Ever seen a newborn baby who looks a little yellow? This condition is known as Jaundice.
Newborn jaundice symptoms include yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes that appear within days after birth. In most cases, treatment isn’t required although light therapy (phototherapy) can help resolve moderate or severe cases.
Jaundice is caused by the build-up of excess bilirubin in your baby’s system. All babies get a little bit of jaundice and a slight yellow tinge to their skin can be normal.
Too much bilirubin can cause serious neurological issues, which is why jaundice needs to be nipped in the bud if levels get too high. Before you get discharged from the hospital your baby will be checked for jaundice by using a light sensor on their forehead or via bloodwork.
If it comes back high, your baby might need phototherapy.
What is Phototherapy?
Phototherapy is a way to break down the bilirubin. Most often babies only need a day or two under the lights before their jaundice resolves. Your nurse will teach you all this if your baby ends up needing phototherapy.
If you are breastfeeding your baby, don’t stop! The more colostrum your baby gets the better, as their bodies get rid of bilirubin through poop and colostrum is a laxative!
Just remember to only take your baby out from under the lights for feeds and diaper changes. The more light exposure the better!
Did your baby need phototherapy? How was your experience?