If you are worried about your baby’s jaundice, read on. We will tell you when your baby’s jaundice will be a concern.
Skin and eye discoloration is called jaundice. Babies are very prone to jaundice because their liver is not yet developed enough to clear bilirubin (a yellow pigment produced by the breaking down of red blood cells).
Prevalence of jaundice in infants
Jaundice is more common in three groups of infants:
- Preterm infants: infants born before the end of the 38th week of pregnancy
- Healthy babies with breastfeeding
- And in a smaller number, the cause of jaundice is underlying and congenital disorders
Infections and trauma that cause hematoma under the baby’s skin can also be a cause of jaundice.
Diagnosing the cause of jaundice in your baby’s skin and eyes should be done by a doctor. Sometimes jaundice is a warning sign of infection or bleeding in your baby.
Most babies born after 35 weeks, as well as most full-term babies (born after 38 weeks), will not need special treatment, but you as parents need to know the high levels of bilirubin in your blood if left unchecked, it can lead to major brain damage and events, so it’s best to know when to worry about your baby’s jaundice.
Symptoms of jaundice in infants
Symptoms of this disease include the following:
- Yellowing of the skin
- Yellowing of the whites of the eyes
These jaundices usually occur between the second and fourth days after birth.
You can gently press on your baby’s nose. If the child does not have jaundice, the skin color of the compressed area will be slightly lighter than the skin color for a few minutes after pressing the nose.
It is better to observe the skin color and do the action mentioned above in daylight
Causes of jaundice in infants
We said that an increase in blood bilirubin (hyperbilirubinemia) is the cause of jaundice
When red blood cells break down, a waste product called bilirubin is produced that must be removed from the bloodstream by the liver.
But in infants, bilirubin rises for two reasons:
- Red blood cells break down faster in babies
- The liver is not yet fully developed and has little power to clear the pigment, bilirubin, from the blood.
This process is the main cause of neonatal jaundice that occurs in the first two or three days after birth.
- Infections (viruses, etc.)
- Internal bleeding
- Infection in the blood (sepsis)
- Incompatibilities of mother and fetus blood
- Liver dysfunction due to congenital disorders
- Congenital deficiency of liver enzymes that are responsible for clearing bilirubin
- Congenital bile duct obstruction
- Neonatal red blood cell abnormalities
High risk groups:
The risk of jaundice is higher in the following infants:
- Babies born earlier than thirty-eight weeks
- Babies who have bruises during childbirth
- Babies of East Asian race
- Incompatibility of the mother’s blood with the baby
- Being Breastfed (swelling of the breast) of the baby
- Dehydration and insufficient calorie intake from breast milk at birth can cause jaundice for various reasons, such as lack of breast milk, the baby’s difficulty in breastfeeding, etc. Take adequate breastfeeding seriously and make sure your baby is full
Complications of high bilirubin
Bilirubin is considered as a (toxin) for brain cells. If jaundice is not controlled in severe cases, damage to brain cells occurs and is sometimes accompanied by lasting effects.
Symptoms in the early stages are:
- Hard to wake up and hard to stay awake baby
- The baby denies breastfeeding
- The back arch of the neck and body
- Constant crying
If you have a baby who has jaundice and is drowsy and does not breastfeed, you should not waste time going to a well-equipped child care center.
If left untreated at this stage, the brain cells will enter a phase of damage and this condition will become permanent, which is called corneal icterus.
In this phase, the symptoms are:
- Constantly look up
- Incidence of involuntary and uncontrollable movements in a child with Cerebral palsy is named
- Disproportionate dental development (crooked teeth) !!!!! in later years
The best way to prevent jaundice in infants, which you can do, is to breastfeed your baby eight to twelve times a day in the first days of life and make sure his body is not dehydrated, sometimes from about thirty to sixty milliliters. Formula is used every two to three hours in the first week of life to keep the baby hungry or dehydrated.
So if you have a baby who has severe jaundice and is drowsy and does not breastfeed for a few days and continues to cry, worry about serious brain damage and go to a well-equipped child center right away to prevent corneal icterus. Sometimes your baby needs a blood transfusion to avoid lasting complications