When a newborn baby has high levels of bilirubin in the blood then the baby is said to have newborn jaundice. Bilirubin is a yellow matter which is produced by the body when it replaces old red blood cells. The liver breaks down the bilirubin and helps it to be removed from the body. It is normal for a baby to have high levels of bilirubin after its birth. This gives the baby’s skin and the whites of the eyes a yellow hue.
This is called jaundice. Breastfeeding jaundice occurs during the first seven days of life especially in babies whose intake of breast milk is less or if the mother’s milk is slow to fill up the milk ducts. Breast milk jaundice can be seen in normal and healthy babies who are nourished by their mothers and are a little more than a week old. This jaundice can last up to more than a month.
It is due to certain materials in the mother’s milk which cause the baby’s intestine to absorb more bilirubin than normal. Babies who are born prematurely are more likely to develop jaundice than babies who are born after nine months. Severe jaundice is caused by infection, blood type mismatch between the baby and mother and high levels of red blood cells.
Feed your baby as often as you can. The more you feed your baby, the more will be the movements of the baby’s bowels.
This will speed up the elimination of bilirubin from the baby’s bloodstream and help it to be flushed out of the body through stool and urine. Jaundiced babies often sleep more than normal babies, so you must wake your baby often to nurse him/her. If you are not breastfeeding the baby then you should give two ounces of formula milk at each feeding.
This blanket provides the highest level of therapeutic light to the baby. The blanket made of woven fibers transfers the light from a light source directly to the baby’s skin and eliminates the bilirubin.
Keep your baby in a warm sunny room for one to two hours daily. See that the baby is naked and wearing only a diaper. The sunrays should fall directly on the baby’s body.
The sunlight will reduce the levels of bilirubin in the baby’s blood and will cure the jaundice.
Zizyphus jujube fruit extract reduces the bilirubin level in the bloodstream and also flushes out the accumulated bilirubin from the baby’s bowels. Give one ml of zizyphus jujube fruit extract to your baby three times daily till the jaundice is completely cured.
Some babies do not get enough breast milk in the early days so it is essential to give them supplementation. You should use expressed breast milk and use a spoon or a syringe or any other supplemental nursing system to deliver milk to the baby. If you use a feeding bottle then it may cause nipple confusion which is quite common in breastfed babies who are given the feeding bottle at a very early stage. If you do not have expressed breast milk then you should use infant formula milk to supplement your baby’s intake until the jaundice clears up.