<p><strong>Jaundice in Newborn babies</strong>
</p><p><strong>What is Neonatal Jaundice? </strong></p><p><strong></strong><strong>Neonatal Jaundice</strong> is a yellow discolouration of the skin and whites of the eyes. It is common in newborns, and most recover from it in one to two weeks (three weeks for preterm babies). The consequences depend on the severity of the bilirubin level in the body. Mild Jaundice usually doesn't lead to any further health issues. However, severe Jaundice can be alarming and can cause other health problems if not treated on time.
</p><p><strong>What causes Jaundice in a newborn baby?</strong></p><p><strong></strong>The excess of a substance in the blood called bilirubin causes Neonatal Jaundice. Bilirubin is a yellow substance made from the breakdown of red blood cells, which is removed from the body by the liver. In newborns with a high number of red blood cells, the cells break down more quickly. Their liver is not ready to clear the extra bilirubin efficiently from the body, resulting in high levels of build-up.
</p><p>Babies can be at a higher risk of Jaundice and will need treatment if they: </p><ul><li>Are born prematurely </li><li>Not taking enough feed </li><li>Has a sibling who has had jaundice</li><li>Have a different blood group than mother </li><li>Become bruised during their birth </li><li>Have any infection
</li></ul><p><strong>Does Jaundice harm your baby?</strong></p><p>Like any other disease, Jaundice can also be harmful if not treated on time. Most of the time, in newborns mild jaundice goes away with simple remedies like sunbath at dawn and frequent breastfeeding. In extreme cases, when the bilirubin level crosses 15 mg per dl in blood, it can lead to brain damage and other health complications. In this case, immediate medical intervention is needed.
</p><p><strong>How is Jaundice treated?</strong></p><p>Parents of all jaundiced babies must consult a doctor who can ascertain the need for any treatment. Mild Jaundice usually goes away by itself in a few days. Frequent feeding (at least every 2 to 3 hours) is vital as it helps pass the bilirubin in the stool and urine.
</p><p>Phototherapy is the most common treatment for Jaundice in babies to decrease the level of bilirubin to a safe range. In rate cases, extremely high levels of bilirubin may require an exchange of blood. Always seek help from a qualified healthcare provider if the baby is jaundiced to devise the right treatment plan for early recovery.