Understanding Newborn Jaundice

Jaundice is the yellow colouration of body parts (include skin, eyes, and mouth) and stools. It is caused by excessive bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellowish waste compound that's produced when old red blood cells are broken down. Normally, bilirubin is filtered from the bloodstream by liver and excreted to intestines. Newborn's liver is still developing, so can't eliminate bilirubin as quickly.

It is very common among newborn baby. About 3 in 5 babies (60%) have jaundice. Usually happens a few days after birth. Mild jaundice usually causes no harm and goes away without treatment. 

Types Of Jaundice:
I. Normal Jaundice

II. Jaundice of Prematurity: immature liver to eliminate the bilirubins

III. Breast-Feeding Jaundice: substances in breast milk interfere with the liver's bilirubin processing

IV. Blood Group Incompatibility: when mother and baby have different blood types, the mother's body makes antibodies which attack baby's red blood cells, resulting in an excess buildup of bilirubin in the baby's bloodstream.

A blood test can be used to determine whether the jaundice is normal or caused by liver disease. You can also check on the baby's stool. If it is lightly coloured or pale poop is not healthy.

Treatment:
- Phototherapy (Blue-spectrum light helps break down bilirubin in the baby's body)

- Exchange Transfusion

- Breastfeeding

- Enhanced Nutrition

Mild jaundice usually causes no harm and goes away without treatment.



Published by: Multicare Pharmacy, 11st Nov 2020