After a baby is delivered, the true work begins as a mother takes on round the clock care for her infant. The neonatal ward will watch the baby closely, monitoring the little one for any issues that may arise, from urinary problems to abdominal issues or any type of discoloration. Breastfeeding is key as mother and baby bond together in order to ensure that an infant’s nutritional needs are met. While most mothers do not have a problem with feeding their babies with breast milk, it can be challenging. Most importantly, new mothers need to watch their babies closely for signs of any type of problem, such as jaundice.
Symptoms of Jaundice in Newborns
Newborn jaundice, a slight yellowing of the skin or eyes, is common for babies who have just been delivered. Generally, the problem goes away. However, if you see signs that your infant is jaundiced after you have brought your baby home, you need to seek medical attention. The condition results when there are high levels of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a waste product that is produced by the liver after it breaks down depleted, red blood cells in the body. When all systems are performing properly, bilirubin will be eliminated through the stool. If it is not eliminated and levels are too high, various symptoms are noticeable. The most common sign is discoloration that involves a yellowing of the skin, including the abdominal region. In addition to visible changes in neonatal infants, doctors can do a urinary test to determine if there is a problem with liver functioning.
Effective Treatment for Jaundiced Infants
Questions often arise concerning treatment of jaundiced babies when mothers are breastfeeding. A baby may be jaundiced due to physiologic concerns, in which the liver is not performing efficiently enough. Physiologic jaundiced babies generally recover without a problem as they mature. Jaundiced babies may result form breast milk feeding in some cases. There may be genetic issues that cause the infants to have problems with processing breast milk. Breastfeeding jaundiced babies are not getting enough milk. An increase in feedings and ensuring that the baby is latched on properly are recommended treatments for any problems with breast milk. In some cases, a nutritional supplement may be necessary. Phototherapy, a type of light therapy, is common as well in order to improve liver functioning. In most cases, the problem will resolve itself in a matter of weeks, but the baby must be watched closely by a healthcare professional to prevent the risk of serious problems in the future.