sun.
However, the days after had been gloomy due to low pressure areas near our area which pulled clouds and rains in.
As much as we love the colder weather that it had brought, it took out baby's sun!

At this time, although baby's jaundice had not increased in intensity, it had not completely disappeared yet.

And so, I research!

I especially love this article on JAUNDICE ON HEALTHY NEWBORNS which had been very informative in a light way (I mean, easily understandable).

I'd like to post my fave excerpts from the article... (my favorite... mainly because it alleviates my worry)

From the types of jaundice below, I first thought that baby Joram had physiologic jaundice among newborns. But since he is more than 2 weeks old, then, he now falls on breast milk jaundice which our pediatrician had warned during our first visit as well.

And since our baby's yellow discoloration had not deepen or increased in any way (by God's grace)... so, we have no reason to call the doctor.
We're due for our first month's check up next week though and surely our doctor would be checking on this again.

Types of Jaundice

The most common types of jaundice are:
Physiological (normal) jaundice: occurring in most newborns, this mild jaundice is due to the immaturity of the baby's liver, which leads to a slow processing of bilirubin. It generally appears at 2 to 4 days of age and disappears by 1 to 2 weeks of age.
Jaundice of prematurity: occurs frequently in premature babies since they are even less ready to excrete bilirubin effectively. Jaundice in premature babies needs to be treated at a lower bilirubin level than in full term babies in order to avoid complications.
Breastfeeding jaundice: jaundice can occur when a breastfeeding baby is not getting enough breast milk because of difficulty with breastfeeding or because the mother's milk isn't in yet. This is not caused by a problem with the breast milk itself, but by the baby not getting enough to drink.

Breast milk jaundice: in 1% to 2% of breastfed babies, jaundice may be caused by substances produced in their mother's breast milk that can cause the bilirubin level to rise. These can prevent the excretion of bilirubin through the intestines. It starts after the first 3 to 5 days and slowly improves over 3 to 12 weeks.
Blood group incompatibility (Rh or ABO problems): if a baby has a different blood type than the mother, the mother might produce antibodies that destroy the infant's red blood cells. This creates a sudden buildup of bilirubin in the baby's blood. Incompatibility jaundice can begin as early as the first day of life. Rh problems once caused the most severe form of jaundice, but now can be prevented with an injection of Rh immune globulin to the mother within 72 hours after delivery, which prevents her from forming antibodies that might endanger any subsequent babies.

When to Call the Doctor

Your doctor should be called immediately if:
  • jaundice is noted during the first 24 hours of life
  • the jaundice is spreading or getting more intense
  • your baby develops a fever over 100° Fahrenheit (37.8° Celsius) rectally
  • if your child starts to look or act sick
Also call the doctor right away if the color deepens, your baby is not feeding well, or if you feel your baby is sleepier than usual. It is difficult to tell how significant jaundice is just by looking at a baby, so any baby who has yellow eyes or skin should be checked by the doctor.

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