Neonatal jaundice – more common than you think!

Neonatal jaundice is a condition that affects many babies still in the maternity ward. This long-standing disease is known and has been treated since the times of great-grandmothers. Nowadays he has gained more effective treatments and chances of discharge of the baby with neonatal jaundice together with the mother, much greater than 10 years ago. But after all what jaundice and how is the treatment done?

What is Neonatal Jaundice?

Jaundice or hyperbilirubinemia is nothing more than the yellowish color of the skin, eyes and urine, which are caused by excess bilirubin in the baby’s body. The liver that is responsible for the uptake of bilirubin in the baby’s body does not meet the demand and therefore always ends up being in excess in the body and needs help to be able to eliminate all bilirubin.

Yellowing or neonatal jaundice may not be a serious disease and cannot even be considered a disease, it is a natural condition of the body that most newborns pass through. The incidence of neonatal jaundice in newborns is very large, about 1 in 3 births result in babies who have excess bilirubin in the body, in cases of premature babies this number may be even lower, about 1 in 2 births.

When Neonatal Jaundice Occurs

Normally, neonatal jaundice appears 3 to 10 days after birth, first in the membrane of the eyes, then passes to the face, chest, belly and finally arms and legs and in addition to yellow, a simple blood test can detect and determine the degree of jaundice. However, depending on the degree of jaundice, medical treatment is not necessary, only some cases of alterations much larger than normal will need to be treated.

Explanatory Video

Jaundice Treatment – The Sun is the Source of Life

The treatment for neonatal jaundice is very simple, just a phototherapy treatment with violet or white lights in the hospital if the case is more intense, or sunbathing at home for more common cases and thus absurdly reduce the bilirubin of the baby’s body. But how can light help in these cases then? Ultraviolet light or sunlight act on the baby’s skin, transforming excess bilirubin into substances more easily captured by the liver.

The treatment of neonatal jaundice in the maternity hospital may vary, so if the baby needs phototherapy, he or she can stay another day or two in the hospital to help the body eliminate the yellowing. However, if the case is milder, sunbathing in the morning and or in the afternoon may be sufficient.

How to See Improvement

The improvement of the case can be noticed very quickly since the skin that was very yellow starts to take on more normal tones in the second sunbath, or the first day of jaundice phototherapy. However, there are cases in which neonatal jaundice can become dangerous, so the pediatrician has to investigate whether it is a case of obstructive jaundice which is more common in adults.

Risks if untreated jaundice

The accumulation of bilirubin in the body can be dangerous and cause neurological damage , but this in very extreme cases. It is of fundamental importance that in any sign of yellow, the baby is taken for evaluation by the pediatrician of the maternity or trustworthy and of course sunbathing.

Reader Report:

Gisele is the mother of 3 children and they all had neonatal jaundice and had to undergo phototherapy to help the body process bile. She tells a little of her story:

“When Manu was born, we didn’t even know that jaundice existed. On our last day at the hospital, the doctor suspected and asked for tests to see if it was a case of having the ultraviolet light treatment. We were afraid because until then it was unknown and that was when the pediatrician said that she would have to take such a bath of light.

Manu stayed there in the nursery taking a light bath for 2 days and as I had already spent time in the maternity ward, I had to go home before her. Only on the third day she can go home and I continued the treatment with sunbath and vitamin D.

With Rafa it was the same, he was only discharged after 3 days but this time we were calmer because we already knew it was not serious. With Rodrigo it was different, he was taking a light bath in the maternity room, he didn’t leave my side for a minute if he wanted to and it was much more peaceful because we were discharged together, even if he had to stay another day doing the treatment. “

Warning Signs

Moms only pay attention to the signs that appear after arriving at home since neonatal jaundice can appear from the 3rd to the 10th day of the baby’s life . Even if the baby does not show signs of yellowing, it is very important that he sunbathe in the morning to prevent it from appearing.

Some treatments from Grandma’s time can help in addition to light sunbathing, say the older ones that picão water bath (a very common leaf and sold in health food stores) can help eliminate excess yellow and considerably lower the neonatal jaundice. Or even the myth that a weak coffee spoon could help the yellow filter through the liver … myth or truth?

What really matters is the baby sunbathing regardless of whether or not there are signs of neonatal jaundice and always using vitamin D before morning sun.

See also: Reflux in Newborn – How to Diagnose and Treat

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My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.

Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

Dr. Alexis Hart

My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

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