Yellow baby is a condition that often occurs in newborns. This condition can be dangerous if you do not receive adequate medical treatment. Yellow baby when newborn it is said natural if it is within 2-3 days after birth. However, it is said to be normal if it is under intensive care by medical personnel.
What is jaundice in babies?
Jaundice in infants is a condition in which the baby’s skin is yellowish and the eyes look white. This condition is caused by high levels of bilirubin in the blood of the newborn. Bilirubin is a yellow substance produced by the body when it is replacing red blood cells.
When the baby is still in the womb, the umbilical cord or placenta will take bilirubin from the fetal body. After birth, the baby’s heart will take over the task and it will take time for the baby’s body to do this process properly. So that this condition in babies is considered normal.
When the baby is older and the number of red blood cells decreases, the yellow level in the baby will decrease on its own. Usually occurs within 1-2 weeks after birth. Jaundice in babies starts on the baby’s face, then goes down to the chest, stomach and hands and feet. This is difficult to detect in babies who have dark skin.
If the doctor thinks the baby has jaundice, he will certainly check the baby’s bilirubin level through a blood test. Normal bilirubin levels in newborns are 5 mg / dl. However, not a few newborns have bilirubin levels that are higher than these levels.
Causes of Yellow Babies When Newborn
Bilirubin is produced when red blood cells break down normally. However, when the amount of bilirubin builds up faster in the newborn’s liver, it will cause jaundice. The causes of high bilirubin levels in newborns include:
- Babies are born prematurely. The livers of newborns that are not fully developed and are not yet able to completely remove sufficient bilirubin from the blood.
- Newborns that produce bilirubin in greater amounts than adults. This is because babies have more red blood cell turnover.
- Absorption of bilirubin by the baby’s intestines, which should be excreted by the body through feces.
- Antibodies in the mother’s body that function to attack the red blood cells in the baby’s body result in a yellow baby.
Jaundice in newborns is classified as severe if the bilirubin level exceeds 25 mg. Left untreated, it can lead to cerebral palsy, deafness and other forms of brain damage.
Types of Jaundice in Babies
Physiological Jaundice (Physiological Jaundice)
Some newborns will experience normal jaundice because their livers are in the process of ripening. This condition often appears when the baby is 2-4 days old and will disappear at the age of 1-2 weeks.
Jaundice due to not breastfeeding the baby
Jaundice in babies who don’t get enough breast milk which results in difficulty breastfeeding. Jaundice that occurs is not caused by problems with breast milk, but because the baby is not getting enough milk. This can happen because during breastfeeding the attachment is not perfect. Breast milk takes a long time to pass.
If this condition occurs to you, you should increase your breastfeeding routine and ask a lactation consultant for help to make sure your baby can get enough milk.
How to Overcome Jaundice in Newborns
Most cases of jaundice that occur in newborns do not require special treatment or medication. Mild newborn jaundice will disappear after 1-2 weeks, because the baby’s body will be able to reduce the bilirubin levels on its own.
The following is a summary of the ways to deal with jaundice in newborns that you can do. This method is only used for babies who are breastfeeding and not for babies born prematurely.
Improve Your Breastfeeding Routine
Increase your routine of breastfeeding to 8-12 times a day. This will make the baby’s stomach move even more in digesting breast milk more often, so that the bilirubin will come out with the feces.
Assistance from a breastfeeding consultant to ensure that the baby is properly latched while breastfeeding. Latching problems during breastfeeding can affect the amount of milk that is released.
Provision of Supplements
If the baby must be given supplements to increase his intake, ask an breastfeeding consultant for help to give expressed breast milk.
If the baby’s condition worsens, it is likely that the breastfeeding process should be stopped for at least 24 hours. Keep expressing breastmilk to ensure milk production can continue smoothly. After 24 hours, the baby can be directly breastfed.
Management of High Bilirubin in Newborns
If the newborn is yellow due to high bilirubin levels with moderate to severe levels, he should get treatment as soon as possible. The following are high levels of bilirubin according to the age of the baby.
- More than 10 mg / dl of infant <1 day of age
- More than 15 mg / dl infant 1-2 days of age
- More than 18 mg / dl infant 2-3 days
- More than 20 mg / dl of infant> 3 days
There are several treatments that can be done to reduce high bilirubin levels to normal in newborns. Check out the following points.
Light Therapy (Phototherapy)
In the phototherapy step, the baby will be placed under a special light that looks turquoise. These rays will help change the bilirubin molecules, so that bilirubin can be excreted in the urine and feces. Babies should only use diapers and eye protection while this process is taking place.
Immunoglobulin transfusion is the next step for treating yellow babies. Mainly due to differences in rhesus blood groups of babies and their mothers. This condition makes the baby get lots of antibodies from the mother’s body. This can result in the breakdown of many blood cells. Immunoglobulin infusion will greatly help reduce the number of antibodies so that jaundice can be resolved.
Blood Replacement Transfusion
one in this way is only done for babies who have severe jaundice. Babies who do not respond to other forms of therapy. This transfusion is done by taking a small portion of blood from the baby’s body, then replacing it with donor blood. This method is done repeatedly. This aims to make the blood in the baby’s body free from high levels of bilirubin and antibodies from the mother.
Normal bilirubin level is one of the conditions that indicates that the baby is healthy. If the baby looks yellowish and is suspected of having high bilirubin, you should immediately get him checked by a doctor. So that babies get fast and precise treatment. The doctor will monitor the bilirubin level and the baby will be given treatment to recover.
Hope it is useful!