Watch out for Jaundice in Your Newborn

Jaundice is one of the oldest early childhood conditions. My mom told me that in previous years when symptoms were identified, the newborn was simply exposed to early morning sun. In a few days, the child would be jaundice free.
This was a  simple and natural solution in a time where medical assistance was basic and information access was majorly through word of mouth. Google it wasn’t an option then.
Surprisingly, I have seen families almost lose their newborns to jaundice in this 21st century, even though the symptoms were noticeable. Some of these people had to spend so much on expensive medical procedures, fighting to save the lives of their babies.
Two things come to mind:
First, are the new moms unable to recognize the symptoms?
Second, do we wish and pray everything back to our enemies, as we are very religious in Nigeria?
Well, a stitch in time saves nine, the old adage is still accurate.
Infant jaundice results from excess bilirubin (bil-ih-ROO-bin). Bilirubin is a yellow-colored pigment of red blood cells in the baby’s blood. It builds up because the baby’s liver isn’t mature enough to get rid of bilirubin in the bloodstream.
Jaundice is more likely happen to:
  • babies born before 38 weeks of conception 
  • some breast fed babies.
  • babies whose moms had infections (including malaria) while pregnant
  • pregnant women exposed to Teratogens. Example of teratogens are camphor used commonly in Nigeria to drive roaches from the house
  • A-B-O incompatibility between mother and baby. Blood type incompatibility can  be prevented with a blood test early in pregnancy

Signs Your Baby May Have Jaundice

  • Yellow discolorations on newborn’s skin. The skin looks more yellow for light complexioned babies
  • White of the baby’s eyes have yellow discolorations
  • The baby refuses to eat
  • It is difficult to awaken the baby or the baby looks sick
  • The baby makes high pitched cries
  • The baby isn’t gaining weight or is losing weight

What To Do?

Jaundice usually occurs between the second and fourth day of the baby’s birth. Mothers discharged 72 hours after delivery are at a higher risk. To prevent this, p Please check back with your health care provider between the third and seventh day, especially if you notice any of the symptoms.
 Did you experience Jaundice in your newborn? Share your experience to help an expectant mom.
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