Jaundice in Newborn Baby

Jaundice in infants is jaundice of the skin and eyes in the newborn period. It occurs as a result of the accumulation of excess bilirubin in the baby's blood. Bilirubin is a yellow color pigment in red blood cells. Newborn jaundice is a common condition. It is especially common in babies born before 38 weeks and in babies who are breastfed.

In newborns, the baby's liver has difficulty in clearing the bilirubin molecule, which is formed by the destruction of red blood cells, from the blood. Sometimes an underlying disease may be the cause of jaundice. Treatment of jaundice, which usually occurs in newborns, is not necessary. If treatment is required, the baby's jaundice can be corrected with light therapy (phototherapy). If there is severe neonatal jaundice and it is not treated, brain damage may rarely develop.

Usually, jaundice develops on the baby's face first. Then jaundice develops in the eyes, chest, abdomen, arms and hands. If you suspect jaundice in your baby, press gently on the baby's nose or forehead in natural daylight. If the place you are pressing is yellow, it means that the baby has jaundice. If it appears lighter than the other skin for one second, there is no jaundice. But if you're not sure, you should definitely take the baby for a control. The jaundice of the baby is evaluated every 12 hours during the hospital stay. Usually between the 3rd and 7th days, the baby's jaundice reaches its maximum level. In this respect, the baby should be checked again after 2-3 days to evaluate the jaundice of the baby after discharge.

The most important factor in preventing jaundice is frequent breastfeeding of the baby. Especially in the first few days after birth, the baby should be fed 12 times a day. It is appropriate to feed infants with 30-60 ml of food every two to three hours.

If the baby has jaundice of the whole body (including the abdomen, arms and legs), if the baby's eyes are yellow, if it is difficult to wake the baby and if the jaundice lasts more than 3 weeks, it may be a sign of serious jaundice and it is necessary to be careful in this regard.

Child Health and Diseases Specialist
Spec. Dr. Ismail Atay
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